Emerson Ave Church of Christ

Matthew 28:19, 20 (Go, therefore, and make disciples of all nations…..)

Sweet Memories of Yesteryear No.2

May 5, 2013

Sweet Memories of Yesteryear No.2

I thank the great God and Father for the sweet memories of yesteryear that are etched in my heart. Many things that I saw and heard as a young Christian have made a lasting and memorable impression that will follow me till my earthly journey comes to an end. Please bear with me as I mention some of the more important things that will encourage all of us.

Fourth, I remember the time when preachers and Bible class teachers were students of the scriptures. They were “brim full and running over” of the word of God. They arrived at their conclusions from the study of the Bible. They, like the Bereans, searched the scriptures daily to see what things were so. (Acts 17:11) They never minimized the need to “correctly handle the word of truth.” (2 Timothy 2:15) During the Bible class periods they asked and answered questions. There were times when the preachers would stop during the sermon, and ask one of the men a question, or ask them to read a passage of scripture to reinforce a point. It worked! I do not remember ever hearing a class teacher or preacher seeking to prove a religious point by quoting a human being as “the” authority. Never heard someone say, “Well, one of my favorite professors believes this point, and I agree with him. ” Nor do I remember someone saying, “Old brother so and so was a real Bible student and I stand where he stands.” I have sweet memories of preachers and Bible class teachers citing the word of God as proof for doctrine and practice! (2 Timothy 3:16-17; James 1:25; 2 Peter 1:3)

Fifth, I remember the time when hundreds, and maybe thousands of people obeyed the gospel of Christ each year. I have heard people say, “We do not see as many people obeying the gospel these days because people are so busy, and do not take time for God. I firmly believe that is only a small part of the problem. People have always been busy. Mothers had babies to feed and clothes, houses to clean, meals to cook, and children to teach when thousands were obeying the gospel. Fathers had jobs to hold, crops to raise, bills to pay, and sons to train even when thousands were being immersed into Christ each year! The difference in the numbers of people who became Christians during the days of yesteryear and today seems to be based more on the nature of the preaching and teaching that was/is heard. In the earlier days, a clear distinction was drawn between denominationalism and the religion of the Lord (Matthew 16:18-19); between man-made worship and spiritual worship (John 4:23-24); between human doctrine and the doctrine of Christ (Matthew 15:13-14; 2 John 9:11). People were motivated to obey the gospel because they were convinced they were lost! They were not led to believe that they were okay in sin. Those who preached in days past did not seek grounds of appeasement, compromise, or tolerance! They denounced sin and promoted righteousness. God was pleased and he gave the increase. It should be this way today!

Ron Daly

For more teaching on crucial issues visit the following blogs:
www.exegeticalessays.blogspot.com
www.biblicallanguagesresearch.blogspot.com
www.dalysnttranslationproject.blogspot.com

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Sweet Memories of Yesteryear

April 28, 2613

Sweet Memories of Yesteryear

I thank the great God and Father for the sweet memories of yesteryear that are etched in my heart. Many things that I saw and heard as a young Christian have made a lasting and memorable impression that will follow me till my earthly journey comes to an end. Please bear with me as I mention some of the more important things that will encourage all of us.

First,  I remember the straightforward preaching that occurred in the pulpit and on the radio. Preachers of the gospel were full of scripture. They took the Bible in hand and preached the word just like God said do it! (2 Timothy 4:1-5; Titus 2:15) They denounced man-made religion (Matthew 15:13-14), sectarianism (Titus 3:9-11), unlawful marriages (Matthew 19:9; Mark 10:11-12), religious apathy (Romans 12:9-13; I Corinthians 15:58), sexual immorality including homosexuality (Romans 1:24-27; 1 Corinthians 6:9-11), and many other sins. The pulpits were on fire for the cause of righteousness! Sometimes the preachers suffered financially and materially, but they kept on preaching the word. That made a lasting impression on my young impressionable mind.

Second, I remember the fact that both brothers and sisters in Christ memorized large portions of God’s holy word! They carried the Bible in hands and held the word in their hearts! During those days of yesteryear, Christians believed in answering questions with scripture’s answers, and filled their minds with God’s word and often responded to querists on the spot. But they also put God’s word in the heart so that they would not sin against God. (Psalm 119:11) They understood the power of the word of the living God. (Hebrews 4:12) Portions of scripture were assigned to members of the congregation for memorization. That was a good thing. Scripture was also read aloud in the hearing of the local congregation just like the Bible says. (1 Timothy 4:13; Revelation 1:3) Reading scripture aloud and memorizing scripture are fairly scarce today among the Lord’s people. Why? Because laziness is sometimes held as a premium, and some people want to do as little as possible for the Lord.

Third, I remember preachers of the gospel challenging those in error to put up or shut up! They did not believe religious error was harmless and should be ignored. They believed they were soldiers of Christ and they rose to the occasion! They believed all believers should “contend for the faith once for all delivered to God’s holy people.” (Jude 3) They believed Christians should “fight the good fight of the faith.” (1 Timothy 6:12) They did not debate for the mere sake of debating, but they did it because it was necessary. (Acts 15:1-2; Acts 18:27-28) As the result God blessed congregations with numerical growth and stability. (Acts 5:14) I do not remember one faithful preacher or spiritually mature member saying things like, “Debates don’t do any good.” Or, “Ah that’s just a preacher fight, I want nothing to do with it.” Faithfulness and courage trumped timidity and softness. Anyone who tried to suppress militancy was often publicly rebuked and if they did not repent they were ostracized! This was not done because of meanness, but it was done because cowards are often hypocrites and will stifle the spiritual growth and stability of the individual and the congregation.

Ron Daly

For more teaching on crucial issues visit the following blogs:
www.exegeticalessays.blogspot.com
www.biblicallanguagesresearch.blogspot.com
www.dalysnttranslationproject.blogspot.com

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