Tuesday, October 31, 2017

"One or Any?" - How Many Churches Did Christ Establish? - 29 October AM, 2017

Image Courtesy of Murrietacoc.org & Bing Images


Go to the Date 10/29/17 and Click on "One or Any"

“I Am a Member of the church of Christ Because it is Scriptural in Name”

“From Ulster Plantation to the Carolina’s with the Gospel!” *

Russell H. McCullough / Archdale church of Christ, 2525 Archdale Drive, Charlotte, NC 28210
www.archdale.org / gospelcall.blogspot.com - Date: 29 October 2017  

Text: Matthew 16.13 - 20
Thesis: The church of Christ is Her Scriptural Name!
Nearly every Monday at Toastmasters I am encouraged to not be so solemn, so stoic, and so serious.  I am told to “lighten it up!” I am told to “laugh more!”  I am told to “be funny!”  I am told to just “be silly!” once in a while.  I want you to know that I am working on it! 
Let’s give it a shot, why don’t we?
Since it’s soon to be Thanksgiving, let’s try some “Pilgrim humor!”
“Why did the Pilgrims pants fall down?  Answer: His belt was around his hat!”
Well…It’s hard for me to be funny, to be humorous, for me to stand her and tell jokes.  Why?  It’s hard because 5 or more times a week I speak for God.  I don’t speak for me.  I don’t speak for the congregation.  I speak, teach, and preach the gospel.  People will go to heaven…or to hell…based upon their acceptance or rejection of the Word of God, the Word that I have been entrusted to preach! 
Today, I will speak on a text that has every atheist, every agnostic, every denominationalist, and MANY members of even the Lord’s church MAD enough to spit nails!
Today, I proclaim to you the most un-popular message in the World today:  But…DO NOT take my word for it!  Read for yourself John 14.6. 
·       The Lord Jesus Christ is the ONLY way to God! 
·       The Lord Jesus Christ is the ONLY truth of God! 
·       The Lord Jesus Christ is the ONLY one who can bring us eternal LIFE!
·       No one else can do ANY of these! 
·       In light of this, the Lord Jesus Christ established but ONE church!
·       When the church of Christ was established on the Day of Pentecost, Jesus got out of the church establishment business. 
·       What I say today is not my opinion
·       What I say today is not even my conviction
·       What I say today is not mine in any way, form or fashion
·       What I say today IS 100% Bible
·       Hear the Word of the Lord!
DISCLAIMER; Much of this material is not of my authorship, it is found in chapter six of Leo Brownlow’s book; WHY I AM A MEMBER OF THE CHURCH OF CHRIST.
Brother Brownloe says; “The idea that there is nothing in a name is a prevalent and popular doctrine, in keeping with neither Scripture nor reason.”

I There IS Something in a Name!
1.   Genesis 5.2
a.   Adam & Eve
b.   Not Number 1 and Number 2
c.   Not He and She
d.   Not Unit A and Unit B
e.   Adam & Eve!
2.   Genesis 17.5, 15
a.   God changed Abram’s name
b.   God changed Sarai’s name
c.   The names Abraham and Sarah were important to God!
3.   I Corinthians 1
a.   Read I Corinthians 1.13
b.   Paul condemned the first 4 denominations ever recorded!
c.   If there is “nothing in a name,” why did Paul condemn them all?
4.   If there is nothing in a name, why do we bristle when called that hated nick name…whatever that is.
a.   My blood pressure used to go up at Walmart when someone would come up behind me and yell; “EXCUSE ME!”
5.   If there is nothing in a name just refer to your husband as “Judas.”  Just refer to your wife as “Jezebel.”
6.   There IS something in a name!
II What Was the Church Called in the New Testament?
1.   Matthew 16.18 – “My church”
2.   Acts 2.47 and Acts 8.1 – “The church”
3.   Acts 9.2 – “The Way”
4.   I Corinthians 1.2 – “The church of God”
5.   Romans 16.16 – “churches of Christ”
6.   Ephesians 4.12 – “The Body of Christ”
7.   I Timothy 3.15 – “The church of the Living God”
8.   Hebrews 12.23 – “the church of the Firstborn”
9.   These are ALL biblical names for the church of Christ.
III What Were the Members of the Lord’s church Called in the NT?
1.   Acts 20.7 – “Disciples”
2.   I Corinthians 1.2 – “Saints”
3.   Romans 1.7 – “Beloved of God”
4.   I Corinthians 15.6 – “Brethren”
5.   Romans 8.4 – “Sons of God”
6.   I John 3.1 – “Children of God”
7.   Romans 8.17 – “Heirs of God”
8.   I Peter 2.9 – “Royal Priesthood”
9.   Acts 11.26 – “Christians”
IV The Testimony of Charles Spurgeon:
1.   “I say of the Baptist name, let it perish, but let Christ’s Name last forever.  I look forward with pleasure, to the day when there will not be a Baptist living.  I hope they will soon be gone.  I hope the Baptist name will soon perish; but let Christ’s name endure forever.” – Spurgeon Memorial Library, Vol. 1, page 168.
V  The Testimony of Martin Luther:
1.   “I pray you to leave my name alone, and call not yourselves Lutherans, but Christians.  Who is Luther?  My doctrine is not mine.  I have not been crucified for anyone.  St. Paul would not let any call themselves after Paul, nor of Peter, but of Christ.  How then, does it befit me, a miserable bag of dust and ashes, to give my name to the children of God?  Cease, my dear friends, to cling to these party names and distinctions: away with all; and let us call ourselves only Christians after Him from whom our doctrine comes.” – The Life of Luther, by Stork, page 289


The Meaning of the Text in It’s Theological, Historical & Cultural Context:

No matter what the church is called in the NT, no matter how the people in Her are characterized in the NT, the church of Christ is always a singular entity and never, ever, plural.  Jesus has yet to establish church #2.

The Challenge of the Text for Christians Today: Our challenge is to preach the singular gospel and the singular church is an ever-increasing plural society.

“The Gospel Call” “Repent and be baptized, everyone of you, in the Name of Jesus Christ for the remission of sins and you will receive the Gift of the Holy Spirit.”

·         My fifth great uncle was Hugh Gaston who was rector at the Ballywillan Presbyterian Church (pictured above left) in County Antrim, Ulster Plantation (Northern Ireland) and wrote the most dangerous book of his time; Gaston’s Collections.  It allowed “the ploughman to know more Bible than his clergyman.”  Hugh fled to South Carolina where he died prematurely of the measles.  He is buried just one hour south of Charlotte in Chester County, S.C. in “Burnt Meeting House Cemetery.”   Uncle Hugh continues to inspire my ministry to this very day.  You can read more about Uncle Hugh here: http://www.ballywillanpci.org/rev-hugh-gaston
Ruins photo courtesy of: ballywillanpci.org.

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