One Man’s Story

A  Christian who had done mission work in South America told me about a man there who picked up a leaflet from the church and liked what he read. He requested a Bible correspondence course, and after completing it asked for someone to visit him.

So the missionary made contact, and during the two hours they studied the Bible together, he would start to quote a verse and the man would finish it. This happened over and over. To say the least, the missionary was amazed.

The man told him he believed everything those passages taught. When asked if he had been immersed for the forgiveness of his sins, he said he had. He then told his story.

Dissatisfied with his religion, he began studying the Bible in earnest—all by himself. As a result he realized his christening as an infant was not scriptural baptism and that his church was not the church of the New Testament.

He approached a religious group that practiced immersion and asked to be baptized, which he was. He was then encouraged to consider himself a member of their group.

“No,” he said, “I am just a Christian.” He did not wish to be aligned with a denomination but yearned instead to be in fellowship with others like himself who were trying to go by the Bible only.

Because his family and friends thought he was crazy, he concluded he must be the only Christian in the world since no one else he knew shared his understanding.

When he finally found the church associated with the missionary, he was thrilled and began worshiping with them.

The missionary told me that as a result of this and other experiences, his own faith was strengthened in the validity of the plea to go back to the Bible and be Christians only.

He and his brethren had always taught that if all that people have is a Bible, and if they study it and do what it says, then they will be Christians only.

The truth-seeker he met was proof of this. He had studied the New Testament and had come to the same conclusions as those who believed in going by the Bible only.

The Restoration Plea is valid!

time to study-tagged

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See for Yourself!

Check it out!

The Bible encourages seekers to investigate the evidence for the Christian faith (Luke 1:1-4; 24:36-43; John 1:45-51; 4:28-30, 39-42; 20:19-21; Acts 17:9-11; 1 Peter 3:15).

How does someone go about examining the claims of Scripture?

Some areas worth investigating would include: how the Bible came into being, biblical archaeology, fulfilled Old Testament prophecies, the miracles of Christ, evidences for Jesus’ resurrection, including the eyewitness testimony of the apostles, etc.

How do you explain . . . ?

At one time Saul of Tarsus was the church’s chief antagonist, but then became its leading proponent.

What could have led him to make such a complete turnaround? For the answer, please consider his dramatic conversion story, as recorded in Acts 9, 22, and 26.

Paul is well qualified to testify. He has been there—on both sides. He was totally convinced that his new-found faith was well worth suffering for, even dying for.

In addition, there is his tremendous influence, even down to our day: “No single event, apart from the Christ-event itself, has proved so determinant for the course of Christian history as the conversion and commissioning of Paul” (F. F. Bruce, Apostle of the Heart Set Free, Eerdmans, p. 75).

Credible faith

As the last stanza of the hymn “Art Thou Weary?” so beautifully states it:

Finding Him, and foll’wing, keeping,/ Is He sure to bless?

Saints, apostles, prophets, martyrs,/ Answer, “‘Yes!’”

 

Scripture quotations taken from the NASB: http://www.lockman.org/

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Not Far

Closer than I thought

Many years ago we were at an airport to see some friends off on their trip.

It dawned on me I hadn’t seen our four-year-old Andy lately. I looked in every direction, only to realize he was standing right beside me—and I had been unconsciously patting his head all along!

Ever near

God wants people to “seek God, if perhaps they might grope for Him and find Him, though He is not far from each one of us” (Acts 17:27).

“Closer is He than breathing, and nearer than hands and feet” (Tennyson).

“And you will seek Me and find Me, when you search for Me with all your heart” (Jeremiah 29:13-14).

He truly wants to be found.

But we must seek Him.

man finds Bible-tagged

Scripture quotations taken from the NASB: http://www.lockman.org/

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Stressed?

stressed-tagged

“101 Ways to Relieve Stress” was the title of an attractive poster I saw once. Although it included many good pointers, it lacked a spiritual dimension. About as close as it came was the recommendation to forgive.

Here are two stress-relievers, direct from Scripture, guaranteed to work:

Seek Him!

Your heavenly Father values you above His lesser creatures. He takes care of them, doesn’t He? “But seek first His kingdom and His righteousness, and all these things [food and clothing] will be added to you” (Matthew 6:33).

Tell Him!

“Be anxious for nothing, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God. And the peace of God . . . will guard your hearts and minds in Christ Jesus” (Philippians 4:6-7).

Scripture quotations taken from the NASB: http://www.lockman.org/

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Must We?

faith-taggedWhat true faith is and does

Practical atheists: what some call those who believe God exists, but live as though He doesn’t.

There’s a major disconnect between their “faith” and their lifestyle.

“And without faith it is impossible to please Him, for he who comes to God must believe that He is and that He is a rewarder of those who seek Him” (Hebrews 11:6—emphasis added).

Note the non-negotiables: 1) belief in God’s existence, and 2) belief that He rewards those who seek Him.

Most people believe God exists. But how many take it to the second level and truly seek Him?

And we?

With atheists on one end of the spectrum and true God-seekers on the other, where are we?

“. . . he who comes to God must . . . .” Must, a strong word, that!

 

Scripture quotations taken from the NASB: http://www.lockman.org/

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