HERE'S HOW TO BOOST YOUR CHURCH
(A mere outline, but consider it.)
From time to time various people inquire whether there is something an ordinary church member can do to help strengthen and build the body of which he is a member. The fact is that a church can be built up in NO OTHER WAY than by the cooperation of every member. How about putting the following suggestions into practice? It will make a real difference in your personal life, and also in the strengthening of the church where you are a member.
I. BY FAITHFUL ATTENDANCE AT EVERY SERVICE.
A. With a prepared heart.
B. With gratitude, thanksgiving, and the adoration of God's person.
C. With an expectant attitude -- receiving God's blessings.
II. BY GOOD BEHAVIOUR IN YOUR DAILY
A. Consciously walking in God's presence each day.
B. Endeavoring to please Him in all that you do.
C. Carefully guarding your steps:
1. For Christ's sake.
2. For the sake of those around you -- those you influence.
3. For your own sake -- knowing that one day you must give account of every idle word and deed.
III. BY LIBERAL GIVING IN SUPPORT
OF YOUR CHURCH & HER MINISTRY.
A. This is the responsibility of EVERY MEMBER -- young and old.
B. This should be done joyfully.
C. Each member is responsible to give according to the way God has prospered him -- his ability.
D. Nor should one ever forget what Christ has given.
IV. BY THE FRUIT OF YOUR LIPS.
A. In regular seasons of daily prayer.
B. In daily witness for Christ.
1. Encouraging fellow body mem-
bers to stedfastness.
2. Inviting others to come to Jesus, and to the church services.
C. In praise for God's past, present, and expected blessings.
CONCLUSION: Every member helps to strengthen or weaken the church to which he belongs. Most anyone may criticize and destroy; but only one with a RIGHT HEART can so live as to be a persistent blessing to all who know him. Is YOUR heart right with God? What affect is YOUR LIFE having on your CHURCH? your neighbors? your loved ones? Do you CARE? Why not PROVE YOUR LOVE for Christ and His church by following the instruction given for its prosperity?
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"BUT, I DON'T BELIEVE....."
The brainwashing techniques of modern ecumenism have worked so effectively that most people today feel like traitors if they have to pass judgment on anyone -- even the devil. "Judgment", according to the principles of God's Word, is so out-of-date, in most religious circles, as to be UNTHINKABLE. One is made to wonder whether some members of Missionary Baptist churches have any more spiritual sensitivity than a cabbage. And the tragic thing is that the contagion of their halfbelief is so rapidly spreading to others who once stood unashamedly on the firm and immovable rock of divine truth.
Many in Christ's churches have come to look upon the divine institution of church discipline as despicable and unworthy of anyone who is called a Christian. In stubborn self-will, arrogant rebellion, and blasphemous defiance of the holy commandment, some will brazenly declare: 'I don't CARE what it says there; I DON'T BELIEVE IN IT! You can NEVER prove to me that it is right; and I will never, NEVER vote
to turn anyone out of the church!" Or, another will protest: "That's judging! And besides, I just can"t bear the thought of voting someone right STRAIGHT INTO HELL!"
Most everyone has sense enough to realize that a "vote" to receive someone into "church fellowship" has nothing to do with "SAVING HIM". Reception into the membership of a Baptist church is NOT EVEN CONSIDERED until one affirms the assurance of his salvation. Yet, there are, inevitably, those who will connect church discipline with one's salvation from hell. And they would far rather harbor drunkenness, harlotry and idolatry IN THE CHURCH than lift their hands and "vote" to disassociate themselves from those sins by disciplinary action.
A church should attempt to teach these chronic objectors the "order" that Christ has established for the proper functioning of His body. If they refuse to "hear", the church will have no choice but to remove their "cancerous influence" for the health of the body, the honor of its Living Head and their own good.
Membership in a New Testament church should be considered a PRIVILEGE -- not a RIGHT! One who refuses to accept the responsibility to which he pledged himself, in the act of Christian baptism, has no RIGHT to constantly contaminate the whole body with his death-dealing contagion of contention, unbelief, or malicious rebellion against the truth.
"If any man think himself to be....spiritual, let him acknowledge that the things that I write unto you are the commandment of the Lord....Let all things be done decently and in order", (I Cor. 14:37, 40).
THE OFT-MISPLACED EMPHASIS
'You ask me HOW I ever came to
I do not know.
There came a yearning for Him in
So long ago.
I found earth's flowers would fade
and die --
I wept for something that could
And then -- and then -- somehow
I seemed to dare
To lift my broken heart to Him in
I do not know -- I cannot tell
I only know He IS my Savior now.
You ask me WHEN, what time, I
came to Christ?
I cannot tell.
The day, or just the hour, I do not
It must have been when I was all
The light of His forgiving Spirit
Into my heart, so clouded o'er
I think -- I think -- 'twas then
I let Him in.
I do not know -- I cannot tell
I only know He is so dear
You ask me WHERE I found the
I cannot say.
That sacred place has faded from
Perhaps He thought it better I
Remember where. How I should love
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I think I could not tear myself
For I should wish forever there to
I do not know -- I cannot tell
you where --
I only know He came and blessed
You ask me WHY I came to Jesus
I CAN reply.
It is a wondrous story; listen
I tell you why.
My heart was drawn at length to
seek His face.
I was alone; I had no restingplace,
I heard how He had loved me with
Of depth so great -- of height so
The human ken; I longed such love
And sought it then upon my knees
You ask me WHY I thought this
Would heed my prayer?
I knew He died upon the cross for
I nailed Him there.
I heard His dying cry, 'Father,
I saw Him drain death's cup that
I might live;
My head was bowed upon my breast
He called me, and in penitence
He heard my prayer! I cannot tell
Nor when, nor where: only --
I LOVE HIM NOW.'
DO YOU LOVE HIM NOW??
BUSINESS MEETING THIS SATURDAY
In our regular quarterly business meeting, on January 9, a special meeting was scheduled for February 6, to deal with certain disciplinary matters that have become outstanding.
Let every member prepare himself through prayer and meditation on the Word of God. And then let us come together on Saturday evening, at 7:00 P.M. in a spirit of unity.
The business of the church is the responsibility of EVERY MEMBER. Will you accept your fair share?
"NOT I, BUT CHRIST"
The story is told of a prayer once offered by a pastor when a visiting denominational dignitary came to preach. He prayed: "We thank Thee for his learning and eloquence, and for the many honors that have been bestowed unon him. And now, Lord, BLOT HIM OUT that we may hear Thy voice".
Many professed "servants" of the Lord are not willing to be "blotted out". The true greatness of John the Baptist appears in his willingness to "fade away" that the light of heaven might shine in the person of Jesus Christ: "He must increase, but I must decrease", (Jn. 3:30).
There is much and eternal good that may be accomplished by God's servants in ANY AGE -- providing we do not become too concerned about who gets the credit. Ought not all of us learn to pray sincerely:
'Not I, but Christ be honored,
Not I, but Christ be seen, be known
Not I, but Christ, in every look
Not I, but Christ, in every thought
And word.' AMEN!
Knowledge is proud that it knows so much; wisdom humbled that it knows so little. "Knowledge puffeth up, but love buildeth up".
The CLARION HERALD
3026 Horton Street
Rockford, Illinois 61109
Second Class Postage Paid
at Rockford, Ill.