May 2014 Questions / Answers
The following questions are taken from emails and are printed below exactly as I received them. Names and contact information has been removed. The answers are in note form (sorry for any of my grammar errors) to be studied through. You’ll have to examine each Scripture below to see the points.
1. “Brother, the congregation I am with is pushing evangelism in every lesson. I know the importance of teaching the lost to be saved Matt. 28:19. I am not saying this is not important. My concern is that the preacher is telling everyone to get out there to teach people and not everyone can. He is basically saying everyone is sinning by not evangelizing. When I see the congregation I see people who are not talented in teaching and others who just are spiritual at all. I am wrong in saying we should not all evangelize?”
Š You are right, not all people have equal abilities (Matthew 25:14-30; cf. I Peter 4:11).
Š There are some differences in discussing what a teacher is though.
o There are some who teach by way of being a role model (Titus 2:3-5).
o There is teaching by being an example, which we all should be doing (Philippians 2:14-16).
o There is also teaching in that we should all be able, in a simple form of teaching, to give an answer of the hope that lays within us (I Peter 3:14-16).
Š However, there is a specific role of being a teacher (Ephesians 4:11 and II Timothy 1:11).
o In this form, God warns people that this is not a work for many (James 3:1).
o Many have erred because of those who ignorantly (I Timothy 1:3-7) take on this task (Matthew 15:14).
Š Thus, you are right to be concerned and right to say not everyone should be out doing the work of an evangelist. Matthew 28:19, Mark 16:15-16, Luke 24:47, etc. are not verses that then applied to all nor do they even apply directly today.
2. “If a member of the church is going to be out of services do they need to let the other brethren know or is that between them and God?”
Š There are many, many, many Scriptural reasons why brethren should communicate one with another as to why they are not worshipping God. Remember, assembling with the saints carries more than just the worshipping of God, which directly ties to our brethren (Hebrews 3:13 and Hebrews 10:24-25).
Š Sound congregations are always aware of what is going on with each other because each member is a necessary part of the body (I Corinthians 12:14-27). We are members one of another (Romans 12:5). If a person you care about is not where they should be, are you concerned? Do you not love them as you should (I Peter 4:8)?
Š As such, we are responsible for each other (Galatians 6:1-2). If a member is not present there should be investigation into why and action taken whatever the reason (helping if sick; Matthew 25:36, helping if unfaithful; James 5:19-20, discipline if rebellious; II Thessalonians 3:14-15, etc.).
Š The person who is not there should care enough about the brethren to let them know why so that everyone is not worried. Here, where I work and assemble, we will wait for someone to show up if we don’t know what’s going on (I Corinthians 11:33). If they don’t show we will try to contact them before worshipping. Our whole assembly gets messed up and people worry. That is how brethren should be and why faithful saints would care enough to let their brethren know why they are not going to be there.
3. “Heard your sermon on things to be aware of about false churches. Question? Do you meet until midnight? You said everything you’re doing is biblical. Are you meeting in an upper room? Do you drink from one cup?”
Š The answer to all three of your questions is – NO.
Š The church may assemble in a place (I Corinthians 14:23) other than an upper room of some building (I Corinthians 16:19 and Philemon 2).
Š The church is supposed to assemble, as briefly discussed in question 2, when all of the saints can assemble together (I Corinthians 11:33). Thus, while we must meet on the first day of the week (Acts 20:7 and I Corinthians 16:1-2), we must set the time based on when we can ALL assemble together.
Š We do not drink from one cup because the Lord instituted His supper using multiple cups (Luke 22:15-20). The word “cup” represents not the container, but the fruit of the vine. The cup refers to the fruit of the vine. The fruit of the vine symbolizes Jesus’ blood (Mark 14:24-25). It was His blood, not a cup, which was shed for the remission of our sins (Matthew 26:28-29 and Revelation 1:5). If one concludes that we partake of a cup, they are dishonest. It is only the fruit of the vine that matters!
Š Return questions… Whatever unscriptural thing you are practicing that my sermon upset you about, will you stop them now that I answered your questions? If we were inconsistent, which we are not, do you really think that would authorize you to do whatever unscriptural thing you are upset about (II Corinthians 10:12 and II Corinthians 10:18)?
4. “Is there one God that plays the part of three different people?”
Š There are three separate individuals in Heaven that are called God (I John 5:7).
Š God the Father (Ephesians 4:6) has a clearly separate identity from His Son and the Holy Spirit (John 1:18, John 8:42, and Colossians 1:3).
Š God the Son (Romans 9:1-5) has a separate identity from the Father and the Holy Spirit (Matthew 16:24 and John 14:21).
Š God the Holy Spirit (Acts 5:1-4) too has a separate identity (John 15:26, John 16:13-16, and Hebrews 2:4).
Š You can see that God is not just one person, acting as three, in several examples (Matthew 28:19, II Corinthians 13:14, Colossians 1:13-17, Ephesians 2:13-18, etc.).
5. “Why doesn’t the church in El Paso there have lessons geared to mother’s day and other times of the year like fathers day? Those things are taught in the Bible.”
Š Individual Christians have the liberty to esteem one day greater than another if kept in proper perspective (Romans 14:5-6).
Š For the church collectively, there is no authority for us to have a “special service” for a worldly day. We are the Lord’s church (Matthew 16:18 and Romans 16:16), He being the head (Ephesians 1:22-23, Ephesians 5:23, and Colossians 1:18). We need His authority for all we say and do (Matthew 28:20 and Colossians 3:17).
Š There are no sermons based on “special days” according to the world because the teaching here is based on needs (i.e. Acts 17:16-31, Hebrews 5:11-6:2, Jude 3, etc.).
6. “RE: WHAT DO YOU RECOMMEND WE DO My wife and I attend a congregation that has four elders. They have scheduled a Gospel Meeting with a man that I suspect to be a false teacher. I did some research and found five articles where he taught falsehood regarding divorce and remarriage. I have given those to the elders, but they said they would not cancel the meeting because it is already advertised. They promised to ask him about those articles. We know they should be protecting the congregation and they seem indifferent. What should we do from here about the elders and the man coming?”
Š It is good that you are examining those men whom will be teaching among you (Matthew 7:15-20, Acts 17:10-11, I Thessalonians 5:21, and I John 4:1).
Š You were right to bring it before the elders and you are right that they are charged with the task of protecting the congregation (Acts 20:17; 28-31, Hebrews 13:17, and I Peter 5:1-4).
Š If they do allow this false teacher to be among the saints they have failed in their God given work as elders. You need to carefully deal with the situation by addressing the issue with witnesses, then bringing it before all (I Timothy 5:19-20).
Š That does not mean you just allow the false teacher to come though. While the elders have failed to warn the brethren; that does not mean you should follow their bad example (Romans 16:17-18).
Š If the congregation decided to have the false teacher anyway, you cannot be part of that meeting (Psalms 119:104, Jeremiah 15:17, Ephesians 4:14, Ephesians 5:6-11, and I Timothy 6:3-5).
Š Additionally, you cannot be part of a congregation that will knowingly allow false teachers among them (Revelation 2:14-16).
7. “i have family members that are always telling me i am too conservative. i do think a person can be overly conservative. does god have a problem with people being over conservative?”
Š I am not sure what you mean by the term “conservative”. That term doesn’t hold the same weight it did in even recent years. Thus, the answer provided may or may not be answering exactly what you are asking.
Š The best way I know to Scripturally answer your question is to keep it simple. You do not want to go right or left of the truth (Deuteronomy 5:32, Deuteronomy 28:14, and Joshua 1:6-8).
Š You have to rightly divide the word of God (II Timothy 2:14-18). That includes making sure you do not take the law of the Lord and take it too far (Exodus 20:10-11; cf. Matthew 12:1-14).
Š You have to be careful not only in taking away from God’s word [typically called liberalism], but also in adding to His word [creating a law wherein this is not one] (Deuteronomy 4:2, Deuteronomy 12:32, Proverbs 30:5-6, Matthew 15:1-9, Galatians 5:1-9, and Revelation 22:18-19).
© 2014 This material may not be used for sale or other means to have financial gain. Use this as a tool for your own studies if such is helpful! Preachers are welcome to this work, but please do not use my work so that you can be lazy and not do your own studies. – Brian A. Yeager