Friday, December 27, 2013

Is change good?

Most people think change is good. You may not realize it, but our laws are constantly changing. The U.S. constitution has been amended 27 times in our country’s history. The changes in the Texas constitution is even more impressive. It has been amended 474 times in the state’s history. Lesser laws are added continuously during legislative sessions.

The laws altered and added by men may be good or bad; that is subject to debate in a democracy. However, we cannot take apply that same attitude to the word of God. He specifically does not want it to change. Jude described God’s will as what was “once delivered unto the saints” (vs. 3). We know this means that God does not intend for the Bible to change for the “once” is used three times in Hebrews to denote that Christ’s sacrifice will never again need to be made (7:27; 9:28; 10:10).

Furthermore, God warned in the Old Testament and the New Testament not to change His law. Deuteronomy 12:32; says, “What thing soever I command you, observe to do it: thou shalt not add thereto, nor diminish from it.” Revelation 22:18-19 says, “For I testify unto every man that heareth the words of the prophecy of this book, If any man shall add unto these things, God shall add unto him the plagues that are written in this book: And if any man shall take away from the words of the book of this prophecy, God shall take away his part out of the book of life, and out of the holy city, and from the things which are written in this book.”

Underscoring both of these passages is the warning given in Galatians 1:8-9: “But though we, or an angel from heaven, preach any other gospel unto you than that which we have preached unto you, let him be accursed. As we said before, so say I now again, If any man preach any other gospel unto you than that ye have received, let him be accursed.”

While we may change and adapt our laws to suit our purposes, we cannot change God’s law. It is His and He revealed it. Therefore, He is the one who has authority over it. The greatest respect one can show it is to simply obey it — not change it.

Kyle Campbell

Friday, December 20, 2013

A righteous relative

Romans 4:3 says, “For what saith the scripture? Abraham believed God, and it was counted unto him for righteousness.” Abraham’s beloved son was Isaac (Genesis 22:2), and Isaac was faithful in his generation, but his life brings up a good point to consider in this blog post.

The righteousness of our relatives won’t save us. As godly as Abraham was, Isaac still had to answer for himself, and Abraham’s faith was only reckoned to him for righteousness. This principle was taught in Ezekiel 18:20, which says, “The soul that sinneth, it shall die. The son shall not bear the iniquity of the father, neither shall the father bear the iniquity of the son: the righteousness of the righteous shall be upon him, and the wickedness of the wicked shall be upon him.”

Practically speaking, this principle can be seen today with a spouse who is not a Christian being convinced to obey the gospel by simple, godly conduct. Peter wrote, “Likewise, ye wives, be in subjection to your own husbands; that, if any obey not the word, they also may without the word be won by the conversation of the wives; While they behold your chaste conversation coupled with fear” (1 Peter 3:1-2). While the influence is crucial, the decision is still the individual’s to make. Make your teaching and influence count, but don’t get discouraged when your family member decides to turn against Christ. God will give repentance only to those who heard the gospel and let it become implanted in their hearts (Acts 5:31; 2 Timothy 2:25; James 1:21).

Kyle Campbell

Thursday, December 12, 2013

Turning 16 is hard … on me

My oldest child turns 16 today. I’m so proud of her and what she has done so far in her life. She’s a child of God and has a sweet, pleasant disposition. I really couldn’t ask for more in a daughter. My son, who’s not far behind her in age, is also more than I could have hoped for in so many ways. I look at where they are spiritually at their age and think about myself at that age … and it doesn’t compare.

Aside from knowing that time moves fast, and that she will be gone from home before I know it, there is another issue. She will be getting her driver’s license next month and she will be taking trips from our home on her own. My, how that scares me. And it also makes me think about our relationship with God.

God created us in His own image (Genesis 1:26), and He deeply wants us to obey Him (James 4:5). I can’t imagine that God’s feelings of yearning and desire for what is best for us is greater than mine for my children — but I know it is. He has animated the souls of billions of people, only to watch them drift away from Him. He’s seen billions of them die in their sins, and He sees billions of them each day live without any regard for pleasing Him. Every day, millions of them die, but His longsuffering grace and compassion lives on, hoping that they will safely return “home” to Him through the blood of His Son.

I’ll continue to worry about my daughter, and in a few years, my son also. But my depths of concern are only a fraction of what my Heavenly Father endures. Help me, God, to put my trust in you for my children’s well-being, and help me especially to be motivated to teach Christ’s gospel so that you can be pleased too.

Kyle Campbell

Wednesday, December 11, 2013

What if the Jews had accepted Jesus?

According to Premillennialists, God’s plans for His kingdom were altered when the Jews rejected Jesus as King and had Him crucified. But there are several serious consequences if the Jewish had accepted Jesus and God’s kingdom plans were put in place. First, there would have been no crucifixion of Jesus. Second, there would have been no blood of Jesus spilled for our sins. Third, there would therefore be no salvation from sin, Fourth, there would have been no church purchased by His blood. Fifth, there would be no end to animal sacrifices — no “precious blood of Christ” to address the needs of our conscience.

All of this flies in the face of the plain teaching of the New Testament. No one can get around the fact that theories and arguments have real consequences. After seeing several of the serious consequences of this doctrine, how can anyone believe such a convoluted theory? “Search the scriptures” (John 5:39; Acts 17:11) and you will see that God’s simple plan for the return of Christ cannot be changed into the elaborate theory of Premillennialism.

Kyle Campbell

Friday, December 6, 2013

The changing denominations: Conclusion

These series of articles have not been about “denomination bashing.” This has been an attempt to examine the dangerous changes that are sweeping denominations. The reason we must examine these changes is that if we are not careful, the Lord’s church will be influenced by these changes and become just as corrupted as so many denominations are now.

In one of the darkest periods of Israel’s history, the Bible records, “In those days there was no king in Israel: every man did that which was right in his own eyes” (Judges 21:25). Christians who believe in the Bible and who are determined to preserve the purity of the church must realize the danger this “finger to the wind” mentality poses. Ephesians 5:27 says, “That he might present it to himself a glorious church, not having spot, or wrinkle, or any such thing; but that it should be holy and without blemish.” The church is not to be defiled by altering the pattern found for it in the New Testament.

However, this is exactly what the “community church” movement has done. The “mega-church” movement will inevitably go the way of every other philosophy of man. It will occupy its brief time on the world’s stage and move into oblivion. The word of the Lord abides forever (1 Peter 1:24-25) and all of us will be judged by how well we lived by the words of Christ (John 12:48). If you want to see the first century church in existence today, please come by and visit with us.

Kyle Campbell

Sunday, December 1, 2013

The changing denominations: A change of unity

The emphasis of the “community church” is now on reaching the people of the community as they are and where they are -- and leaving them as they were and where they were even after they became members. Some “community churches” have taken this to the extreme by stating, “First and foremost, God loves you the way you are, whether gay, straight, bisexual, lesbian, or transgendered.”

“Community churches” have embraced the “interdenominational” frame of mind. That is, they reach across all sectarian and moral barriers to draw their membership. They must adapt themselves to the desires and feelings of their prospects in order to acquire and maintain large memberships.

The Bible teaches that unity can exist only between parties that agree (Amos 3:3). But “community churches” agree to disagree over doctrine and practice; they have formed a union in spite of differences. This is not Bible unity. Jesus did not conform His teaching to the desires of those who came to hear Him (John 6:60, 66; Luke 9:23). Unity exists between the Father and the Son due to their agreement (John 10:30; 17:21). Likewise, Christians must pursue and maintain a similar unity (1 Corinthians 1:10; Ephesians 4:3-6). Because the Bible is our final authority, doctrinal diversity cannot be tolerated (1 Timothy 1:3). The basis of unity and fellowship among Christians is the inspired word of God (1 John 4:1, 6). G. K. Chesterton wrote, “Tolerance is the virtue of people who do not believe in anything.”

Kyle Campbell