"And Great Fear Came Upon All the Church"
La CosteCooper, Texas
The preaching of Gods word will produce fear in the hearts of those who are desirous of doing, His will! This was evident in New Testament times and is just as apparent today!
In Acts 5 we read the account of Ananias and Sapphira who lost their lives because they "lied unto God" (verse 4) As a result of this, especially the reason why they died, being preached throughout the land, "great fear came upon all the church (verse 11) The reason fear came upon the people of God, the church, is because they were made to realize that one must not disobey God! To disobey God meant certain punishment or discipline! Here in Acts 5 we find Christians (verse 3) correcting other Christians!
Today punishment or discipline is to be carried out by the church whenever any "walk disorderly" (2 Thess. 3:6). This is Gods plan for saving, the soul of the lost one while keeping the church pure (1 Cor. 5: 1-13) It will work! It must be practiced!
Here in Cooper, Texas in the work of the Lord in the past three weeks, 48 have "returned to their first love. Several brethren in the vicinity have wondered "what is going on over there" The only thing "going on" is that through the preaching of Gods pattern on discipline "great fear has come upon the church." No one has been disciplined as yet! It has only been preached on, with Godly elders who intend to stand behind this pattern and the preaching of it. Brethren who once thought the church would tolerate their sin now know differently!
How precious indeed is the pattern of God in all things! I am convinced that if leaders of the church everywhere would have the spiritual backbone to stand against sin in the church and uphold the preaching of church discipline, many more would "fear" and in that fear, return to the Lord. I seriously doubt if anyone here will have to be disciplined. If necessary, however, it will be done. God has required it, and His word must be adhered unto!
I Should Hope So!
The Bible gives two main qualifications for a teacher. Paul declared: "And the things which thou hast heard from me among many witnesses, the same commit thou to faithful men who shall be able to teach others also" (2 Tim. 2:2). Some churches have rather loose qualifications for their teachers.
A few months ago I held a gospel meeting for an Indiana church. During, the meeting the teacher of the adult class was arrested and jailed for drunken driving. He pled guilty in court, came to services smelling like a still Saturday night and seemed to think he ought to be permitted to step right back into his teaching assignment-no questions asked.
In the bulletin account which I received today of the business meeting minutes of a West Virginia church, it is said that this astounding resolution was passed: "It was decided that teachers who are not faithful to the worship services will be removed from their teaching posts." I should hope that such unfaithful ones would be removed from their teaching position.
TRUTH MAGAZINE XVII: 7, p. 2