By Weldon E. Warnock
In years past I have done a lot of fishing with artificial lures. They worked well in tricking bass that it was above to lay hold of a tasty morsel of food. Men, including preachers in the church of Christ, use artificial lures and gimmicks to appeal to and attract people to Christ (?). Some churches have the appearance of a glorified country club rather than a church claiming to be the church of the Lord.
Men come to God through the drawing power of Christ and not claptrap methods of carnal men. Jesus said, “And I, if I be lifted up from the earth, will draw all men unto me” (John 12:32). Jesus is the lure God uses to draw men out of the bondage of sin. Our Lord also said, “No man can come to me, except the Father which hath sent me draw him: and I will raise him up at the last day” (John 6:44). The next passage, verse 45, shows how God draws men to Christ. “It is written in the prophets, And they all be taught of God. Every man therefore that hath heard, and hath learned of the Father, cometh unto me.” Observe that a man coming to Christ must be taught, hear, and learn. We see this process in every case of New Testament conversion in the book of Acts.
On Pentecost 3000 souls were converted to Christ by the power of the gospel preached by Peter. They continued stedfastly in the apostles’ doctrine, fellowship, breaking of bread and prayers (Acts 2:42). The apostles preached daily in the temple and from house to house (Acts 5:42). We read that believers were the more added to the Lord, multitudes both men and women (Acts 5:14). Again, “And the word of God increased; and the number of the disciples multiplied in Jerusalem greatly” (Acts 6:7). Here were the results of preaching the glorious gospel of Jesus Christ. Indeed, it is the power of God unto salvation (Rom. 1:16). We don’t need antics of a circus, clowns, entertainment, ham and bean dinners, recreation that involves church gymnasiums, church sponsored ball clubs, etc.
Many are so accustomed to the church playing and partying that every time they hear the word “fellowship” or read it in the Bible, they think of donuts and coffee. Certainly, there is nothing wrong with Christians getting together to eat and to have a good time. This can bring us closer together. But social activities are not a function of the church, paid for out of the treasury of the church. Social activities are functions of the home, not the church. Paul wrote, “What? Have ye not houses to eat and to drink in?” (1 Cor. 11:22). Also, “And if any man hunger, let him eat at home” (1 Cor. 11:34). How appropriate are Paul’s statements in regard to kitchens and banquet halls paid for out of the treasury of the church.
My friends, the Bible says, “For the weapons of our warfare are not carnal, but mighty through God to the pulling down of strongholds” (2 Cor. 10:4). Many can’t say this today with a straight face. God help us to put our confidence in the power of the gospel, that brings us to the saving blood of Christ.
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