By Shelby C. Smith
In John 8:32, Jesus said, “And ye shall know the truth, and the truth shall make you free.”
There is power in truth. The word of God is truth. There is not enough power in all the doctrines of men to save one person from hell. It is were possible to know all the human doctrine of men, and we should obey them, this would not save us.
If we look at the denominations around us, and look at what they teach, what is the difference between them and us? It is the doctrine they teach. If we teach the same doctrine they do we will be lost also. It takes the truth of the gospel to save. The truth is what Christ wants preached. He commanded His disciples to go into all the world and preach the gospel to every creature (Mk. 16:15). Within 40 years the early church had done this (Col. 1:23). The truth must be preached to every generation. Most people are confused by the doctrines and commandments of men. The truth is simple. Error is complicated. In the 15th chapter of 1 Corinthians, Paul, being directed by the Holy Spirit, gives the basic facts of the gospel: (1) Christ died for our sins; (2) He was buried, and (3) He arose from the dead. In this day and age, these facts desperately need to be taught.
Brother, when you go back and walk no longer with the Lord, you are lost. Peter said, “To whom shall we go?” Peter was sure that Christ was the Son of God. We believe and are sure of the same thing. Jesus said if we do put our hand to the plow, and look back, we are not fit for the kingdom of God (Luke 9:62). It is an awful thing not to be fit for the kingdom of God.
To get on the straight road that leads to heaven, we must have faith, confess His name, repent and be baptized for the forgiveness of sins (Acts 2:38), and the Lord will add us to His church (Acts 2:47). This is truth and it takes this to free man from sin. The people that are in Christ now need to be taught to add to their faith (2 Pet. 1:3-11).
In our day, there are so many people, and even preachers in the Lord’s church, turning away from the truth. Modernism, Crossroadism, and fellowship everybody are on the rampage and spreading like wildfire. And those that teach and change the Word a little see no wrong in it. It is a command of God, and we had better obey to the letter.
There are examples in the Bible of what happened to people who did not obey the word of the Lord. One example is Lot’s wife. When the Lord rained fire and brimstone upon Sodom and Gomorrah, the Lord told Lot’s wife along with the others, “Don’t look back” – only three word, but she looked back, and became a pillar of salt. There was death in that look, and there is death for us if we turn back to the world and the devil.
Jesus warns us in one of the shortest verses in the Bible, “Remember Lot’s wife” (Luke 17:32). We can’t please the Lord and warm by the devil’s fire. We do not hear sound preaching like it was a few years ago. Preachers today try to take the sting out of sin, the blood out of the atonement, the inspiration out of the Bible, and the fire out of hell for the jingle of a few dollars. They preach what people want to hear. They preach a “social gospel.” What are we going to do about this kind of preaching?
Paul told Timothy: “Them that sin reprove in the sight of all” (1 Tim. 5:20). The Bible tells us plainly how to treat ungodliness in the church. Paul said, “Put away the wicked man from among yourselves” (1 Cor. 5:13). The church of Christ today is honey-combed with false doctrine, there is little or nothing done about it, and still we expect to go to heaven.
Elders, it is your responsibility to see that the wicked person be put away; withdraw from him, and if there is an ungodly preacher preaching for you, don’t ship him off to some other church with a good letter of recommendation – but withdraw from him, save the church, and save yourselves. If ungodliness is condoned, Paul said: “A little leaven will leaven the whole lump” (1 Cor. 5:6). Don’t forget Jesus said, “And ye shall know the truth, and the truth shall make you free” (John 8:32).
Guardian of Truth XXIX: 10, p. 298
May 16, 1985