Mar 29

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The plea for today needs to be, “search for the ancient order of things,” for all who are, or would be religious. The need to be religious is seen in the many churches throughout the land. New church buildings are springing up and old buildings are being restored and turned into places of worship. Such places of worship are seen in strip malls and main streets in small-town America. The desire of some is to be “undenominational,” the names on the building betray the claim of truly being “undenominational” as the name simply identifies another denomination!
If you were to ask, what is the authority for the church identified on the building, the answer is generally, “The Bible.” Second question, did they “search for the ancient order of things” before starting this new church; to which is replied, “No! We already knew what we believed.” Third question, did they look around to learn if another church in the area believes the same thing they do, before putting the sign with the new name on it? The answer is heard, “No, But we have been members of a number of these churches and we desired something different.” So, in such cases, what about “the search for the ancient order of things?” Was there a true desire to be the church established by Jesus?
Churches of Christ today, as in by-gone years, must send a clear and unmistakable sound; understanding: “for if the trumpet give an uncertain sound, who shall prepare himself to the battle?” (1 Cor. 14:8). If there are people who desire to be religious, and there are, then the churches of Christ must sound the trumpet of truth; inspire in the hearts of men and women a desire to “search for the ancient order of things.” If not the churches of Christ, then who will sound the trumpet? James questioned, as he reached into the spirit of the churches of Christ: “Therefore to him that knoweth to do good, and doeth it not, to him it is sin” (James 4:17). Does this apply to the churches of Christ? “Good” being understood in the mission of the church, as Paul said in another place: “… the church, Which is his body, the fulness of him that filleth all in all” (Eph. 1:22-23). Can the churches of Christ be “the fullness of him that filleth all in all” and fail to do good? The greatest good on earth is teaching the soul saving gospel of Christ to the lost!
Yet, the question keeps returning, how do the churches of Christ build a desire in others for a true “search for the ancient order of things?” It must be made known, being religious is not sufficient; as Jesus condemned religious people! Religious people are driving others away from Christianity! There are by implying that salvation is whatever one desires it to be; by building church buildings wherein is taught that whatever their hearts desire them to do is all right with the “King of kings and Lord of lords,” that it is not true! Taking one verse and building a religion on it is far from “the teaching of Christ,” and does not involve “the search for the ancient order of things!” These folks gladly preach there is one God, one Lord, one Spirit, 2,000 bodies, 3,000 faiths, any number of ways to be baptized and for just as many reasons, and yet, all will give you the one hope. Where is the honest seeker of truth, who will “search for the ancient order of things” and who will not stop the search until it is found?
Is heaven nothing more than a trip to the store to purchase a candy bar? Yes, even a candy bar of your choice! Heaven is the end location of the church Jesus built, not for any other church! Truth is more than a candy bar! Just buy one that is suited to your taste! So, just go out and join the church of your choice; and if you cannot locate one, then, just start another one. Put in it only things of your choice!
Friends, has it never occurred to you, even though Jesus gave you the freedom of will, he keeps saying, it must be the church of my choice if you are to be saved? You see, the Lord adds to his church those who are being saved (Acts 2:47). It was with his efforts that she was built, his blood that purchased her (Acts 20:28), his teaching that feeds her, and his words that will invite her into heaven. Who said, “Church of your choice?” Do you not have enough interest in your own salvation to “search for the ancient order of things?”

— Frank R. Williams

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