"Sound Doctrine" - (Titus 2:1)

Six Ways To Boost Attendance

Larry Acuff


A while back I attended my first University of Tennessee football game. Boy, it was great! Being a student of human nature and psychology, I learned several things at the game basically, how we can boost our church attendance. Here is what I have come up with:

  1. We're going to replace our cushioned pews with steel benches and remove the backs.
  2. We're going to make people sit very close to each other especially close to those we don't know.
  3. We are going to let those who smoke sit in front of those that don't and blow smoke back in their faces.
  4. We're going to take the top off the building. There must be something about having a top on the building that keeps people from coming.
  5. We're going to have someone holler real loud into the loud speaker. I guess that will be me, since I'm the preacher.
  6. Oh yeah, one last thing. We're going to make everyone pay $40 to get in, even before they know the outcome.

UT is second only to the University of Michigan in attendance at football games, averaging over 100,000 per game. But, we'll settle for 95,000 in church. Oh, and one more thing, we're going to change our services to last three hours instead of one. Boy, with these changes, you'd better come early next Sunday to get a good parking place!


God's Love And Man's Love

Jerry Dockens

God loves all mankind. He gave His love before we had opportunity to return His love: "But God demonstrates His own love toward us, in that while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us" (Romans 5:8). His love was sacrificial: "For God so loved the world, that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him should not perish, but have eternal life" (John 3:16).

The benefits of God's love are conditional: mercy (Exodus 20:4-6), forgiveness (Mark 11:25; Acts 26:18), salvation (Romans 1:16; 10:10; 2 Corinthians 7:10).

God's love requires discipline. As does any good father, God disciplines those whom he loves. "It is for discipline that you endure; God deals with you as with sons; for what son is there whom his father does not discipline? But if you are without discipline, of which all have become partakers, then you are illegitimate children and not sons. Furthermore, we had earthly fathers to discipline us, and we respected them; shall we not much rather be subject to the Father of spirits, and live? For they disciplined us for a short time as seemed best to them, but He disciplines us for our good, that we may share His holiness. All discipline for the moment seems not to be joyful, but sorrowful; yet to those who have been trained by it, afterwards it yields the peaceful fruit of righteousness. Therefore, strengthen the hands that are weak and the knees that are feeble" (Hebrews 12:7-12).

God has zero tolerance for sin. "Behold, Jehovah's hand is not so short that it cannot save; neither is His ear so dull that it cannot hear. But your iniquities have made a separation between you and your God and your sins have hidden His face from you, so that He does not hear" (Isaiah 59:1-2).

The consequences of sin are clear. "Because I called, and you refused; I stretched out my hand, and no one paid attention; and you neglected all my counsel, and did not want my reproof; I will even laugh at your calamity; I will mock when your dread comes, when your dread comes like a storm, and your calamity comes on like a whirlwind, when distress and anguish come on you. Then they will call on me, but I will not answer; they will seek me diligently, but they shall not find me, because they hated knowledge, and did not choose the fear of the Lord. They would not accept my counsel, they spurned all my reproof" (Proverbs 1:24-30).

Our love is to be patterned by God's example. Sacrificial: Not afraid to hurt someone's feelings to have the opportunity to save their soul (2 Timothy 1:7), taking advantage of every opportunity to teach the truth (2 Timothy 4:2). Merciful and forgiving: We must be ready to forgive others, since we all have sinned (Romans 3:23), but we forgive according to the godly pattern in order to save their souls producing sorrow that leads to repentance and then salvation (2 Corinthians 7:8-12). With zeal according to knowledge: Edify by example (Hebrew 10:25; Luke 9:23), study the Scriptures daily (Acts 17:11), and teach others (2 Timothy 2:2). Without tolerance for sin: Zero tolerance for false teaching (2 Peter 2; Revelation 2:2), zero tolerance for false brethren (Galatians 2:4-5), zero tolerance for those who reject God (1 Corinthians 5:9-11; 2 Thessalonians 3:6, 14).

Loving God involves keeping ourselves and His church pure. Our religion is active, zealous, rigorous and daily. "Therefore my brethren, be steadfast, immovable, always abounding in the work of the Lord, knowing that your labor is not in vain in the Lord" (2 Corinthians 15:58).


Honesty, Error, And Truth

Eugene Britnell

There are many good people in the world who are honestly mistaken, but when a man who is honestly mistaken hears the truth, one of two things must happen: he will cease to be mistaken or, he will cease to be honest. If he does not obey it, he will no longer be honest. If he does obey it, he will no longer be mistaken. Honesty and error must separate when truth comes along. No man can be honestly mistaken if he has heard the truth.


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