OceanSide church of Christ
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QUESTIONS & ANSWERS (29)
Victor M. Eskew
A. Questions usually do two things:
1. Help bring understanding to confusion
2. Help us to learn the truth
B. When questions are asked for these two reasons, those who have the answers do not hesitate to provide answers.
C. Dishonest questions that are intended to entrap are much different. Such questions are oftentimes better left unanswered.
D. Tonight is our Q&A Night. We believe your questions to be honest questions that are intended to seek after the truth.
E. In our lesson tonight, we will be answering three questions.
I. QUESTION #1: CHURCH CAMPUSES
A. Stated: Are church campuses scriptural?
B. Let’s begin by defining our terms.
1. Campus: a division of an organization that has its own grounds, buildings, and facilities, but is administratively joined to the rest of the organization (Ex., a car company has a headquarters, but it has production plants scattered throughout the country that are all connected to the headquarters).
2. Church campuses
a. In the 1980s and 1990s, mega-churches started to explode throughout the U.S.
1) These are churches with 2000+ members
2) Each one of the mega-churches offers its own “brand” of “Christianity.”
b. Problem: These churches became so big that they outgrew their facilities.
c. In order to solve this problem, they developed the church campus concept. Now they can have many campuses in a city, state, nation, or throughout the world.
d. There are several churches with several campuses in Jacksonville.
1) Christ’s Church
2) Celebration Church
3) First Baptist Church
4) The Church of the Eleven22
e. There are two ways they can be organized.
1) Video of the pastor’s lesson streamed to the campuses during worship.
2) A pastor is hired to be at each campus, but they follow the program of the main campus.
C. The question: Are church campuses scriptural?
a. Are they authorized by God?
b. Is there a basis for church campuses in God’s Word? (See Col. 3:17)
2. Some will say: “Yes.” But, they will not provide any proof from God’s Word where they are authorized. Then, they will say:
a. The Bible doesn’t say it is wrong.
b. This is how I feel about it.
c. It is man-made, but it doesn’t do any harm.
3. There is no scriptural authority for campus churches. The only authority is for the establishment of local, autonomous congregations that function under the oversight of an eldership.
a. Paul did not establish churches, then campus churches. Paul only established churches.
b. Examples: Jerusalem (Acts 11:30; 15:2); Ephesus (Acts 20:19, 28), and Colossae (Col. 1:1).
c. Acts 14:23
And when they had ordained them elders in every church, and had prayed with fasting, they commended them to the Lord, on whom they believed.
4. In the New Testament, there is no such thing as a “brand” of Christianity. Christianity is the brand period. Each local congregation upholds simple NT Christianity as it is revealed in the pages of the NT.
II. QUESTION #2: IMPORTANCE OF A NAME
A. Stated: Why is it so hard for nonbelievers to understand that the name by which we are called is important?
1. Three reasons:
a. Most individuals that embrace religious error have never been confronted with truth. When it is confronted, immediately they protect themselves with defense mechanisms.
b. Some individuals have been taught that “there is nothing in a name.” Therefore, when someone says a name is important, the individual flatly denies it based upon his/her teaching.
c. Some just do not want to admit that they are wrong.
2. Names, however, are important.
a. When someone says our name incorrectly, we will often correct them. Why? Our name is important.
b. Example: A tax collector comes to the door and asks if we are the residents of this house. We say: “Yes.” He then informs us that we owe $20,000.00 of taxes. We are sure we do not. We ask him: “What is the name of the person he is looking for?” He says: “It doesn’t matter. There is nothing in a name.” Would be believe him?
c. Names are important in the Bible.
1) Adam called his wife’s name Eve because she is the mother of all living (Gen. 3:20).
2) Abram’s name was changed to Abraham (Gen. 17:5). Rather than “high father,” it took the meaning “the father of many nations.”
3) Mary and Joseph were commanded to name their child “Jesus” because “he shall save his people from their sins” (Matt. 1:21).
4) Acts 4:12
Neither is there salvation in any other: for there is none other name under heaven given among men, whereby we must be saved.
5) The names, Christian (Acts 11:26) and church of Christ (Rom. 16:16) are both Biblical and honor the Christ.
3. Denominational names give honor to some strange things.
a. Catholic: the universal nature of the church
b. Lutherans: the Roman Catholic priest, Martin Luther
c. Mormons: the name of an angel
d. Pentecostal: a Jewish feast day
e. 7th-Day Adventists: the Sabbath
f. Eleven22: a verse in the book of Mark
g. Celebration: the act of praising or enjoying festivities
h. Baptist: John the Baptist or the act of baptism
i. Presbyterians: the organization of the church
4. The last place in the Bible where the word “name” is found (Rev. 22:4).
And they shall see his face; and his name shall be in their foreheads.
Question: Do you want just any name in your forehead on the Last Day?
III. QUESTION #3: LOVE YOUR ENEMIES
A. Stated: What does God mean when he says: “Love your enemies?”
1. When we hear the words, “love your enemy,” there is a tendency to recoil. In our minds, we think: “You’ve got to be kidding.”
a. Enemies stand in opposition to us.
b. Enemies do not seek our welfare.
c. Enemies want to destroy us.
2. Yet, to love our enemies is what Jesus commanded (Matt. 5:43-44a).
Ye have heard that it hath been said, Thou shalt love thy neighbor and hate thine enemy. But I say unto you, Love your enemies…
a. Perhaps the words are difficult for us because we associate love with positive feelings for another person.
b. Love, however, can involve simply actions toward another person. Listen to how Jesus tells us to love our enemies (Matt. 5:44b).
…bless them that curse you, do good to them that hate you, and pray for them which despitefully use you and persecute you.
2) Do good
3) Pray for
3. The Godhead is our perfect example.
a. God blesses all men, even His enemies, by giving them sunshine and rain (Matt. 5:45).
b. God did good to His enemies by allowing Jesus to die for them (Rom. 5:10).
c. God prayed for His enemies as He hung on the cross of Calvary (Luke 23:34).
4. Flowers, cards, assistance, visits when sick, money when in financial difficulties, and prayers are ways we can show love to our enemies.
5. The key is not to hate. No revenge. No cursing. (Rom. 12:21)
Be not overcome of evil, but overcome evil with good.
A. When I consider these three questions, I am reminded of the challenges we have as God’s people.
1. We are so small and the mega-churches are abounding with more and more campuses.
2. Individuals in the world are ignorant of the truth and need to be taught.
3. We must strive to live as Christians, including loving our enemies.
B. My prayer: “Father, give us the courage, strength, knowledge, endurance, and love for others to meet the challenges before us. In Jesus’ name. Amen.”