2015 Scedule for Communion Servers

January

At the Table
Len McCallister – Steve Sinkes
Servers
Don Martin – Barry Gossar – John O’Banion – Dick Thompson

February

At the Table
Myreon Reitsma – Larry Holman
Servers
GD Drennan – Bradley Martin – John Prefountain – Scott Sinkes

March

At the Table
Dave Martin – Virgil O’Banion
Servers
John O’Banion – Barry Gossar – Dick Thompson – Don Martin

April 

At the Table
Len McCallister – Steve Sinkes –
Servers
Scott Sinkes – Ken Weller – GD Drennan – Bradley Martin

May

At the Table
Myreon Reitsma – Larry Holman
Servers
Dick Thompson – Don Martin – John Prefountain – Barry Gossar

June

At the Table
Dave Martin – Virgil O’Banion
Servers
Scott Sinkes – Bradley Martin – GD Drennan- John O’Banion

July

At the Table
Len McCallister – Steve Sinkes
Servers
Dick Thompson – John Prefountain – Ken Weller – Don Martin

August

At the Table
Myreon Reitsma – Larry Holman
Servers
Bradley Martin – Scott Sinkes – John O’Banion – GD Drennan

September

At the Table
Dave Martin –  Virgil O’Banion
Servers
John O’Banion – Barry Gossar – Dick Thompson – Ken Weller

October

At the Table
Len McCallister – Steve Sinkes
Servers
Don Martin – Ken Weller – Bradley Martin – John Prefountain

November

At the Table
Myreon Reitsma – Larry Holman
Servers
Scott Sinkes -GD Drennan – Barry Gossar – John O’Banion

December

At the Table
Dave Martin – Virgil O’Banion
Servers
Don Martin – Ken Weller – Dick Thompson – Bradley Martin

Preach Jesus

preachingIn my opinion, one of the easiest three point outlines to teach is found in Acts 8:35. The Bible reads, “Then Philip opened his mouth, and beginning from this Scripture he preached Jesus to him.” In sharing the Gospel, Philip did three things that are examples for us today.

First, he opened his mouth. The Gospel will never be spread if Christians don’t open their mouths to share their faith. Now I know the importance of our life matching up with our faith, but many people use that as a cop out . . . It goes like this, “I don’t have to tell them about Jesus, they should see Him in my lifestyle.” Philip opened his mouth. And the early church didn’t rely simply on the evangelist spreading the good news! In fact, Acts 8:4 says, “Therefore, those who had been scattered went about preaching the word.” Church, if we want to see souls won to Jesus, we will have to open our mouths.

Secondly, he begin with this Scripture. That part of Acts 8:35 lets me know that Philip had to know his Scripture. Today that involves studying on any occasion you can. Whether that is opportunities the church provides, like Sunday school, Wednesday evenings, and other times to study together as a body, or personal Bible study. We need to return back to the concept that the restoration movement was once known for: and that is being a people of the Book! One other aspect this verse teaches is that Philip discerned the knowledge base of the Ethiopian. He perceived what the Ethiopian knew about Jesus, and that is where he began teaching. We may have family and friends who know Jesus, who love God, but have never obeyed the Gospel—begin where they are at, and tell them about Jesus.

And that is the third thing that the text says about Philip: he preached Jesus! He preached Jesus! As an evangelist, I would love to have his sermon outline, but the text simply says, he preached Jesus! If you do a study of the sermons recorded in the book of Acts, you will quickly see a pattern. Preaching Jesus included the death, burial and resurrection of our Lord. And as Ed Bousman taught me—an evangelist has to ALWAYS preach how to apply it! And here in Acts 8:36, the death, burial and resurrection of Jesus is applied to the Ethiopian when he looks and sees water and says, “Look! Water! What prevents me from being baptized?” Preaching Jesus has ALWAYS included immersion for the forgiveness of sins and the gift of the Holy Spirit (Acts 2:38).

Preaching Jesus with you!

Kevin

Why we must stand FIRM!!!

I just finished reading an article claiming “there hasn’t been a Restoration Movement for well over 100 years” and the movement was “doomed to fail, as it is based on a faulty ideal” – coming out in the June 13th edition of a periodical sent weekly to many Churches of Christ and Christian Churches.

I respond with a quote by one of my teachers at Florida Christian College, the late Roger Chambers (spoken and written in 1985):
The Restoration Movement is alive. Hundreds of intelligent, faithful leaders preserve and preach New Testament Christianity. While nothing could be clearer than that our outfit needs revival (when has that not been true of the Church?), it isnot a given that we cry out for redefinition. I don’t trust these fellows who, of late, have been reading over the grave of the brotherhood. I fear they want the movement certified dead so they can apply for the commission to resurrect it to their own vision. We may have lost our nerve; we have not lost our reason for being. And the preacher who has little or no experience in strong doctrine has no right to declare that the Restoration Movement isn’t working and call for a new plan.

Things haven’t changed, have they?

I am reminded why I do not subscribe to the periodical anymore! More rebuttal to come!

The Bible Only makes Christians Only! http://www.restorationplea.com

Unity in Truth

I have a book in my study with the title “Union in Truth”. The restoration plea is about unity—but any unity MUST be based in TRUTH! So many, even within the churches of Christ, have placed all their emphasis on unity and left out truth, or left out some of the truth! It has gotten so bad, that when a church of Christ like South Side places a strong emphasis on TRUTH they are considered as being divisive and legalistic! Believe me, I have heard all those labels thrown at me! Some would even argue that a church that stands solidly on the Biblical plan doesn’t want unity! I can speak for most, if not all, of the assembly here at South Side Church of Christ when I say that we love unity. We love the unity we have as churches of Christ when we have our county meetings! It is a great time of fellowship with brothers and sisters in Christ! 

 

Biblical unity, though, MUST ALWAYS be based on the truth of Scripture. Division does not happen when the truth is being taught and preached. Division comes when something is taught or practiced that goes against the Scriptures. So, in reality, it is not the truth that divides the church—it is false teaching! 

 

I have always said, at least since I was taught well, that I am not non-denominational, I am anti-denominational. The very word “denomination” means to divide. When used in religious circles, denomination means: “a religious organization whose congregations are united in their adherence to its beliefs and practices” (according to Merriam-Webster Dictionary). I thought the definition describes denominationalism well. But I also thought about how sad it is . . . “congregations are united in their adherence to ITS beliefs and practices”. At South Side Church of Christ, a person does not adhere to OUR beliefs and practices—you simply follow the Bible and the Bible only! That is the plea of the church of Christ. Remember the old slogan: No creed but Christ; No book but the Bible!

 

You see, it is truth that unites! It is truth that brings true biblical fellowship! This is the type of unity that we here at South Side Church of Christ are protecting (Ephesians 4).

 

When I consider things happening in the church of Christ, I have to wonder what happened to the plea to throw off all denominational names and creeds and be simply Christians. I personally came out of denominationalism—I have NO desire to ever go back. In fact, I would just love it if all those in our entire world would simply follow the Bible and the Bible only and be New Testament Christians! 

 

In one way I can relate with what Pliny wrote in a letter to Trajan about the impact Christians had upon some of the places he visited. About 50 years after the death of Jesus, he wrote that Christians have “pervaded not merely the cities but the villages and country places, so that the temples were nearly deserted.” The Christians had been SO strong that the pagan temples were nearly closed!  

 

Here is where I relate to Pliny: My desire and plea is that the churches of Christ can stand so solidly on the Bible that any denomination or church not following the New Testament plan would desert their teachings and simply become Christians! That is my prayer for Danville and Vermilion County, and our world!

 

Unity, yes, when based on truth!

The Bible Only makes Christians Only! http://www.restorationplea.com

Isn’t That a Church of Christ?

Download PDF file of the South Side Church of Christ “Side Lites” Newsletter

 

I ask that question often when browsing through some Church of Christ web sites and reading very weak positions on God’s plan. Sometimes as I am listening to a Church of Christ sermon, I ponder the same question—thinking that maybe I tuned into a denominational church, and when I check, I am disappointed that I heard that at a Church of Christ!

 

Now those of you who know me well, know that I am a stickler in “saying Bible things in Bible ways”. But what I am referring to here, is not simply using bad terminology and calling your evangelist a “pastor”. This article is not about using sloppy terminology. Rather, it is about teaching and promoting false doctrine; or by leaving out the truth. What ever happened to sound biblical teaching? 

 

You can go to many church websites and not know what you must do to be saved, even though they have their “statement of faith” right on the website! Often times I have to go back to the homepage and make sure that I am still on the Church of Christ website! Unfortunately I have experienced this a lot!

 

This isn’t just limited to websites! One time I listened to a sermon by a Church of Christ preacher on John 3. It was on the new birth. How could a Church of Christ preacher go wrong when preaching about the new birth? But in the entire sermon, not once did the evangelist make reference to immersion—including the invitation! I had to check the bulletin cover! Sure enough, it stated that I was at a Church of Christ!

 

How about no invitation at all? I have both heard and attended Churches of Christ where no invitation is ever given. Now I know that a “standard” invitation may not be recorded for us in the New Testament. But isn’t it interesting that at the end of every sermon recorded in Acts, the listener was challenged to make a decision—if the preacher didn’t offer one, it was only because he was interrupted before he got to it (like in Acts 2). One service I attended,  when the preacher was done with what he called preaching, he said a prayer and then he said, “you’re dismissed”.  No invitation! No challenge! No decision time! I guess that day was not the “day of salvation” in that assembly (II Corinthians 6:2)! When I checked the sign on the way out of the parking lot—yes, the sign still read Church of Christ!

 

Another sermon I listened to included an invitation for a person to become a Christian. All right! An invitation! But wait! The Church of Christ preacher then invited those who were Christians, but have not been baptized, to be baptized, even inviting these Christians to be baptized into the church as an outward sign! The Bible teaches that a person is immersed into Christ, not the church! When someone is immersed, they become a Christian, not the other way around! Mark 16:16 teaches, “He who has believed and has been baptized shall be saved”? It does NOT teach “He who has believed and been saved shall be baptized”. This one really made me wonder whether I was listening to a Church of Christ preacher or a denominational preacher who is confused about the order of salvation. And when I checked, sadly I was listening to a Church of Christ preacher!

 

If one is Church of Christ, be the Church of Christ! Be His church, not simply in name, but in teaching and preaching! And it doesn’t matter whether it is on a website or in our daily lives or in the classroom or from the pulpit!  “All the churches of Christ greet you” (Romans 16:16).

 

The Bible Only makes Christians Only! http://www.restorationplea.com

I ask that question often when browsing
through some Church of Christ web sites and reading
very weak positions on God’s plan. Sometimes
as I am listening to a Church of Christ sermon, I
ponder the same question—thinking that maybe I
tuned into a denominational church, and when I
check, I am disappointed that I heard that at a
Church of Christ!
Now those of you who know me well, know that
I am a stickler in “saying Bible things in Bible
ways”. But what I am referring to here, is not simply
using bad terminology and calling your evangelist
a “pastor”. This article is not about using sloppy
terminology
Rather, it is about teaching and promoting false
doctrine; or by leaving out the truth. What ever
happened to sound biblical teaching?
You can go to many church websites and not
know what you must do to be saved, even though
they have their “statement of faith” right on the
website! Often times I have to go back to the
homepage and make sure that I am still on the
Church of Christ website! Unfortunately I have experienced
this a lot!
This isn’t just limited to websites! One time I listened
to a sermon by a Church of Christ preacher
on John 3. It was on the new birth. How could a
Church of Christ preacher go wrong when preaching
about the new birth? But in the entire sermon,
not once did the evangelist make reference to immersion—
including the invitation! I had to check
the bulletin cover! Sure enough, it stated that I was
at a Church of Christ!
How about no invitation at all? I have both
heard and attended Churches of Christ where no
invitation is ever given. Now I know that a
“standard” invitation may not be recorded for us in
the New Testament. But isn’t it interesting that at
the end of every sermon recorded in Acts, the listener
was challenged to make a decision—if the
preacher didn’t offer one, it was only because he
was interrupted before he got to it (like in Acts 2).
One service I attended, when the preacher was
done with what he called preaching, he said a
prayer and then he said, “you’re dismissed”. No
invitation! No challenge! No decision time! I guess
that day was not the “day of salvation” in that assembly
(II Corinthians 6:2)! When I checked the
sign on the way out of the parking lot—yes, the
sign still read Church of Christ!
Another sermon I listened to included an invitation
for a person to become a Christian. All right!
An invitation! But wait! The Church of Christ
preacher then invited those who were Christians,
but have not been baptized, to be baptized, even
inviting these Christians to be baptized into the
church as an outward sign! The Bible teaches that
a person is immersed into Christ, not the church!
When someone is immersed, they become a Christian,
not the other way around! Mark 16:16
teaches, “He who has believed and has been baptized
shall be saved”? It does NOT teach “He who
has believed and been saved shall be baptized”.
This one really made me wonder whether I was
listening to a Church of Christ preacher or a denominational
preacher who is confused about the
order of salvation. And when I checked, sadly I
was listening to a Church of Christ preacher!
If one is Church of Christ, be the Church of
Christ! Be His church, not simply in name, but in
teaching and preaching! And it doesn’t matter
whether it is on a website or in our daily lives or in
the classroom or from the pulpit! “All the churches
of Christ greet you” (Romans 16:16).
Contending for THE faith once delivered!
Kevin Ziegler
South Side Church of Christ Evangelist

Coming Sunday!

It has been a while since I posted my South Side Church of Christ “Side Lites” newsletter article. This Sunday, Lord willing, I will post my newest article. The goal of the article is to promote New Testament Christianity!

The Bible Only makes Christians Only! http://www.restorationplea.com

Satan’s tactics – the same today as they were with Eve

Evangelist Ed Bousman, in his message this morning, dealt with this very subject:

Giving the second reason he wants to be a friend of the Bridegroom, Ed Bousman quoted the warning of the Apostle Paul in 2nd Corinthians 11:2, “For I am jealous over you with a godly jealousy: for I espoused you as a pure virgin to Christ. But I fear, lest by any means, as the serpent beguiled Eve in his craftiness, your minds should be corrupted from the simplicity, and the purity that is toward Christ.”

The Devil uses the same temptation on the Bride of Christ as he did for Eve in the Garden of Eden. Listen to him as he says to Eve, “Yea hath God said?”

Eve, are you sure God said, you shall not eat of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil?

Eve, do you think that is a good translation? Eve, don’t you think that is just your interpretation?

Eve, don’t you think God is too good to let you die for such a thing as eating just one bite of forbidden
fruit?

Eve, don’t you know some of the scholars think that statement is not in the original manuscript?

Eve, do you really believe God actually said, “In the day ye eat thereof ye shall surely die?” Surely your heavenly Father would not say anything like that!”

Not until she was stripped of the sheen of her immortality, and found that she was standing in the dark, cold, naked, ashamed, and afraid, did she realize that the Word of God does in fact mean exactly what it says.

Click on the title of this post to listen to the entire sermon.

The Bible Only makes Christians Only! http://www.restorationplea.com

Saved by “Faith Only”?

Just raise your hand? Only believe? Only trust Him? Say the “sinner’s prayer”? Is it possible for a person to be saved by “faith only”? One verse should be enough to answer this question, but I am a preacher and tend to have longer answers!

Here is the one verse: James 2:24. Go ahead—look it up in the version in front of you. Here is what the NASB says, “You see that a man is justified by works and not by faith alone.” Can the Scriptures be any clearer? So you are not a NASB fan.
KJV—”not by faith only”
NIV—”not by faith alone”
Amplified—”not alone through faith—through works of obedience as well as by what he believes”
RSV—”not by faith alone”
If those don’t work for you—simply go back and check the original Greek. It reads like the versions above “not by faith only.”

Hopefully you still have your Bible open to James 2. Just go up a few verses. James asks a rhetorical question in verse 14: “What use is it, my brethren, if someone says he has faith but he has no works? Can that faith save him?” The anticipated answer by James is a resounding “NO”.
Still have it opened to James 2? Look at verse 17: “Even so faith, if it has no works, is dead, being by itself.” Seems pretty clear to me!

Even the demons themselves practice “faith only”. Look at verse 19: “You believe that God is one. You do well; the demons also believe, and shudder.”

So why is it that the Church of Christ has often bought into this “faith only” teaching? Maybe we watch too many “faith only” shows or movies? Maybe we read too many “faith only” books? Maybe we walk into any restaurant in Danville and there is a tract rack with “faith only” tracts in them? Maybe we heard too many of our own preachers and teachers be weak on the subject of the rest of the plan leaving “faith only” as an viable option unto salvation?

Here is where I lay out a principle I learned from Clearance Greenleaf at Hillsboro Family Camp: “There are more terms of pardon that are found in anyone verse—but there can never be less.”

So, when the “faith only” teachers go to Acts 16:31, and other verses like it—”Believe in the Lord Jesus, and you will be saved, you and your household.” – remember the principle! Besides, as Ed Bousman points out, if you close the book there, you leave the jailor’s home too quickly. Verse 33 says, “And he took them that very hour of the night and washed their wounds, and immediately he was immersed, he and all his household.” There are MORE terms of pardon than are found in Acts 16:31—in other words, you must do more than believe—but you MUST believe! You can use this great principle with any verse that talks about a term of salvation.

But before I run out of room on the page, if a “faith only” preacher or teacher tries to take you to Revelation 3:20 and says that Jesus stands at the door of the sinner’s heart asking to come in, suggest they look at the CONTEXT of the passage. Who is Jesus writing to: a lost sinner? NO! He is writing to a church! Jesus stands at the door of His church and wants back in!

As you can probably tell, “faith only” teaching gets me a little worked up! But I will stick with the New Testament teaching—a complete teaching of what a person needs to do to be saved—Hear, Believe, Repent, Confess, Be immersed and walk the faithful life! Anything else is simply man’s doctrine and not God’s teaching.

The Bible Only makes Christians Only! http://www.restorationplea.com

Where are all the preachers?

Vermilion County has a very special event that happens monthly! Each month, the churches of Christ and Christian churches gather together in one of our church buildings for fellowship, encouragement, and exhortation. Each county meeting is different, as our churches each have their own personality—but standing solid on the “one Lord, one faith, one immersion” of the Bible!

I have been to some great county meetings (and some not so great county meetings—I am not going there in this article). South Side had the privilege of hosting the February meeting. And as is the tradition during the business meeting, the roll was called and many of our churches were represented. The final “official” count was 100. (We also had some Girl Scouts who were not here for the business meeting, making the total 120—and that is NOT a “preacher’s” count)!

I have been attending the Vermilion County Churches of Christ and Christian Churches monthly meetings since before I became the evangelist here at South Side. Now I don’t have perfect attendance (I am not shaving a week off of my vacation to be at a county meeting), but I do try to make as many as I can. I write all of that not to pat myself on the back, but rather to make an observation (this is where I really get in trouble—but that is okay, I am used to trouble): During that whole time (roughly four years), the most preachers that I can recall being at a “regular” county meeting was nine—of course many times that included three, or more, retired preachers! Usually the total number is more like five to eight. The count at the most recent county meeting that we hosted was five, two of whom are not currently preaching in a local ministry—meaning that three active preachers were in attendance. My question is, as the title asks, Where are all the preachers?

Okay, I know the first thing you are going to say is that nowhere in the Bible does it say that we have to attend a county meeting. Well, I must admit, you do have me there! But as we all know, the Bible is “silent” on lots of issues. Sunday School, church buildings, revivals, mid-week prayer meetings, Bible colleges, church camps . . . and the list goes on and on. That doesn’t mean, though, that we cannot support and be a part of these types of functions, unless they violate Scripture! In fact, I would venture to say that most of the preachers of the county attend these functions regularly.

Now I know, preachers are busy—I wonder how I know that? Between preaching, calling, lessons, working on newsletter articles, and a host of other things (not to mention personal or family time) our time is limited. But just thinking from a preacher’s perspective, if I am going to promote any event, wouldn’t it make sense that I, as the evangelist of the church, also show up? I wonder how big the county meetings would be if the preachers not only promoted the meetings, but also attended them? My question again is, as the title asks, Where are all the preachers?

Okay—I vented! I think I actually feel better! Before you call or email me with all kinds of nasty comments, give the whole matter some thought—and remember the words of the Hebrew writer: “not forsaking our own assembling together, as is the habit of some, but encouraging one another; and all the more as you see the day drawing near“ (Hebrews 10:25).

The Bible Only makes Christians Only! http://www.restorationplea.com