September 1, 1986
by C.A. Smith

A gentleman recently wrote in the Healdton Herald, Healdton, Oklahoma, concerning the graduating class of 1936 from that fair city. He told how they (the class of 1936) were before modern things came along which the world today could scarce do without; at least that's what they think! Things such as the pill, penicillin, polio shots, antibiotics, frisbees, yo-yo's, frozen food, dacron, Xerox, television, panty hose, permanent press, ice makers, microwave ovens and even air conditioners. At that time the only chains boys wore were pocket key chains. Back then, closets were a place to put your clothes, and not for coming out of. In those days grass was sowed and mowed, coke was something you drank, and pot was something you cooked in.

Many readers of the Old Paths Advocate will be stirred to remembrance of those days of yore, and while thinking in this vein also call to remembrance the church of that era. Perhaps we will think of the great Gospel Meetings under the old brush arbors. I can almost smell the newly mown hay from a nearby pasture; fumes emitted by the smokey lanterns, and the more immediate scent of a bag of vile asafetida which an anxious mother had hung around her baby's neck, thinking it would ward off disease germs. Moreover, I can hear the ring of the Gospel as the old time preacher shunned not to declare the whole council of God. Those were great days for the church, mainly because the church was the first love of most and to her they gave the best they had. I am thinking in particular how almost every member was so knowledgeable of God's word and felt a keen responsibility of teaching his neighbor, his fellow workers and even strangers the good news of Jesus Christ. 

It appears to me we have forgotten who is responsible for teaching God's word. Jesus made an awesome and sobering statement in John 6:44-45, when he said: "No man can come to me, except the Father which hath sent me draw him; and I will raise him up at the last day. It is written in the prophets, and they shall be all taught of God. Every man therefore that hath heard, and hath learned of the Father cometh unto me." Think of it! No man can come to Jesus except he be taught. No wonder Jesus said, "Ye shall know the truth, and the truth shall make you free" (Jno 8:32). Look around you and you will see so much ignorance in the world, so many people who know not the truth, millions who are without hope and without God, going to a devil's hell because some are not living up to their responsibility in teaching of Jesus Christ.

Some have the audacity to ask:  "Who is responsible, or upon whom does this responsibility rest?" First of all, may I remind you, that we have a COLLECTIVE RESPONSIBILITY. Listen to Paul in I Tim 3:15, as he informs us that the church is "the pillar and ground of the truth." We readily see that the responsibility of "sounding out" this word to a lost and sinful world, rests upon the church. Brethren, earth's millions can not live without coming to Jesus and they can not come to him except they be taught. Think of it; these people can not be saved, can not go to that place of eternal bliss, unless, and until, the church assumes its responsibility in the matter of teaching the word of God. In light of these facts, who would shun his responsibility, or even minimize the importance of teaching the word of God at every opportunity. Oh, let us shout it from the house-tops, and go into every nook and corner of the world. We should never be idle. Let us also notice Rom 10:13-15. Paul said, "For whosoever shall call upon the name of the Lord shall be saved. How then shall they call on him in whom they have not believed, and how shall they believe in him of whom they have not heard? and how shall they hear without a preacher? and how shall they preach, except they be sent?" 

Here Paul teaches five things: (1) God saves all that call upon him. (2)They can not call, except they believe. (3) They can not believe, except they hear. Please keep this in mind.  They cannot believe except they hear. Can we afford to be silent? (4) They can not hear without a preacher. (5) The preacher cannot preach except he be sent. You see, the responsibility comes back to the church again. Keep this in mind: There are multiplied millions of people upon the earth who are going to a devil's hell. God is willing to save them if they will call upon him, but they cannot call on him in whom they have not believed, they cannot believe in him of whom they have not heard, and they cannot hear without someone to tell them. No one can tell them moreover, except he is sent. It is high time that we rise to our responsibility, as never before and send men everywhere that the gospel has never been heard, and may I add, there are many such places in the United States of America. We just cannot use the worn out excuse that they won't come out to our services. We must go to them with the glorious gospel of Christ, that they might hear it, believe it, be obedient to it, and be saved by it...Next we will talk about individual responsibility

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By Way of Remembrance (Part 2)

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