How Do I Choose a Church?

by Johnny O. Trail One radio station in Nashville does nothing but talk radio. As an avid talk radio listener, I am always interested in the questions and comments of those who call in. On one show, the host deals exclusively with emails that listeners have sent in. The other day, one that caught my…

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One Reason Congregations Fail

by Perry Hall Why are congregations failing? If one answer can be given, groups rely on man’s wisdom rather than God’s. An example of this faulty thinking is found in the eldership. A common model for choosing elders and how these elders “rule” is the business model. The misaligned thinking is if they are successful…

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Denominationalism

by Doy Moyer Denominationalism today is not just about one particular doctrine but a mindset that relates to how we think about the Lord’s body. Denominational thinking perceives the church (universal) as comprised of an interconnected web of congregations instead of seeing the church as comprised of individual Christians without respect to time or location.…

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Are the churches of Christ the only correct church?

Question: Hi Jeffery, In the article “Wasn’t Babel the city of Eridu?” you mentioned, “You will not find any claim that the churches of Christ are the only correct church on this site.” Do you no longer believe in the one true church? I understand that not every church with the name “church of Christ”…

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Slinging Mud on the Bride of Christ

by Mike Richardson An Unthinkable Image Imagine attending a wedding. The bride is arrayed in a beautiful white wedding gown, ready to go down the aisle to be presented to the groom. As she walks down the aisle, people on both sides of her begin to throw mud at her. She ducks down, but the…

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Ten Facts About Local Congregations

by Gardner Hall Ten facts about local congregations today: taken from the letters to the seven churches (Revelation 2,3). Christ knows their works! Most congregations have a mixture of good qualities and weaknesses. Christ considers some congregations in bad spiritual shape to be his still. Even though we might not be able to conscientiously recommend…

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Why are there multiple churches near each other?

Question: I hope you are well. I’m writing to you to ask a question about unity. The Bible speaks about unity and that his people should be united, but why are there so many churches of Christ in one city? I live in a small town with a population of 4,000 people, and there are…

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What’s So Important About the Church?

by Jefferson David Tant The comment is often made, “I don’t have to go to church in order to go to heaven,” or, similarly, “I can be a Christian without going to church.” The question is, “Is that really true, or is that a misunderstanding of what “church” is all about?” What Is the Church?…

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What Is Institutionalism?

by Gardner Hall When young disciples ask, “What is institutionalism?” … How should we answer them? A simple definition is that institutionalism is seeing God’s church as a network of congregations with its traditions and organizations. Biblically, God’s church is His saved people whose names are written in heaven (Hebrews 12:23). Only He knows who…

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Righteousness, Peace, and Joy in Jesus’ Kingdom

by Terry Wane Benton “For the kingdom of God is not eating and drinking, but righteousness and peace and joy in the Holy Spirit” (Romans 14:17). The kingdom should feature an emphasis on righteousness. Living by righteous standards is what the kingdom is about. Dietary laws of the Old Testament had illustration value in foreshadowing…

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You Can Be a Pillar in God’s Temple

by Terry Wane Benton “He who overcomes, I will make him a pillar in the temple of My God, and he shall go out no more. I will write on him the name of My God and the name of the city of My God, the New Jerusalem, which comes down out of heaven from…

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I Don’t Go to Church

by Dan Chaney “I’m a Christian, I just don’t go to church.” Maybe you’ve been burned by religious people. Maybe you have social setting anxiety. Maybe you just prefer other recreational activities on Sunday. Individual motivations really aren’t the focus of this post. “I’m a Christian but I don’t go to church” sounds reasonable, possibly…

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God’s Plan for Israel

https://www.lavistachurchofchrist.org/cms/wp-content/uploads/2023/11/Gods-Plans-for-Israel.mp3 by Raymond Warfel

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Keeping House for the Lord Until the Doors Close

by Perry Hall “Keeping house for the Lord” or, “The church is closing its doors”. These are two phrases that you might have heard. A congregation, once in the 500s, is now “closing their doors.” I just heard of another, once in the 500s, stopped meeting after COVID. Both were in the “Bible belt.” Besides…

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Understanding the Difference: Local and Universal Church

by Bill Robinson I have a lot of friends that I dearly love and count them as brothers who are going to disagree with this article. Nonetheless, there are others that I dearly love and also count as brothers, for whom I feel compelled to write this. We are fast approaching the idea that these…

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A Crisis of Faith?

by Orlando B. Gonzalez Perhaps you wonder whether we, as members of the “Churches of Christ”, are turning others away from Jesus by how we discuss people in other denominations, and how we talk about our practices as if they are the only right way to do things, thereby condemning those who do them differently.…

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Church Discipline

by Jeffrey W. Hamilton I.         Each congregation of the Lord’s people has the right and the responsibility to control its membership             A.        Ideally, each congregation is composed of faithful Christians. Because of their common beliefs and shared work, they are joined together in serving God.             B.        However, we understand that just because a person wears the name of…

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Why I Didn’t Leave the Church

by Matthew W. Bassford The posts appear pretty regularly on my Facebook feed. Some poor soul, simmering with hurt and anger, explains why they left the churches of Christ. The explanations are generally long and filled with accusations of bad behavior by brethren. I get it. Like many preachers, I have suffered at the hands…

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Finding an Unbroken Line of Churches

by Doy Moyer We sometimes hear talk about finding the original church. In the search for the original church, we may then make the mistake of thinking that we can find a line of churches that go all the way back to the 1st century to prove which one is the right church. Besides conflating…

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What is “Fellowship”?

by David Smitherman The early disciples “continued steadfastly in ..fellowship” (Acts 2:42). And, this “constant attention” to fellowship is a practice of our first-century brethren that we would do well to imitate. But what is involved in “fellowship,” especially fellowship with a local church? Fellowship is not “placing membership” or having one’s name “on the…

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Never Again Will They Learn War

https://www.lavistachurchofchrist.org/cms/wp-content/uploads/2023/05/Never-Again-Will-They-Learn-War.mp3 by Jeffrey W. Hamilton Text: Isaiah 65:17-25   I.         King Nebuchadnezzar had enough with the rebellion of Zedekiah, the last king of Judah             A.        He removed the nobles to retrain them in his ways; yet, the stubborn Jews continued to rebel. Jehoakim was removed and his son Jehoachin was put in his place.             B.        He removed the…

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The Church in Prophecy

by Jerry C. Brewer Over the period of many centuries, the process of revealing God’s eternal purpose in the church was gradual. As parents impart knowledge to their children in portions and parts from infancy to adulthood, God dealt with the human race in the revelation of His eternal purpose. Fed on milk when they…

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Can We Just Be Christians

by Craig Thomas In a world filled with religious traditions and denominational churches, the concept of being simply Just a Christian is difficult to communicate. Yet a careful reader of the New Testament will realize Jesus did not die so His followers could be divided into sects and parties (John 17:20-23). Jesus died to reconcile…

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Can a Good Man Be Saved Outside the Church?

by N. B. Hardeman Excerpts from “The Church- Its Unity,” Hardeman’s Tabernacle Sermons, Volume 2 I regret that there is such a teaching abroad as this – for instance, that a man does not have to become a member of the church in order to be saved; that there are just as good people outside…

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How to Find a Church

https://www.lavistachurchofchrist.org/cms/wp-content/uploads/2023/03/How-to-Find-a-Church.mp3 by Raymond Warfel

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The Sin of Small Churches

by Mike Thomas It is not uncommon for people to measure a church’s success solely by the numbers it has in attendance. One of the first things I am asked when people learn I am a preacher is how big the church is where I attend. They will then use this as a benchmark for…

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We feel disconnected from our congregation

Question: Hello Mr. Hamilton, Thanks for all your help. A few years ago I first wrote to you about a liberal preacher coming into our congregation and we eventually had to leave. The preacher was eventually dismissed. But we searched out and are attending a sound congregation but do not feel connected. We have tried…

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Is the Church Important?

by Jefferson David Tant Is God’s church important? Does it have any significant place in our lives, or is it just something concerning which we have a choice — to be a part of it, or do our own thing? It is pretty obvious that many in the “Christian” world today see no real value…

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Good points made!

Question: I found a sermon on the site entitled “Ten Rules for Improving the Church”. I just wanted to let you know that I found it to be very helpful, and have passed it along to others. You had really good points in there! Answer: I am glad to hear that you found it useful.

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Isn’t renting facilities for worship a necessary inference?

Question: Regarding “Necessary Inference,” I am amused at the simplicity of learning that necessary inference promotes. Necessary inference doesn’t add anything to the equation but simply brings together all of the elements whether in the stated equation or the equation as a whole. For example Lydia. If it had stated some of the people within…

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The Gospel of the Kingdom

https://www.lavistachurchofchrist.org/cms/wp-content/uploads/2022/11/The-Gospel-of-the-Kingdom.mp3 by Jeffrey W. Hamilton   Text: Psalms 2   I.         An important event happened during the first century that many today have ignored or have declared did not happen             A.        Jesus spent time teaching that the kingdom of God was at hand – Mark 1:14-15                         1.         It was the good news about the kingdom – Matthew 4:23…

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The Establishment of the Kingdom

https://www.lavistachurchofchrist.org/cms/wp-content/uploads/2022/11/The-Establishment-of-the-Kingdom.mp3 by Jeffrey W. Hamilton Text: Daniel 7:13-27   I.         Few argue the importance of the Kingdom in God’s plan.             A.        It is not of this world – John 18:36             B.        It is a spiritual kingdom – Luke 17:20-21             C.        Yet there remain arguments as to when it was or will be established.                         1.         In part it is because people…

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Should we stay with this congregation?

Question: Having moved about, my wife and I have worshiped with many congregations that follow the New Testament pattern. Currently, we are visiting a congregation that has a part-time minister and one elder. How this came about is murky. As our options are very limited, we have visited for several months, even to the point…

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The Importance of One Another

by Doy Moyer Christians share together a bond in Christ. We often stress the need for personal responsibility and individual accountability, yet we should also see that Christianity is built upon a “one another” model. God did not intend for us to walk alone in our journey of serving the Lord. This is demonstrated through…

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Seek First the Kingdom

by Keith Sharp Billy was 6 years old. It was springtime close to summer vacation. When school was out, he and his mom, a widow who was remarrying, were moving. He came home from school and informed his mom he wouldn’t be going back to baseball. When she asked why, he replied, “The rest of…

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