The idea that God has the right to govern everything about us is hard for us to swallow. But if God is indeed our Creator, we are not free to sit in judgment on His laws. The truth must be embraced and acted upon. Not just some of it, but all of it.
The “teaching of Christ” is a teaching we must “abide in” if we hope to be saved from our sins (2 John 9). And whatever else the teaching of Christ may include, it certainly includes the fact that He was the Incarnation of God, God in the flesh.
The entire gospel depends on the Incarnation. God could not have died an atoning death for our sins if He had not become a human being who was capable of being killed. So to leave this out of our “gospel” is to drain the gospel of its main meaning.
Hatred comes straight out of hell. Sexual sin is an abomination that will damn your soul, but if things like pride, anger, and selfishness are in your heart, you are already farther down the road to hell than if lasciviousness was your only problem.
In Christ, we are assured of being protected from the wrath that will be poured out on the rebellious and disobedient. But even in Christ, we must not fail to take God’s wrath seriously. There are none among us who don’t need to be warned.
The gospel’s value does not lie in its power to remove the difficulties of this life; its power is the promise of resurrection to eternal life (1 Peter 1). May God help us, against the spirit of our age, to put the emphasis where the apostles put it.
As you consider obeying the gospel, many of the “what ifs” will be frightful. I won’t insult you by saying that your path will be easy. But this much I know: if God commands it, it can be done. Our prayer is not for ease but for boldness.
Heaven is the reason why people become Christians. At least, that’s what life in Christ was about in the apostolic age. Its “end” or intended goal was not a better world right now — it was, as Peter saw clearly, “the salvation of your souls.”
Yes, by all means investigate the “churches of Christ.” But when you visit, you’ll need to look deeper than the name and ask lots of questions. That designation expresses a noble idea, but a congregation is not “of Christ” just because it says it is.
As you look for a faithful congregation, don’t be misled by the attractions of entertainment masquerading as religion. You’re searching for the Lord’s people, so “examine everything carefully; hold fast to that which is good” (1 Thessalonians 5:21).