ONLINE CHURCH BULLETIN
LOVING THE TRUTH AND TRULY LOVING
A church bulletin in a small town carried this message about the congregation on the front page: "The Church That Could Care Less." It opened to read, "We could care less about where you come from. We could care less where you've been. We could care less what you have. The thing we really do care about is you, and so does God." That message should characterize every congregation of the church of Christ. Jesus said, "A new commandment I give to you, that you love one another; as I have loved you, that you also love one another. By this all will know that you are My disciples, if you have love for one another" (John 13:34-35). In this Scripture, Jesus does not say that by loving each other Christians will cause all people to become His disciples. No Bible write ever taught that the church could bring the whole world to Christ. Rather, the mandate is for the church to take Christ and His love to the whole world (Mark 16:15-16; Matthew 28:18-20), giving every person the opportunity to hear and obey the gospel. John 13:34-35 reveals that loving one another greatly enhances our ability to do that! There are always those outside the church who disagree with doctrines and teachings in the New Testament. Debates and strong disagreements have raged for centuries over the plan of salvation, the unity and organization the church, the nature of worship in spirit and truth, etc., etc. Our postmodern age shows an increasing willingness to tolerate any and all moral and religious ideas as equally valid. Therefore, it is increasingly important for God's people to "buy the truth and sell it not" and to remember Jesus' words that You shall know the truth and the truth shall make you free" (Proverbs 23:23; John 8:32). Members of the church of Christ must be concerned about the love of truth for the Bible warns that those who will not receive the love of the truth are in grave danger of being deceived, believing a lie, and being condemned. Truth and love of truth matter. If you don't believe that, turn your Bible right now to 2 Thessalonians 2:9-13 and read slowly.
But love of truth is not all that matters. Alongside the love of truth is another vital New Testament teaching, the truth of love. First John 4:20-21 says something that needs to be fleshed out in the life of every Christian, "If someone says, 'I love God,' and hates his brother, he is a liar; for he who does not love his brother whom he has seen, how can he love God whom he has not seen? And this commandment we have from Him: that he who loves God must love his brother also." The toughest part of being a Christian may not be to love the God we can't see but to love the people we can. We must love truth and truly love.
Smithville church of Christ