Vol.XII No.II Pg.7
April 1975

?You Know What?

Robert F. Turner

Bro. Turner:

These questions arose as I read Are They Christians? Jan. 75, P.T.

The parable of the tares, where both righteous and erring are together in the church. 2. Only God in judgement day can sever the relationship of Father and child. 3. If Christians fall out of Christ, would they not have to be baptized to get in again? 4. As churches are groups of people, would this not condemn those innocent of presumptuous sin in a church? J.G.


In Matt. 13:24-30, 36-42 the field is the world, not the church (v.38). Kingdom (v. 41) refers to Gods dominion over the world. Note that the servants are angels, and the reaping refers to final judgment, not to discipline administered by saints. (See Apr. 74 P.T. for further discussion.)

An acceptable relationship to God depends upon our being faithful (Rom. 11:22). Children soldiers servants branches are all figures of speech describing various aspects the same relationship to God. That which makes us a child, makes us a branch on the vine (Jn. 15:) and that which cuts off the branch cuts off the child. Extending figures beyond the use given them by the Holy Spirit is a sophistry of the devil.

Restoration does not require baptism, as shown by Acts 8:13, 18-24. In Christ is not a place literally; it is a realm or state, a condition, entered when we submit our will to His. The same thing (obedient faith) puts us into Christ both initially and subsequently. In Christ is a way or manner of life, like walking in the light (1 Jn. 1:5-f). This requires a submissive spirit, seeking, hungering and thirsting after righteousness. The keep on walking (present active) of 1 Jn. 1:7 is matched by keep on confessing of verse 9. Such statements are not intended for use in the childish game of what if I die while exceeding the speed limit? (Children, study 1 Jn. 3:8-9).

Churches are groups of saints — who agree to work as a team. Dont leave that out. Each member of the team has a responsibility in the affairs undertaken by that team. Each is accountable for what he agrees to support, encourage, and promote in the team activity (Rev. 2:20-f. 2 Jn. 11). This was in the context of Lipscombs statement, churches that change, add to, or take from the commandments of God are not churches of Christ.

We must quit this foolish concept of the church as a resting place where, with minds in neutral, we wait for our transfer to heaven. When some argue Christians in all denominations they invariably think of the details for coming to Christ (baptism) and give practically no thought to the need for walking in the light or continuing in Christ. We can concede that one may genuinely obey the gospel and, through lack of knowledge regarding work, worship, etc., associate with people who are grossly in error on these matters. But not for long. A Christian spirit seeks Bible authority for all Christ service, and finding none, will come out from among them. Others, failing to walk in light, lose fellowship with God.