But God be thanked, that ye were the servants of sin, but ye have obeyed from the heart that form of doctrine which was delivered you. Being then made free from sin, ye became the servants of righteousness (Romans 6:17-18).
I obeyed the Gospel on June 18, 2012. Before that time I was a member of the Baptist church. I preached in the Baptist church and taught an adult bible class. I grew up in the Baptist church and was taught Baptist doctrine all my life. From the time I was a child until about the age of 18 I was attending an independent Baptist church. When I turned 18, I quit going and was out of church for about 10 years. When I decided that I should go back to church, and have my children in church, I found a Baptist church and started attending. I began to read the Bible more and study. After about a year, I preached my first sermon at a men’s breakfast. I wanted very much to preach and know the Bible. I studied very diligently and listened to sermons, but I was studying through “Baptist glasses.” As I grew in Bible knowledge and confidence I was called on to preach when the “pastor” of the Baptist church was gone or sick, and did so gladly. I soon was teaching an adult Bible class. I wanted to be a strong preacher that preached against sin and preached “Baptist doctrine” which I believed was Bible doctrine.
I believed with all my heart that the Baptist church was the right church, and that we were preaching the truth. Faith only, once saved always saved, and other Baptist doctrine I preached and thought was the truth. After about 3 years we moved our membership to a congregation of Baptists in Huntsville, Texas. I was very active there preaching and teaching, as well as leading singing when I had the opportunity. During this time I began to do a lot of door knocking. Twice a week I would go and knock doors. Wednesday we would have door knocking for an hour before service, and Sunday afternoon I would go, most of the time by myself, for three to four hours door-to-door.
Around this time while searching on YouTube, I found some videos by a brother named Johnny Robertson of his TV show, “What Does the Bible Say?” After watching his videos, I was determined to refute what he was teaching. I was floored by some of the things he was teaching, only one church? A live phone call that stands out in my mind that brother Johnny had on his show was from a Baptist, one of many. During this call Johnny asked the man, “Do you believe faith comes by hearing the word of God, Romans 10:17?” The Baptist man said yes. Then Johnny asked him, “Then why do you believe in a Baptist church you don’t hear of in God’s word?” The man fumbled for an answer and said that it was the closest thing to the Bible. Johnny said here is one closer, you can get close in the Baptist church, or you can GET IN IT here in the church of Christ. I had never heard anything like that. After watching these videos I began to study even more, trying to prove what he was saying was wrong. I also knocked on several doors of members of the church of Christ, and not being able to answer them, I told myself, “I am going to put what they are saying to the test. If they are wrong then the truth will show it. But if I am wrong then I have to go with the truth.”
I started with debates. I called brother Johnny and he sent me his debates, as well as other material to study. He was a tremendous help and encouragement to me. I also watched other things and listened to sermons online. One book that I got early was brother Thomas B. Warren’s book, The Bible Only Makes Christians Only and the Only Christians. This book was a tremendous help in my learning the truth. I studied this material for about 10 months. There were many sleepless nights poring over this material.
Around the end of May 2012, I was no longer believing Baptist doctrine, but was seeing that there was no Baptist church or any other denomination in the Bible. What is funny is we would say that church doesn’t really matter, but when we were at the door of a Pentecostal or a Methodist, or another denomination, we would try to get them to come to the Baptist church, and believe Baptist doctrine. That is just one of many contradictions that I could not be a part of any longer. We KNOW that the church is SO very important—so important that Jesus died for it (Acts 20:28). And that it is His body (Ephesians 1:22-23), and that body is ONE (1 Corinthians 12:13), and that Jesus is the Saviour of that ONE body (Eph. 5:23). The passages in the Bible that clearly teach that Baptism is essential to salvation like, Acts 22:16, Galatians 3:27, and 1 Pet. 3:21, would make me ask myself, why, as a Baptist preacher, can I not tell someone what these Gospel preachers were telling sinners, that wanted to be saved? Even during a baptism while the “pastor” would have the person in the water, he would spend 15 minutes sometimes telling people why this was not essential to salvation, and trying to explain away those clear scriptures. One question to ask a Baptist preacher is, “Why won’t you tell someone what Peter told those people in Acts 2:38, or what Ananias told Paul in Acts 22:16?” NO Baptist preacher can give a Bible answer to those questions, or defend the doctrines of the Baptist church.
The day after Memorial Day 2012 I called the “pastor” of the Baptist church we were attending and told him I was leaving the Baptist church, that I did not see the Baptist church or the doctrine we were teaching. He of course tried to bring up different things to show that the Lord’s church was wrong, but all he had to do was turn to the passage that showed the Baptist church. As you know he could not.
Two weeks later, on June 18, 2012, my wife and I obeyed the gospel and were added to the church you read about in the New Testament. I am continuing my study and hope to preach the gospel as a faithful gospel preacher, and defend the faith that was once delivered (Jude 3). I want to thank brother Daniel Douglas for asking me to write this short article, and the many faithful brethren that have encouraged me, and for their strong stance on the truth. My prayer is to be able to preach the gospel and defend the truth in service to our Lord Jesus Christ for many years to come.
[It is encouraging to note from this article, as one brother did, that “They’re still out there!” When the pure seed of the Gospel falls into the rich soil of a good and honest heart, it will still bring forth fruit – Editor].
- The Bible (37)
- The Church (33)
- Holy Spirit (2)
- Bible Authority (11)
- Calvinism (7)
- Nature of God (9)
- Faith (19)
- Family Matters (7)
- Denominationalism (10)
- Attitudes (46)
- Christian Living (57)
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