Fred E. Dennis
Our title refers to things that have been all but lost in the maze of denominationalism and sectarianism but are found plainly revealed upon the pages of the New Testament.
The disciples of the Lord are called “Christians” in the New Testament. In fact, we have a specific prophecy regarding this name in Isaiah 62:2: “And the Gentiles shall see thy righteousness, and all kings thy glory: and thou shalt be called by a new name, which the mouth of the Lord shall name.” Just as soon as the Gentiles had seen the righteousness of the Lord, this new name was given. In Acts 10, we have an account of the conversion of the first Gentile, Cornelius, and then in the very next chapter we have the new name given: “And the disciples were called Christians first at Antioch” (Acts 11:26).
If we obey the Gospel as Paul and the other inspired preachers preached it, we, too, will be Christians only. The denominational world with their brand names like “Methodist,” “Baptist,” etc. have lost sight of the fact that these names are not authorized in the New Testament and dishonor the name of Christ. God is glorified only in the name “Christian” (1 Pet. 4:16).
Another thing that most religious people have lost is the fact that there is but one body, or church. This is too serious a matter to take the word of any man for it, but we must take the word of the Lord for it. “There is one body” (Eph. 4:4). What is this body? Let us read the answer from God’s word: “And he is the head of the body, the church.” (Col. 1:18.) “And hath put all things under his feet, and gave him to be the head over all things to the church, which is his body.” (Eph. 1:22-23, Emph. FED). The body of Christ is the church of Christ, and the church of Christ is the body of Christ. Do not lose this fact. “But now are they many members, yet but one body.” (1 Cor. 12:20).
Another “lost” thing is that faith comes by hearing the word. This we are told in Romans 10:17: “So then faith cometh by hearing and hearing by the word of God.” Faith not only comes by hearing, but by hearing the right thing, and the right thing is “the word of God.” The inspired John, in his record of the Gospel, wrote it this way: “And many other signs truly did Jesus in the presence of his disciples, which are not written in this book: but these are written, that ye might believe that Jesus is the Christ, the Son of God; and that believing ye might have life through his name.” (John 20:30-31).
Repentance is produced or brought about by godly sorrow. This we are told in 2 Corinthians 7:10: “For godly sorrow worketh repentance to salvation not to be repented of: but the sorrow of the world worketh death.”
Godly sorrow is not repentance, but it worketh repentance. We must not lose the fact that we must repent in order to be saved. Jesus said, “I tell you, Nay: but, except ye repent, ye shall all likewise perish.” (Luke 13:3, 5).
On the birthday of the church, when men had been caused to believe by hearing the word of the gospel, they cried out, asking Peter and the other apostles what they must do to be saved. They were told to “repent, and be baptized…for the remission of sins.” (Acts 2:37-38). When they did this, they became Christians—members of the body of Christ. It will make you the same thing.
In becoming a Christian, one must be buried by baptism. This is all but lost in the religious world today. How anything so plainly taught in the word could be lost is beyond my poor power of comprehension. Jesus said, “Go ye into all the world and preach the gospel to every creature. He that believeth and is baptized shall be saved; but he that believeth not shall be damned.” (Mark 16:15-16). From such passages as Romans 6:3-5; Colossians 2:12; and Hebrews 10:22, we learn that baptism is a burial in water. These passages are too plain to be misunderstood by an honest soul who is seeking the truth.
The way to raise money to support New Testament religion has been lost by very many. But this has not been lost because it is not taught in the New Testament. The very first inspired statement about the church after it came into being is this: “And they continued steadfastly in the apostles’ doctrine and fellowship, and in breaking of bread, and in prayers.” (Acts 2:42). We learn that the church at Corinth was instructed this way: “Upon the first day of the week let every one of you lay by him in store, as God hath prospered him.” (1 Cor. 16:2). No bazaars, carnivals, car washes, or other money-raising schemes were authorized by the Lord.
The world has certainly lost sight of the kind of music God wants in worship to him. For several hundred years, men have wanted mechanical instruments of music in worship to God. God does not want this. I know He does not want this for at least two reasons: (1) He has not said He wants instrumental music, and (2) the early church, guided by inspired men, did not have it.
However, God does want vocal music. How do we know this? First, He says so, (1 Corinthians 14:15; Ephesians 5:19; Colossians 3:16), and second, vocal music was the kind–the only kind–used by the early church. Instrumental music is a comparatively modern innovation without one syllable of authority from God’s blessed Book.
Finally, the religious world has lost the fact that God requires godly living. “For the grace of God that bringeth salvation hath appeared to all men, teaching us that, denying ungodliness and worldly lusts, we should live soberly, righteously, and godly, in this present world.” (Titus 2:11-12). Dear reader, do these adverbs describe the way you are living? Or have you swallowed the line of the hireling clergy that you can live as you please and God will still accept you?
Think on these things and make sure that you do not lose them by listening to the false doctrines of men.