The Carolina Messenger is a publication with a rich heritage. I first had the inclination that this was so eleven years ago after moving to the Carolinas and reading my first issue. Over the years as my involvement with the paper grew through writing articles, guest editing, and serving on the board of directors in various capacities, I came to value and cherish the paper more and more for the great and needed work it provides in the kingdom of God.
After becoming a member of the board of directors, the expressed goals of the paper as decided by the board were shared with me. “To teach the Word of God plainly and clearly in every article.” “To uphold the Bible as the verbally inspired Word of God and our authority in all matters of religion.” “To please God rather than man.” “To instill in people habits of thought that promote good morality and Christian character.” “To oppose error either within or without the church.” “To be open to discussion of biblical questions and to hear each honest question with love for the questioner and love for the truth.” “To teach the truth in love.” “To have positive Bible-centered lessons that impart faith-building knowledge to the reader.”
These goals, all of which could be summed up by the inspired words of Paul in 2 Timothy 2:22-26 and 4:1-5, are at the forefront of my mind as I serve as interim editor for the Carolina Messenger. This is true for my fellow board members also, of whom several have contributed articles for this issue. Several of them have just been added to the board, and some of them are relatively new to the Carolinas. Their contributions to this issue are our way of introducing them to you. The work they put forth for both the Messenger and especially the kingdom of heaven are greatly appreciated.
As interim editor, my responsibility is to find writers who will help the publication put forth articles that will spiritually benefit our readers. If you are a faithful saint in the church of Christ who has some experience in writing or would like to get some experience, and if you share the same goals for the paper as stated above, please write me or e-mail me and I will share with you more details about submitting an article to be considered for publication.
Before moving on to address the theme of this issue, let me on behalf of the board and all of our writers give a word of thanks to you, our readers and subscribers. Your dedication to the paper as shown through your kind feedback, generous contributions, and continued readership encourages us greatly. This publication exists to serve God by serving you, to help you as his followers grow closer to him and stay on that narrow path which leads to salvation. The writer of Hebrews said, “…let us consider how to stir up one another to love and good works” (10:24). Our prayer is that these articles will do exactly that in your hearts and minds. Thank you for reading. Please continue to support us, and share this paper with others so they may benefit from it as well!
“For I Am Not Ashamed Of The Gospel”
Paul’s words as stated in Romans 1:16 are known by many of us today, but do we consider the high cost he paid to say them? A simple perusal of 2 Corinthians 11:23-28 shows us the great trials and hardships he went through because he was not ashamed of the gospel. Indeed, 2 Timothy implies and history reveals that Paul paid for his allegiance to the gospel of Christ with his life.
Christian, do we join with Paul in standing firm behind the gospel? If there is any question upon which our salvation depends, this is it. We are saved by the gospel which we received…so long as we stand in it by holding fast to the Word of God (1 Cor. 15:1-2). Are we holding fast?
The articles in this issue give the basic principles and commands of the gospel which is “the power of God for salvation” (Rom. 1:16), commands which if not obeyed result in eternal condemnation (2 Thess. 1:7-9). However, if we obey them we receive eternal salvation by the grace of God (Heb. 5:9; Tit. 2:11-13).
Reader, have you obeyed the gospel? Have you become a Christian and obtained salvation by washing your sins away through penitent baptism into Christ that comes from a faith-filled heart? If not, please read these articles with an open and honest heart and bear the fruit God wants from you (Luke 8:15).
Christian, are you standing in the gospel? Are you defending it and proclaiming it (1 Pet. 3:15; Mark 16:15)? Are you showing it through a God-centered life which focuses on repentance of sins and letting your light shine (Matt. 6:33; 1 John 1:7-9; 2 Cor. 7:9-11; Matt. 5:13-16)?
Are you not ashamed of the gospel of Christ?
Jon Mitchell is the pulpit minister of the Duncan Church of Christ in Duncan, SC, and can be reached by email at firstname.lastname@example.org.