I Quit!

With the daily usage of technology comes new terminology. Some may recognize the term, clickbait, others may not know what that is referring to. Many would view the title of this article as clickbait. Others would describe it as misleading because no, I am not quitting preaching. Many use clickbait to attract viewers or readers. It is all about the angle or advertisement.  The more views you have, the better, is the principle. I believe this is true even for printable bulletins and e-bulletins. We want as many people to read about God’s word as possible. If a title catches someone’s attention and gets them engaged with the article, then I am all for throwing out some funky looking titles.

Quitting. Who likes quitters? There is nothing more frustrating than trying to put together a team just to have several quit, especially without notice. We do need to be careful that we teach our children the wrong idea about quitting. We may inadvertently teach them that all quitting is wrong, and then we will definitely have a mess on our hands. Not all quitting is the same. Some will view this as being wishy-washy, but the reality is, not all circumstances are the same. As I was reading some old bulletins from over the years, I stumbled across a short article titled “Quit Doing Nothing” by brother Robert Turner, and I wanted to share that article with you all.

The flamboyant evangelist, Dr. Sam Jones, was well known in some circles for his “Quittin’ Meetings.” During his revivals he gave people a special opportunity to confess their sins and repent. Many quit swearing, quit gossiping, quit drinking, quit smoking, etc. He asked one woman what she planned to quit, and she replied, “I ain’t been doing nothing, and I am going to quit doing that!” Assuming she was true to her word, that was a worthy change. Think what great works most churches could accomplish if about two-thirds of the members would “quit doing nothing.” Yes, I know. The illustration led to an exaggeration. Two-thirds of the members are not “doing nothing.” Even those who sleep through the worship are absorbing sound waves, and that makes it easier on the speaker. I learned, long ago, not to expect every called-out person to be all that the Lord says they should be; but I hope and pray I will never give up trying to bring about this condition. When reality becomes cynicism, we are done. Aren’t you glad the Lord did not give up on you? The Lord was not blinded to the reality of a sinful world when he died for those sins. He must have known that many for whom He died would “do nothing” about it. Some brethren “do nothing” because they have been conditioned to think the church does it all — an erroneous institutional concept of church. Some equate the Lord’s work with public service, and think they have no talent for that. Some excuse themselves with the fear they may do something wrong. And some “tried once, but no one paid any attention to me.’” In all these, we are too much concerned with what people think of us, instead of acting in faith and with a view to pleasing the Lord. Somehow, we must reawaken the concept of individual and direct relationship of each saint to Christ. The “priesthood of believers” must be re-established in our thinking. I must know that regardless of what others do, or do not do; regardless of popularity or opposition, of affluence or famine; I must serve my Master in all good conscience (Rom. 14:4-12).

Unfortunately, many are convinced that we simply do nothing. There are even alleged preachers in the Lord’s church who perpetrate this lie. “Abraham did not have all this stuff to do, all he did was believe!” People are being conditioned into believing that as long as we have good intentions, show up to warm up that pew, endure singing, stay awake for the 30-minute sermon, and take the Lord’s supper, then all is well. I wholeheartedly agree with the words of brother Turner. If more of us made the difficult decision to stop coming up with excuses for why we lack faith, imagine the influence we would have on one another and others!

2 Peter 1:5-10 And beside this, giving all diligence, add to your faith virtue; and to virtue knowledge; And to knowledge temperance; and to temperance patience; and to patience godliness; And to godliness brotherly kindness; and to brotherly kindness charity. For if these things be in you, and abound, they make you that ye shall neither be barren nor unfruitful in the knowledge of our Lord Jesus Christ. But he that lacketh these things is blind, and cannot see afar off, and hath forgotten that he was purged from his old sins. Wherefore the rather, brethren, give diligence to make your calling and election sure: for if ye do these things, ye shall never fall:

Sure, it is good to quit sinning. In fact, that is nonnegotiable. If we think that as long as we “quit doing the bad stuff” then that means that God will bless us eternally, then we are completely missing out on the realities of what Peter says. He tells us that by us lacking these Christian traits, that we are blind and have forgotten about our cleansing of sin. Some may not be agreeable to what I am about to say but it is a conclusion that is easily seen. In our lacking these traits, it proves that we have not truly changed. Our obedience to the gospel was merely external. God is not interested in us putting on a show.

Matthew 23:27-28 Woe unto you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! for ye are like unto whited sepulchres, which indeed appear beautiful outward, but are within full of dead men’s bones, and of all uncleanness. Even so ye also outwardly appear righteous unto men, but within ye are full of hypocrisy and iniquity.

If our hearts lack change, it is evident. May we never quit on the Lord and that if we give up anything, it is our bad habits that draw us away from God.

by Lee Elkins (excerpt from Robert Turner article)