Church of Christ
Mission USA
The Faith Of Caleb – Evangelization
by Perry Sexton

      When God, through the lawgiver Moses, said to the Israelites: "go up and possess it [the land]" (Deut. 1:21 cp. 26), "Caleb ... said, Let us go up at once, and possess it; for we are well able to overcome it" (Num. 13:30). "But the men that went up with him said, We be not able to go up against the people; for they are stronger than we. And they brought up an evil report ..." (Num. 13:31,32).

      They fell because of unbelief (Heb. 3:19)! We are cautioned: "Take heed, brethren, lest there be in any of you an evil heart of unbelief, in departing from the living God" (Heb. 3:12 cp. 4:11). We have many such examples and warnings, yet some never seem to learn: "Let us therefore fear, lest, a promise being left us of entering into his rest, any of you should seem to come short of it" (Heb. 4:1).

      We, also, are under orders from God through our lawgiver Jesus: "Go ye into all the world, and preach the gospel to every creature" (Mark 16:15). Many of our day bring up evil reports of every sort even saying such things as: "We are not under the Great Commission today." How do they read Matthew 28:19,20? "Go...Teaching them to observe all things whatsoever I have commanded you:...." Brethren, Jesus had just commanded them to go into all the world preaching the gospel. Furthermore, in the book of Acts, we see those taught going forth with the gospel. Paul instructed Timothy: "And the things that thou hast heard of me among many witnesses, the same commit thou to faithful men, who shall be able to teach others also" (II Tim. 2:2). This is to go on until the world ends (Mat. 28:20).

      Perhaps the most common evil report among us today is that, "We cannot do it." WHERE IS THE FAITH??? It is the same God that instructed the Israelites: "Go...." We do great preaching and teaching on how the Israelites did not believe God, but many fail to see themselves not believing God in the order for us to "Go...." We need to have the faith of Caleb: "Let us go up at once," not the next generation, but us now in this generation. Every generation has that same charge.

      Our attitude should be that of Caleb’s: "we are well able." Why? Because we are God’s people! The great God of Heaven has ordered it! And ordered it through the greatest lawgiver ever, our Lord who will never forsake us (Mat. 28:20 cp. Deut. 31:6; Heb. 13:5). We have the greatest message ever (Rom. 1:16). The myriad of evil reports (excuses) will not stand in the day of Judgement! Yes there are many obstacles, but "we are well able to overcome" IF we have the faith of Caleb and Joshua and other faithful people of God.
      It is our day now, our choice: To be like the two faithful spies or like the majority who bring up evil reports. And make no mistake about it: We all are like one or the other! Remember the words of Jesus: "He that is not with me is against me: and he that gathereth not with me scattereth" (Luke 11:23). Jesus said "Go," are we with Him???

      Caleb’s faith did not leave him in his old age. At age eighty-five Caleb said: "Now therefore give me this mountain, whereof the LORD spake in that day; for thou heardest in that day how the Anakims were there, and that the cities were great and fenced: if so be the LORD will be with me, then I shall be able to drive them out, as the LORD said" (Joshua 14:12). The Lord has promised to be with us (Mat. 28:20, etc.). Do we believe Him???

      Some Christians and even preachers seem to want to retire from the Lord’s work in their old age. The thinking may be similar to Luke 12:19, compare: "Soul, thou hast done much good works; take thine ease, eat, drink, and be merry, enjoy your retirement." But the aged Paul had a different outlook: "Brethren, I count not myself to have apprehended: but this one thing I do, forgetting those things which are behind, and reaching forth unto those things which are before, I press toward the mark for the prize of the high calling of God in Christ Jesus" (Phil. 3:13,14).

      If and when a Christian retires from secular work, it is a great opportunity to be involved even more in the work of the Lord, not less (providing one has good health). Let us all: "be careful to maintain good works. These things are good and profitable unto men" (Titus 3:8).

      We know that without faith it is impossible to please God (Heb. 11:6). We also understand that this faith comes only from hearing God’s word (Rom. 10:17), i.e., believing God! How is our faith??? We have a great God and Savior. God has given unto us the greatest of all works and in the end the greatest of all rewards. Let us all strive to be like Caleb, Paul, and other great men of faith.

      We should all be mission minded. Whether or not we are able to go physically, we should be supportive (financially and by words of encouragement) of those who are willing to "Go" into good works. We should be giving as God has commanded us so the church will be able to support good evangelistic works such as: sound radio and television programs, publications, and those who are doing mission work both here and abroad.

      I saw the following statement by President Ronald Reagan on a plaque on George Allen’s desk when he was Governor of Virginia: "If not us, who? If not now, when?" This is most applicable to Christians and the Great Commission. If we do not carry the truth to every creature who will? If we do not do it now, when will we? ♥

False Teachers Among Usby Perry Sexton

      Satan is the great deceiver (Rev. 12:9). Truly, he is diligent in his work (I Pet. 5:8). Paul said, "But evil men and seducers shall wax worse and worse, deceiving, and being deceived" (II Tim. 3:13). Our Lord warned: "Beware of false prophets, which come to you in sheep's clothing, but inwardly they are ravening wolves" (Mat. 7:15).

      What do false teachers look like? How do they act? The deceiver may very well be handsome, have an innocent looking face, a very warm and glowing personality. He may be a good joke teller and make people laugh and feel good. He may come from a good family, and he may even be close kin to you. He may be recommended by sound brethren (unknowingly). He may be very popular and he may even be among us now (Acts 20:29,30). He may be an excellent speaker (Rom. 16:18). He may be lovely and may be involved in good works such as helping those in need and visiting the sick and afflicted. But brethren, the good deeds do NOT make his teachings right (cp. Matt. 7:21-23). He may be very pious and may very well be honest and sincere in his teachings, but wrong.

      Perhaps we could convert such an one, but certainly we must not condone any of his errors (II John 9-11). The false teacher may teach 99% truth, but my friends, 1% of doctrinal error can be damnable. Remember, the counterfeit dollar bill that is closest to the real thing is the one most likely to deceive you. So it is with false teachers.

      There is only one way to identify false teachers and that is by their teaching. We must compare their teaching by the only standard, God’s Word. We cannot reason that since they are teaching the truth on a certain subject, that they are teaching truth on ALL subjects. God has given us all the responsibility to study for ourselves and to try the spirits (II Tim. 2:15; I John 4:1).

      Brethren, let us be zealous toward God and His truth. The enemy has ever been present with us (II Pet. 2:1-3), even among us and we must constantly "be sober, be vigilant," always watchful. And then, fellow soldiers, be courageous enough to stand against all error! May the Lord help us to be so, that we will not be blinded as many of our own have become. Remember Jesus said, "If the blind lead the blind both shall fall into the ditch" (Matt. 15:14). ♥