Church of Christ
Mission USA

Handling Aright The Word Of God

(In Answer To A Baptist Preacher On The Dead)

by Perry Sexton

      Friends, it is with much concern that I write this. I know by God’s Word that many false teachers are in the world (1 John 4:1) and that many follow them to eternal damnation (Matt. 7:13-23; 15:8-14). Therefore I write this to warn you further.

      In response to my last month’s article a Baptist preacher wrote in “correcting” my position on my article concerning Luke 16:19-31. I know other denominational preachers teach such things as he, and their errors and the mishandling of God’s Word needs to be exposed for your sakes.

      I have heard some denominational people say that you can prove anything from the Bible. What a very poor attitude of God’s Word. Nothing could be further from the truth! Many men do twist and pervert God’s Word (2 Pet. 3:16; Gal. 1:6-9, etc.), but that is a far cry from “proving.” Many believe as this Baptist preacher does, but they cannot prove it from the Bible! Many believe such because that is what their preacher says. And they, themselves, are not interested enough in the words of life (John 6:63,68) to investigate with a sincere, honest, in depth study. And they think they are saved (cp. Matt. 7:21-23)! How very sad. 

      The Baptist preacher teaches “soul sleeping” and uses Ecclesiastes 9:3-10. Let us examine (1 Thess. 5:21) the Scriptures briefly. In his own reference he misses a very key point. Why he misses this I do not know, but I know we must handle aright the Word of God (2 Tim. 2:15). In the very first verse of his reference (v.3) is the key “under the sun.” So, the all important context shows clearly that what is under consideration are those things on earth. If that is not plain enough more is given in verse 6: “…neither have they any more a portion for ever in any thing that is done under the sun.” Reading further you will see “under the sun” many more times. You should also read Eccl. 12:13,14. There are many great lessons from the book of Ecclesiastes if it is used correctly. The Baptist preacher of the man-made church has misused God’s Word in order to teach his error!

      He next deals with Luke 16:19-31 and says it is a parable, but he gives no proof and for good reason, there is none: absolutely none! So, is he speaking as the oracle of God (1 Peter 4:11)? No. How can anyone say he is without book, chapter and verse to back it up? But that is very typical of every denomination.

      Consider a few things. Where does the Bible say it is a parable? Is it like any parable? No, Jesus uses real people. What is taught in Luke 16:19-31 can be proven by other verses, we will see some later. But first, a parable, as seen in the Bible, is a true to life story (cp. Luke 8:5ff). A parable is not a fable. The account took place while life was still going on on earth under the Old Testament system (cp. v.27ff). Why would anyone want to deny what Jesus plainly teaches? Well, false teachers do all the time in order to teach their own error and to have their own following (cp. 2 Tim. 4:3,4; 2 Pet. 2:1-3, etc.).

      For these and other reasons I do not believe Luke 16:19-31 is a parable, but even if it is, does it not still teach the same thing? Of course it does, but more emphatically. Keep in mind a parable is a true to life story.

      This preacher of the doctrines of men continues: “The Bible often speaks in the hypothetical to establish logic, to simplify and promote understanding.” (emp. added by me).  I have never heard of such garbage in all of my life! And people are entrusting their eternal soul’s salvation to such men as this. This explains a lot about the logic of denominational preachers. No wonder denominational people think you can prove anything from the Bible. Note: hypothetical = “Based primarily on surmise rather than adequate evidence.” Concerning salvation, the denominations do even worse than this: they have not one shred of evidence for “faith only” salvation. And they twist James 2:24,26 (cp. 2 Peter 3:16).

      What kind of logic is it without evidence? Denominational logic! This is wholly contrary to God’s Word. The Bible speaks of “evidence” (Heb. 11:1); “prove” (1 Thess. 5:21); “examine” (2 Cor. 13:5); “rightly dividing the word of truth” (2 Tim. 2:15), etc. We all would do well to learn and observe these things.

      The Baptist preacher says: “to simplify and promote understanding.” This kind of “logic” is seen in every denomination. Look about you and behold the massive confusion it has brought about! Does this Baptist preacher agree with the Jehovah’s Witness teaching on the soul’s annihilation? It is the same kind of “logic” and misuse of God’s Word that he uses to arrive at his error.

      It amazes me that those who claim superior faith (in that they are saved by faith only) do not have faith in God’s Word but twist it to fit their own doctrine. Instead of taking the “sum” (Psalm 139:17) of God’s Word, they all take just the parts they like and what they think supports their errors: they add to and take away from (Rev. 22:18,19). So, instead of adding what we like and subtracting what we do not like, let us take the whole teaching of God’s Word.

      One thing we must remember is that the complete revelation is not given in one book of the Bible. Over process of time God brought more things to light until finally we have, “… all things that pertain unto life and godliness,… (2 Peter 1:3). Briefly: in Eccl. 9 we learn the dead do not know what is happening on the earth. In Luke 16;19-31 we learn what happens upon death of both the wicked and the righteous. Jesus said: “And in hell he lift up his eyes, being in torments,…” (Luke 16:23). Now, we all have a choice: believe Jesus or the false teachers. If we don’t believe Jesus now, we will! But then it will be too late! The word “hell” is the Greek word “Hades” which means the place (state) of departed souls.” Also Jesus said “torments,” but many don’t like this and have rejected it (cp. John 12:48).

      When God says so, time will be no more and the righteous dead will come with Jesus (1 Thess. 4:14). Only the righteous are pictured as “sleep[ing] in Jesus.” The wicked were in torments and are dealt with further in 1 Thess. 5. The Judgment is not like our courts of trying to decide one’s state. That is known by God at one’s death, and that soul is placed in the proper place (Luke 16:19ff). You can learn much about the Judgment Day from Matthew 25:31-46 by simply accepting what Jesus said. Basically, it is Christ telling why one is lost or saved.  Please understand there are many things not revealed to us, but we have all we need (2 Peter 1:3; 2 Tim. 3:16,17).

      My friends, God’s Word will not profit at all unless you truly believe it (cp. Heb. 4:2). I urge you; believe Jesus on every hand, not the blind leaders (Matt. 15:14; 7:21-23). Consider: Mark 12:27. ♥