Danny Douglas


God's word informs us that we as Christians are to pray for others: “...pray one for another...” (James 5:16); "Pray for us...” (Hebrews 13:18); "Finally, brethren, pray for us...” (2 Thessalonians 3:1). The inspired historian Luke records: "Peter therefore was kept in prison: but prayer was made without ceasing of the church unto God for him" (Acts 12:5).


Gospel Preachers


With compromise on the rise, life is becoming increasingly difficult for men determined to stand for the truth.  Men who once stood for the truth but do so no longer, are posing great problems for the faithful.  Faithful young preachers, starting out today, face more division and accep­tance of false doctrine among brethren than we did thirty years ago.  Although there were problems back then, there was not the division and widespread compro­mise that exists today.  There are more "respected" brethren involved with error today than back then.  When it comes to preaching and practicing the truth, many congregations today simply "will not endure sound doctrine" (cf. 2 Timothy 4:1-4).  Due to this, we would encourage preach­ers to be trained in an area wherein they can "make tents" so that they will not be dependent upon the church for their total income. No doubt, within the next decade many new congregations will need to be started to take up the banner of truth, and many sound congregations will not be able to support a full-time salary.  Indeed, a new generation of preachers needs to be raised up to fill the void of men no longer worthy of the appellation "gospel

preacher."  By sound preaching and godly living, the faithful man of God will be pleasing unto his LORD, even if to no one else.  Paul charged Timothy: "Take heed unto thyself, and unto the doctrine; continue in them: for in doing this thou shalt both save thyself, and them that hear thee" (1 Timothy 4:16).  True gospel preachers and their families need more backing from the local church.  It is a down­ right shame the way some church mem­bers will mistreat a man who has dedi­cated his life to the Lord's service.  It brings one to tears to consider what many gospel preachers have to go through in these perilous times.  Regardless, "Heaven will surely be worth it all"! (cf. Romans 8:18).  Let us keep faithful preachers and their families close in prayer, heart, and support, especially the ones starting out.

Those who will not stand behind faithful brethren are like the city of Meroz, who came not to the help of the Lord against His enemies.  Later, God pronounced a curse upon Meroz: "Curse ye Meroz, said the angel of the LORD, curse ye bitterly the inhabitants thereof; be­ cause they came not to the help of the LORD, to the help of the LORD against the mighty" (Judges 5:23).  Many breth­ren are like Meroz, and even lead the charge against men who: "Preach the word" (2 Timothy 4:2). The "face of the Lord is against" such ones (1 Peter 3:12)!


Godly Elders


Faithful elders may very well constitute the greatest scarcity in the church today.  Men who have a pure love for the truth, the church, for Christ, and the souls of mankind, are much needed and few in number.  A good elder will give up ease in his retirement days and many pleasure travels for the Cause of Christ. He is one who is willing to endure insults, criticisms, headaches, and heartaches, for doing the right.  It also takes a sacrificial wife to be a good elder's wife.  The eldership is basically responsible for feeding, leading, tending, and overseeing the flock of God in the way that the chief Shepherd, Jesus Christ, would have it done (cf. 1 Peter 5:1-4; Hebrews 13:17; Acts 20:28).  This includes defending the flock against worldliness and false teaching.  Therefore, elders must be willing and able to hold fast: "the faithful word as he hath been taught, that he may be able by sound doctrine both to exhort and to convince the gainsayers" (Titus 1:9).  To underscore the great­ ness of this responsibility, consider Paul's charge to the Ephesian elders: "Take heed therefore unto yourselves, and to all the flock, over the which the Holy Ghost hath made you overseers, to feed the church of God, which he hath purchased with his own blood" (Acts 20:28).  Indeed, God has committed the oversight of His blood-bought church to faithful elders.  A man should never be appointed as an elder because he is popular.  Elders who seek favor among men will let God and the church down.  It takes one who is willing to be hated for righteousness' sake to be a faithful elder.  The clar­ion call is for more men to begin praying, preparing, and dedicating themselves to become scriptural bishops in the house of God.  Elders who sacrifice truth in order to satisfy the membership and keep the numbers up, have failed to keep their God­ given responsibility, and will have to give account to God for this (cf. Hebrews 13:17).


The church of Christ


“I love Thy kingdom, Lord, The house of Thine abode; The church our blest Re­ deemer saved With His own precious blood, I love Thy church, 0 God! Her walls before Thee stand, Dear as the apple of Thine eye, And graven on Thy hand.  For her my tears shall fall, For her my prayers ascend; To her my cares and toils be giv'n, Till toils and cares shall end ... (Timothy Dwight, "I Love Thy Kingdom, Lord").  Can we honestly say that we have given our­ selves to that which many people hate, the church?  The Lord warned His disciples that the world would hate them, because the world hated Him (cf. John 15:18-25; 17:14). The Jews in Rome referred to the bride of Christ as a "sect" and further de­clared: "we know that every where it is spoken against" (Acts 28:22). Regard­less of what people say or do against the body of Christ, it still stands that: "Christ also loved the church and gave Himself for her" (Ephesians 5:25).  When brother David Lipscomb died, it was reported that calluses were found on his knees.  Indeed: "The effectual fervent prayer of a righteous man availeth much" (James 5:16b).  Let us stand up for Christ and His glorious church, and be on our knees for His pre­cious bride (cf. Ephesians 3:14-21; Philippians 1:3-5; Colossians 4:12).  The true child of God will be a friend and worker in the church of God.  Let us, with all of our being, strive to build up the body of Christ, and to keep her: "holy and without blemish" (Ephesians 5:27).  We cannot get closer to the heart of God than the church, where God receives the glory: "Unto him be glory in the church by Christ Jesus throughout all ages, world without end. Amen" (Ephesians 3:21).