Need for a return
As a minister of the Gospel, it is important that we continue to remind new generations often of the identifying characteristics of the church as we read of them in the New Testament.

We have an important task of recreating a sense of loyalty to the church as Christ intended for her to be. The Lord’s church, members in particular, are part of a grand family.
Ephesians 3:14 - 16 (KJV) ¹⁴For this cause I bow my knees unto the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, ¹⁵Of whom the whole family in heaven and earth is named, ¹⁶That he would grant you, according to the riches of his glory, to be strengthened with might by his Spirit in the inner man;
Hebrews 12:22 - 23 (KJV) ²²But ye are come unto mount Sion, and unto the city of the living God, the heavenly Jerusalem, and to an innumerable company of angels, ²³To the general assembly and church of the firstborn, which are written in heaven, and to God the Judge of all, and to the spirits of just men made perfect,
Contrary to what some have thought, there is a real hunger and appreciation today for “the old paths.” The prophet Jeremiah first heralded this call in Jer. 6:16 - “Thus saith the LORD, Stand ye in the ways, and see, and ask for the old paths, where is the good way, and walk therein, and ye shall find rest for your souls. But they said, We will not walk therein.”
Distinctive doctrinal sermons, based on informed Biblical studies, and presented plainly in a loving spirit, provoke widespread interest. Young people are often the first ones who manifest zeal and excitement at such preaching. Studies have shown for several years that growing churches are those which take a strong doctrinal stance. Many old-line churches began losing membership when they began to “vote in” liberal positions. We must learn from their failures.
Paul admonished Timothy: “Preach the word” (II Tim. 4:2). He warned of those who would “not endure sound doctrine.” The prophet Jeremiah noted that “the prophets prophesy falsely,” but the real tragedy was that “my people love to have it so” (Jer. 5:31). Isaiah was sent to a rebellious people whose plaintive plea was: “Prophesy not unto us right things, speak unto us smooth things, prophesy deceits” (Isa. 30:10). The warnings of the apostle to the Galatians cannot be overlooked. He said, “But though we, or an angel from heaven, should preach unto you any gospel other than that which we preached unto you, let him be anathema” (Gal. 1:8 ASV). Anathema is translated as “accursed.”
There is an age-old tendency on the part of mankind to wander from the righteous pathway. The approach of the Father, however, has always been the same: “Let the wicked forsake his way, and the unrighteous man his thoughts; and let him return unto Jehovah, and he will have mercy upon him; and to our God, for he will abundantly pardon” (Isa. 55:7). Let us return to an emphasis upon a “thus saith the Lord.” May the word of God ring out from the pulpits and classrooms everywhere. If we come to understand who we are supposed to be, and know that for which we should stand, we will be “rooted and grounded in love,” and we will be no longer children, “tossed to and fro and carried about with every wind of doctrine” (Eph. 3:17; 4:14). Our feet will be planted upon the solid rock, and all of us, along with our children and our children’s children, will know what it means to be the Lord’s church!

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