This entry is part of 50 in the series article 26

PAUL'S solemn charge to Timothy, that of an in- 
spired apostle of Jesus Christ to a young minister 
of the gospel, was : 

"Preach the word; be urgent in season, out of 
season; reprove, rebuke, exhort, with all longsuffering 
and teaching; for the time will come when they will 
not endure the sound doctrine; but, having itching 
ears, will heap to themselves teachers after their own 
lusts; and will turn away their ears from the truth, 
and turn aside unto fables. But be thou sober in all 
things, suffer hardship, do the work of an evangelist, 
fulfil thy ministry." 

Although this exhortation was given to all preachers 
of the glad tidings of salvation through Christ, just as 
much as to Timothy, we are sorry to say that it re- 
ceives very little consideration from a great number of 
professed spiritual leaders of to-day. For some reason, 
ministers have gotten the impression that the world is 
no longer in need of the bread of life, and have been 
handing out stones instead. Modern pulpits do not 
ring with the burning message of Jesus Christ and Him 
crucified which was the sum and substance of apostolic 
preaching — a message for which the apostles gave their 
lives humbly, willingly, glorying in the opportunities 
of taking up the cross and following Him. Young min- 
isters, especially, seem to have the idea that the only 
way to achieve popularity and to make a mark in the 
world is through the discussion of ethics, sociology, 
literature, fiction, politics or something of like nature. 
The author has listened to sermon after sermon rich in 
word painting: sermons which almost made him hear 
the singing of the birds, the whispering of the winds 
through the trees, and the rippling of the brook, accom- 
panied by the sweet smell of flowers and blossoms of 
the early spring — but never one word about Him who 
died, was buried, and was resurrected on the third day 
according to the Scriptures, bringing life and immor- 
tality to light through the gospel. Why does such a 
condition prevail anywhere in the very face of the fact 
that the most impressive eloquence that ever fell from 
human lips is the eloquence of that man whose theme 
is the love of God as it has been displayed in the 
working out of the scheme of redemption ; an eloquence 
which convicts men of sin, righteousness and judgment, 
and moves them to repent, turn to Him who is eternal 
in the heavens, and to own Jesus as their Christ, as the 
one who came into the world to be their personal 
Saviour? Why does such an impression exist in the 
face of the fact that the greatest men of all ages have 
been those who have been loyal to God's word; and in 
view of the fact that the greatest men to-day in the 
brotherhood of Christians only are not those men who 
compromise the truth as it is contained in Jesus Christ, 
but those men who sound out the gospel message in all 
of its original purity, purpose and power? We look 
through the names of the leaders of the current Resto- 
ration and we find that those who are true to the Book 
are the ones who have risen above the common level 
and have become noted among their brethren in Christ. 
God is with the man who loves and preaches His word. 

We are glad, however, to see a marked reaction on 
the part of many churches of Christ against this species 
of preaching that stands for everything in general and 
nothing in particular. And it is solely for the purpose 
of assisting such a needed reformation, and fostering 
the spirit of loyalty among disciples of Christ, that 
this book is published. We hope and pray that it may 
become an invaluable aid to every minister who 
preaches the Word. 

After long centuries of ignorance, superstition and 
sectarianism, the pioneers of the Restoration movement 
pointed the religious forces of the world back to the 
unity for which Christ prayed: a unity that had been 
broken by the creeds, traditions and laws of an eccle- 
siastical clergy. At first this plea for Christian unity 
was hailed with derision. But the truth ultimately pre- 
vails — and to-day the theory of denominationalism is 
doomed, and men are beginning to puzzle over the 
method of getting away from the practice of it. There 
is no controversy, whatever, to-day as to the practica- 
bility of unity; all are agreed upon that point. The 
question of controversy now concerns the method of 
bringing this unity about. 

We feel that there is but one way of doing this, and 
that all other ways will ultimately fail. Unity can 
never result from the complete setting aside of all the 
doctrinal differences. Such a platform would be so 
" broad" that it would soon collapse of its own accord. 
Neither can unity be brought about by federation — for 
such a plan would put a, Protestant pope over a Prot- 
estant hierarchy, and experiences of the past have been 
sufficient to warn us of the dangers of ecclesiasticism. 
But unity can be brought about in the course of time 
by the friendly discussion of doctrinal differences in 
the light of the true doctrine — the word of God — until 
the truth is ultimately reached. Nothing is settled until 
it is settled right; and nothing is settled right until 
settled according to the law and the testimony — God's 
way. Indeed, the day of controversy is not over. The 
world needs, as never before, the plea for the restora- 
tion of the church of Jesus Christ, with its laws, its 
ordinances, its organization and its fruits; and the 
unification of the followers of God in the one body — the 
body of Christ. 

This age demands a doctrinal restatement of the 
truths of the Christian system. This is a time when 
every minister of the church of Christ should be at the 
post of duty, preaching the way of the Lord with all 
diligence, giving the world that for which it is hungry 
— the bread of life. In this volume we have attempted 
to set forth the principal teachings of the Book of Acts, 
giving an exhaustive treatment of each subject from 
the entire Word. In many instances, we have uncon- 
sciously reproduced thoughts from the pens of the great 
expositors, both deceased and living, that have been 
identified with the Eestoration. The important doc- 
trinal truths of the New Testament never change. Inas- 
much as these truths have been stated in clear, concise 
language in the works of previous writers, the best that 
we can do is to set forth a summary of them, together 
with original thoughts and statements, in a simple style 
that will be helpful to all students and ministers of the 
Word. While there are some repetitions of doctrinal 
thought, yet we claim absolute originality in treatment 
and composition of each sermon outline. Each outline 
contains the skeleton of an instructive sermon. 

In that day in which all shall stand before the tri- 
bunal of God, the author expects to be held accountable 
for all that he has ever written or spoken as a preacher 
of the gospel. Not for one moment would he turn aside 
from the immutable word of God to cater to the whims 
and fancies of men. So this book of outlines is humbly 
devoted to the restoration of primitive Christianity, and 
the extension of the kingdom of God in the hearts of 
men. May each word contained in it bring forth 
abundant fruit to the glory of God and His dear Son, 
Jesus the Christ.
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