LAUGHTER

By

Shelby G. Floyd

Good morning church. It is good to be here, and we just had a great song service. It is very good that we can share the word of God each other. I am very thankful that God has been so good to me and that I can still do some work in his kingdom.

Today, the subject that I am going to speak on is “laughter.” I had been preaching for 45 years before I ever spoke on the subject of laughter. And when I started doing research, I was amazed at how much the Bible has to say about laughter. When we started this congregation, we decided that we wanted a congregation where people are happy, where they have a smile on their face, and where they can enjoy each other’s company. I am sure all of us realize that we have been around some congregations where the people do not seem to be very happy. Many of these people are very grumpy and sour. And that dampens the spirit of anybody when you are around people like that. And those sour and grumpy people seem to attract sour and grumpy people to them. And that is not a good thing. Whereas people who are joyful like to be with people of like mind. And now I have been preaching 61 years and speak to you again on the subject of laughter.

How many of you like to laugh?(Almost everybody in the audience raised their hand). I know you do! If you do not believe that, just stay around here 15 minutes after we dismiss and you will see how much people enjoy each other’s company, they are in a joyful spirit and many people have smiles on their faces while laughing.

I heard about a woman that was married to four different men. When she was 20, she married a banker. He had a lot of money so they could do about anything they wanted to do. And he died. When she was 40, she married a circus director. And that was a big change in in her life, for they would travel all over the country with the circus. And so she learned to enjoy circus life. But then her circus husband also died. And when she was 60 she married a preacher. And the preacher taught her the plan of salvation and she obeyed the gospel, and became a Christian. She was so glad that she had married a man of God who had taught her how to live a better life. And then he died. And when she was 80, she married a funeral director. The funeral director told her how to be kind to everybody, especially when they would lose someone they really loved. She learned how to have that kind of a spirit. And then he died. Someone then asked her why she had married four different men with such different backgrounds. And she said that it was very simple: “One for the money, two for the show, three to get ready, and four to go!” (The whole congregation had a big laugh!). I do not know about you but that is really funny and will make you laugh. I had a lot of fun with that story. I do not usually tell very many jokes in the pulpit, but that is a classic. Continue reading “LAUGHTER”

DO YOU LOVE THE WORLD?

By

Shelby G. Floyd

The Bible declares, “Do not love the world or anything in the world” (l John 2:15). John is thought of as the apostle of love. He teaches us to love God and each other. But here, we are commanded not to love the world. This means that we are not to love the evil things of this world or set our affections on the things of this world. Continue reading “DO YOU LOVE THE WORLD?”

SING FOR JOY!

By

Shelby G. Floyd

The Scriptures teach that when the New Testament church comes together to worship, it is to speak reciprocally to one another, “…in psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, singing and making melody in your heart to the Lord…” (Ephesians 5:18-19 NKJV). Many of the songs that we sing are written to teach and admonish each other of our duties to live the Christian life and to serve God with all of our being.

Teach and Admonish in Singing

For example, the apostle Paul wrote a neighboring congregation of the Ephesian church concerning their worship in song:

Let the word of Christ dwell in you richly in all wisdom, teaching and admonishing one another in psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, singing with grace in your hearts to the Lord. 17 And whatever you do in word or deed, do all in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God the Father through Him (Colossians 3:16-17).

This is good lest we forget our duties to live the Christian life. We are to teach and admonish one another to do the very best that we can, but to do so in the name or by the authority of the Lord Jesus. In many churches what is going on in worship has no biblical authority of the Lord and his apostles. 

Sing in Praise and Thanksgiving

But there is also another aspect to our worship in song and that is to praise Almighty God and exalt his son Jesus Christ. King David is our best example in the Old Testament of continually praising God for all his wonderful attributes. As an example, I have taken note of several Psalms in my daily Bible reading that verifies praise and thanksgiving in our worship singing service. God is good and worthy to be exalted with all of our voices!

Sing and Shout Joyfully

For example, in Psalms 95 David pleads for God’s people to come before the Lord with joy, thanksgiving and even shouting with joy because God is so great and worthy of all our praise:

Oh come, let us sing to the LORD!
Let us shout joyfully to the Rock of our salvation.
2 Let us come before His presence with thanksgiving;
Let us shout joyfully to Him with psalms.
3 For the LORD is the great God,
And the great King above all gods. (Psalms 95:1-3).

Sing To the Lord a New Song!

And in the next Psalm, David continues to plead with the people to, “Sing to the Lord a new song; sing to the Lord, all the earth. Sing to the Lord, bless his name; proclaim good tidings of his salvation from day to day, tell of his glory among the nations, his wonderful deeds among all the people.” (Psalms 96:1-3).

We do not want our singing to be despondent and discouraging to those who come to worship the God of heaven and earth. We want our singing to be uplifting and encouraging to every worshiper of the Lord Jesus Christ. Every old song was a new song when the people starting singing it after it was published. Everyone like some new things and both the Old and New Testaments encourages us to sing some new songs!

Oh, sing to the LORD a new song!
For He has done marvelous things;
His right hand and His holy arm have gained Him the victory (Psalms 98:1).

We look forward in anticipation to singing with joy in the congregational worship each Lord’s day.

Copyright © 2022 Shelby G. Floyd, All Rights Reserved

Shelby G. Floyd, Minister, Heartland Church of Christ, 1693 West Main Street, Greenwood, Indiana 46142



WHOEVER CALLS ON THE NAME SHALL BE SAVED

By

Shelby G. Floyd

It is good to see all of you this morning. We are having a beautiful rain that will brighten everything up. We also just had a great song service praising God and lifting up our hearts together in joyful praise. We are glad to see Wayne, Amber and Daxton back with us and they gave the church a card expressing their love and thanks for our support during Wayne’s injury and hospitalization. Jeff did a great job this morning teaching the adult class and you could tell that he did a lot of research and study. We are saddened that Mitch is sick and absent today.

I have a simple lesson today, but it needs to be proclaimed because there is so much false teaching in this world. The text in Romans 10: 5-13 was read and you will notice the last verse said, “For whoever calls on the name of the Lord shall be saved” (Romans 10:13). Now how many times have we seen on television, a preacher will stand up and say something like, “That is all you must do to be saved and have the promise of everlasting life.” The Bible does use that expression several times and we are going to look at them today and we will find out just exactly what the Bible means when it says, “For whoever calls on the name of the Lord shall be saved.” So many preachers are teaching that we are saved just by a profession of our faith. We admit the Bible does say “For whoever calls on the name of the Lord shall be saved” and that is in Romans 10:13. Thinking about that statement I pondered on the word “shall” which means future tense. It does not mean you are already saved. Pull up the dictionary and “shall” and “will” are future tense. Therefore, in calling on the name of the Lord, the phrase “shall be saved” involves future actions on the part of the sinner. Continue reading “WHOEVER CALLS ON THE NAME SHALL BE SAVED”

THE ONE CHURCH JESUS BUILT

By

Shelby G. Floyd

Jesus promised to build one church. Contrary to the popular notion that one may join the church of his choice, the Bible teaches that there is just one church. In fact, Jesus Christ never promised to build but one church. In the area of Caesarea Philippi, Jesus said, “And I also say to you that you are Peter (petros-Greek)), and on this rock (petra-Greek) I will build My church, and the gates of Hades shall not prevail against it” (Matthew 16:18 NKJV). Jesus did not say, “I will build my churches,” but he said, “I will build my church,” singular. Jesus built but one church, and he called it “my church.” The church was not built on Peter, a weak and wavering disciple, but on the rock like Gibraltar confession of faith that Peter made when affirmed “You are the Christ, the Son of the Living God” (Matthew 16:16 NIV). It is not the church of Peter, but it is the church of Christ (Romans 16:16). Continue reading “THE ONE CHURCH JESUS BUILT”

BIBLICAL CHURCH GOVERNMENT

By

Shelby G. Floyd

The church at Philippi was established on Paul’s second evangelistic journey in about 50 A D (Acts 15:41-18:22). He was very endeared to this congregation as they were to him. They contributed financial help to him several times while he was in prison at Rome. He wrote the letter to the Philippians from his prison cell in Rome. It is one of the four prison letters that he wrote while he was in custody for at least two years. In the very opening verses of this letter, the apostle Paul gave the pattern that is to govern each local congregation. Previously Jesus promised to build his church upon the confession that the apostle Peter made when he said, “You are the Christ, the Son of the living God” (Matthew 16:16). Then Jesus promised to build his church upon the rock of his divinity (Matthew 16:18). Christ Jesus rules over the church universal through his inspired word. The Bible does not sanction any kind of church government over the universal church except Christ himself! The universal church has only one head, and that is Jesus Christ. To the Ephesian church Paul established the headship of Christ over his church: “And He put all things under His feet, and gave Him to be head over all things to the church, which is His body, the fullness of Him who fills all in all” (Ephesians 1:22, 23 NKJV). Therefore we all must live and die with Christ Jesus as the head of the church. No man is head of the church Jesus purchased with his own blood. “For to me, to live is Christ, and to die is gain” (Philippians 1:21).

In the introduction to the letter to the Philippians we have the order of ecclesiastical government for each congregation of the universal church: “Paul and Timothy, bondservants of Jesus Christ, To all the saints in Christ Jesus who are in Philippi, with the bishops and deacons: Grace to you and peace from God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ” (Philippians 1:1,2 NKJV). In this text bishops (episkopois—Greek) translates to “overseers” and refers to the overseers of the local church (1 Timothy 3:2; Titus 1:7). In Paul’s speech to the “elders—presbuteros” of the local church at Ephesus the word is used interchangeably with the word bishops (episkopois–overseers): “Therefore take heed to yourselves and to all the flock, among which the Holy Spirit has made you overseers, to shepherd the church of God which He purchased with His own blood. 29 For I know this, that after my departure savage wolves will come in among you, not sparing the flock. 30 Also from among yourselves men will rise up, speaking perverse things, to draw away the disciples after themselves” (Acts 20:28-30 NKJV). Therefore the terms elder (older man) and overseer defined and explained what the responsibility was of those governing the local church. Their task was to make sure the plain word of God was taught and to chase the false teachers (wolves) away!

Early in the apostolic history of the New Testament church bishops-overseers or elders-presbuteros were established in every local congregation with Jesus Christ as the universal head of the church. For instance, near the end of Paul’s first evangelistic journey it is written, “So when they had appointed elders in every church, and prayed with fasting, they commended them to the Lord in whom they had believed” (Acts 14:23 NKJV). Therefore Paul and Barnabas set up the governance in each local congregation. Later Paul authorized the young evangelist Titus to also appoint elders in every church: “For this reason I left you in Crete, that you should set in order the things that are lacking, and appoint elders in every city as I commanded you—” (Titus 1:5).

THE SYNONYMS OF THE OVERSEERS OF THE LOCAL CHURCH

Now let us analyze each biblical term used to identify the group of men who oversee the local church (congregation), under the Headship of Jesus Christ who rules the church through the New Testament and the group of men described by the following words:

 

 

THE UNSCRIPTURAL TITLES USED BY RULERS OF SOME CHURCHES

 

 

THE BIBLICAL WARNING TO THE  OVERSEERS

The first major departure from the biblical church was in the government of the local congregation. In the New Testament teaching a body of overseers or elders was to govern the congregation according to the inspired instruction of Christ and the apostles. The apostles taught and practiced appointing two or more qualified men over each congregation (See Acts 14:23; Titus 1:5; and Acts 20:17, 28).

Jesus and Paul warned that false teachers would enter the congregations like wolves and destroy the churches: “Beware of false prophets, who come to you in sheep’s clothing, but inwardly they are ravenous wolves” (Jesus–Matthew 7:15). The apostle Paul gave the same warning to the elders/overseers of the Ephesian church: “Therefore take heed to yourselves and to all the flock, among which the Holy Spirit has made you overseers, to shepherd the church [a]of God which He purchased with His own blood. 29 For I know this, that after my departure savage wolves will come in among you, not sparing the flock. 30 Also from among yourselves men will rise up, speaking perverse things, to draw away the disciples after themselves. 31 Therefore watch, and remember that for three years I did not cease to warn everyone night and day with tears” (Acts 20:28-31). The leaders of the congregations did not take the warning seriously, and therefore over many years the government of the church was changed  from a body of men over a local congregation to one or more men in charge of all the universal church, wearing many unscriptural titles of governing prerogatives. Those titles are in the graph listed above.

BIBLICAL ELDERS/OVERSEERS ARE TO BE HONORED

In each congregation, the biblical overseers/elders are to be respected and held in the highest regard: For instance Paul wrote to the church at Thessalonica: “And we urge you, brethren, to recognize those who labor among you, and are over you in the Lord and admonish you, 13 and to esteem them very highly in love for their work’s sake. Be at peace among yourselves” (1 Thessalonians 5:12, 13). And then again Paul through the evangelist Timothy taught that the elders who both rule well over the congregation and also labor in preaching/teaching the word and doctrine, are to be worthy of double honor: “Let the elders who rule well be counted worthy of double honor, especially those who labor in the word and doctrine” (I Timothy 5:17). The spiritual and biblical qualifications for the overseers are listed in the word of God and are easy to understand (1 Timothy 3:1-7;Titus 1:5-9; 1 Peter 5:1-4). 

We hope more preachers will have the courage to study the New Testament, learn the truth on the government of the church, and then courageously battle to restore the Biblical practice of a plurality of qualified men over each congregation with Jesus Christ as the Head and Overruling Monarch of the church He purchased with his precious blood.

Copyright © 2022 Shelby G. Floyd, All Rights Reserved

*The biblical quotations are from The New King James translation

 

Shelby G. Floyd Minister, Heartland Church of Christ, 1693 West Main Street, Greenwood, Indiana 46142

Serious Bible Study

By

Shelby G. Floyd



The apostle Paul commanded his son in the gospel, Timothy, to : “Do your best to present yourself to God as one approved, a worker who has no need to be ashamed, rightly handling the word of truth” (2 Timothy 2:15 ESV). From his childhood Timothy had enjoyed superior advantages, for his grandmother, Lois, and mother, Eunice, had taught him the Holy Scriptures (2 Timothy 3:14-17). Paul had also imparted to Timothy a miraculous gift which he was told to stir up, or use (1 Timothy 4:14; 2 Timothy 1:6). Notwithstanding all of this, however, Timothy still needed to study the Bible, God’s word.

Some critics of the Bible are deriding the use of the word study in 2 Timothy 2: 15. They say this passage does not teach that we should read, meditate upon, and examine the Holy Scriptures. But is this criticism correct? The word from which study is translated carries with it the idea of making haste, exerting oneself, endeavoring and giving diligence, which is exactly the meaning of the English word study. When one studies the Bible, one should give diligence, exert oneself and endeavor to understand what the will of God is. Therefore, the English word study in this context is an exact representation of the original language.

This is not the only passage in the Bible which emphasizes the need for children of God to apply their minds to the study of God’s word. We are told that the Bereans “were more noble than those in Thessalonica, in that they received the word with all readiness of mind, and searched the scriptures daily, whether those things were so” (Acts 17:11). To fulfill the noble purpose for which man was created, we, like the Bereans, must search the scriptures daily. The word study, therefore, does not mean just to read the Bible but to thoroughly search the scriptures to understand the truth.

The Psalmist described the man who is blessed: “But his delight is in the law of the LORD, and on his law he meditates day and night” (Psalms 1:2). When we properly study the Bible, then, the meditations of our heart will be upon the scripture day and night.


One reason so many Christians fall short in studying the Bible is because it does require effort, diligence and exertion of our energies. The Sage, Solomon, said, “And further, by these, my son, be admonished: of making many books there is no end; and much study is a weariness of the flesh” (Ecclesiastes 12:12). After all these years there is still no end to the making of books, but the book that demands our utmost attention is the Bible, which is still the best seller; and we should count it a joy to have the privilege to ponder God’s word. And, like Job, we should esteem it more than our necessary food (Job 23:12).

Copyright © 2022 Shelby G. Floyd, All Rights Reserved

 

Shelby G. Floyd, Heartland Church of Christ, 1693 West Main Street, Greenwood, Indiana 46142

GLOBAL WARMING

By

Shelby G. Floyd

Good morning to all of you. We have had a great song service, prayer, and Bible reading. It is good to stand before you and present the word of God. Today we hear a lot about global warming! Whether it is true or false I do not know. But I know looking back when I was a child when we did not have air conditioning, there were many summers when it was so hot that my mom would make a pallet on the floor, and we would sleep there, and it would be like midnight before we could go to sleep since it was so hot. But we survived so maybe there was global warming back then. But there is one thing for sure that I do know, God has promised that there will be global warming and it is called the day of judgment and the destruction of the heavens and the earth by fire!

LONG AGO THE WORLD PERISHED BY FLOODED WATER

In the first place, I speak to you about the heavens and earth that existed long ago, when the earth was destroyed by water. There is so much evidence today that backs up the fact that there was a universal flood that interrupted time and history in the long ago. Peter wrote,
“Know this first of all, that in the last days mockers will come with their mocking, following after their own lusts, 4 and saying, “Where is the promise of His coming? For ever since the fathers fell asleep, all things continue just as they were from the beginning of creation.” 5 For when they maintain this, it escapes their notice that by the word of God the heavens existed long ago and the earth was formed out of water and by water, 6 through which the world at that time was destroyed by being flooded with water” (2 Peter 3:3-6 NASB). Continue reading “GLOBAL WARMING”

THE CHIEF CORNERSTONE

By

Shelby G. Floyd

It is so good to see all of you and we have almost all of our seats filled. I am glad to be able to stand before you today and speak on one of my favorite subjects. Just a few weeks ago we spent some time in 1 Peter 2:3-8 on the topic that I am speaking today. I love to preach on things that we have just studied because it is fresh on my mind and on the minds of those of you who are in our Bible class. And so my subject is The Chief Cornerstone. It is amazing how many times that phrase is found in Bible, both in the Old and New Testaments. The topic is taught in 1 Peter and in Paul’s letters, as well also by Jesus when He was on earth. And so let us zero in on this subject—The Chief Cornerstone!

On the overhead screen the founder of our country, George Washington is pictured when he laid the cornerstone of the US capitol building, September 18, 1793. You can see that he was dressed up in his Masonic uniform. Most of our Founding Fathers were Masons. It seems the Masons started in the Middle Ages. And they were kind of like when you work someplace, and you learn a trade, then later that trade is passed on to the next generation. So those Masons were the builders of big buildings and cathedrals. They had special knowledge and skills. Some even say that these skills had been passed on from the days of Solomon when God gave special skills to those workers who built the Temple in Jerusalem! I do not know if that is true. They became members of a Guild and passed that knowledge on to other generations. So George Washington laid the cornerstone of our U. S. Capital. Continue reading “THE CHIEF CORNERSTONE”

SERIOUS BIBLE STUDY

By

Shelby G. Floyd

The apostle Paul commanded his son in the gospel, Timothy, to : “Do your best to present yourself to God as one approved, a worker who has no need to be ashamed, rightly handling the word of truth” (2 Timothy 2:15 ESV). From his childhood Timothy had enjoyed superior advantages, for his grandmother, Lois, and mother, Eunice, had taught him the Holy Scriptures (2 Timothy 3:14-17). Paul had also imparted to Timothy a miraculous gift which he was told to stir up, or use (1 Timothy 4:14; 2 Timothy 1:6). Notwithstanding all of this, however, Timothy still needed to study the Bible, God’s word.

 

Continue reading “SERIOUS BIBLE STUDY”