Published by Andy Neckar
P.O. Box J Hico, TX 76457
Vol. 6, Number 3, May-June. 2000
Editor-Andy Neckar
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Inside This Newsletter

1. Choosing A Church
2. News Watch
3. CNV Notes


"Choosing a Church" or "Gathered Together in Christ's Name"?
[A letter I (editor) received from J.B. Sparks. A man of God and Elder at Mount Washington Bible Chapel, Mount Washington Kentucky. Jamesbsparks@aol.com]

Read this letter and glorify God for the discernment He gives to His children

The word "church" is only mentioned in two places in the Gospels, in Matt. 16 where it speaks of the universal church, "I will build my church and the gates of Hell shall not prevail against it, and the other one in Matt. 18, where it speaks of the local church concerning church discipline. In verse 20, it then says, "For where two or three are gathered together in my name, there am I in the midst of them."

Christ is speaking about both of these uses of the church, local and universal, in the future tense, ("I WILL build my church"). But, notice in chapter 18:20, "where two or three are gathered together in my name, there am I in the midst of them." What is this saying? Notice it says "where two or three ARE GATHERED TOGETHER in my name. "It sounds as if someone else is doing the gathering. It did not say, "Where two or three gather," but, "Where two or three ARE GATHERED TOGETHER". You see, the Lord is the one doing the gathering. A true Christian should not say, "I believe I will gather with this church or that church," as if it were his decision. No, we don't do the gathering. The Lord desires to gather us, unto the Name of the Lord Jesus Christ. It is a power outside of ourselves that draws us unto the "gathering together" unto the Name. We hear the calling to "gather unto His Name" and we respond to it, just like we heard the calling of salvation and we responded to it.

Listen to God's calling concerning fellowship with His Son. "God [is] faithful, BY WHOM YE WERE CALLED UNTO THE FELLOWSHIP Of his Son Jesus Christ our Lord." 1 Cor 1:9.

Where is the "fellowship of his son". Yes, we can have individual fellowship with His Son. But, there is also a "calling out" of a group of Christians for this fellowship also. That is what the word "church" or "ekklesia" means, a "calling out" or to "assemble" unto the Lord. So, where do we find this calling "unto the fellowship of His Son?" By responding to the calling of being "gathered together" unto His Name.

Thus, we are not the ones to "gather" or looking to gather, but being lead to where He wants to gather us, being "gathered together" unto the name of His Son. So, Jesus said, "Where two or three ARE GATHERED TOGETHER in my Name, there will I be in the midst of them."

Secondly, consider the praise, "gathered together in my Name". Notice it says "in MY Name". In the Name of Jesus. Yes, but every church will tell you that they gather in "Jesus Name". So, what does it mean that God desires to gather us together unto His Son's Name?

It means that it is only in and by His Name. That is the reason we are gathered there. There is more to "Jesus Name", than just using His name. In the Bible, when someone asked, "by what name do you do this", it meant by what authority do you do this?

If a man came to your house and said, "I am John Doe, I want to see your checkbook," you would say to buzz off. But, if he said, "I am John Doe from the IRS." Then you welcome him it. Why? Because of the authority of that name, IRS. The name John Doe, has no authority, but the name "Internal Revenue Service" does. Same with the Name of our Lord Jesus Christ. When we say we are meeting in Jesus Name, that goes far beyond what most realize. It means we are meeting under His authority. And the only way we do that is by His Word. So, do all churches meet in Jesus Name? No, because they are not willing to follow or obey His Word in how they meet, function, or practice. So, they are not meeting in Jesus Name. Yes, they use His name, but do not meet in His name or even "unto" His Name. Truth of the matter, they meet unto several other names, you know, denominational man made names. God has not gathered His saints in any of those names, although there may be some saints in them. They may choose to gothere, but God is not "gathering" them or drawing them there. That is why many true Christians have so many questions when sitting in the pew of a denominational church. I certainly did. The whole time I was there. But God never led me there. For one reason or another, I chose to go there. No, God is only leading saved people unto the Name of His Son, Jesus Christ. If the denominations were truly being gathered unto His Name, then they would be meeting in the authority of His Name and be open to obey His Word.

Also consider when we "are gathered together" unto His Name, we are being gathered there because "He is doing the gathering". He is doing the "drawing". I don't go to the assembly of saints where I go because I like the people there, or because I like the building, or because it is convenient and close to where I live, or because I like the programs, or anything else. I go there because I am being "drawn" there by a power outside of myself. It is the calling of God, and I respond to that calling, "called unto the fellowship of His Son". "God [is] faithful, BY WHOM YE WERE CALLED UNTO THE FELLOWSHIP Of his Son Jesus Christ our Lord." 1Cor 1:9. I am not called to the building, nor to the people, nor to the programs, but I am called unto His Son. When I got saved, I answered the call unto His Son for salvation, and when I follow His Word for assembling with other Christians, I answer His calling "unto the fellowship of His Son"

The building, the distance to the building, the programs, the people, have absolutely nothing to do with it. I hear God's calling, and I submit to that calling, the calling unto the fellowship of His Son.

That is all we have to offer at the meeting here, the fellowship of His Son, the Lord Jesus Christ. That is all we have, His NAME. Our meeting place is simple. No steeple, no pews, no stain glass windows. Very plain. We have no programs to offer. No entertainment. No amusement. Just the NAME. That is all we have to offer, because that is all we are being gathered together unto by God. The NAME. Not our name, because we don't have one. But, His Name. The Name of the Lord Jesus Christ. When you hear someone say they are visiting around trying to find the right church, then I wonder, "what are you being drawn to?" What are you looking for? A nice church building? Nice, friendly people? Programs? A powerful preacher who can really preach? Something that is close and convenient to drive to? When I hear them say they are searching for God's will, then I wonder. What are you looking for? God's will is simple. Submit to His drawing or being called "unto the Name" and unto the "fellowship of His Son." That's it. Ask anyone who attends a denominational church why they choose to go there and they will say they "choose" to go there because of.....and list several reasons why, but you won't hear that they are going there because God has drawn them there because of the Name of Jesus Christ and unto the "fellowship of His Son."

I hear some say to us, "well, you don't have any programs to offer the young people, so we can't come there." (And that is good, because I realize that God is not drawing them and they wouldn't be coming for the right reason anyway). Well, concerning our lack of programs that we have to offer, last Wednesday night, some of our young boys, ages 16-20 often pray out loud in prayer meetings which is open for any of the brethren to pray. Often one of them will pray and asks the Lord's blessings on the bread or the cup during the breaking of bread. Do we ask them to pray? No. The Lord does, and they respond. We see spiritual growth in them, even though we don't have programs or classes of their own age to offer them. The word "assembly" means that we have been "assembled" together "in His Name. When we break it all up and send everyone off to their own classes, how is that an "assembly?" The word "ekklesia" means "assembly". Yes, they learn much from watching the older saints serve and worship the Lord, and then the Lord leads them to do the same.

People today look for a church like they are going shopping. Trying to find what satisfies them. Well, what are they looking for? Something that appeals to them. Some look for entertainment. Some amusement. Some look for potential friends and good social activities. Some will be impressed by the appearance of the building, by the music, by the programs offered. This is why so many go out shopping for a church.

But, praise God, He is still "gathering together" saints unto the Name of the Lord Jesus.

John 12:9 Much people of the Jews therefore knew that he was there: and they came NOT FOR JESUS' SAKE ONLY, but that they might see Lazarus also, whom he had raised from the dead."

Notice this crowd didn't come just to see Jesus, but to see Lazarus. They wanted to see a miracle. Same thing today. People want to hear a powerful preacher or see something going on. They want to see some excitement.

John 6:26 "Jesus answered them and said, Verily, verily, I say unto you, Ye seek me, not because ye saw the miracles, but because ye did eat of the loaves, and were filled."

Why were they seeking the Lord? Many followed because of the miracles, but here was a crowd that followed because of what they could get out of it.

John 6:65 And he said, Therefore said I unto you, that no man can come unto me, except it were given unto him of my Father. 66 From that [time] many of his disciples went back, and walked no more with him. 67 Then said Jesus unto the twelve, Will ye also go away? 68 Then Simon Peter answered him, Lord, to whom shall we go? thou hast the words of eternal life . 69 And we believe and are sure that thou art that Christ, the Son of the living God.

Notice, it says, " that no man can come unto me, except it were given unto him of my Father." (I know this refers to individual salvation. But, I believe it also applies to being called unto the fellowship of His Son and being "gathered together" in my Name". Notice, "many of his disciples (followers, outward professors) went back, and walked no more with him." Why? They didn't think He had anything to offer them that they wanted. Notice, when He asked Peter, "Will ye also go away?" Peter said, " Lord, to whom shall we go? thou hast the words of eternal life ."

When God looks down on Hico, He sees all kinds of people going to different churches under their own power being drawn by amusement, entertainment, programs, preachers, people, buildings, tradition, and so on. But, he sees one little gathering that has one drawing power. The Lord Jesus Christ. Everything about this little group is unto His Name and by His Name. By His divine authority. By the Word of God. Following His plan. Following His Pattern. Amen.

PS. "Choosing a Church" or "Being Gathered unto the Name of the Lord Jesus Christ?" Though many are choosing the church of their choice, I see now that it should not be by Choice, nor by Convenience, but, by Conviction. Not because of the Congregation, nor a Creed, nor the Clergy, nor the Choir, But, because of Christ. A power outside of myself Calls me and Convicts me to be "gathered together" with Christians who are "Called unto the fellowship of His Son." What is this power, this drawing, or this calling? The convicting power of the Holy Spirit through the Holy Scriptures. Yes, even though there is nothing wrong with Christian entertainment, amusements, and social gatherings, they should most certainly should be done outside of the local church, because in the Scriptures, everything about the local New Testament assembly is spiritual and centers around the Lord Jesus Christ
-Jim Sparks
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NEWS WATCH

RELIGIOUSLY ACTIVE PEOPLE LIVE LONGER?
(Detroit News- 6/9/2000)
An American Psychological Association journal reports that people who regularly attend religious worship services definitely live longer judging from an analysis of 42 scientific studies involving 125,826 persons.

[Editor] The report says that religiously active people generally take better care of their bodies, but as a religious Roman Catholic, I sure didn't. My physical condition was not in great shape because of indulging in a bit of alcohol every chance I got, and my spiritual condition was in a "hell of a shape" because the local physician (priest) was up to no good. The national physician, (Pope) whom I later came to know as the "Great Imposter", had the local physician prescribe "folklore remedies" to cure my ailments.

I got into AA and cured some of my physical ailments but my spiritual condition continued to deteriorate until the middle of 1991. At that time I sought out the "Great Physician" and He promptly gave me a "Blood Bath" in His Own Blood and cleaned me up big time. Hey-now I'm gonna live a "lot longer" that ANY of these spiritual folks, ain't I. Yep, sure am. PRAISE GOD and His Son Jesus the Christ. AMEN
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BAPTISTS' DRIVING HOMO'S TO DESPERATE ACTS
(Excerpted and adapted from the June 12, 2000, Fort Worth Star Telegram.)

Southern Baptists drive young gays and lesbians to desperate acts because of their harsh stands against homosexuality said Mel White, a national gay rights leader. He plans to lead a civil disobedience demonstration at the Southern Baptist Convention. Baptists have previously approved resolutions calling homosexuality "an abomination," but, for the first time, they plan to condemn it as immoral in the denomination's statement of faith, which is supposed to reflect general beliefs among Southern Baptists. "The church has become the enemy of God's gay children," said White, a former ghostwriter for the Rev. Jerry Falwell and other evangelicals and who now leads Soulforce, a gay rights group based in Laguna Beach, Calif.

"You should read the letters I've gotten from young gays" who later committed suicide, he said.

[Editor] These unrepentant homo's are rushing toward the "second death". They may think that rejection of the church is tough, but wait until they face the rejection of the "Founder" of the CHURCH

The Rev. Jo Crisco, pastor of the predominantly gay Trinity Metropolitan Community Church in Arlington, said in an interview that she grew up in a Southern Baptist church and had terrible feelings of guilt because of her attraction to women. "I was saved when I was 11 years old in a Baptist church," Crisco said. "Baptists teach the doctrine of once saved always saved, and I believe that theology, too. I feel like I'm still a Christian." [CNV Editor] The doctrine of once "professing" to be saved, always "professing" to be saved is deadly. These folks may "feel" like they are saved,

Prov 14:12 There is a way which seemeth right unto a man, but the end thereof are the ways of death.

[Editor] but they must "read the instructions" before making any decisions.

2 Tim 2:15 Study to shew thyself approved unto God, a workman that needeth not to be ashamed, rightly dividing the word of truth.

Crisco said her church, and other gay congregations, spend their time giving a helping hand to people who have been rejected by other churches. "Every time the Southern Baptists come up with another statement against gays and lesbians, I always get a lot of new members," Crisco said. "It's a painful way to see your church grow." Condemnation of gays "can destroy families," she said. "It can destroy churches, it gives churches ammunition for withdrawing fellowship from members and ousting them."

[Editor] Condemnation of "sodomites" can "purify" churches. The Devil is telling his children, "come out of her, my people, lest you partake of her righteousness". (opposite of Rev 18:4) How 'bout that?

Southern Baptist Convention? I give credit where credit is due.
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LIKE MOTHER--LIKE DAUGHTER. (Roman Catholic mother-Episcopal daughter.)
Religion News Service reports on a North Carolina man excommunicated for Anti-Sodomite Comments Episcopal parish in Biltmore, N.C., has told him that unless he can speak nicely, he is not welcome at the church.

Lewis Green, who has been publishing "harmful" statements against gays and lesbians in his own independent newsletter, was banned from the Cathedral of All Souls and will be prohibited from receiving communion until he tones down the rhetoric, according to the Associated Press.

The Very Rev. Todd Donatelli, dean of the cathedral, excommunicated Green.

Donatelli also warned that if Green comes on the church property and refuses to leave, he will be charged with trespassing and a restraining order will be issued.

Green, 68, said he will not back down. He cast the issue as a battle of freedom of speech.

"It will be a cold day in hell before I apologize," Green said. "I don't look at this as a church; it's a liberal Democrat precinct."

Green has repeatedly criticized the church's growing acceptance of gays and lesbians and used his own newsletter, The Independent Torch, to criticize church leaders.

[Editor] Just like the Roman Catholic Church, excommunicating people for taking a righteous stand. I pray that this man take advantage of the excommunication and search out a "sound" church. Could be that he was "called out of her" (Rev 18:4) and refused, so God may have "threw him out". Possible?
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Please read the "last paragraph" of this article.

Can Music Copy Protection Succeed?
By Tom Merritt
[http://www.zdnet.com/zdtv/screensavers/interact/story/0,3656,2577330,00.html]

EE Times reports that audio engineers and the National Association of Recording Merchandisers (NARM) are concerned about SDMI.

SDMI is a technology that hopes to prevent piracy of online music. What concerns the engineers is the watermark used to enable the protection. They say it degrades the quality of the music.

Merchandisers fear that SDMI's restrictions will discourage online music purchases.

It's the same problem VCR makers had when videotapes came out. Remember copy-protected videotapes? They died out when manufacturers realized they lost more money trying to peddle the rigged tapes than they ever did from piraters.

Don't get me wrong. Piracy is wrong. But the fact of the matter is the recording industry often does more harm than good when it overreacts to the horrible threat of piracy. SDMI is an example of this.

They have little to worry about. Sales are rising. MP3s have helped expose people to music they might not otherwise have heard. That means they may buy it too.

Someday the Recording Industry Association of America will take a lesson from the Catholic church. You don't ban the pagan religions, you assimilate them. Co-opt the pirates and you'll have much more success than battling them.

[Editor] Like my son Richard commented when he forwarded this message to me. " Funny how even computer page writers know what's going on in the Catholic Church but Catholics don't". What can I say? Got any idea? Truth can be found in strange places.
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SOMETHING FOR CHRISTIANS TO CRY ABOUT
Billy Graham's first movie to reach out specifically to black audiences has been a hit. "Something to Sing About", was filmed in an urban setting and features hip hop gospel star Kirk Franklin. During an intermission, Graham's son Franklin offers a brief Christian message

Thousands of people called a telephone number that flashed on the screen, and 40 percent made a first-time decision to become a Christian.

[Editor] All these people becoming Christians, all over the world. Something don't add up here. How was Jesus on His math? Was He in need of schooling?

He said MANY are called, but FEW are chosen. He talks about a REMNANT. Forty percent is a few? This is a remnant? Read the numbers of "decisions to become a Christian" reported from the various "crusades" held by "anybody" from "anywhere" in the world.

Folks--ONE MORE TIME. People don't "make decisions" to become a Christian. The Holy Spirit of God decides this, subject to the TWO IMPORTANT occurrences.

ONE- Repentance toward God, and TWO-Faith toward the Lord Jesus Christ.

Acts 20:20-21 And how I kept back nothing that was profitable unto you, but have shewed you, and have taught you publickly, and from house to house, Testifying both to the Jews, and also to the Greeks, repentance toward God, and faith toward our Lord Jesus Christ.

Folks-these are not ministers of God. They "hold back" what will be profitable to the listener. The "big guy" hold this back "publicly" and the "little gut" hold it back from "house to house".

FOLKS--this is serious stuff here. THESE PEOPLE ARE NOT PREACHING THE GOSPEL OF SALVATION.

Ever wonder why Jesus said, "They shall put you out of the synagogues: yea, the time cometh, that whosoever killeth you will think that he doeth God service". (John 16:2)

The LOST will think that they are SAVED and that the SAVED are LOST.

Tolerance is being preached in the religious and secular realm, and this word is being incorporated into the laws of almost every country on this planet. It will be THIS word, INTOLERANCE, which will be the death of us Christians. I know. Do you?
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THE LORD'S SUPPER SERVICE
[An editorial]

Most all churches hold a short Lord's Supper Service as an "aftermath" or conclusion of the "more popular" services. This will be at the end of the sermon as delivered by one person from the pulpit.. There are many, as many as attended the pulpit sermon, that partake of the "cracker" and "grape juice", because to leave beforehand would not be "religiously correct", and would "look bad" on the ones leaving.

LOOK--the churches exclaim, how many partook of the Lord's Supper last Sunday. MY--what a pious bunch we have here.

BUT-- let the Lord's Supper Service "begin" the services and you will see just how dedicated the people are to the "remembrance" of our Lord, as He commanded. THIS service will, in many cases, separate the "possessors " from the "professors". If held "first" and "foremost" this service will separate the "talkers" from the "doers"
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ANALOGY OF THE AVERAGE SUNDAY SCHOOL
A Sunday School teacher challenged her children to take some time on Sunday afternoon to write a letter to God. They were to bring their letter back the following Sunday. One little boy wrote, "Dear God, We had a good time at church today. Wish you could have been there."
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LETTER TO THE EDITOR OF THE HICO NEWS REVIEW

Dear Editor

Well, the Christian folks in this community that was relying on, and putting their hopes in the Supreme Court of this country concerning student led prayer at extra circular activities have had their hopes dashed again. Wanna know why? "Cause they forget just Whom they are to place their hope in.

In fact, they forget a lot about what is written, yea, commanded in the Holy Bible. Wonder why? Could it be that the Bible is used mainly as a "status symbol" to be "seen" rather that "studied"? NO? Well, something's wrong here. YOU tell ME.

There is NO ONE and NO COURT gonna shut me up. NO WAY. No-no-no-never. I'm gonna earnestly contend for the faith ONCE delivered to the saints in the church, in the home, and in the PUBLIC ARENA

In 1991 in Cresson Texas, I got married to Jesus the Christ. I am His bride. I am in subjection to my spouse. I promised to "take" Christ for "better or for worse", until death do we meet. I am not gonna "publicly" divorce Him because some "unconstitutional court" orders this course of action.

Hico, I state ONE MORE TIME. "I ought to obey God rather than man". (Acts 5:27-29)
-Andy Neckar
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SHOW & TELL
[Submitted by my daughter in-law, Betty Neckar, as received by "Alt.Humor"]

While working on a lesson in world religions, a kindergarten teacher asked her students to bring something related to their family's faith to class.

At the appropriate time she asked the students to come forward and share with the rest of the students.

The first child said, "I am Muslim and this is my prayer rug."

The second child said, "I am Jewish and this is my Star of David."

The third child said, "I am Catholic and this is my rosary."

The final child said, "I am Southern Baptist and this is my casserole dish."
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CNV NOTES

You notice the newsletter coming only every other month here lately, and the reason for this is that the work of Community Bible Chapel here in my home takes up more time than I though. I must make weekly Bible studies and weekly sermons for the small assemble. But whether it be 500 or 5 in the assembly, it still takes the same amount of time on the Bible studies and sermons and I do not have any help.

Don't waste the Lord's money. Please let me hear from you if you still want this newsletter.

I pray that all is well with you and that this newsletter helps to keep you informed of the apostasy of these last days.

Stand firm. Keep the faith. Be a light unto Jesus Christ. Study God's Word. Walk after the Spirit, and if you are trying to do these things, "keep on, keeping on".

We Must Earnestly Contend For The Faith-Jude 1:3

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