What about Women's Meetings?
I was concerned to learn that my home congregation now is having Women's Meetings while the Men are having their Business Meetings [no elders there]. The women are told to discuss what they want to have the men consider,or their ideas, etc., and send this information to them [the men] during the first 15 minutes. Isn't this headed down the slippery slope to apostasy?
This question is not completely clear. It could mean that there were no elders in the congregation, a conclusion supported by the expression “while the men are having their business meeting,” or it could mean that there were no elders in the meeting with the women. There is no Biblical reason why the elders, if any, or men of the congregation cannot ask the ladies to meet and to convey their thoughts to the men. Rest assured that if it is not done in a meeting of the ladies, it will be done at home by the women to their husbands, fathers, or brothers. Moreover, there may be widows who have no husband, father, or brother to whom they can address their thoughts and needs. The greatest wrong would be to assume that nothing can be learned from the ladies and that they should be ignored. The man who thinks he can learn nothing from a woman should have learned more at his mother’s knee. This does not mean nor does it require the women to take leadership roles in the oversight of the church. It does admit that wisdom will not die with the men.
The greatest concern expressed here is that such a meeting might be headed down the slippery slope to apostasy. That is a statement that can be made about almost any activity of the church. The only answer is that those who know the teaching of scripture will not permit that to happen. Neither should they permit the fear of some act that is not unscriptural to prevent the doing of a good thing. The late G.C. Brewer, a “preacher’s preacher” if there ever was one, was confronted with an objection to a proposed project stating that “we can’t do it that way because the __ denomination does it that way.” Brother Brewer responded, “Then we had better lock the doors to the building and start climbing in and out the windows because those folks use the doors.” “Nuff said”!
God's Plan of Salvation
You must hear the gospel and then understand and recognize that you are lost without Jesus Christ no matter who you are and no matter what your background is. The Bible tells us that “all have sinned, and come short of the glory of God.” (Romans 3:23) Before you can be saved, you must understand that you are lost and that the only way to be saved is by obedience to the gospel of Jesus Christ. (2 Thessalonians 1:8) Jesus said, “I am the way, the truth, and the life: no man cometh unto the Father, but by me.” (John 14:6) “Neither is there salvation in any other: for there is none other name under heaven given among men, whereby we must be saved.” (Acts 4:12)
You must believe and have faith in God because “without faith it is impossible to please him: for he that cometh to God must believe that he is, and that he is a rewarder of them that diligently seek him.” (Hebrews 11:6) But neither belief alone nor faith alone is sufficient to save. (James 2:19; James 2:24; Matthew 7:21)
You must repent of your sins. (Acts 3:19) But repentance alone is not enough. The so-called “Sinner’s Prayer” that you hear so much about today from denominational preachers does not appear anywhere in the Bible. Indeed, nowhere in the Bible was anyone ever told to pray the “Sinner’s Prayer” to be saved. By contrast, there are numerous examples showing that prayer alone does not save. Saul, for example, prayed following his meeting with Jesus on the road to Damascus (Acts 9:11), but Saul was still in his sins when Ananias met him three days later (Acts 22:16). Cornelius prayed to God always, and yet there was something else he needed to do to be saved (Acts 10:2, 6, 33, 48). If prayer alone did not save Saul or Cornelius, prayer alone will not save you. You must obey the gospel. (2 Thess. 1:8)
You must confess that Jesus Christ is the Son of God. (Romans 10:9-10) Note that you do NOT need to make Jesus “Lord of your life.” Why? Because Jesus is already Lord of your life whether or not you have obeyed his gospel. Indeed, we obey him, not to make him Lord, but because he already is Lord. (Acts 2:36) Also, no one in the Bible was ever told to just “accept Jesus as your personal savior.” We must confess that Jesus is the Son of God, but, as with faith and repentance, confession alone does not save. (Matthew 7:21)
Having believed, repented, and confessed that Jesus is the Son of God, you must be baptized for the remission of your sins. (Acts 2:38) It is at this point (and not before) that your sins are forgiven. (Acts 22:16) It is impossible to proclaim the gospel of Jesus Christ without teaching the absolute necessity of baptism for salvation. (Acts 8:35-36; Romans 6:3-4; 1 Peter 3:21) Anyone who responds to the question in Acts 2:37 with an answer that contradicts Acts 2:38 is NOT proclaiming the gospel of Jesus Christ!
Once you are saved, God adds you to his church and writes your name in the Book of Life. (Acts 2:47; Philippians 4:3) To continue in God’s grace, you must continue to serve God faithfully until death. Unless they remain faithful, those who are in God’s grace will fall from grace, and those whose names are in the Book of Life will have their names blotted out of that book. (Revelation 2:10; Revelation 3:5; Galatians 5:4)