What Are You Advertising?

A few years ago I was distributing a bulletin of Bible teaching similar to this one from house to house when I met a man who was curious as to what I was handing out.  He inquired, “What are you advertising?”  This was a logical question as we all have received flyers on our door, soliciting us to buy various products from pizza to replacement windows. Perhaps as you took this bulletin out of the envelope or received it in your inbox, you were disappointed that it wasn’t an advertisement for a free carnival, a free concert, or a free dinner (donation suggested).  But this bulletin is not about trying to get you either to “buy into” or to finance church by offering you some “free” worldly enjoyment.  It is about something far more important.

   If you listen to TV and radio preaching for very long, you might conclude that religion is all about the money.  Hardly a program ends without a solicitation for money to keep the program on the air and an offer of books and CDs that can be yours for a “donation”.  But, did you realize that the gospel of Christ was first preached for free! John records that preachers “went out for the sake of the Name (Jesus-A.J.), accepting nothing from the Gentiles” (3 John 7). 

   Unfortunately, many “Christians”, even in N.T. times, were like the churches and preachers of today, marketing the Word of God for financial gain.  Paul said that he and his fellow preaching companions were “not like many, peddling the Word of God, but as from sincerity, but as from God, we speak in Christ in the sight of God” (2 Cor 2:17).  According to Vine’s Expository Dictionary, the Greek word the NASV translates “peddling”, kapeleuo, “primarily signifies to be a retailer, to peddle, to hucksterize, hence to get base gain by dealing in anything, and, so, more generally, to do anything for sordid personal advantage.”

   This bulletin has been produced by a member of the Woodland Hills church of Christ in all sincerity, with no interest in anything you might have.  It is free of charge, as are our sermon CDs, tracts, and Bible correspondence courses. 

   We hope that you will visit our worship services and Bible classes.  You will find that these meetings also are free of charge.  We do not solicit funds from visitors.  The members of the church pay for all that we do from a Sunday collection, just like the N.T. congregations did (1 Cor 16:1-2). 

   We do not put out Sounding Forth the Word for our advantage, but yours.  We want to impart to you the gospel, and, if you would let us, our very selves, for your spiritual profit (1 Thess. 2:8).  Our intention is the same as Paul’s, who told the church at Corinth, “We do not preach ourselves, but Christ Jesus as Lord; and ourselves as your bond-servants for Jesus’ sake” (2 Cor 4:5).

   Please read the rest of the bulletin to see why what we are presenting to you is far more valuable to you than any worldly product or enjoyment.

"Advertising" Jesus

As we have said, we are not among the many who are selling Jesus to make a profit for themselves.  However, there is a definition of “advertise” that describes very well the purpose of Sounding Forth the Word and the purpose of all of our ongoing evangelistic efforts.  The American Heritage Dictionary gives as their second definition of “advertise”, “to make known, to call attention to.”  In this way, we do “advertise” Jesus, calling your attention to the One who was first “advertised” so long ago.

   When Jesus came to earth, an angel gave the first “advertisement”, “I bring you good news of great joy which will be for all the people; for today in the city of David there has been born for you a Savior, who is Christ the Lord” (Lk 2:10-11).

   John the Baptist, who prepared his disciples for Jesus’ coming, “advertised” when the Savior arrived on the scene, “Behold, the Lamb of God who takes away the sin of the world” (Jn 1:29).

   Peter, unmoved by being arrested for “advertising” Jesus, said of Him, “And there is salvation in no one else, for there is no other name under heaven that has been given among men by which we must be saved” (Acts 4:12).

   Paul “advertised” Jesus to his fellow Jews, “He whom God raised did not undergo decay.  Therefore, let it be made known to you, brethren, that through Him forgiveness of sins is proclaimed to you.” He supported his “advertisement” with proof from Old Testament prophecy (Acts 13:32-38).

John the apostle, gave this eyewitness “advertisement” to all who never had the opportunity to walk the earth with Jesus, “What was from the beginning, what we have heard, what we have seen with our eyes, what we have looked at and touched with our hands, concerning the Word of life and the life was manifested, and we have seen and testify and proclaim to you the eternal life, which was with the Father and was manifested to us- what we have seen and heard we proclaim to you also, so that you too may have fellowship with us; and indeed our fellowship is with the Father, and with His Son Jesus Christ” (1 Jn 1:1-3).

   The most serious problem that all men face is sin.  Sin destroys our relationship with God, now and forever.  Sin will cause us to face God’s wrath at the Judgment Day and be sentenced to eternal separation from Him in hell.

   But, there is good news of salvation that we must “advertise”!  Because of Jesus’ sacrifice on the cross, our sins can be forgiven; we can have fellowship with God, both now and forever.  We can have the joy and peace that come from a clean conscience and the guidance of a Good Shepherd, as well as the hope of heaven with God and Jesus beyond the grave.

   Our “advertisement” is not to sell you something, but to tell you something- about what God is willing to give you, if you meet His conditions of forgiveness.  Let us know if we can tell you more.  We would love to have a Bible study with you- in person, by mail, or online.  Please contact us NOW.

Qualifying for Salvation

   Several years ago, while I was living in Kentucky, I bought a cordless phone.  The reason that I bought that particular phone was because of the $5 rebate that came with it.  The rebate made the phone cheaper than the other phones that were comparable to it.

   I placed the rebate claim form on my desk where it soon found itself buried and lost.  One day, when I was cleaning my desk, I found it and I decided that I would mail it in.  As I picked up the claim form, I noticed written in bold capital letters- “IMPORTANT- TO QUALIFY FOR THIS REBATE YOU MUST…” so I read the conditions.  I needed my original sales receipt.  Amazingly, I found it.  The receipt and the claim form were still together on my desk.  But, I discovered that I had to have the UPC from the box in order to get the rebate.  I figured that the box had been thrown away long ago and so I stopped preparing the claim form.

   Later, to my surprise, I found the box.  I cut out the UPC.  I laid it with the claim form and my receipt on my desk.  “I’ll get it out later,” I said to myself, “I have until the end of April to get it in.”  Once again the desk swallowed my paperwork.  I found it again on April 28th (a Friday) and, thinking it was not too late, I started to prepare it.  But, upon close examination, I found that all claims must be received by April 30th (a Sunday).  The form had to reach Michigan by the deadline and so I was sunk.  Instead of a rebate, all I had left was an illustration.

   We can understand that my rebate claim would have been rejected without the original sales receipt and the UPC, or if it

had been received after April 30th.  All conditions of an offer must be met in order to receive what is promised.  The good news that was “advertised” long ago and that we continue to make known is that God has offered man salvation through the blood of His Son Jesus (Col 1:19-22).  This offer is conditional, however, and, it is unreasonable to believe that God will give us the salvation that He has promised if we have not qualified for it by meeting all of His terms.

   Many go through life ignorant of what God’s conditions are because they have not read the terms, they have misread them, or they have been deceived about them.  God lays down these conditions in order to be saved from sin (please read them from God’s Word itself):

1.  Believe that Jesus is the Christ, the Son 

     of God (Jn 8:24; 20:30-31)


2.  Confess your belief in Jesus with your  

     mouth (Rom 10:9-10; 1 Tim 6:12-13)


3.  Repent of your sins (Lk 13:3; Acts 3:19)


4.  Be baptized (immersed) in water to wash

     away your sins (Acts 22:16; 1 Pet 3:21) 


   Which of these conditions can be left out and salvation still be received?  None of them!  Many would say baptism.  But it is no more possible to be saved without baptism than it is to receive a rebate without a UPC if one is required. Have you met God’s terms and qualified for salvation?  His offer will expire at your death or at His return (Heb 9:27; 2 Thess 1:7-9).  If you have not met God’s terms, I urge you to qualify NOW, before it is eternally too late!