Friday, July 25, 2008

Hardeman Tabernacle Sermons, Vol. 5, N. B. Hardeman

Hardeman Tabernacle Sermons, Vol. 5, N. B. Hardeman

The fifth and final Hardeman Tabernacle Gospel Meeting was November 1-8, 1942. It was delivered at the War Memorial Building and Central Church of Christ. The Ryman Auditorium was not used for this meeting for two reasons. The first was the focus on internal brotherhood lessons. The second was the lean years of WWII had made it less affordable. H. Leo Boles suggested this series of meetings be conducted. Brother Hardeman also preached lessons daily on WLAC during this meeting at the Central Church of Christ facility. The meeting was well supported both financially and in attendance by area churches. Plus, having the additional lessons broadcasted allowed for many others to hear the preaching of N. B. Hardeman. Lessons delivered in the War Memorial Building and in the Central Church of Christ building are both included in the book. Some suggest that this last book of sermons is the best of the five; however, I cannot see any one of these books being superior to any of the others.

The following is a list of topics from this volume of sermons:

  • Is the Bible True?

  • Apostasy

  • The Identity of the Church

  • Paul’s Charge to Timothy

  • The Mission and Work of the Church

  • The Commission as Given by Mark

  • The Church

  • The Commission as Given by Matthew

  • Christianity—A New Religion; Fellowship

  • Can a Man Be Saved Outside the Church?

  • I Am Debtor

  • Aims and Purposes of the Restoration Movement

  • The Church—Its Establishment, Its History, and Its Falling Away

  • Church Organization

  • The All Sufficiency of the Scriptures

  • Lecture on European Countries

  • Lecture on Italy and Egypt

  • Lecture on Palestine
In brother Hardeman’s sermon “The All Sufficiency of the Scriptures,” he asks a question that all people should ask when they seek to join a church which has a creed, confession of faith, articles of faith, et. al.:

If your creed contains more than this Bible, won’t you admit that it might contain too much? Let me reverse it. If the creed you have adopted, and to which you have sworn allegiance, contains less than the Bible, won’t you admit that it might contain too little?
If, therefore, any creed adopted by any organization contains neither more nor less than does the Bible, then it is exactly like God’s book, and, since we have no need of two precisely alike, I am urging that you leave off that which is of human origin and simply take the Bible as your sole creed.
People misunderstand the church of Christ many times. They ask: “Don’t you folks have a creed?” We answer: “Yes.” “Don’t you have a discipline?” “Sure.” “Have you not a confession of faith?” “Certainly so.” They next ask to see it and we gladly hand them the New Testament. To it I have subscribed one hundred percent. I have pledged myself to be nothing, to accept nothing, nor do nothing other than what my creed has authorized. (Pages 136-137).

Preaching on the all sufficiency of the Scriptures and the restoration plea will generate both heat and light. Heat will be generated by those who become angry by light of the irrefutable logic of the restoration plea and the all-sufficient scriptures. Hopefully those who may become angry at first will be challenged to think more seriously and critically on these vital matters. Such a light will guide them along the straight and narrow way. While we must be kind hearted to those who are lost, we must expose the creeds of men without mercy. We must do so in such a way to minimize the possibility of hurting others who consider an attack on a creed as an attack on them (or their family). But the creeds of men must be laid bare by the all-sufficient word of God.

As stated in prior reviews, the Gospel Advocate has reprinted the Hardeman Tabernacle Sermons in paperback and these are currently available. I recommend the entire set be purchased for the church library as well as your personal library. One of my favorite stories I heard as a student at Freed-Hardeman University was of a young student who had memorized a bit too much of one of N. B. Hardeman’s sermons to preach at an area congregation. N. B. Hardeman trained several young men to preach the gospel. Brother Hardeman was so esteemed that his students reflected the impact of his instruction to the point that his preaching students were affectionately referred to as the “Hardeman Boys”. Another one of the “Hardeman Boys”, Hugo McCord, relates the story:

As the days passed, I became more and more indebted to FHC. From N. B. Hardeman I learned that preaching should be plain and simple. In my first gospel meeting (at Holland, Missouri, three Sundays, June 15-30, 1930), I virtually recited from memory brother Hardernan’s sermons in Volume I of his Tabernacle Sermons. I trust I did not say in one of them, that “we are thankful tonight to have in the balcony a company of the Nashville firemen.” (Hugo McCord, “Sixty-five Years as a Preacher,” Spiritual Sword, January 1995, pp. 3-4)

If you know of a young man looking to prepare a lesson, refer him to these sermons. If these were profitable to Hugo McCord in learning to preach, they certainly will be profitable by all.

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