January 1, 1992 Issue
by Don L. King

The world is in a state of real excitement now with the recent announcement from the famous basketball player that he is infected with the AIDS virus. The newspapers have daily articles, radio talk shows are rehashing it and; of course, the news on television is giving us more than we really want to know. Am I sorry for him, you may wonder? Of course, I feel pity for anyone who contracts a potentially deadly disease. However, this problem did not have to exist. It most certainly could have been avoided if the laws of God had meant anything to Mr. Johnson. The cry among most of the world now is for "safe sex." How sad. Paul said, "Flee fornication. Every sin that a man doeth is without the body; but he that committeth fornication sinneth against his own body." (1 Corinthians 6:18) The painfully obvious way for anyone to be risk free is to abstain from all manner of sexual misconduct. We have preached this for years! Recently, the Vice President of the U.S.A. said virtually the same thing and was mocked and ridiculed by many. What is the matter with the world? Why is that so difficult to understand? Perhaps it is because as Paul said: "There is no fear of God before their eyes." (Romans 3:18). One thing is for sure; the laws of nature are going to force people to clean up. It is just so sad that thousands upon thousands will die from sexually transmitted disease before the masses will turn from their ways. It is estimated the number of deaths may well quadruple in a short time because of aids. All along, the Word of God has said, "Flee fornication…" Pity.

Have you tried to get money to preach the gospel in mission fields lately? If you have written or called around, you doubtless have discovered it is not easy to do. Yes, we know times are difficult now; but I'm convinced our brethren are not broke. We have all heard the rumors of this or that church with many thousands of dollars in the treasury. Perhaps there may be some with a great amount, I don't know. However, most have enough to preach the gospel somewhere. I recall the case in Haggai chapter two (also Ezra chapter 4) concerning the rebuilding of the Temple in Jerusalem. Under Zerubbabel the Jews returned from Babylon to Jerusalem, their home city, to rebuild the temple which had been torn down by Nebuchadnezzar. They were eager to work at first but soon lost their zest for it. After all, the Samaritans were giving them trouble. It wasn't enjoyable anymore, and so they were content to simply let the work go undone. For approximately fifteen years, the temple lay in disarray while the people lived in "cieled" houses.

This word in Hebrew means covered or roofed. The temple was unfinished, but their own homes were well completed and apparently even luxurious. The most important things were undone. When Haggai rebuked them for their flagrant unconcern they said, "...The time is not come, the time that the Lord's house should be built." (Haggai 1:2) In other words, the time is not right. We are waiting for the right time.

Brethren, the time is right. Jesus said the fields "…are white already to harvest." (John 4:35) This is the first month of the new year. Let us resolve to do more this year than ever before. New doors are being opened in so many places today. Some of them, perhaps, in your own town or city. The money in our treasuries is undoubtedly enough to preach to all who will listen. We beg of you to be willing to use it for the primary purpose for which it is intended, the preaching of the gospel! Far better that we should delay refurbishing of our buildings (and I am not opposed to brethren meeting in decent buildings) to use the money to preach the gospel to those who are lost. I would a thousand times rather explain to Jesus why our building was a bit small, the pews unpadded, the parking lot unpaved, etc., etc., than to explain why we had decided against preaching to those who could have been saved if we had just spent the money to preach to them rather than using it for other things. Jesus Christ does not want our money when He returns. He desires to see those who are His and Heaven bound because we spent what we had to for their salvation. Let us be sure our priorities are where they need to be during 1992. May the Lord bless us in the year ahead and grant great progress wherever His people are to be found. Let us be true to the Book.

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