1, 1998 Issue
by Garland T. Smith
Hebrews 2:1: "We ought to give the more earnest heed to the things which we have heard, lest at any time we should let them slip (leak out). "Webster defines earnest: 1. Characterized by, or proceeding from, a serious state of mind. 2. Important, not trivial. Syn. Earnest: Serious, Sober, Grave, Solemn.
Colossians 3:17: "Whatsoever ye do in word or deed, do all in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God and the Father by him. "Doing all in word or deed by the authority of Jesus causes us to be separate from the things of this world.
Romans 12:2, "Be not conformed (fashioned like) to this world: but be ye transformed." James 4:4, "Know ye not that the friendship of the world is enmity with God? whosoever therefore will be a friend of the world is the enemy of God."
There are many "church-goers" who act like, talk like, dress like, and go to the same places that the world goes to. I was talking with one about this and they said, "It's just the way of life!" But I beg your pardon; it is the way of eternal death. It is like a story I heard that a man had a parrot and he carried it to church with him all the time. So one day he carried it with him to the bar and he looked around a few times, then he said, "Same crowd, same crowd." So it can be said of a lot of "church-goers" of going to the same places and doing the same things that the world is doing.
I John 2:15-16: "Love not the world, neither the things that are in the world. If any man love the world, the love of the Father is not in him. For all that is in the world, the lust of the flesh, and the lust of the eyes, and the pride of life, is not of the Father, but is of the world." Every sin that we commit comes under one of the three.
Galatians 5:19-21 gives a list of seventeen things and ends with such like or syn., and tells us they that do such things shall not inherit the kingdom of God. There is one thing in these I want to make mention of that you do not hear much said about, and that is "emulations" (notice it is in the plural). Webster defines "emulation": ambition or endeavor to equal or excel (another); rivalry, syn. see competition, (check the word "rival" and it gives more to be understood). Webster defines "competition": rivalry, a contest between rivals; a match.
To fully give what is being brought in the church today by some, some time ago I went to see a brother, and he had his T.V. on and there on it were a team of girls which was ill-clad and when they turned around across their back was written "Church of Christ." What a shametrying to bring the kingdom of Christ down, down on a par with such ungodly things as they try to carry Christ in their game. Let us ever remember that there are places that Christ will not go and things He will not do.
In Luke 16:15, Christ said, "That which is highly esteemed among men is abomination in the sight of God. During World War II, the government sent men around checking on the C.O. and they would ask three (3) questions: Are you opposed to war, politics, and athletics? And he rightly said they are of the same spirit, that is, to be victorious over someone else. What is more highly esteemed than these three? There is none!
Ephesians 6:12: "We wrestle not (in competition) against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this world, against spiritual wickedness in high places." He gives us the sphere where the Christian is to be. Christ said, "My kingdom is not of this world," and think not that we can be of this world and please him.
In Matt 13:41, Christ said he would "send forth his angels, and they shall gather out of his kingdom all things that offend, and them which do iniquity (lawlessness)." He said in Luke 17:10 that "when ye shall have done all things which are commanded you, say, We are unprofitable servants: we have done that which was our duty to do."
According to early historians, the members of the church during the Dark Ages were a very separate people and would have no part with the world, insomuch that they were persecuted and some were killednot for what they did, but for what they would not do. They would have no part with their politics and games and if they would not recant and take part in those things, they were killed, some were tarred, put upon a pole and set afire, to give light for them to play their games.
How much would we suffer for the cause of Christ and our salvation?
T. Smith 1998
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