Know Your Bible

VOL. 11                                                                                                                             December 9, 2012                                                                                                                       NO. 46



In the calendar month of December 2012 a phenomena will occur that will not be repeated for nearly one thousand years. For the past twelve years the monthly calendar has reflected consecutive dating with year, month and day. On January 1, 2001 the date read 01-01-01 and with each year moved through the calendar until next week when the final count of the twelfth day of the twelfth month in the twelfth year of the second millennia will complete the cycle. For the pundits of trivia this will have an exciting air of conclusion as the mathematical formulas of the universe display its sage. As for most folk this will only be a side note of disinterest. But there is something amazing about the thumbprints of the Creator we find in this unimpressive fact.

There is order in the universe created by the “finger of God” (Luke 11:20). In Genesis 1 Moses describes the hand of God bringing into creation every part of our universe. There is order in the days building upon one another with light being created before plants (who could not survive if created before light) and so forth. The whole of creation cries forth in simple design and reflects the majestic wisdom of the Master Creator. King David declared, “I will praise You, for I am fearfully and wonderfully made; marvelous are Your works, and that my soul knows very well” (Psalms 139:14). Man has yet to unravel the mystery of the human body, the oceans filled with abundant life, the heavens shining forth the radiant power of God’s design. “When I consider Your heavens, the work of Your fingers, the moon and the stars, which You have ordained, what is man that You are mindful of him, and the son of man that You visit him” (Psalms 8:3-4)?

NASA has proven there is a Creator every time they send a rocket into space. The order of the universe allows them to calculate with precise measurements the speed of space craft and direction sending many probes into the depths of worlds beyond. Medical advancements establish the organized makeup of the human body that allows man to perform incredible surgeries and save thousands of lives. Technology is based upon the simple mathematical structure of a world that is not designed by chance or random events but an orderly arrangement of mathematical calculation. 12-12-12 is a time stamp from the hand of God that tells us He is real.

The most important thumbprint of next week will be the reality of time. This will be the final day in the second millennia that reflects the unique pattern of year, month and day. Will there be another 01-01-01? The year 3001 seems impossible but the year 2001 would have been as improbable to those living in years past. There is no promise of tomorrow and not even a promise that 12-12-12 will happen. “Come now, you who say, ‘Today or tomorrow we will go to such and such a city, spend a year there, buy and sell, and make a profit’; whereas you do not know what will happen tomorrow. For what is your life? It is even a vapor that appears for a little time and then vanishes away” (James 4:13-14).

No one living today will see 3001 but everyone living today will see the Lord. The twelfth day of the twelfth month in the twelfth year of any millennia is only important as much as the lesson is taught that life is not about today but about the unending millennia that all men will find themselves (John 5:28-29; Matthew 25:31-46).

---Kent Heaton

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One doesn’t have to read statistics from a professionally conducted census to know that many young people who are “raised in the church” are being lost to the cause of Christ. What’s happening to them?

Permissiveness is happening to youth. In many instances, parents have abdicated their God-given role. They set no firm guidelines, have no definite rules of the house, and often allow themselves to be manipulated. Parents are often literally afraid to have firm rules because they are afraid of the child rebelling. Some parents don’t know that love is not some kind of namby-pamby attitude, but there must be a certain kind of toughness to love as amply shown in the book of Proverbs. It doesn’t mean being roguish, tyrannical, or unmerciful in the demands it makes. But youth need guidance. They need someone to tell them “how far”, some “cans” and “can’ts” with good sound “whys”. And in some instances the “why” may be simply “because I said so”.

Work is happening to youth. In many instances young people are pushed and shoved into the “job market” without due consideration as to how the job will interfere with their worship, study, or influences they’ll face. None of us want out children to grow up to be lazy-good-for-nothings. We want them to “learn the value of the dollar” to know that, at least for most of us, “money doesn’t grow on trees”. But often that part-time job, which may be taking far too much of their time, is during hours of worship on Lord’s Day or during mid-week Bible study and every night of a gospel meeting. And then the parents having allowed, maybe even encouraged it, or in some instances demanded it, wonder why their child no longer is interested in spiritual things.

Materialism is happening to youth. Not only are they being shoved into the work arena to make their “spending money” or “to buy some wheels”, but they see parents who are often more committed to providing “things” they they are to living for the Lord. Frequently the parents are recreation crazed and allow recreational activities to keep them from services of worship and periods of Bible study, or often put their work ahead of worship, especially if “overtime pay” is involved.

Humanism is happening to youth. Like an octopus with its many tentacles, humanism is attacking from many different directions, approaching from various sources. From very tender years, humanism’s eroding influences bombard our young people incessantly; and often parents are unaware of it, and in many instances cannot be aroused to a sense of concern when told of those influences. Evolution is only one of humanism’s tentacles, but it is a powerful one. How can one who is constantly told that he is but the higher form of lower life fail to ultimately act the part? It is bound to dilute or erode away spiritual influences unless strong teaching is given to the contrary. “Value clarification” advocates teach youth there are no absolutes, no real definitive standard of right and wrong. This being true, what is to be expected but that he should eventually cast aside the “old fogey” ideas of parents, preachers, Bible class teachers, and elders?

Hypocrisy is happening to youth. Children are very incisive, easily able to discern a sham. When they repeatedly see hypocritical behavior on the part of adults who are in some authority over them, it has its effect. Elders, preachers, parents, policemen, governmental officials advocating one thing while practicing another set forth uncertain sounds to youth. This is especially true in spiritual matters. If they see no real devotion, no depth of spiritual life, it affects them.

---Norman E. Fultz

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