Know Your Bible
VOL. 14 July 26, 2015 NO. 20
SOWING THE WIND, REAPING THE WHIRLWIND 1
The more I read the OT prophets, the more I see they could be writing about America. I know this is not the case, but I certainly see the same type behavior portrayed in the action of a people who had enjoyed many special privileges from God, but had turned their backs on the One who had blessed them so bountifully. “Although they knew God, they did not glorify Him as God, nor were thankful, but became futile in their thoughts, and their foolish hearts were darkened. Professing to be wise they became fools” Rom. 1:21-22. The longer they lived, the more wicked and corrupt they became, until finally God had enough. He sent His prophets to warn them of His pending judgments, if they did not repent of their wickedness. But they would not listen. Finally God’s judgement fell, and Israel was carried into captivity by the Assyrians ca. 721 BC. Judah lasted about another 130 years, but they later went into Babylonian captivity ca.606-596 BC.
Even though their prophecies were not a condemnation of America per se, the same principles that caused the downfall of OT Israel and Judah are still active. Solomon wrote ca. 1000 BC that history repeats itself. Stop, and take time to read Eccl.1:4-11 and you will see that what is happening now, has already happened in the past, and will do so again. Different names, different circumstances, but the same lifestyle of activity.
Now to my application. One of the OT prophets was Hosea. He did his work for God just before Israel went into Assyrian captivity, ca. 721 BC. The entire land had become very decadent and corrupt. Their degenerate lifestyle, both socially and morally, was a result of their turning away from God, and adopting the pagan idolatry of the people around them. Hosea was sent to warn them that judgment was coming upon them by the hands of Assyria. God was going to punish them as a consequence of their sinful ways.
Israel should have known better. Hosea said of them, “They sow the wind, and reap the whirlwind” Hos.8:7. They were sowing the winds of folly and vanity, but would soon reap the destructive winds of wrath and destruction. They were practicing things that were vain, empty and useless. They were seeking to live without God’s counsel, and by so doing they had aroused the anger of God, 8:5. Thus, they would soon harvest the wrath of God. Like a whirlwind, it would be one of misery and destruction. By sowing the empty winds of idolatry and wickedness they would reap the whirlwind of judgment. Soon after Hosea wrote his words they were carried captive into the land of Assyria.
Now, let’s apply Hosea’s words to our society, and churches also. Whatever affects society will eventually affect the churches of men, and also the church of Christ. Notice some of the winds that have been sown that will one day bring the whirlwind of destruction, probably not too far into the future. One of the winds sown in America is the REJECTION OF CHRISTIAN VALUES. Regardless of what secularist humanist historians, professors and corrupt judges and politicians may say, this nation was founded by people who believed in the sovereignty of God and the Bible. Judeo-Christian ethics shaped their thinking and beliefs. It was this ethical righteousness that caused America to prosper. Solomon wrote, “Righteousness exalts a nation, but sin in a reproach to any people” Prov. 14:34. “When the righteous are in authority, the people rejoice; but when a wicked man rules, the people groan” Prov. 29:2. The further America moves away from the religious values of Christianity, the more its’ people become like the people described in Rom.1:21-32.
America is fast becoming pagan. Secularists have taken control of our society. Not only have our public schools removed God, prayer, the Bible, Christ from the classrooms, they are becoming more secularized. Instead of teaching the rudiments of education they are more involved with being PC (perversion crybabies), afraid of a minority who want to promote an immoral lifestyle and the false pagan religion of Islam. A few years ago, Richard John Neuhaus, in his book, Unsecular America, under the heading, “Are Secularists the Threat?” writes, “On the face of it, nontheistic secularists appear to have enormous influence in American society. Their philosophy seems to control a number of crucial opinion-forming centers. In the universities, nontheistic secularism is unquestionably the overwhelmingly dominant opinion. So, also is the media. Many government agencies operate on the basis of these secular assumptions…American public education also reflects many of the secularist principles.” Pgs.32-33.
Once society has rejected the Bible as God’s absolute standard, and is cut loose from the anchor of Biblical morality, there is nothing left for man to do but operate on the basis of relativity. This leads man to the conclusion that there is no permanent set of values prescribed by God for all time. If there is no such thing as ethical or moral truth – then everything is relative. No one has the right to say that anything is wrong. All actions are relative and situational. Man has no permanent set of values from God. This means that moral values only come from human experience, and what may be right for today’s society may be wrong for tomorrows. Rules change with the situation. Ultimately, this will cause a society to disintegrate into disorder and chaos. This was the case with Israel during the era of the judges. “In those days there was no king in Israel; everyone did what was right in his own eyes” Judges 21:25. As a result of their deviant behavior Israel had to suffer, first a divided kingdom, and finally captivity.
(To be continued)
What about fellowship? Doesn't the Bible teach that the church is to have fellowship? Indeed!
The Bible does teach that the church is to have fellowship. But what a lot of people have overlooked is the fact that the word "fellowship" in the Scriptures has to do with spiritual activities. I have before me a photocopy out of a book that I have which contains every Scripture that uses the Greek word for fellowship. An interesting thing about this is — not one time does it have reference to social fellowship. What does the word fellowship mean? It is defined as “sharing, communion, and participation in, joining together."
Another usage of "fellowship" in modern times is social fellowship. This is where we smell the doughnuts and coffee. Friday night a bunch of us got together and had some elk stew, and I tell you it was all right. We had a good time together. We socialized together. We shared in the eating of elk stew and a few other things that some of the people brought. Are you aware that the Bible never uses the word “fellowship" in reference to such social activities?
Still another use of "fellowship" has to do with spiritual things. Every time, every time the word is used in regards to the church's activity, it is always this. And to my knowledge, there is not one Scripture in the Bible that uses the term "fellowship" in regard to eating elk stew, or whatever socializing we do together. Not one Scripture that uses the word "fellowship" like that. Fellowship has everything to do with our sharing together in spiritual things.
What has happened to us, brethren, when every time we hear the word "fellowship" we immediately think in terms of fun and games and eating and drinking together? What has happened to us that we see that, every time we see the word “ ellowship," when it is never used in the Bible that way?
No, you cannot find the authority for a local church, as a part of its program of work, planning and providing materials for social activities in the word “fellowship" in the Bible, because it doesn't use the word "fellowship" in that way.
May I make this point? The local church were you are a member has a fellowship hall. Let me say that again. The local church where you are a member has a fellowship hall. When you are assembled together with the other members share together in worshiping God and studying God's word, you are in it! We must learn that this is the kind of fellowship that the Bible talks about.
Is there a place for social activities? Indeed. But let me provide for hospitality. Let me provide for social events. And if others want to join with me in that, that's fine. But let not the church be charged or burdened (cf. 1 Tim. 5:16) with providing for social activities, so the church can do the things God has told His church to do. It's just that simple. And nowhere in the Scriptures is there anything to indicate that the church is to provide materially and plan for social activities. That is the issue. That is where the truth lies.
Know Your Bible" is e-mailed weekly by the church of Christ which meets at 112 Roberts Avenue in Wise, Virginia. If you know of others who might benefit from the articles contained in this bulletin, we would be glad to have you submit their e-mail addresses and we will include them in next week's mailing. If you are receiving this bulletin and do not wish to continue to do so, please e-mail us with your desire to be removed from the mailing list and we will remove your address promptly. Continue to the bottom of this page and further instructions will be given as to how you may contact us.
--- E.R. Hall, Jr.
SCHEDULE OF SERVICES
Bible Classes ……….....….…............ 10:00 AM
Morning Worship ……..…….….…...... 11:00 AM
Evening Worship …………...……........ 6:00 PM
Bible Classes …………..………........... 7:30 PM
"THOUGHT FOR THE DAY"
Monday - Friday
WDXC 102.3 FM .....................…........ 10:20 AM
"WHAT THE BIBLE SAYS..."
Comcast Cable - Heritage TV - Digital Channel 266 ............ 6:00 AM & 2:00 PM
Comcast Cable - Heritage TV - Digital Channel 266 ............ 2:00 PM
World Wide Web: www.wisechurch.com
INSTRUCTIONS REGARDING THIS E-MAIL BULLETIN:
UNSUBSCRIBE: Reply to firstname.lastname@example.org and put UNSUBSCRIBE in the subject line.
SUBSCRIBE FRIENDS: Reply to email@example.com and put SUBSCRIBE in the subject line.