Know Your Bible

VOL. 8                           November 1, 2009                           NO. 43

Have We Totally Failed?

    This generation boasts of accomplishments above and beyond all preceding generations of man. We read in papers and see on television the great feats scientists, doctors, educators and engineers have and are accomplishing. All this is acclaimed as indication of a great forward movement in the development of the human race. But does this really indicate that we have made progress? Human wisdom alone and its results are foolishness to God when men do not respect the divine wisdom of God. "But God hath chosen the foolish things of the world to confound the wise; and God hath chosen the weak things of the world to confound the things which are mighty; the base things of the world, and things which are despised, hath God chosen, yea, and things which are not, to bring to nought things that are: that no flesh should glory in his presence" (I Cor. 1:27-29). Human wisdom can never bring man closer to God. 

    There is a wisdom that cannot be found in the test tube or in the text book; it can be found only in the revelation of God to man. This wisdom is the only thing that will really make man what he ought to be. Without it man becomes as savage as the beast and as depraved as Satan himself.

    Real and lasting progress can only be found by learning and doing this wisdom which is revealed in the book of God. While we fire rockets to the moon and invent weapons of war that can wipe out entire nations, while we develop medical science and engineering methods that can exceed anything humanity has ever known, the moral and spiritual conditions of this world are about as low as they have ever been. Money, military power, scientific achievement and all other developments of human wisdom will never lift man from the pit of moral decay. Only the knowledge of God's word and the practice of it will make us prosperous and happy.

    The signs of our failure appear in the same papers in which we read of the great accomplishments of courage and on the same television we watch day after day. The rebellion against law and order by many of those little more than children is now a common occurrence. What is wrong that the coming generation generally rejects law and order? What has happened to the young people of our time? The answer is obvious: parents have totally failed in bringing up their children in the nurture and admonition of the Lord (Eph. 6:4). There has been no teaching of the word of the Lord nor of the principles therein contained. Instead of providing good reading material for their children, and for themselves, parents have allowed pornography and such trash to be read by their children. They read it themselves! Parents give little thought to the company their children keep and the places where they spend most of their time. These children grow up with no feeling of love or concern for parental authority. As a result of this they soon have no regard for the civil authorities and certainly none for God and His word! With this condition existing, can we claim any success at all with the coming generation in general?

    I recently heard a United States congressman read a report on television that stated the population of this generation in the United States was up 9% and crime during the same period of time was up 62%. This is the bitter fruit we must reap for the lack of teaching and not giving attention to our children. I wonder what the next twenty-five years will bring. Unless the money-mad, power-craze, lustful-centered thinking that seems to dominate the average person today is replaced by an industrious, spiritual minded, law abiding citizen, this world is headed for eternal ruin.

    Parents must set good examples for their children. They must provide good reading matter for them and wholesome entertainment that exercises the body and mind. They must teach them good habits and proper respect for the laws of God and man. The first step in getting this job done is to set the example for them! Be a good citizen yourself! Before and above all, learn and obey the will of God in heaven and obey it. You will be happier here and in eternity!

    "Be not deceived; God is not mocked: for whatsoever a man soweth, that shall he also reap. For he that soweth to his flesh shall of the flesh reap corruption; but he that soweth to the Spirit shall of the Spirit reap life ever lasting" (Gal. 6:7,8).

---H. E. Phillips

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I Believe, and I Know Why I Believe

    I believe there is a personal God who is the Creator of the universe, the Giver of life, and the Judge before whom we must ultimately appear and give an account for how we’ve lived our lives. And I believe this God is the God revealed in the Bible. I believe Jesus is God’s son. And I believe Jesus was proven to be God’s son by His resurrection from the dead. I believe the Bible was inspired by God and is the revelation of God’s will.

     When I say I believe in God, and Christ, and the Bible, I mean: I believe and I know why I believe. I believe because the evidence compels me to believe.

    Christian faith is not ignorant gullibility. It is conviction based upon convincing evidence. It’s not a matter of what I want to believe, or what my parents believe. And it’s not a matter of what I have always been taught to believe. It’s a matter of evidence. I have seen the evidence and I believe because of the evidence. Other people may believe (or, say they believe) for other reasons, but real Christians believe because of the evidence.

    The Bible writers warn against being gullible and too easily convinced. For example, when the apostle Paul wrote to the Christians at Ephesus, he said they “should no longer be children, tossed to and fro and carried about with every wind of doctrine, by the trickery of men, in the cunning craftiness by which they lie in wait to deceive” (Eph. 4:14). In his epistle to the Christians at Thessalonica he cautioned them to examine everything carefully and accept only what was proven to be true (1 Thess. 5:21).

    The apostle John, in his first epistle, warned Christians everywhere about the many false prophets at work in the world. He said that every “prophet” should be put to the test (1 Jn. 4:1). The Lord commended the Christians at Ephesus for having exposed some who were false apostles (Rev. 2:2).

    The Bible writers always pointed to the evidence in calling upon people to believe. Consider the example of Paul at Thessalonica: “And according to Paul’s custom, he went to them, and for three Sabbaths reasoned with them from the Scriptures, explaining and giving evidence that the Christ had to suffer and rise again from the dead, and saying, This Jesus whom I proclaim to you is the Christ” (Acts 17:2-3).

    There are many reasons why people believe the things they do, but the only valid reason for believing is the evidence.

---Bill Walton

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