Know Your Bible
June 2000

Isn't It Strange...?

Isn't it strange that when a young man starts dating, one girl is not as good as another; or when he decides to marry, one woman is not as good as another; or when he looks for a job, one job is not as good as another; but when it comes to religion, one church is as good as another; or one doctrine or name is as good as another?

Jesus said, "I will build my church; and the gates of hell shall not prevail against it".(Mt. 16:18). Christ built only one church. How can anyone reason that man could build a church as good as the one Jesus Christ built? Could Martin Luther, John Calvin, Charles Wesley, John Wesley, John Smith, Joe Smith, or any other man build a church, or churches, as good as the one Jesus Christ built? Of all the churches in the world, Jesus Christ built only one of than. All the rest were built by men. Only the church Jesus built will stand. "Every plant, which my heavenly Father hath not planted, shall be rooted up." (Mt.15:13). "Except the Lord built the house, they labour in vain that built it" (Ps. 127:1). Why not just be a Christian, a member of the Lord's church? If you teach for doctrines the commandments of men, you will worship God in vain. (Mt. 15:7-9). Those who teach another doctrine, other then that which the apostles taught, will be accursed.(Gal. 1:6-10). Those who believe a lie will be damned. (2 Thess. 2:10-12).

Isn't it strange that when it comes to religious doctrine, what you don't know won't hurt you; but when it comes to medicine, or poison, etc.; what you don't know will hurt you? All my life, I have heard people argue that one doctrine is as good as another, and it really doesn't matter whether you know the truth or not. After all, what you don't know won't hurt you. However, they do not reason this way in material matters. They know if you go to the medicine cabinet, looking for cough syrup; but instead, by mistake, you take strychnine; it will kill you. No matter how honest you may be, or how ignorant you may be. The strychnine will kill you just as dead, as if you had known what you were taking. The fact that you are honest or ignorant will not keep you from dying. Ignorance and honesty will not keep people from going to Hell either."Brethren, my heart's desire and prayer to God for Israel Is, that they might be saved. For I bear them record that they have a ZEAL OF GOD, but not according to KNOWLEDGE. For they being IGNORANT OF GOD'S RIGHTEOUSNESS, and going about to establish their own righteousness, have not submitted themselves unto the righteousness of God." (Rom. 10:1-3). The fact that Paul's Jewish brethren did not know about God's righteousness, did not change the fact that they were lost. What they didn't know was certainly hurting them. Suppose you buy a home, without having an attorney to abstract the title to the property. After you've the property for a while you decide to sell. Your would be purchaser is more cautious then you, so he has an attorney to abstract the title. The attorney discovers that the title to your property is not clear. Thus you discover you have property that you cannot legally lay claim to. Would anyone argue, in this case, that what you don't know won't hurt you? In the religious world many, with all good conscience, and with good intention, think they are faithfully serving God; but will wake up at the judgment day to find that their "zeal of God" was not "according to knowledge". (Rom. 10:1-3). "Many will say to me in that day, Lord, Lord, have we not prophesied in thy name? and in thy name have cast out devils? and in thy name done many wonderful works? And then will I profess unto them, I never knew you: depart from me, ye that work iniquity." (Mt. 7:22, 23).

Isn't it strange that in religious matters, there isn't anything in a name, or one name is as good as another; but this principle does not apply in secular matters? If preachers think one name is as good as another, let them sign their own pay checks, instead of the church Treasurer. No one would want just any woman to sign their marriage license. Just anyone could fix up a deed and sign it, but that would not mean the deed was official. The deed must have the proper name or names on it in order for it to be official. If preachers are convinced that there is nothing in a name, why don't they name their children Rover, Fido, Jezebel, or Judas? What do some of these preachers say, when you refuse to call them Reverend? They will take the name of God and apply it unto themselves (Ps. 111:9); and take the names of men and apply it to the church.

Isn't it strange that people are more prone to believe a lie then they are to believe the truth. Preachers can preach things that the Bible does not teach, and people will accept it, but you preach the word of God, and people won't have it. Preachers can invite people to a mourners bench, something the Bible says nothing about, and they will come by the thousands. You tell people that "He that believeth and is baptized shall be saved" (Mk. 16:16), and only a few will accept it. Preachers have no problem getting people to tell an experience, confess that God for Christ sake has pardoned their sins, and be voted into a church you cannot read about in the Bible, and do other things not taught in the Bible; but to get them to simply obey the gospel of Christ is a real problem indeed. You can preach just about any lie you want and people will believe by the thousands; but preach the truth and only a few will receive it.

Isn't it strange that men will work much harder doing those things the Lord has not authorized than those things that He has commanded? What things do men show the most enthusiasm toward? Do men show more interest in Bible study, prayer, preaching the gospel to both the lost and the saved, and other things authorized in the word of God? Or do they show more interest in church sponsored recreation, "fellowship halls", entertainment, church sponsored pie suppers, box suppers, ball games, and etc.? Men will put forth great effort to build up great institutions through which the church works, such as benevolent and missionary institutions. They will sacrifice much to raise money by Pie Suppers and Box Suppers, but they are unwilling to do just as the Lord said, "Now concerning the collection for the saints, as I have given order to the churches of Galatia, even so do ye. Upon the first day of the week let EVERY ONE OF YOU LAY BY HIM IN STORE, AS GOD HATH PROSPERED HIM, that there be no gatherings when I come."(I Cor. 16:1, 2). They labor hard to build up institutions of men rather than laboring to build up the greatest institution of all. The divine institution which cost the blood of Christ is not as important, in the eyes of some, as are the institutions of men. (Acts 20:28). Some attempt to glorify God in secret orders, like the Masonic Lodge, rather then doing as the Bible says, "Unto him be glory in the CHURCH BY CHRIST JESUS throughout all ages, world without end." (Eph. 3:21).

Isn't it strange that men are more concerned about where their bodies will be hurried, then they are about where their soul will be in eternity? They are more concerned about their children being educated in secular subjects, then they are in the word of God. More concerned about the material food their children eat, then the spiritual food they consume. More concern for money then the "True Riches". Isn't it strange that parents are more concerned about their children being lost in the woods, then being lost in sin? If a child is lost in the woods, every effort will be put forth to rescue him. Rescue squads will be called. Volunteers are summoned to come to the rescue of this child that is lost. However, many children are lost in sin, without any effort being put forth to save them. Isn't it strange that parents had rather their children be president, or some movie star, or professional in some type of sports, as to see them a faithful Christian?

Isn't it strange that a person can be too sick to worship on Lord's day, but not too sick to go to work on Monday; when actually he was as sick on Monday as on Lord's day? Isn't it strange that parents will keep their children out of Bible study, when they are a little sick; but send them to school when they are just as sick and then wonder why their children grow up thinking school is more important then church. Isn't it strange that parents can allow their children to go to school events, which interfere with church services, and then seem surprised when their children grow up to think school is more important than church.

Isn't it strange when parents allow their daughters go out on dates, dressed in shorts or low cut mini-skirts, and then seem surprised when they become pregnant? Isn't it strange when they allow them to participate in the modern dance, they are surprised to learn they also drink and curse, as well as become pregnate?

Yes there are many strange things in this old world. However, all of them add up to show just how foolish human beings can be. Let each of us use a little wisdom for a change.

---Windell Wiser

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