What About Him?
The apostles were not immune from jealousy and one-upmanship. This seemed especially true among Peter, James, and John. In Mark 10:37, James and John asked Jesus, “Grant that we may sit, one on Your right and one on Your left, in Your glory.” This would disgust the other ten apostles. Jesus would take this opportunity to teach the twelve that, though the Gentile way was to be first (v. 42), discipleship involved service and sacrifice (v. 43-45). Still we find that even after Jesus’ resurrection, the message had not sunk in with Peter.
In John 21, after Jesus challenged Peter to show his dedication through action, Jesus warned Peter of the persecution—the brutal death—he would face if he would devote himself to Christ’s mission. Peter then looked at John and inquired as to whether or not John would have to suffer the same persecution, “What about this man (v. 21)?” Peter at this point was more concerned about John’s cross than his own. He insinuated, “It’s only fair if we all have the same cross to bear!” A closer look at the passage (at least indirectly) highlights Peter’s jealousy, referring to John as “the disciple whom Jesus loved,” in verse 20.
Jesus, however, as he did throughout the New Testament, gave Peter an answer he was not expecting. Jesus said to him in John 21:22, “If I will that he remain till I come, what is that to you? You follow Me.” What a powerful statement. Perhaps this passage was not only preserved, but placed at the end of John’s gospel for good reason. This was Jesus’ last teaching in John’s gospel and a perfect summation of Jesus’ ministry. Jesus says, in essence, “Do not worry about others—what they get away with, what they endure, what they do to you, how heavy their cross is–Just follow me.” He asks Peter, “Why do you care how he dies or if he dies at all?”
Jesus’ closing remarks in the book of John are “follow me.” Not all crosses are equal, yet rest assured, Jesus will not fit you for a cross you could not bear (1 Corinthians 10:13).
We can become so preoccupied with others’ walk with Christ that we fail not only to examine our own failures (Matt. 7:3), but while focused on our finger-pointing, fail to follow Jesus. Let us first be introspective (Matt. 7:5), before we concern ourselves with others.
Paul writes, “in like manner also, that the women adorn themselves in modest apparel, with shamefacedness and sobriety, not with braided hair or gold or pearls or costly array, but, which is proper for women professing godliness, with good works.” As evidenced here, the Bible teaches Christian women (and men too) to adorn themselves in modest apparel, which simply means the Christian should wear appropriate attire; attire that professes godliness.
Peter writes a similar message in 1 Peter 3:1-4: “Likewise, ye wives, be in subjection to your own husbands; that, if any obey not the word, they also may without the word be won by the conversation of the wives; While they behold your chaste conversation coupled with fear. Whose adorning let it not be that outward adorning of plaiting the hair, and of wearing of gold, or of putting on of apparel; But let it be the hidden man of the heart, in that which is not corruptible, even the ornament of a meek and quiet spirit, which is in the sight of God of great price.”
As indicated in both passages, “modesty” and “modest apparel” first involves the human heart. Both writers emphasize what is within over what is without – by saying, as Paul did “not with braided hair or gold or pearls or costly array, or as Peter did “…not that outward adorning of plaiting the hair and of wearing of gold or of putting on of apparel.” In those statements, the Bible is not forbidding, as some mistakenly think, the wearing of any gold or the putting on of any makeup or fixing the hair to any extent. Such positions become extreme. However, the inwardness overshadows the outwardness and our appearance reflects the heart. Paul and Peter show us not to put the emphasis on the outward man but on the inward man. How we dress, therefore, reflects either a heart of godliness and shamefacedness or a heart devoid of such an attitude. Godliness and shamefacedness create in the Lord’s people a keen sense of moral purity, holiness, and reverential fear. Broadly stated, this attitude of holiness overlays our heart and our clothes and appearance outwardly reflect this inward sense.
Shamefacedness stands in contrast to shamelessness and godliness to worldliness. Both can be seen in how we dress. The prophet Jeremiah asked, “were they ashamed when they committed abomination? No, they were not ashamed and neither could they blush” (Jeremiah 6:15). Without shamefacedness and godliness a person has no ability to blush. Paul also tells us, “…be not conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind.” (Romans 12:1,2)
Going back to the initial readings in l Timothy and 1 Peter, notice the language used by both Paul and Peter. Paul says, “…with shamefacedness and sobriety and Peter writes, “…chaste conduct coupled with fear [reverence]” Peter continues by saying, “Whose adorning …[should be] the hidden man of the heart in that which is not corruptible, even the ornament of a meek and quiet spirit which is in the sight of God of great price.” Again, these words describe the inward grace, reverence, and beauty that adorn the Christian’s soul, particularly the Christian woman’s soul. The Christian woman projects this grace outwardly by…”adorning herself in modest apparel.”
From the very outset, the gospel cultivates among the Saints a spirit of godliness and holiness. Titus 2:11,12 says, “For the grace of God that brings salvation has appeared to all men. Teaching us that denying ungodliness and worldly lust, we should live soberly righteously and godly in the present world.” Peter also says, “As obedient children, not fashioning yourselves according to the former lusts in your ignorance: But as he which hath called you is holy, so be ye holy in all manner of conversation; Because it is written, Be ye holy; for I am holy.” (1 Peter 1:14-16) First, when we deny worldly lust and ungodliness and second, when we affirm godliness and holiness in our hearts (truly, fully, and sincerely), the gospel builds in us the divine nature of which all saints partake. (2 Peter 1:4) Again, Paul, writing in contrast to the adulterer, the fornicator, the drunkard and the like, says, “…And such were some of you: but ye are washed, but ye are sanctified, but ye are justified in the name of the Lord Jesus, and by the Spirit of our God.” (1 Cor. 6:11)
Conversion involves transformation – something is put off (Col. 3:8) that something else might be put on (Rom. 13:14); something dies that something else might live (Romans 6); we flee lust to follow after faith righteousness and charity with them that call on the name of the Lord out of a pure heart. (2 Tim. 2:22)
Contemplate this very serious point. What mostly influences our lives and our thinking? If television, magazines, the internet and other forms of modern culture have greater sway with us than the gospel, then chances are we may lack the moral strength to be transformed from the world and are more likely conforming to it. We may be found adopting its trends, sporting its fashions, and accepting its standards. Friends, we must take the Scripture’s admonition very seriously. When Paul says, “Come out from among them and be separate says the Lord… and touch not the unclean thing” (2 Cor. 6:17), he is not merely suggesting a way to live. He is admonishing us to avoid the evil in the world. With so much talk and so many images involving lust, sin, and immorality, do we deny the effects of the world on our hearts and minds?
With this as our premise, I want to discuss briefly the Biblical principles of our clothes and how we dress. Our clothes should: 1. Honor The Lord 2. Adequately cover our bodies 3. Distinguish our gender.
Honor The Lord: The ornament of a quiet and meek spirit is of great price in the sight of God. The Christian woman (and man) professes godliness adorning herself (or himself) in modest apparel. Do we really need to sketch a mental image of what’s appropriate and what’s not? Are our senses so dull of hearing and our consciences so seared that we fail to recognize immodesty? Paul would say, “…present your bodies as living sacrifices holy, acceptable to God, which is your reasonable service.” (Rom. 12:1) I have been told of people making the argument that if you were in a public place where everyone is dressed in bathing suits (like the lake or the ocean) and you stand out because you are not dressed as they are that you are immodest and “drawing attention to yourself.” In response to such a silly notion, Paul would say, “Come out from among them and be separate says the Lord …and touch not the unclean thing.” (2 Cor.6:17) and Peter would write, “wherefore they think it strange that you run not with them to the same excess of riot…” (1 Peter 4:4).
Brother Ronny Wade referred to the following passage once in a sermon a number of years ago and that reference has stuck with me through the years. He quoted Paul saying, “whose glory is their shame” (Phil. 3:19) and then made appropriate application. Just think of how men glory in shame. That statement aptly summarizes the thinking of the modern world. The more seductive, provocative, and salacious the appearance, the more celebrated, recognized and noted that look or that person becomes. The world glories in its thin bodies, its muscled abdominals, its tanned skin, and its nakedness …Again, their glory is their shame. Is the church unaffected? Hardly friends. May God’s Grace teach us and may we keep ourselves from evil.
Covers The Body: Adam and Eve ate the fruit from the tree of the knowledge of good and evil, and their eyes “were opened.” (Genesis 3) Suddenly, they felt a strong sense of shame and with “opened eyes” saw that they were naked. Notice the correlation between their shame and their nakedness. Adam and Eve attempted to cover themselves by sewing fig leaves together. I can hardly imagine that their apron of leaves looked more scant than what some are willing to go into public wearing today. God deemed them inadequately clothed and instead made them coats of skin and “clothed them.” (Gen.3:21) Scholars suggest that the clothes that God made covered them from their shoulders to below their knees. You see friend, we can have clothes on, but still be naked and expose our shame. We may not feel ashamed, but we expose our shame even still.
Distinguishes Our Gender: “Have you not read that He which made them at the beginning made them MALE and FEMALE?” (Matt. 19:4) You couldn’t tell by listening to modern thought in western civilization. Through concerted effort over the last fifty years, academia and progressive social thinking has largely removed all distinctions between men and women, especially with the help of television. Consequently, West Coast States have now opened “unisex bathrooms” for “transgender” children. Shocking? Why? Isn’t it only the natural progression within a society that has removed all specific gender identities from its conscience and mores? Moses commanded, “A woman shall not wear anything that pertains to a man, nor shall a man put on a woman’s garment, for all who do so are an abomination to the Lord your God.” (Duet. 22:5) This unmistakable principle of gender distinction remains in the New Testament too. For example, Paul condemned “the effeminate” (l Cor. 6:9), that is, men who act and dress as women. Now if it’s wrong for a man to dress and act like a woman, is it right for a woman to dress and act like a man?
Beloved, dress, clothes, fads, and fashions reflect a culture, its beliefs, and values. That’s true for the Kingdom of Heaven too. I pray this discussion helps someone, somewhere in the world to be more resolved and dedicated to be all that our Heavenly Father desires us to be. “Having therefore these promises, dearly beloved, let us cleanse ourselves from all filthiness of the flesh and spirit, perfecting holiness in the fear of God.” (2 Cor. 7: 1)
By Douglas T. Hawkins
In our modern society gambling has many forms: the lottery, horse racing, bingo, casinos, and even raffles-we’ve got it all! When it comes to determining the morality of gambling, we have more defenses that confuse the issue, rather than convictions which clarify it.
The dictionary defines gambling as 1) a: to play a game for money or property, b: to bet on an uncertain outcome; 2) to stake something on a contingency.
To justify gambling, many people say things such as, “Life is a gamble… A farmer planting a crop each year is a gamble… Every time you drive a car is a gamble.” No friends. Driving a car is a risk. Making a wager on that risk is gambling! There is an inherent amount of risk in all activities, but the mere presence of risk does not make it a gamble.
When the subject of gambling is mentioned, there are those who will also reference stock market investors and suggest, “Buying stocks is gambling, but you think that’s ok.” Is investing in the stock market gambling? When one buys stocks, they are buying part of a company. Stocks are no different than any other commodity. When you buy a house, its value will fluctuate depending on the real estate market. When you buy stock, its value will fluctuate depending on the success of the company. Is there risk involved in purchasing land, stocks, gold or any other commodity? Yes. Is this gambling? No.
Gambling is different from taking a risk. When gambling thrives, someone suffers. Lost in the glitter of the multimillion dollar winner are all the millions of losers. The winner won at the expense of the loser. This is not at all the same as planting a crop every year, or investing in the stock market let’s be honest with ourselves.
Wading through all our rationalizations and defenses, what does the Bible say about gambling and money in general?
First, the Bible gives us three lessons pertaining to money and honorable methods of exchanging money. It speaks of legitimate, honorable ways in which we can transfer things of value.
First, there is the law of labor, which is earning money for the labor expended. Ephesians 4: 28 “Let him who stole steal no longer, but rather let him labor, working with his hands what is good, that he may have something to give him who has need.” (NKJV)
Second, we can find the law of exchange, where a commodity like land, stocks or merchandise is exchanged for its value in money or traded for something equivalent. Proverbs 31: 16 “She considers a field and buys it; From her profits she plants a vineyard.”
Third, the Bible teaches the law of love, where money or gifts are given in love without expectation of something in return. Luke 14: 12-14 “Then He also said to him who invited Him, “When you give a dinner or a supper, do not ask your friends, your brothers, your relatives, nor rich neighbors, lest they also invite you back, and you be repaid. 13 “But when you give a feast, invite the poor, the maimed, the lame, the blind. 14 “And you will be blessed, because they cannot repay you; for you shall be repaid at the resurrection of the just.” Also Luke 6: 35 “But love your enemies, do good, and lend, hoping for nothing in return; and your reward will be great, and you will be sons of the Most High. For He is kind to the unthankful and evil”
Gambling comes under none of these principles-actually it is the very opposite of them! Please consider the following five principles and think about how gambling violates them, thus violating God’s Word.
1) Gambling is the “Love of Money,” in its rawest form. 1 Timothy 6: 9-11 “But those who desire to be rich fall into temptation and a snare, and into many foolish and harmful lusts which drown men in destruction and perdition. 10 For the love of money is a root of all kinds of evil, for which some have strayed from the faith in their greediness, and pierced themselves through with many sorrows. 11 But you, O man of God, flee these things and pursue righteousness, godliness, faith, love, patience, gentleness.”
Ron Courter writes, “A hard path awaits those who resolve to be rich because they ignore that the love of money promotes and provokes all kinds of evil. He who stretches forward to riches is faced with a constant immersion in grief. The sentiment is that there is no kind of evil to which the love of money may not lead men, when it once fairly takes hold of them.”
We need to be so careful friends. Even outside of gambling, we must constantly guard ourselves from slipping into a money loving attitude.
2) Gambling is Covetousness. It’s an excessive desire to obtain something without a legitimate exchange. It has no intention of giving something of comparable value in return. Colossians 3: 5-6 “Therefore put to death your members which are on the earth: fornication, uncleanness, passion, evil desire, and covetousness, which is idolatry. 6 Because of these things the wrath of God is coming upon the sons of disobedience,”
3) Gambling is Stealing by consent. This is just as dueling is murder by consent. Consent is not a gauge for rightness or wrongness. The willingness to participate in an activity does not determine whether it is right or wrong! Romans 13: 8-10 “Owe no one anything except to love one another, for he who loves another has fulfilled the law. 9 For the commandments, ‘You shall not commit adultery,’ ‘You shall not murder,’ ‘You shall not steal,’ ‘You shall not bear false witness,’ ‘You shall not covet, ‘and if there is any other commandment, are all summed up in this saying, namely, ‘You shall love your neighbor as yourself’ 10 Love does no harm to a neighbor; therefore love is the fulfillment of the law.”
When you take your neighbor’s money through some manner in which you neither earned it through work or trade, nor did they give it to you as a gift, you are stealing. This undoubtedly includes all forms of gambling such as office pools or raffles.
4) Gambling breaks the “Golden Rule.” It does not attempt to do something for another, but to take something from another. Mathew 7: 12 “Therefore, whatever you want men to do to you, do also to them, for this is the Law and the Prophets.” How many people would continue to gamble if they were guided by this ethic?
5) Gambling breaks the Second Greatest Commandment, which is the law of loving your neighbor. Mathew 22: 37-39 “Jesus said to him, ‘You shall love the LORD your God with all your heart, with all your soul, and with all your mind.’ 38 This is the first and great commandment. 39 And the second is like it: ‘You shall love your neighbor as yourself.” Again, you cannot love your neighbor while you steal their money, which you did not earn. Remember when Jesus was asked in Luke 10:29, “Who is my neighbor?”
His response was illustrated in the parable of the “Good Samaritan.” This parable teaches us that anyone and everyone is our neighbor because Jesus said in verse 30 “a certain man.” If all mankind is our neighbor, than we cannot unjustly take anyone’s money without violating the law of loving our neighbor.
When gambling thrives, another suffers. Always take to heart that “legal” and “moral” is not the same thing. If gambling is wrong in principle, then neither the amount gambled nor the reason for gambling is relevant. Clearly the Bible teaches gambling is a sin because of the five principles it violates: the Love of Money, Covetousness, Stealing (even by consent), the Golden Rule, and the Second Greatest Commandment, the law of loving your neighbor as yourself.
Prayer is an absolute necessity in today’s time and is something I could work on myself each day. Besides the Bible, prayer is our only weapon we can use. One thing I often find myself doing is saying the same old prayer every night, that is pretty much memorized . I don’t even have to think about it when I pray. Prayer is a much more serious matter. When we are talking to the almighty Creator, we should take it as serious, if not more serious than anything else we do. I heard in a lesson recently that God talks to us through the Bible, in the same sense we talk to God through prayer. That’s not hard to figure out. When you really think about it, it is not something that needs to be routine or something we just do because we feel like it needs to be done. We should do it and mean what we say and strive to pray earnestly every single day maybe even more.
Another thing I would like to point out, is when we pray, be respectful. I heard a person pray one time, who started off the prayer with, “Hey, Dad…” Let’s not forget who we are talking to. When we pray, we should show God the respect He deserves with our words, because He put us on this earth and can take us anytime . Jesus, when showing us an example of prayer started with, “Our Father who art in Heaven, hallowed be thy name…” Prayer is powerful and it’s something we all can work on and use in a respectful way.
What Is In a Name?
Names were once very meaningful. This is not the case anymore, as people attempt to come up with the most convoluted names for their children and church in an effort to be unique. Whenever a patriarch in the Bible would name their child, they put conscious thought into that decision. After considering how names were chosen in the Bible, consider the importance of the church’s name in 2015.
The very first man, Adam, was named with purpose. Adam’s name is literally translated, “The Man.” Shortly after Adam was created, God brought all living creatures to Adam, and he named each animal one by one (Gen. 2:19). This tradition continued unto the days of Daniel who was taken into Babylonian captivity with his three friends Hananiah, Mishael, and Azariah. These four young boys had names with meaning. Daniel means, “God is my Judge” Hananiah means, “Beloved of the Lord,” Mishael means, “Who is as God,” and Azariah means, “The Lord is my Help.” However, upon being captured by Babylon, Nebuchadnezzar attempted to brainwash these four boys by making them eunuchs, separating them from their families, changing their diet, and immersing them in a three year Chaldean graduate program. Nebuchadnezzar attempted to completely change their identities and loyalties by going so far as to change their names. Daniel became Belteshazzar (Bel’s Prince), Hananiah became Shadrach (Illuminated by the Sun god), Mishael became Meshach (Who is like Venus), and Azariah became Abednego (The Servant of Nego). Nebuchadnezzar realized there was much meaning in a name as he transformed their names from honoring the God of Judah to honoring the false gods of Babylon. To further show the importance of names to God, consider the prophet Hosea. God instructed Hosea to marry a harlot (Hosea 1:2). The purpose behind this was to illustrate how Israel was playing the role of harlot in their relationship to God at that time. Hosea, whose name means, “Salvation,” would have two daughters, Lo-Ruhamah which means, “No Mercy” and Lo-Ammi which means, “Not My People.” These names were paramount in teaching that God would have no mercy on Israel because they were no longer God’s people in that they had been playing the spiritual harlot. Truly there is and was importance in what things are named.
With all the Bible examples just referenced, consider the nomenclature of modern churches. Church names such as, “Church on Fire,” “Hope Church,” “G.U.T.S Church,” and innumerable other silly names are given to these institutions that are acclaimed bodies of Christ. These names make it very difficult for an unbeliever to find the church that Jesus Christ built. The illustration has been made in times past: if an animal looks, sounds, and acts like a sheep, it must be a sheep. However, none of these names resemble the church established in the book of Acts. The churches in the book of Acts looked, acted, and sounded like the church Jesus built because they were called the Church of Christ and carried out Christ’s commandments. Romans 16:16 says, “The churches of Christ salute you.” The church of Christ was also called, “The Church of the living God,” and “The House of God,” (1 Tim. 3:15). The church Jesus built must resemble Christ in every way or it not the church He built. Certainly one would not say, “The Church of Satan” is an appropriate name. Hence, the name does matter. Perhaps there is something to a name after all.
Preparing For Storms
We are very fortunate today that with the aid of our civil defense tactics, hurricanes, tornadoes, floods and other similar disasters do not cause as much loss of lives as they once did. We have satellites and radar which provide us with information so we can prepare for these storms.
The early Church often faced storms. The early writers often warned of false teachers and doctrines. They faced the storms of paganism and idolatry along with many others. Finally, false ideas on church government caused tremendous damage to the Church and a great apostasy took place. Since the Restoration period, the Church has continued to face storms concerning missionary societies, instrumental music, Sunday School, women teachers, the number of drinking vessels used in the Communion, and a variety of other things.
The history of the Church shows us that storms have hit the Church and, in some instances, have ripped it apart. We must not get the idea that the Church of today will not also have its storms. In the coming days, the Church may face many storms and we must be prepared, so the damage will be minimal. Are there any storms that we are facing? Are there any dark, ominous clouds looming on the horizons? There are some (more than can be mentioned in this article), particularly the storms of materialism and immorality.
We are living in a day and age in which we have more material things than perhaps ever before. People are so concerned with things. Materialism has taken the place of spirituality. People may have more material things, but the spiritual welfare of people is sorely lacking. Jesus said, “Seek ye first the kingdom of God and His righteousness, and all these things shall be added unto you” (Matthew 6:33). We need people today who put first things first.
Unfortunately, many people have their priorities in the wrong place. They climb the company ladder of success, looking for more money, finer clothes, a better car, and a more expensive home. By men’s standards, they seem to be a great success. But, by God’s standards, where do they stand? It is a good thing for us to be a success on our jobs. The problem arises when we neglect things that are more valuable. We cannot neglect our families and the Church. We cannot let the desire for material things stand in our way of serving God. This is a message that needs to be reemphasized in our congregations today. Instead of focusing on material things, we need to focus on spiritual things. Spiritual things need to be first and foremost in our mind. Remember the words of Jesus (Matthew 6:19-21), “Lay not up for yourselves treasures upon earth, where moth and rust doth corrupt, and where thieves break through and steal. But lay up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where neither moth nor rust doth corrupt, and where thieves do not break through nor steal: For where your treasure is, there will your heart be also.” Materialism is a storm the Church is facing-as people become more concerned with the material, the welfare of the Church becomes less important to them.
Another storm that the Church is facing is immorality. You may think this to be a bit strange, after all, how many immoral people do you know in the Church? In our world today we see widespread marital infidelity, dysfunctional families and the widening acceptance of what has been called an “alternate lifestyle.” The sin of a man and woman living together without the benefits of the marriage vows now seems to be the “in thing” to do. Celebrities talk candidly about having a baby out of wedlock and others admit and even brag about participating in the sin of homosexuality. We are living in a day and age when morals are severely lacking. I am reminded of the last verse in the book of Judges which says “every man did that which was right in his own eyes.” There seems to be no standards for judging what is moral and immoral. There is a standard-people must return to God’s standard and get their lives in order. How does all of this affect the Church? The more we are bombarded with all of this, the greater likelihood it will have an effect upon the Church. The problem of divorce and remarriage has reared its ugly head in the Church. We must get a grip on this problem because it is a storm that has the potential for causing great damage to the Church. We must not be guilty of failing to teach God’s laws concerning marriage. God’s way is unlike today’s society where people evidently get married with the idea that if they have problems they can always get a divorce. God intended for a man and woman to remain married for a lifetime: (Genesis 2:24) ‘Therefore shall a man leave his father and mother and shall cleave unto his wife: and they shall be one flesh.” Jesus reinforced God’s law concerning marriage (Matthew 19:4-6) “And he answered and said unto them, Have ye not read, that he which made them at the beginning made them male and female. And said, For this cause shall a man leave father and mother, and shall cleave to his wife: and they twain shall be one flesh? Wherefore they are no more twain, but one flesh.What therefore God hath joined together let no man put asunder.” It is quite apparent that marriage was designed to be a lifetime commitment. People need to know that they cannot just divorce and remarry for any cause.
Going back to what Jesus said in Matthew 19:4, “Have ye not read, that he which made them in the beginning made them male and female.” We have in our society today a vocal minority who are trying to gain acceptance for an aberrant, abominable, sinful lifestyle. Jesus says a man leaves father and mother and cleaves to his wife, not to a “significant other.” This is a lifestyle that is condemned by God’s word in (I Cor. 6:9) “Know ye not that the unrighteous shall not inherit the kingdom of God? Be not deceived: neither fornicators, nor adulterers, nor effeminate, nor abusers of themselves with mankind.” God destroyed the cities of Sodom and Gomorrah because of this sin. The more people are inundated with such behavior, the more acceptable it will become. You say it will never be accepted in the Church and that is true; but this militant group sees as its major adversary the religious community. They have a plan to overcome what they consider to be bigoted, hatred, and uncompassionate attitudes. They seek to prohibit condemnation of their sinful lifestyles, even from the Church pulpit. Unfortunately the Church must prepare for the storm and continue to stand firmly against all sinful lifestyles.
Surely there are other storms that the Church will face in the future. Brethren, think on these things-the Church needs to prepare for the storms.
Would You Sell Jesus?
In Matt. 27:1-10 we are introduced to the scene where Jesus is bound and lead to Pilate the Roman governor. Amidst this commotion Judas shows his face again to the chief priests and elders proclaiming that he had “betrayed innocent blood.” The unsympathizing and cold hearted leaders told Judas “What is that to us?” Or in other words “Why should we care how you feel?” Judas then threw the money down and went from their presence and hang himself.
It would be a tragic ending, to face God in judgment as the one who Christ said that “it was better that he had not been born,” (Matt. 26:24). The prophecy is fulfilled which Jeremiah wrote of according to Matt. 27:9 “that they took the 30 pieces of silver, the price of him that was valued, whom the children of Israel did value; and gave them for a potters field.” Notice the words – “the price of him they valued.” This is what they valued Christ as, 30 pieces of silver.
Have you ever heard the saying “anything is for sale for the right price?” Is that true? Is that an absolute on everything in our lives? May I ask you how much do you value Christ? Would you sell Jesus as Judas did?
The Bible warns of selling out in our walk as Christians – compare the following verses: Luke 9:62, Heb. 10:28-29, and 2 Peter 2:20-22.
I hope the following poem which I wrote will allow each of us each to question how much we value Christ.
To Sell My Savior:
What would it take for me to crucify Jesus ?
What would it take for me to slay his innocent life?
Oh how could I stand before God on judgment day
When I have sold to Satan, Jesus today?
Oh what a price from Satan would it take
For me to pick up the hammer and drive the stake?
What would it take for me to lift him up high
To sit and watch as he hangs condemed to die?
What would it take to sell my love of God?
What would it take to part with my treasure above?
Oh was it love that compelled me to serve him night and day
If I can find a bargaining price for Satan to pay?
Can I sell my blessings to come for pleasures of today?
Can I denounce my faith when trouble comes my way?
Is it in me to throw my God away?
Oh what in me would compel my soul to sell Jesus today?
I would be foolish and blind with a heart hewn from stone
If I could take Jesus out of my heart, and off its throne.
If I could sell Jesus and be content with the price Satan’s willing to pay,
Then I can assure myself I am not fit to be alive today.
May each one of us stand and be determined that no matter what , we will not put a price tag on Jesus. How much do we value the Lord of Lords and King of Kings.
Instead of selling Jesus for worldly gain we need to have the determination of the man who Jesus spoke of in his parable, who when he found the pearl of great price went and sold all he had to obtain it (Matt. 13:45,46).
Can we answer these questions: Are we willing to sell all for Jesus? Or will we sell Jesus for all?