Self-Condemned

BibleTributeI have a copy of Class Notes on Romans, written by the late Roy H. Lanier, Sr. On the front cover of that book is this amazing poem of praise for God’s Word. Please read it and think about the VALUE of the Bible, and please be sure not to stand Self-Condemned

  1. The Bible is a message of instruction; a message of warning; and it is a message of hope.
  2. All men everywhere should rejoice at hearing and understanding that message.
  3. It is a light to our feet, a chart for the traveler, and a compass for the sailor.
  4. It is food for the soul, balm for the aching heart, and medicine for the sick.
  5. It is a sword for the soldier, seed for the sower, and a girdle for the weary.
  6. It comforts the sorrowing, encourages the faint, and gives hope to the discouraged.
  7. It rebukes the ungodly, reproves the negligent, and corrects the wanderer.
  8. It is to be studied in life, cherished in death, and answered in the judgment.
  9. Let us rejoice in every opportunity we have to read it, appreciate every explanation we hear of it, and put into practice every lesson we learn from it.
  10. To obey it is to build on the Rock eternal.
  11. To disobey it is to build on the shifting sand.
  12. To neglect to learn it is to stand self-condemned.

A Special Kind of Wisdom

woman reading book
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The fruit of the righteous is a tree of life; and he that winneth souls is wise (Proverbs 11.30). The Book of Proverbs is a great source of practical instruction about life and how to live it in the best possible way. A great suggestion for becoming more familiar with Proverbs is to read one chapter from this great book each day. Following this procedure, the book gets read each month. Proverbs 11.30 certainly ought to be a verse that slows us down as we read to spend some serious “pondering time.” To ponder is not as common as once it was, because of the rush-rush world in which we live.

I have an old volume of Teacher’s Annual Lesson Commentary in my personal library. I love these books, especially some of the older ones. This particular book was published in 1952 for the use of Bible Class teachers in 1953. One of the many texts dealt with in this edition of the series is Proverbs 11.30. Roy H. Lanier, Sr., was the editor of this volume. He makes application of this text to wise men winning souls away from destruction. He lists seven reasons why such an activity is to be labeled W-I-S-E.

  1. When we win a soul for Christ, we lessen the influence for evil in the world.
  2. When we win a soul for Christ we increase the total influence for good in the world.
  3. When we win a soul for Christ we have done that person the greatest favor it is possible to do.
  4. In that way we cause more joy in heaven than we can cause in any other way (Luke 15.7).
  5. In doing so, we save a soul from eternal death (James 5.20).
  6. We transform a life from sin and shame unto a life of righteousness and usefulness.
  7. In doing so, we are trying to win our own souls from destruction by not only hearing but doing what Jesus has taught us to do (Matthew 7.24-27).

May I just ask you to look over brother Lanier’s seven points once again? It is easy to skim through a list and not get the full benefit that is available with a careful consideration of that which is listed.

I want us to contemplate the immense value the work of winning souls happens to be. Can we not find within this listing of the value of evangelistic activity some point that will serve as a goad or prick to our own feeble efforts in that direction? Paul was told by our Lord that it was hard for him to kick against the pricks (Acts 9.5). The “prick” or “goad” was the same instrument used by Shamgar to kill 600 Philistines (Judges 3.31). The prick was a sharp piece of iron on a stick with which the ox is urged on in the right direction by its owner [Barnes’ Notes]. I have seen them used quite effectively in India and Indonesia. Let’s allow these shining truths to prick us in the right direction, also.

To be wise with the use of our God-given resources is something good and pleasant to the Lord. If we would take notice of the opportunities that come our way to reach out to the lost and to be an influence for that which is right and good, the rewards for the vision and actions should truly be large. For those of us at Maple Hill, let’s be sure to get those “business cards” out into the public!

Tools that are available to us today are truly amazing! The use of whatever means or method we have available to work toward winning lost souls just has to be the most special kind of wisdom!

TRUTH for July 2018

JournalsHead.TruthI have just received the July issue of TRUTH from Roger Campbell. There are four fine articles in this month’s issue: (1) Pointing Fingers at Others; (2) What Do You Remember about Abigail?; (3) Lord, Help Me Have a Spirit of Sacrifice; (4) Two Paths which Lead to Two Eternal Destinies. We encourage you to read and be edified by these four articles. Find them by clicking here… Truth1807

Cain’s Complaint

Captions.GodDidntSayNotToOne of the most important and basic aspects of ascertaining Bible authority is to understand what might be labeled: The Law of Exclusion.  If a person understands clearly this important principle, his acceptance of other truths of the Bible is greatly aided.  Whenever we have an opportunity to help someone understand this wonderful principle, we OUGHT to avail ourselves of that opportunity.

The fact is that this principle is illustrated in many ways throughout the Bible.  We will not be lacking in ways to help other people understand this important principle if we are familiar at all with our Bibles.  We certainly should not be surprised at this fact, of the abundance of material on this important subject, because the Bible contains all things that pertain to life and godliness (2 Pet 1:3).  Let’s notice together how Cain’s Complaint helps us understand this principle.

In the very beginning of God’s dealings with mankind, we find the law of exclusion at work.  Consider the account of Cain and Abel.  We know that Abel offered his sacrifice by faith (Heb 11:4).  We know also that faith comes by hearing the word of God (Rom 10:17).  Therefore we must conclude that God gave instruction to these brothers about the sacrifice which would be acceptable.  However, one of these brothers had respect for the law of exclusion and one of them did not.  What was the result of Cain’s disrespect for the law of exclusion?  Well let’s read it from God’s word: “And Abel, he also brought of the firstlings of his flock and of the fat thereof. And the LORD had respect unto Abel and to his offering: 5 But unto Cain and to his offering he had not respect. And Cain was very wroth, and his countenance fell” (Gen 4:4-5).

How did Cain disrespect the law of exclusion and thus cause God to have no respect for his offering?  It is very easy to see that Cain made a substitute.  He did not appreciate, at the time, the fact that when God speaks there can be no substitute.  Man’s part is to do what God commands and to refrain from attempts to make substitute.  How did Cain feel after God “had not respect for” his offering?  The Bible says that “his countenance fell.”  One version says: “his face became sad.”  Have you ever seen a disobedient little child hang their head in shame?  This is similar to what Cain did here.

Cain’s lack of respect for the law of exclusion was the fundamental cause of his sadness and the rejection of what he had to offer to the Lord.  God will not allow man to make substitutes for His will.  Why cannot men today learn the lesson of the law of exclusion?

Do you know what God called that which Cain did?  God referred to Cain’s substitution–his lack of respect for the law of exclusion–as SIN!  Let’s listen in on God’s conversation with Cain–“And the LORD said unto Cain, Why art thou wroth? and why is thy countenance fallen? 7 If thou doest well, shalt thou not be accepted? and if thou doest not well, sin lieth at the door. And unto thee [shall be] his desire, and thou shalt rule over him” (Gen 4:6-7).  There is a way that is right and it leads to acceptance with God.  There is a way that is wrong and it involves SUBSTITUTING man’s will for God’s will.  This way of substitution, this way of neglecting the law of exclusion, is a way that is called SIN! There were consequences for Cain’s lack of respect for the law of exclusion.  There will always be consequences for neglecting the law of exclusion!

Can we be instructed by Cain and his neglect of this law?  Cain went his own way.  Cain made the substitution.  Cain was told by God what he did wrong.  Cain would not receive instruction about his own wrongdoing, but set about to “get even” by attacking the one who did show respect for the law of exclusion, his own brother.  Cain’s way is much too familiar in the religious world today!

When we cry out today of the need to have Bible authority for all that we do, that cry is met, in far too many instances, by “Cain’s Complaint.”  Cain’s Complaint, in effect was: God didn’t say not to offer “the fruit of the ground.”  Men today, when confronted with this principle, cry out: “The Bible doesn’t say not to __________.”

How can men expect to be well pleasing to the God of heaven when they are unwilling to be instructed by plain teaching in God’s word?   Please don’t ignore it in your life.