LET'S CALL SIN, SIN
With the school text book controversy in West Virginia, the blatant use of four letter profane words, suggestive references to lewdness and fornication plus the brazen display of semi-nude human bodies on television, screen, magazines and some newspapers, I felt that the following article written by Paul Harvey to be very timely for us as we face a new year:
"Nobody disputes the fact of our nation's moral decay, but there is much dispute about what should be done about it."
Most every newspaper, broadcast, magazine and law enforcement bulletin headlines the degeneration of this generation. Not everybody wants to call sin, sin. Some call it "mischief," "delinquency," or "rebellion." And hardly anyone can agree where we should draw the line. Articles seek to decree ground rules for necking and petting. Well intention agencies seek to prescribe when indulgences becomes over-indulgence, our courts are trying in vain to define pornography. Yet moral law is specific very specific to any reader of God's Word. You can ignore that Word, or deny it, or you can argue it, deride it, poke fun at it. But when you have done your worst, the Word is still there as old as twenty centuries B.C. and as new as twenty centuries A.D.
Religious leaders seeking to "Bring the Church into the 20th Century," by disregarding the absoluteness of moral law, are taking it more backward than forward. The sins for which God destroyed Sodom and Gomorra in the days of Abraham are the same sins that bedevil us today.
Then, as now, the doctrine of the willful was that social life has no rules that whatever any adult wants to do is all right if in doing it he does not physically harm someone else; or, that two adults can do anything in private they please so long as no one is offended in public. The Bible calls this "lawlessness." With such conditions existing and daily becoming worse, the course for the Church in 1975 seems very clear to me. You need to stand up and be counted for the Lord in a definite personal and united stand against these evils and for God. WE NEED, AND MUST HAVE REVIVAL
January 13, 1975
"Be still and know that I am God." (Psalm 46:10) Some time ago there was a song in vogue with the crazy title or refrain "Stop the World and Let Me Off." Oh I don't remember the words and maybe I even have the title wrong. However, the sentiment of the song was that things were going too fast.
Recently, out of a clear blue sky, gov't sources announced an energy crisis and warned America that if we were going to survive the crisis we would have to conserve our resources. We soon found out that this meant shorter and less frequent auto trips at a reduced rate of speed. Gasoline stations closed on Sundays. Less heat and light in our homes, offices and factories. Yet, with one voice, America cried out against the injustice of it all, said nasty things about the Arabs and our gov't officials, but, as in every real crisis, America set out to comply with these new restrictions. Traffic slowed down, car pools were formed, we have started to stay home more, or, at least closer to home. We even have time now to visit our next door neighbor and perhaps go to Church on Sunday. Have you ever stopped to consider that God may have arranged for it all to get America slowed down enough that she would have time enough to think about her soul? For years I have complained and listened to the complaint of others that our pace of life was too fast. However, nobody seemed to know how to get thing turned off or slowed down. Then, one morning we woke up and found that somebody else had done it for us.
QUESTION: Will we spend our time grumbling at the inconvenience brought on us by the energy crisis? Or, will we quit putting our trust in "things" and use this extra time at home and the slower pace of travel to let our soul catch up with us? Maybe, we can now find time to visit our next door neighbor, pray, read our Bible, and attend the public worship of God.
God is saying to materialistic America, "Be still and know that I am God."
January 31, 1974
"And the Lord said unto the servants, go out into the highways and hedges and compel them to come in that my house may be filled." Luke 14:23
Recently a minister made a statement that is typical of much of Churchanity today, ministers and laymen alike. He said, "I do not try to hard sell religion." In view of our text and many related teachings of the Bible. I wonder what this man and those with similar attitudes toward the salvation of souls will have to say when they stand before the Christ who gave this parable to teach the importance of soul winning? It is a well known fact of life that folk give time and energy to the tasks that they feel are important and urgent. The tasks that they feel are less important and urgent they tend to give proportionately less time and energy. Do you agree? Then, in view of this observation, and judging from the enthusiasm for the cause of Christ (especially during revivals and other special efforts), I would say that a large portion of the membership have no deep concern for the salvation of the lost. The general attitude seems to be "Well I got my name on the church roll; let the other fellow look out for himself."
Ben McClain was a layman in the former E.U.B. church and although he had a bad heart he averaged winning three hundred souls for Christ each year during the last years of his life. He and his wife were constantly in revival meetings where they sang and worked with children. Since he would be working with pastors and evangelists, I assume that most of his victories for Christ were won in personal work.
Ben was always happy and enthusiastic and wherever you see him, he wanted to witness for his Lord. If he didn't know you, Ben always made it a point to ask you if you were saved and if your answer was "No," he would proceed to try to lead you to the Lord.
I visited Ben in the hospital one time. Ben had gone in for treatment and rest but I soon found out that Ben was using his waking hours to visit from room to room and win souls for Christ. To Ben McClain, winning souls for Christ was more important than life itself. His love and loyalty to Christ had priority over everything else.
What had happened to Ben to give him such a desire to serve the Lord and win souls? Pentecostal fires burned in his soul that would not permit him to rest as long as there was a lost soul that he was able to reach with the message of redemption. His often stated desire was to die serving his Lord. One evening during a revival that I was attending. Ben McClain died of a heart attack as he was working with a group of children. There is no question in my mind where Ben went after death. Truly, he had "Gone into the highways and hedges" and compelled the lost to listen to God's message of redemption.
Pentecost and the baptism of the Holy Ghost change that group of 120 nominal, fearful, purposeless, self-concerned, disciples into flaming evangels for Christ that only death could stop. No sacrifice was too great and no service too arduous for them as they labored for their beloved Christ.
What is needed today then to restore this lost passion for souls to the nominal church? The answer is plain. We need a personal Pentecost and the baptism of the Holy Ghost to purify us from the remnants of the old carnal nature, set us aflame with love to God and concern for the lost. The promise of the Holy Ghost is yours. What will you do with it?
April 1, 1970
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