Gospel Gazette Online
Vol. 15 No. 2 February 2013
Page 12

Wisdom's Corner

Guarding Your Dreams

Mark McWhorter

Mark McWhorter“My son, keep your father's command, And do not forsake the law of your mother. Bind them continually upon your heart; Tie them around your neck. When you roam, they will lead you; When you sleep, they will keep you; And when you awake, they will speak with you” (Proverbs 6:20-22 NKJV).

Many people believe there is no way to control what they dream. While the mind does play funny tricks when a person is asleep, the mind cannot dream things that are not in the mind. The mind can put things together in a very strange way when one is asleep, but what one dreams is still dependent on what is in the mind.

This text tells us that if we keep God’s law and continually think on God’s Word, then our actions in life are led by it. The text even says that it will guard and keep watch over us when we are asleep. This means that proper things in our minds will guard against improper things. It is very important that we put the right things in our minds.

Obviously, we will hear and see things when we are awake that we do not want to see or hear. We cannot help it when that happens. No matter how hard we try, this will happen. Yet, if we are trying as hard as we can to study and obey God’s Word, He promises us that through His Word, He will guard us while we are asleep.

Study your Bible. Fill your mind with the wonderful teachings of God’s Word, and if any of this is hard to understand, ask an adult to help you.

Who Is Missing Out?

Allen Webster

Allen WebsterStudents are told by sin-loving peers that they are missing out by not getting drunk, attending wild parties, dancing, frequenting public beaches and having sex. Young adults are made to feel that they are missing out if they don’t barhop and bed-hop. Sinners just can’t see how a Christian could enjoy life without imbibing deeply at sin’s fountain.

On the other hand, Christians see that sinners are the ones who are missing out. The best life and the most enjoyable times come to those who have learned God’s secret to abundant living (John 10:10; 1 Peter 3:11).

Paul wrote of the prior sinful lives of some Christians, contrasting their present state with their former one. The contrast was significant and all in favor of their new world. Paul said, “At that time ye were without Christ, being aliens from the commonwealth of Israel, and strangers from the covenants of promise, having no hope, and without God in the world: but now in Christ Jesus ye who sometimes were far off are made nigh by the blood of Christ. For he is our peace” (Ephesians 2:12-14).

From Ephesians 2:12, what is a sinner missing out on?

A sinner is without Christ. He is a sheep without the Shepherd (Luke 15:1-7), a traveler without a way (John 14:6) and a hungry man without bread (John 6:41). He is a weary pilgrim without a place to rest (Matthew 11:28-30), a soldier without a captain (Hebrews 2:10), a branch without a vine (John 15:1-7) and a sinner without a friend (Luke 7:34). He is a child without an inheritance (Acts 20:32), a student without a teacher (John 3:2; Mark 12:14), a condemned man without an advocate (1 John 2:1) and a soul without a Savior (Philippians 3:20).

A sinner is without citizenship. “Commonwealth” (politeia; KJV – freedom 1, commonwealth 1; 2) refers to “the rights of a citizen.” Americans believe that we are citizens of the greatest country on earth. (I guess patriots of other countries feel the same way.) Yet, national citizenship is limited to political rights and freedoms. Each earthly citizen needs dual citizenship – political and spiritual, temporary and permanent, earthly and heavenly.

Sinners are the “aliens” (apallotrioo; KJV – be alienated with 2, be alien 1; 3) referred to in this passage. This word means those who are “alienated, estranged; shut out from one’s fellowship and intimacy.” So sinners are without any rights in God’s kingdom (cf. Nehemiah 2:20) and are outside of fellowship with God. From God’s perspective, they have “the understanding darkened, being alienated from the life of God through the ignorance that is in them, because of the blindness of their heart” (Ephesians 4:18; cf. Colossians 1:21). A Christian’s citizenship “is in heaven; from whence also we look for the Saviour, the Lord Jesus Christ” (Philippians 3:20).

A sinner is without promise. “Strangers” (xenos; KJV – stranger 10, host 1; 14) are what we would call “foreigners.” Interestingly, the word includes the meaning of “without the knowledge of, without a share in; unheard of.” At Judgment Day, the Lord will explain that He has not heard the names of sinners seeking entrance at heaven’s gate (cf. Matthew 7:23; 25:12). They will be without a share in the bounty of heaven’s treasures (John 14:1-2). All of the Bible promises belong to Christians, not sinners.

Sinners are without hope. “Hope” (elpis; KJV – hope 53, faith 1; 54) here refers to a “joyful and confident expectation of eternal salvation.” How pitiful to be without hope! French scientists once experimented on a criminal who had been convicted for murder and sentenced to death. The condemned man was strapped to a table and told that an artery in his arm was to be severed and that he would bleed to death in a matter of minutes.

The scientists proceeded with their experiment but made only a superficial wound on the surface of his skin. They did not tell him how superficial it was. Then they poured warm water over his arm, which he thought was blood. In just a few minutes he died because he had been convinced of the hopelessness of the situation. It is a sad thing to be without hope.

Conversely, what a blessing it is to have hope! Consider these precious verses:

“Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, which according to his abundant mercy hath begotten us again unto a lively hope by the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead” (1 Peter 1:3).

“For the hope which is laid up for you in heaven, whereof ye heard before in the word of the truth of the gospel… To whom God would make known what is the riches of the glory of this mystery among the Gentiles; which is Christ in you, the hope of glory” (Colossians 1:5-27).

“But I would not have you to be ignorant, brethren, concerning them which are asleep, that ye sorrow not, even as others which have no hope” (1 Thessalonians 4:13).

“Paul, an apostle of Jesus Christ by the commandment of God our Saviour, and Lord Jesus Christ, which is our hope” (1 Timothy 1:1).

“And every man that hath this hope in him purifieth himself, even as he is pure” (1 John 3:3).

Sinners are without God. This word, atheos, is the word from which we get atheist and is only found here in the New Testament. It means “knowing and worshipping no God; denying the gods, especially the recognized gods of the state” (cf. 2 Chronicles 15:3; 1 Corinthians 8:4-6).

It can also mean to be “abandoned by the gods.” God can get to the point where He gives up on people (Romans 1:28-32). Solomon said, “But ye have set at nought all my counsel, and would none of my reproof: I also will laugh at your calamity… they call upon me, but I will not answer; they shall seek me early, but they shall not find me: for that they hated knowledge, and did not choose the fear of the Lord” (Proverbs 1:25-31). How truly sad to think that some are abandoned by God.

The truth is God does not want anyone to miss out. God “will have all men to be saved, and to come unto the knowledge of the truth” (1 Timothy 2:4).

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