|Vol. 16 No. 5 May 2014||
I saw a movie a long time ago where a couple who grew up on a deserted island were discovered. One part I remember in particular is an altercation that took place between the native male and one of the male “discoverers.” During the fight, the native wrestled a gun away from his attacker. I remember the part because upon receiving the gun, he held it in a funny fashion and began thrusting it like a spear; that was all he was accustomed to doing. He had never seen a firearm before and no idea what it was capable of; for years he had been using his spear to hunt and fish. The memory of the scene fades at this point, but the lesson stands firm in my mind: It is one thing to have a weapon, but it is an entirely different matter, however, to be proficient with it.
We are in the midst of a great spiritual battle against Satan and his minions (Ephesians 6:11-12). No firearm will aid us in this fight, only “the sword of the spirit” can avail (6:17b). When the time comes for us to engage the enemy, if we are not proficient with our weapon, that is, if we have no knowledge of God and no relationship with Him, we will be destroyed, just like Israel was destroyed (Hosea 4:5). If we wish to fare better than Israel did, then we must become proficient with the sword; that is, we have to study the Word of God. If we are to survive the coming conflicts, we must present ourselves before God as workmen who are not ashamed (2 Timothy 2:15), and we must always be ready to give an answer (1 Peter 3:15).
The Christian’s Fire
In Acts 17, Paul went to Mars Hill to declare the truth of the resurrection. There were many listeners who gathered who were not spiritually minded. Luke, who wrote the Book of Acts by inspiration, recorded that they spent their days simply wanting to discuss the latest new ideas with little interest in action on what they learned (v. 21). Too much information can be dangerous. All the ideas can blur together and become incoherent, leaving us unchanged by what we know.
Centuries ago, the historian Plutarch (ca. 46 – 120 A.D.) warned of the danger of living on a purely informational level. He wisely said, “The mind is not a jar to be filled, but a fire to be kindled.” The two disciples on the road to Emmaus would have agreed (Luke 24:13-32). They grieved the death of Jesus, but the risen Christ Himself joined them, yet He hid His identity. He began instructing them on the ancient prophecies of those events found throughout the Old Testament. Later that day, Christ revealed Himself to them and then departed.
After His departure, they marveled at what they had heard. The things taught were not sterile facts, but a fire that burned within them with devotion for the Lord. We are told in Luke 24:32 “Did not our heart burn within us while He talked with us on the road, and while He opened the Scriptures to us?” Until we have a fire burning within our hearts, we cannot start a fire in someone else’s heart. We must trust the Shepherd of our souls to kindle our fire as we grow in His Word.
Ernest S. Underwood
The atheist and evolutionist hate all of the Bible, but especially the very first verse of this Grand Book. You know what that verse says, “In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth.” Oh, how these God-haters, the humanist and immoral people included, hate the Person who appears as the fourth word in this verse, namely, God! These individuals want Him out of man’s thinking, out of anything to do with our nation and totally out of any public life whatsoever. Why? Because the very idea of His presence intimidates them. I am sure that you have already heard this, but it is worth repeating. True scientists know that there are certain elements that must be present for the existence of things. They are: time, force, energy, space and matter. It is interesting that each of these elements are found in that very first verse of God’s Word. Notice: “In the beginning [time] God [force] created [energy] the heavens [space] and the earth [matter].” Let the fool be foolish, and let the hater of God deny His existence. He exists, and He rules! The prophet Habakkuk put it this way: “…the LORD is in His holy temple. Let all the earth keep silence before Him.”