|Volume 17 Number 6 June 2015||
When I was a boy, our family had a “bathroom” scale which had originally belonged to my father’s parents. It had the old style pointer needle on a clock-like face. I suspect my father was the one who wrote “The Awful Truth” upon the dial.
There are often truths about us of which we are not proud. We become inventive of ways to evade or excuse some facts about ourselves.
Writings of men often extol their heroes, purposefully overlooking or at least minimizing their faults. In contrast, the Bible is impartial. This unique quality is one of the indicators that points toward the Scriptures’ divine origin.
Take for example the account of Rahab (Joshua 2:1-14). She was a resident of Jericho. She is frankly said to have been “a harlot” (Joshua 2:1). However, her name appears honorably in the genealogy of our blessed Lord (Matthew 1:5). She is also noted for her faith because she “received the spies with peace” (Hebrews 11:31). Some have tried to dismiss the awful truth of her early life by saying that this lady was merely an “innkeeper.” However, the Greek word “porne” used in Hebrews 11:31 is defined as “prostitute” (Thayer). The Bible only commends Rahab for what she did right, but it neither ignores nor condones her initial lifestyle or her lying (Joshua 2:5).
Compare John 8:1-11 where a woman “taken in adultery, in the very act” (John 8:4) was brought before Jesus. Jesus exposed the hypocrisy of her accusers. The Mosaic Law required both offenders to be brought (Deuteronomy 22:22), but they had only brought the woman, proving they had no real respect for God’s law. The Law also required two or three witnesses to prosecute an offender. Jesus did not ignore her sin, but rather He said, “go thy way; from henceforth sin no more” (John 8:11). The Bible never “shades” the truth.
David is hailed as a man after God’s own heart (1 Samuel 13:14), and his name appears in the list of great people of faith (Hebrews 11:32). His heart of devotion is remarkable. Any eulogy for him written by men could be long indeed, and might conspicuously leave out unpleasantries. The Bible, however, reveals his fine qualities, as well as his lust, adultery and murder (2 Samuel 11).
Only one life has ever been lived that was unmarred by sin. Jesus was “in all points tempted like as we are, yet without sin” (Hebrews 4:15). Rather than ignore or excuse our own sinfulness, we ought to turn in repentance to the One who died for us (Romans 5:8; Acts 2:37, 38; 1 Peter 1:22).
[Editor’s Note: The awful truth is that many people, including some members of the churches of Christ, are prone to excuse their own sinful rebellion, often while adamantly condemning their peers for their sinful shortcomings. It is past time for Bible believers, non-Christians and Christians also, to repent and obey Jesus Christ (Hebrews 5:8-9) while we yet draw breath and the forbearance of God stalls the end of time.
The Lord is not slack concerning His promise, as some count slackness, but is longsuffering toward us, not willing that any should perish but that all should come to repentance. But the day of the Lord will come as a thief in the night, in which the heavens will pass away with a great noise, and the elements will melt with fervent heat; both the earth and the works that are in it will be burned up. Therefore, since all these things will be dissolved, what manner of persons ought you to be in holy conduct and godliness, looking for and hastening the coming of the day of God, because of which the heavens will be dissolved, being on fire, and the elements will melt with fervent heat? Nevertheless we, according to His promise, look for new heavens and a new earth in which righteousness dwells. Therefore, beloved, looking forward to these things, be diligent to be found by Him in peace, without spot and blameless; and consider that the longsuffering of our Lord is salvation — as also our beloved brother Paul, according to the wisdom given to him, has written to you. (2 Peter 3:9-15 NKJV)
~ Louis Rushmore, Editor]
There is a lot of confusion in the religious world about the church: what it is, what it represents, its significance, how many there are, etc. All of the questions and problems cannot be addressed in a single, brief article, but this is a start. Here are five things Christians need to know about the church of the Bible – and what they need to teach to others.
[Editor’s Note: Brother Tom concisely and plainly brought to the forefront five New Testament doctrines with which no true Bible believer can dispute. Friend, Dear Reader, if any of the simple statements above trouble you, then you may need to ask yourself, “Why am I troubled with the Word of God?” ~ Louis Rushmore, Editor]