|Volume 22 Number 10 October 2020||
Martha Lynn Rushmore
Romans 3:23 says, “for all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God.” Thus, we are all sinners. Since we are all sinners, let’s look into the Word of God to see if there is any way to miss the Hell that is waiting for those who obey not the Gospel (1 Peter 4:17).
We have learned since childhood, those of us who were raised in the church, that there are five steps to becoming a Christian. First, we must hear the Word (Romans 10:17). When we hear God’s Word, we will then believe it as stated in Mark 16:16. The third step is repentance of wrong doings (Luke 13:3, 5). Then, in Romans 10:9-10, we are told to confess that Christ is the Son of God. The last step before we become a Christian is to be baptized for the remission of sins (Acts 2:38). After doing these five things, a person becomes a Christian.
Now that we have brought Christ into our lives, we must work for the Lord. We all have different jobs to do. We are a part of the body of which Christ is the Head (1 Corinthians 12:12-31; Colossians 1:17-18). These verses also compare to the human body. The head is over the body, but there are many parts of the body such as the arms, legs, ears, eyes, feet, etc. As Christ has different parts to His body, these parts have different jobs. Some of the jobs in the body of Christ are preaching, teaching, leading songs, praying, sending cards to those in the family of God and others, cleaning the building, getting the communion ready and many more jobs to be done as Christians. We just need to look for the work to be done, and I know we do not have to look very hard because there is a lot of work to be done by all.
Yes, we are all sinners, but we have a way to avoid Hell if we obey the Bible. Once we have become Christians, we can fall back into the world if we are not careful. God has made a way of escape (1 Corinthians 10:13) if we repent of our sins as Simon the Sorcerer was told in Acts 8:17-24. Sometimes, we let pride interfere, but if we need to repent of sins, I urge us to put away pride and ask God for forgiveness; sometimes, repentance involves our fellow man, too.
Unfortunately, for those who do not obey our Lord, there is no hope of Heaven. God is a just God, and He cannot lie (Hebrews 6:18). God also states that there are two ways: one is narrow, and few find it, and one is broad and many there be that find it (Mathew 7:13). The narrow way leads to Heaven, and the broad way leads to everlasting punishment. Which road are you taking?
Yes, we are all sinners. However, we can escape Hell is we obey our Lord and always put Him and His Word first in our lives. We cannot be Christians in the church building, but as soon as we are out of it, we live like the ungodly, devil led world.
[Editor’s Note: It’s an interesting thought that we don’t dare be brick-and-mortar Christians only and at the same time expect to be pleasing to God in this life and rewarded with eternal life at the Judgment. ~ Louis Rushmore, Editor]
The Biggest Two-Letter Word — If
In his book, Know Your Bible, Frank J. Dunn wrote about the occasion and the purpose of the Book of Deuteronomy. “The review of the law was necessary because the former generation had perished in the wilderness and a new generation was ready to enter Canaan. It was not a new law or a mere repetition of the law given at Mt. Sinai, but rather an application of the law in view of the conditions Israel would meet in Canaan.” He further wrote, “In no other book are the ways of obedience and disobedience more dramatically contrasted… In Deuteronomy 28, the fearful consequences of disobedience are foretold… The subsequent fulfillment of these predictions in the tragic history of the Jews is one proof of the divine inspiration of the Bible.”
Aubrey Johnson wrote, Renewing Your Spiritual Life – A Study of Deuteronomy: 13 Simple Steps for Maximum Spiritual Growth. One of the chapters is entitled, “Renew Your Happiness; Let Happiness Pursue You.” Chapter 28 of Deuteronomy contains two major thoughts: Blessings on obedience (verses 1-14) and Curses on disobedience (verses 15-68). On this chapter brother Johnson wrote:
Moses longed for his people to find happiness in the new land. Just before his death, he shared with them the secret of real and lasting joy. Those who obeyed God would be blessed. Covenant faithfulness was the only path to genuine happiness. God is the source of life and all that makes it abundant and meaningful (Deuteronomy 30:20). Happiness, therefore, is only possible by remaining in fellowship with the Lord.
In Deuteronomy 28:1-9, Moses declared to the people:
Now it shall come to pass, if you diligently obey the voice of the LORD your God, to observe carefully all His commandments which I command you today, that the LORD your God will set you high above all nations of the earth. And all these blessings shall come upon you and overtake you, because you obey the voice of the LORD your God: Blessed shall you be in the city… and in the country. Blessed shall be the fruit of your body, the produce of your ground… and herds… and flocks. Blessed shall be your basket and your kneading bowl. Blessed shall you be when you come in and blessed shall you be when you go out. The LORD will cause your enemies… to be defeated before your face. The LORD will command the blessing on you in your storehouses… and in the land. The LORD will establish you as a holy people to Himself, just as He has sworn to you, if you keep the commandments of the LORD your God and walk in His ways.
God’s assurance of blessings continued in verses 10-12.
Then all peoples of the earth shall see that you are called by the name of the Lord, and they shall be afraid of you. And the Lord will grant you plenty of goods, in the fruit of your body, in the increase of your livestock, and in the produce of your ground, in the land of which the Lord swore to your fathers to give you. The Lord will open to you His good treasure, the heavens, to give the rain to your land in its season, and to bless all the work of your hand. You shall lend to many nations, but you shall not borrow.
Verse13 makes a final declaration of the blessings that would be theirs with one condition. “And the LORD will make you the head and not the tail; you shall be above only, and not be beneath, if you heed the commandments of the LORD your God, which I command you today, and are careful to observe them.”
On the curses for disobedience brother Johnson wrote, “The Israelites rejoiced in Moses’ encouraging words, but their mood must have changed as he continued. Moses explained that the covenant had a negative as well as a positive side. With a frightening list of curses, he warned the people about the disaster of disobedience. Deuteronomy 28 mentions four times as many curses as blessings. Just as surely as happiness would follow submission, tragedy would result from defiance or neglect.”
Deuteronomy 28:15 states this grim and alarming warning: “But it shall come to pass, if you do not obey the voice of the LORD your God, to observe carefully all His commandments and His statutes which I command you today, that all these curses will come upon you and overtake you.” Moses proceeded to warn them in verses 16-57 with an outpouring of curses of horrific proportions! The tragedy is almost beyond comprehension in magnitude! Who could endure such agonizing suffering and some live to tell about it? Verses 58-59 continue with more dire warnings for disobedience. “If you do not carefully observe all the words of this law that are written in this book, that you may fear this glorious and awesome name, THE LORD YOUR GOD, then the LORD will bring upon you and your descendants extraordinary plagues—great and prolonged plagues—and serious and prolonged sicknesses.”
Moses forthrightly announced to the people if their heart turned away and they would not hear and they were drawn away to worship other gods and to serve them, they would surely perish. In Deuteronomy 30:19-20, Moses declared:
I call heaven and earth as witnesses today against you, that I have set before you life and death, blessing and cursing; therefore choose life, that both you and your descendants may live; that you may love the LORD your God, that you may obey His voice, and that you may cling to Him, for He is your life and the length of your days; and that you may dwell in the land which the LORD swore to your fathers, to Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob, to give them.
God’s love for Israel is the exact same love He has for us. God’s laws are an expression of His love. He governs us because He loves us and wants us to be saved. We know this because God sent Christ Jesus to sacrifice His life for us.
Romans 15:4 states, “For whatever things were written before were written for our learning, that we through the patience [perseverance] and comfort of the Scriptures might have hope.” What have we learned about the love of God from those who have gone before us? God made sure that we had numerous examples of obedience and the blessings that were forthcoming, as well as the examples of disobedience and the consequences that followed. God never leaves us wondering about what will happen if we obey Him and what will happen if we disobey Him. There are countless things God has not revealed to us. However, the significance of our choices between right and wrong, to obey or to disobey, could not have been made any plainer.