Gospel Gazette Online
Volume 23 Number 3 March 2021
Page 7

Want To Leave, Says God?

Aaron Cozort

Aaron CozortWho remembers and mourns for those destroyed by a wicked nation? Who weeps for the fallen, the downtrodden, and abused? Whose eyes are fountains of tears for the slain of Israel? God.

Oh, that my head were waters,
And my eyes a fountain of tears,
That I might weep day and night
For the slain of the daughter of my people! (Jeremiah 9:1)

Has God ever sought an escape from your nation? A strange idea to some, but one with a clear scriptural principle at its foundation. God spoke to Israel and said that He would dwell with them (Deuteronomy 14), but then God wanted a dwelling place in the wilderness, an escape from this nation, a place of solace where travelers would lodge, but where no one from Israel dwelt.

Oh, that I had in the wilderness
A lodging place for travelers;
That I might leave my people,
And go from them! (Jeremiah 9:2)

What could make God want an escape from those whom He once sought? Has God changed? Does He no longer love these people? No. The people changed. The nation became corrupt. The people that were once defined by holiness, purity and loveliness bathed themselves in sin.

For they are all adulterers,
An assembly of treacherous men.
And like their bow they have bent their tongues for lies. (Jeremiah 9:2-3)

Wickedness is all the rage today. America, like Israel of old, has bent its tongues for lies. Religion is ancient fables. God a myth. Morality relative. Evil has become excellent. Abomination is overwhelmingly popular. What is good is whatever the majority approves in the most recent opinion poll. This quotation has been synonymous with American culture for far too many generations:

They are not valiant for the truth on the earth.
For they proceed from evil to evil,
And they do not know Me, says the Lord. (Jeremiah 9:3)

Are You an Asset or a Liability?

Paul Clements

Paul ClementsThis is a question regarding your relationship to Christ and His church. It deserves an answer. An asset is an advantage, a useful and valuable resource. In finances, it is on the plus side of the ledger. A liability is a drawback, that which is not beneficial. It would be someone that is a disadvantage to the cause, an encumbrance, hindrance or impediment.

Ask yourself, “If everyone in the church was just like me, what kind of church would this church be?” Would we have to call off some of the services or classes due to lack of attendance, or would we soon be having to put chairs in the aisle because you are inviting and teaching the lost?

If you were not here next Lord’s Day, would the contribution drop dramatically because you are a liberal giver, or would there be little change in the total?

Consider these questions: Do you teach (privately or in the classroom)? How are you using your talents? Is the worship God-centered and reverential because of your demeanor and conduct? In your relationships with the brethren, do you love from the heart, or do you just tolerate them? Do you spread gossip or only good news? Do you help or hinder a fellow Christian in his service to God? Are you a steppingstone or a stumbling block? How encouraging are you?

In your daily walk, what impression do you leave with others? Do they view the church in a good way because of the example you set? Do people who work with you respect you and have a high regard for the church because of the way you conduct yourself?

How many baptisms would we have this year? Would we still be considered a friendly congregation if everyone were like you? How many sick would be visited this week? Would any hungry be fed? What nice thing would be done for someone else if everybody were just like you? Etc., etc., etc.

If you were not here, would the church be better off, or would we be the worse for it? Ask yourself, “In one year from now, where would the church be if the whole church was just like me”?

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