|Volume 24 Number 2 February 2022
Sometimes the valleys in life are deep and long, but those are not the times to give up. Blaming God and leaving the Lord is not the answer. Gold refined by fire rids the dross and makes it purer (1 Peter 1:7). I think of this passage in Proverbs 24:10, “If you faint in the day of adversity, Your strength is small” (NKJV).
There was a time when many of the disciples of the Lord left Him. “From that time many of His disciples went back and walked with Him no more. Then Jesus said to the twelve, ‘Do you also want to go away?’ But Simon Peter answered Him, ‘Lord, to whom shall we go? You have the words of eternal life. Also we have come to believe and know that You are the Christ, the Son of the living God’” (John 6:66-69). It is in the valleys of life that I especially need Him. He has never forsaken me, and so, why should I forsake Him? He is my Rock and my Salvation. He is my High Tower and my Shelter in the time of the storms. He gives me comfort in the night. His strength is greatly manifested in weakness. I have often requested of Him to bestow His grace upon me so that I might see the sun beyond the overcast and the silver lining behind every cloud. His grace is sufficient for me.
A moving verse is found in James 4:6, which is a simple but a very profound statement, “But He gives more grace…” Here is a precious promise of our Heavenly Father, “Call upon Me in the day of trouble; I will deliver you, and you shall glorify me” (Psalm 50:15). Also, we find in Psalm 46:1 that “God is our refuge and strength, A very present help in trouble.” The following hymn, found in a book by Rowland V. Bingham, explains best what I am trying to say.
He Giveth More Grace
Annie J. Flint (1866-1932)
He giveth more grace as our burdens grow greater,
He sendeth more strength as our labors increase;
To added afflictions He addeth His mercy,
To multiplied trials He multiplies peace.
When we have exhausted our store of endurance,
When our strength has failed ere the day is half done,
When we reach the end of our hoarded resources
Our father’s full giving is only begun.
Fear not that thy need shall exceed His provision,
Our God ever yearns His resources to share;
Lean hard on the arm everlasting, availing;
The Father both thee and thy load will upbear.
His love has no limits, His grace has no measure,
His power no boundary known unto men;
For out of His infinite riches in Jesus
He giveth, and giveth, and giveth again.
Bingham, Rowland V. The Making of the Beautiful: The Triumphant Story of Annie Johnson Flint. Evangelical publishers, 1948.
It Matters What the Bible Teaches
The apostle Paul entered Athens almost nineteen hundred years ago. While preaching the Gospel of God in that Grecian city, many who heard him exclaimed, “…You are bringing some strange things to our ears…” (Acts 17:20). The apostle told them about the one true God, the Creator of the heavens and the earth, as well as all that is in them – including man himself. The people of Athens were very religiously inclined. They attempted to worship God, but they were trying to worship God Whom they did not know. They were ignorant of the One True God. Hence, Paul told them, “…Therefore, the One whom you worship without knowing, Him I proclaim to you” (Acts 17:23). They were sincerely worshipping God Whom they didn’t know. They didn’t know His will. They didn’t know how to worship God acceptably, as He revealed. Their worship was based on their own imaginations; they were following traditions they had learned from their parents or others. So, Paul told them they were worshipping God ignorantly. Hearing Paul preach the truth, they exclaimed, “You are bringing some strange things to our ears.”
Millions of people have the same attitude today for the truth of the Gospel. Today, many religious people, who believe the Bible to be the Word of God and who believe that Christ is the Savior and the Son of God, find it very strange when Gospel teaching is brought to their attention. They are astonished to learn that according to the teaching of the Bible, one is not saved simply by believing in Christ, by accepting Christ as one’s personal savior or by merely praying for salvation. Many preachers throughout the world for many years have been preaching these false doctrines of salvation, and millions of people have been deceived. They are deceived because they are ignorant of what the Bible teaches one must do to be saved from sins. Many people are honest, religious, sincere, God-fearing and Bible believing people. Yet, they have never checked or read from the Bible itself correctly about what the Bible teaches concerning salvation. They have simply heard what preachers or “Pastors” told them, and subsequently, they believed and followed false teaching. Unfortunately, millions are as deceived as those about whom we read in Matthew 7:21-23.
The Lord Jesus Christ taught, “He who rejects Me, and does not receive My words, has that which judges him – the word that I have spoken will judge him in the last day” (John 12:48). The word of Christ or God will judge us all on the last day, rather than what a preacher or a “Pastor” said! Our souls are at stake. When it comes to the salvation of our souls, heed Jesus Christ rather than what some preacher says, which contradicts our Lord. Listen to what the author of salvation, Jesus Christ, has said about who will be saved. He said, “He who believes and is baptized will be saved; but he who does not believe will be condemned” (Mark 16:16). Some think, he who does not believe will be condemned. This is true, but the question is not, “Who will be condemned?” but, “Who will be saved?” “He who believes and is baptized will be saved.” This is what the Bible teaches. It does not say that the one who believes only will be saved. If one believes only, the Bible says, “…Even the demons believe – and tremble!” (James 2:19). The next verse reads, “…Faith without works is dead.” The phrase “faith only” is found only once in the Scripture, where it says, “You see then that a man is justified by works, and not by faith only” (James 2:24).
A great multitude of people in Jerusalem came to believe the Gospel message of Christ when it was preached to them. Consequently, they asked the apostles, “…Men and brethren, what shall we do?” (Acts 2:37). They were told to “Repent, and let everyone of you be baptized in the name of Jesus Christ for the remission of sins…” (Acts 2:38). If they had to repent and to be baptized for the remission of sins to be saved, why would anyone today expect any less to obtain salvation?
Does it sound strange to you? The Bible’s plan of salvation has not changed. It still reads the same as it did almost two thousand years ago. Men have changed God’s plan for salvation, as they have changed many other teachings of the Bible. Yet, Christ warned, “The word that I have spoken will judge him in the last day.”