Don’t you love this strong admonition of Solomon’s? Often we hear moaning and groaning that Christians are not doing their duty. We might have even joined in such a tirade. To some this explains why the Lord’s church seems to be dwindling in our time or that preachers or brethren in general will not take a stand for the truth as they should. Some get so depressed they seem to have in common the woeful sentiment Elijah expressed, “…And he prayed that he might die, and said, “It is enough! Now, LORD, take my life, for I am no better than my fathers!” (1Kings 19:4a) I hope we do not actually go this far when we are discouraged. No doubt many of God’s children are content to be “sluggards.” But I have noticed a peculiar thing about those complaining and that is they are not talking about their own personal efforts but are mostly bemoaning that others are not doing enough or we blame others for causing our state of mind. Continue reading » “Go to the Ant, Thou Sluggard” – Proverbs 6:6
Have you ever noticed how many people refused to answer the questions of Jesus? The chief priests and elders of the people in Matthew 21 refused to answer His question about the origin and authority behind John’s baptism. Very few gave a straight answer.
Much the same thing happens today as many in religious circles refuse to give a straight answer to spiritual questions posed in our time. One of their tricks is to talk around a subject for a while, but when they are done, they have said nothing. If that does not work, the old "I’m not sure what I believe — I’m still studying it" dodge will do the trick. Never mind the fact that some brethren may have been "studying" it for years without conclusion (compare 2 Timothy 3:7).
Continue reading » In the Steps of the Savior: Pleading the Spiritual 5th Amendment
Funk and Wagnalls Dictionary says of “conviction”: “The state or condition of being convinced or fully awakened to awareness” and “a doctrine or proposition which one firmly believes” and “a fixed belief.” This word stands in opposition to and different from the attitude of unbelief or compromise. I fear that the church of our Lord today is suffering from a lack of conviction.
While it is true that the revelation of God came through the apostles and they were absolutely essential to the beginning of New Testament Christianity, it is also true that the bedrock of the early church were men and women of common ancestry that held conviction about service to God. These were the men and women who “took joyfully the spoiling of their possessions” (Hebrews 10:34), because they had “a fixed belief” concerning truth. They suffered, bled and felt pain just like any who are human, but even in the face of all this, they could not be swayed from their convictions. Their conviction was greater than their inconvenience. Continue reading » The Simple Gospel: The Need for Conviction
(Gospel Guardian, Vol. 12 No. 44, Mar. 16, 1961).
The vast difference between conviction and convenience has rapidly become a misunderstood subject. The search for convenience has perhaps led more Christians to bow their knees to Baal than any other disease. Conviction is lacking, and sin, camouflaged by popularity, continues to take its toll in the church.
A sharp contrast exists between the two attitudes. While conviction will prompt the Christian to stand under every test, the desire for convenience leads to compromise, and thereby spiritual death is the result.
Much preaching needs to be done on the meaning of conviction and its characteristics. An elegant picture of true conviction is found in a quotation from an article by J. W. Evans while he was living in Orlando, Florida. The article was about a sermon he had preached at the Par Avenue church. The title, “Have Convictions-Will Stand” may remind us of one of the popular TV programs; but its content is far removed from TV westerns. After expressing his appreciation for the good reception given to the lesson by the members at Par Avenue, brother Evans adds the following words which are to the point and worthy of serious consideration. Continue reading » Voices from the Past: Have Convictions Will Stand