The latest issue of the Bible Witness (Volume 17 Issue 1) has arrived hot off the press. The current theme is “Pertinent Counsels for Christian Youths”. This is most timely in this evil age when the youth are constantly attacked in the spiritual arena. How we pray that the youth may learn to be wholly committed to Christ and His Word!
The following is an extract from the editorial page:
“In this issue, Bible Witness seeks to particularly address Christian youths regarding their critical role in the battle being waged against the church. A vicious alliance forged by Satan, the world, false teachers and false brethren has been subtly at work to conquer the minds of our youths and turn them away from Scriptural truths, holiness, genuine worship and service of our Lord Jesus Christ. These enemies of our children’s souls may not appear to be working in tandem, but when their efforts are carefully considered through vigilant, discerning eyes, the satanic ploy being meticulously executed to hurt in so many fronts of life become all too apparent.
“Christian youths are incessantly under enormous pressure from the world to conform to its ungodly ways. A fierce (albeit subtle and sophisticated) onslaught has been unleashed at our young generation! It comes in many forms – education, science, arts, media, fashion, trends, entertainment, friendship, etc. This is intensified by the onslaught of the flesh from within. Every Christian youth must be discerning, vigilant and “combat- ready”as faithful soldiers of Christ’s army.
“For the protection and empowerment of our youths, church leaders and Christian parents need to be prayerful and vigilant in strengthening the minds of our youths with God’s Word. Having some youth programmes in the church is not enough. Every effort must be made to equip our young men and women to be vigilant, battle-ready soldiers of Christ. Parents, youth workers, church leaders, pastors and all in the church must make their individual and concerted efforts to lead our youths to victory over all kinds of satanic am-bushes and assaults.
“I cannot help but lament that too many parents and church leaders have let their youths walk straight into the devil’s snares, having done little to prevent them from doing so, and failing to warn and arm them against the battles they would face. Some, when they come to know of the spiritual maladies into which their children have fallen, simply pretend that nothing serious has happened or even adopt a casual ‘can’t help it, what to do?’ attitude.
“We hereby call all the youths in our churches to rise and take their stand with the LORD against all forms of wiles of the devil. Make your choice for God’s glory, whether it be studies, friendships, entertainment, pursuits of life, etc. We pray that the articles in this Bible Witness issue will not only remind you of the battles you fight as a Christian, but also equip you for triumph for the pleasure and glory of our Great Saviour, Jesus Christ. O Christian youth, ‘that thou by them mightest war a good warfare’ (1 Timothy 1:18)!”
The Bible Witness magazine is available at the usher’s table. You may also download the PDF version of the magazine when it is made available on www.biblewitness.com. Read and be blessed!
Lovingly in Christ,
Pr Clement Chew
WHEN LOVE DIVORCES DOCTRINEAND UNITY LEAVES TRUTH (III)
By John C Whitcomb
Love Resists Poisons
There is no living system known to science that can survive without an intricate, elaborate and constantly-used system to purify that living system from poisons. And this is true in God’s Church, in the understanding and perpetuating of God’s Truth. It is impossible for any organisation to survive unless it has a system to purify itself from poisonous influences. We need to remember that we are in a highly poisoned environment or atmosphere. We are immersed in Satan’s world, and he has constant access to every servant of God through his fallen nature.
Some feel, however, that the goal of winning people to Christ is more important than holding faithfully to all the teachings of the Bible. “Be not deceived; God is not mocked: for whatsoever a man soweth, that shall he also reap” (Galatians 6:7).
The whole question of success in the Christian ministry needs to be constantly re-examined. How can the relative success of a Christian ministry be evaluated apart from God’s infallible, inerrant Word? Who is to determine what success means? Was the Cross of Christ a success? The world apparently does not think so. What we consider success in the ministry of a fellow-Christian may turn out to be an awful failure at the Judgement Seat of Christ.
Love Keeps God’s Rules
Judgement will begin with the Church and when that day comes we will discover that a man will not be crowned except he has contended lawfully (2 Timothy 2:5). Those who run the Christian race must run according to His rules if they expect to receive a prize. And so the issue is not speed and noise but humble, dedicated obedience to His Word. Says Paul, “So run that ye may obtain” (1 Corinthians 9:24).
We are not suggesting for one moment that biblical separation ought to lead to extremes of isolation which are often drawn as a caricature of the separatist position. God cannot be honoured by either compromise or isolation. The Lord Jesus Christ gave us the perfect example in His relationship with terribly sinful people. He showed us how to be totally separate from their sin at all times, and yet involved with such people so that they could hear His message.
Separation dominates God’s dealings with Israel even before Moses, at the call of Abraham. We could study the elaborate visual aids of the Tabernacle, Temple and Priesthood, the courts and the curtains, and note the awful penalties which fell upon people who in any way compromised or contaminated the precious, infinitely delicate repository of God’s revealed Truth. We have in the Old Testament a millennium-and-a-half of visual aids on the doctrine of separation from error as the necessary backdrop for New Testament revelation on the subject.
May I introduce the greatest of the Old Testament style preachers, John the Baptist. What form of compromise can we detect in John the Baptist? “When he saw many of the Pharisees and Sadducees come to his baptism, he said unto them, O generation of vipers, who hath warned you to flee from the wrath to come? Bring forth there-fore fruits meet for repentance . . . The axe is laid unto the root of the trees” (Matthew 3:7, 8 and 10). John the Baptist gave his hearers two alternatives. Either they must be baptised with the Holy Ghost, or with fire. Either they must be immersed in the Spirit of God through faith in the Messiah, or they must be immersed in the fire of an eternal hell.
How do we know that hell fire is referred to here? Because the very next verse says that He “will burn up the chaff with unquenchable fire.” In this preaching there is not one inch of compromise, accommodation, negotiation, or sharing of religious insights with those religious apostates.
Was this a loving approach exhibited by John the Baptist? It was the only possible approach. How else could true love be expressed in the case of people who were on the brink of eternal hell and could only be saved by being shocked into a recognition of their depravity and God’s imminent judgement? And in my personal opinion it was on the basis of this preaching that we read in the book of Acts that many of the Pharisees believed. With the warning of John the Baptist ringing in their ears they understood their position in the sight of a holy God.