Economist Jim O’Neill wrote a report about drug-resistant infections, “bacteria and other microbes that have become impervious to antibiotics” (The Atlantic, Ed Yong, 5/19/16). Ten million will die yearly by 2050. O’Neill gives ten suggestions to avert this: improve sanitation, a global surveillance network, a public-awareness campaign, better diagnostic tools, avoid unnecessary use of antibiotics in agriculture, promote effective alternatives, improve incentives for workers, adequately fund and reward those working on the problem, and build a global coalition.
I read this in light of the epidemic we are fighting together. It is the most dangerous threat any of us will face. Many of O’Neill’s suggestions for fighting microbes are the marching orders God has given us to fight sin. Holiness, unity, improved evangelism, Bible study, avoid unnecessary fights, example, focusing more on eternity, better giving, and increased mission efforts all factor in saving more souls!
We don’t know that O’Neill’s prediction will come to pass. But, the Bible tells us in no uncertain terms that “it is appointed unto men once to die, and then the Judgment” (Heb. 9:27). The majority will be lost (cf. Mat. 7:13-14)! God is counting on us, Christians, to stem that tide as much as possible (Mark 16:15-16). Every individual you and I reach with the gospel is one less who will succumb to this eternally fatal threat!
“But I say to you that whoever looks at a woman to lust for her has already committed adultery with her in his heart.” (Matthew 5:28) This verse is obviously directed at men. But why do some Christian females dress in a way that tempts a man to go there, in his mind, with her? The way a female dresses speaks louder than anything she professes verbally. Overly revealing dress is an invitation to lascivious thoughts. A female who fails to present herself in a way befitting one who professes to obey God (1 Timothy 2:9-10) is not serving herself, her Lord, or the men she encounters. Nor is she setting a proper example for family, friends, and fellow church members. When you dress in the morning, would you make the same clothing choice if you knew later, that very day, you would meet Jesus Himself? If the answer is no, change your clothes! A female who dresses enticingly is not only causing others to sin, but is guilty of sin herself.
Paul in his second letter to the church at Corinth wrote: “For God, who commanded the light to shine out of darkness, hath shined in our hearts, to give the light of the knowledge of the glory of God in the face of Jesus Christ.” (2 Corinthians 4:6)
It is pretty standard to use darkness to represent ignorance and light knowledge. We speak of a certain period in history as the dark ages because it was a time in which much of the learning of the ancient world had been forgotten and the revival of learning had not yet begun. Much of what makes our lives better than that of those who lived during the dark ages is a result of the light of modern knowledge.
But the knowledge of God is even more important because it has to do not only with this life but with eternity. As Christians we enjoy this light of the knowledge of God. But how is the rest of the world to know. In the next verse Paul said, “But we have this treasure in earthen vessels.” (2 Corinthians 4:7) Angels are not going to carry the light of God’s truth to the world. God has given us that responsibility. We who have this treasure of the light of the knowledge of God must carry it to the rest of mankind.
Did you see my letter to the editor in last week’s local newspaper: Davie County Enterprise Record, Thursday, April 28, 2016. For those of you who missed it, see below.
A Call for Decency
House Bill 2 and the controversy surrounding it is merely a symptom of a much greater problem in American society – the loss of a sense of decency. Language has become coarse and vulgar; violence now fills our music and cinema; sexual immorality is rampant; perversions are the new normal. A small but vocal minority seem bent on corrupting the nation while the rest of us sit idly by lacking the moral fiber to take a resolute stand. Too many of us when challenged, instead of moving forward for moral decency, begin back pedaling. We who stand on the higher ground should never flinch. America would do well to heed the warning of the Proverb: “Righteousness exalts a nation: but sin is a reproach to any people.” (Proverbs 14:34)
Claude Pharr, Minister