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« Reply #15 on: January 16, 2011, 10:03:28 AM »

XVI

There are some in this world who are debtors to the people, and the time comes when each of them must render an accounting.

Let it still be remembered that the Scriptures declare: 'To him that knoweth to do good, and doeth it not, to him it is sin.” So, some people are bigger sinners than they appear. The amount of my light determines the amount of my responsibility and the amount of my sin, if the light be not lived up to. If people sin in the face of light which shows them the right way, then their condemnation is all the greater.

The debtors of the people are its leaders. I wonder what would happen if the strongest men and women in the city would set the example of Christian living. I mean those strongest in an educational, financial and social way; those who are looked upon as the prominent ones in the city. If these will only conduct their lives with a clear conscience so they can take their stand and lead also in the spiritual world, what would happen?

No one can estimate the good that would be done if these pivotal people consecrated themselves to the service of Jesus Christ. After all, culture, money and breeding do count — people look up to those fortunate enough to possess these qualities. And the holders should feel their responsibility to those less fortunate. For the God of Love who sits on the throne is also the God of Justice.

Some day He's coming back to this old earth, and Jesus is coming, coming back to claim His own. He will ask what the man of culture did with his learning, what the man of wealth did with his riches, what those of social position did with their opportunities and powers. We'll all have to render an accounting. Some day we'll find out that we are to be judged, not only for what we have done, not only for breaking the moral law, but for the things we might have done if we had been less selfish and less interested in the aggrandizement to be gotten out of our privilege.

Jesus once borrowed a man's fishing boat, and from that old fish-smelling boat preached a sermon to the hungry multitude. That boat was Simon's business, his daily avocation. And Jesus is saying to the man of culture: “Let me help you spread the knowledge that will save the world;” to the man of wealth: “Let me help make your dollars honestly and then spend them for the kingdom of righteousness;” and to the man and woman of society: “Let me come into your homes and leaven your program of entertainment, so that every flower, every note of music, the spread table and the evening of fellowship will show my presence.” Let your every deed shine so that your friends will say, “This man and this woman have been with Jesus, and learned of Him.”
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« Reply #16 on: January 16, 2011, 10:04:10 AM »

XVII

Jesus thought less of property rights than of human rights. For all that, he did not preach that it was a sin to be rich. He was not interested in how much wealth a man had, but how he got it and what he did with it.

The great Master knew what He was saying when He uttered those arresting words, “How hardly shall they that have riches enter into the kingdom.” Following that He said: “It is easier for a camel to go through a needle's eye, than for a rich man to enter into the kingdom of God.” Of course, you know that the needle's eye was the inner gate of the city, to enter which the camels had to get down on their knees.

When prosperity becomes a god, men live only for making profits and satisfying their desires. In another place it is written, “If riches increase, set not thy heart upon them.” We are also told that the love of money is the root of all evil. Jesus Christ when saying that it was hard for the rich to enter heaven was teaching the great fact that the rich have greater temptations to self-indulgence, to extravagance, to outward display and to dissipation than have the ordinary run of men. The desire to outdo all others in the race and to go the other fellow one better helps men to forget God and the needs of their brothers.

Those who possess wealth are under terrific responsibility. Let them read the closing verses of the 25th chapter of Matthew, where Jesus consigns to punishment eternal those who possessed the ability to feed the hungry and clothe the naked and comfort the sick and those in prison. These people were rich enough to do, but were so taken up with fulfilling the lusts of the flesh that they did not think of anyone but themselves.

The greed of men is never satisfied, and the more they get, the more they want, as if their hands were born clutching. As though stocks, bonds, skyscrapers, automobiles, fine clothes, fast company and expensive dinners were the main things in the world. They forget that these are the things that go first and that honors perish and decay. That's the way of the world.

The wisest of kings and the richest of men, after trying all that the human mind could think of or desire, before he left the world staggered amid his own misery of spirit, said, all was vanity and vexation. Put this alongside the words of Jesus to the people who left all to follow him, consecrating everything, such as it was, to the service of the Master and those for whom he died: “Peace I leave with you, my peace I give unto you.'' (The world giveth excitement, he giveth peace). “Let not your heart be troubled, neither let it be afraid
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« Reply #17 on: January 16, 2011, 10:04:47 AM »

XVIII

Paul said, “All things are lawful, but all things are not expedient.” He was a big enough Christian and a big enough man to be willing to sacrifice even those things he liked, not only for the sake of Christ, but for the sake of his fellow men.

Hence he declared, “What things were gain to me, those I counted loss for Christ, that I may know Him, and the power of His resurrection, and the fellowship of His sufferings

There we have self-denial for the sake of personal fellowship with God. Now hear him in his willingness to sacrifice his tastes and desires for the sake of the weak men and women around Him. And you hear these words, “If meat causeth my brother to stumble, I will eat no flesh for evermore

That's the big spirit of Christianity.

I verily believe that I could do many things without sinning against God, or against my conscience. Some things I'm thinking of now I would enjoy doing. But what about the man who looks up to me, who hasn't my light and my point of view, and doesn't see as I see? Ought I to ignore him?

Should I not rather consider his weakness? If I am stronger than he, should I not be willing to carry his burden — him, too, if necessary — in order that he may be saved?

I have no right as a Christian or as a man, either in public or private, to take my pleasures at the expense of another's ruin. This applies to all the walks of life, in business, in the home and everywhere.

We must apply the spirit of Jesus in all these matters, remembering that the apostle said of Him that even Christ pleased not Himself. Then he turns right around to me and says: “Let this mind be in you, which was also in Christ Jesus
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« Reply #18 on: January 16, 2011, 10:05:23 AM »

XIX

It has been said that the hand that rocks the cradle rules the world. Next to the mother in influence comes the school teacher, whose task it is to train the mind of the future generation.

The teacher has the boy and girl under his or her influence in the formative, tender years, the impressionable years, when seeds are sown that bring forth the harvest. What the harvest will be, whether good or ill, depends on the home and the school.

What the children are taught in the first ten years of their school life largely forms the foundation on which they build their future. The structure can never stand unless it is built on a solid foundation. If I could have the mothers and fathers and teachers loyal to Christ for the next twenty years in English-speaking lands, we could capture the planet for the Lord Christ.

It is not enough simply to teach boys and girls to read, write, add figures and master science, art, literature and languages. They must be taught, like Timothy, the Scriptures, and learn to see God's view of men and things, and to seek first the kingdom of God and His righteousness. This is essential if boys and girls are to grow up into a generation of pure, strong, noble, clean, honest. God-fearing men and women.

And surely that is and should be the business of the schools. Unless that is the purpose of school life, in the midst of mind training you may have a cultured person so far as learning goes, but with a heart filled, like the Pharisees, with uncleanliness. They were cultured, but Jesus said to them: “Ye cleanse the outside of the cup and of the platter, but within they are full from extortion and excess.”

Some of the biggest scoundrels I have known have been university men and women. The head may be trained and may be filled with all sorts of good things, while the heart is starved because it is estranged from God.

The truest culture is that which takes in mind, body and soul. That is the program of Jesus Christ.
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« Reply #19 on: January 16, 2011, 10:07:16 AM »

XX

If the Sermon on the Mount is read with as much interest as an article in the newspaper, the conclusion must be arrived at that society is wrong. No man can read it without feeling, if he is honest with himself, that civilization is far from perfect, that changes must come.

Two things are needful, — the conscience to recognize the truth, to crystallize it devoid of impurity, and the determination to put truth into action.

Men and women are not dying to-day for want of light. The average man has light enough to distinguish between right and wrong. Knowledge is abundant enough, but conscience is scarce. No, we are not dying for want of light, but for lack of honesty. “This is the condemnation, that light is come into the world, and men loved darkness rather than light,” and this is the reason, “because their deeds were evil

And Jesus said: “Love thy neighbor as thyself.” When men get adjusted to God, they soon get adjusted with their neighbors. Suppose, instead of a few working crystals, every man should be full of the godly light and love for his fellows. That would be like heaven. When Jesus taught us to pray, “Our Father” instead of “My Father,” he was thinking of a united humanity.

This world can not be run by men. They can't run it by themselves along the line laid down in the Sermon on the Mount. The job is too gigantic. Only the fool says: “There is no God,” or “I can do without him.”

Let God come back to His own, and there'll be fellowship and friendship, the brotherhood of the world.

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