C. D. Plum
Parkersburg, W. Virginia
Beware means: "to be on one's guard; to take care." It is often, written to: "beware of", "beware lest," or "beware that." It is a word that warns us. God so used it. Whenever we see the word beware, we should pause, ponder, and profit. We very much need its warning to heed.
Fertile Fields For Failure!
Of the Angel God sent to lead Israel God said, "Beware of him, and obey his voice; provoke him not" (Ex. 23:21). Obedience is a fertile field where many fail.
Of the Lord it is said, "Beware that thou forget not the Lord thy God, in not keeping his commandments." (Deut. 8:11}.
Of false prophets or teachers heed this warning: "Beware of false prophets, which come to you in sheep's clothing, but inwardly they are ravening wolves." (Matt. 7:15).
Of men this warning is given: "Beware lest any man spoil you through philosophy and vain deceit, after the tradition of men, after the rudiments of the world, and not after Christ." (Col. 2:8}.
Of the error of the wicked we are warned: "Beware lest ye also are led away with the error of the wicked, fall from your own steadfastness." (2 Pet. 3:17).
Signs of Slipping
1. Increase of sin is a potent sign of slipping. Not long after man left the hand of God he began to slip away from him. This story is told in the 3rd chapter of Genesis. In every age of Bible history (Patriarchal, Jewish, and Christian or Gospel), man slipped away from God. Read about the sad, sinful state of man in about the last one third of the Patriarchal age (Gen. 6:5-6L Then read of the increase of sin in about the last one third of the Jewish age (Ezra 9: 6). Then read of Christ's and the apostle's prediction of the increase of sin in the Gospel age (Matt. 24: 12; 2 Tim. 3:13). It was prophesied that mankind (as a whole) would get "worse and worse." According to the newspaper reports from the F.B.I. sin (crime} is increasing by leaps and bounds, in the nation, in the states, and in the counties. Yea, -and in the cities and villages also. THERE IS A WORLD-WIDE DEPARTURE AWAY FROM GOD!
I know the power of Rome was destroyed because of increasing wickedness. Some seem to think that America (United States) must soon be scheduled for the same fate. Maybe so! But are other nations better than we? If not, why America alone? Would it not seem that a "world-closing" event would bring fuller justice? On this point we can only await the verdict of God. When it will come, and how it will come, is in the hands of the Almighty One. Perhaps if we had a repenting, obedient world, like at one time there was repenting, obedient Nineveh it might change matters, but I do not see that at this point either in promise or fulfillment. It is time for God's people to pray and obey. The increase of crime is the increase of sin.
2. The increase of degrading advertising on T.V., in newspapers, and salacious magazines is a sign of increasing slipping away from God. Like, for instance, "You've Come A Long Way Baby." Dressed in a mini-skirt that is not even fit for standing (much less sitting), and women do not stand all the time, and placed between her long, slim, white fingers is a long, slim cigarette all her own. She may have come a long way, but she does not seem to care to think about that much longer way (eternity) she has yet to go.
Strong drink and sex are being glorified. The appealing side is emphasized; not the eternity side. If knees were made for pulchritude, God would have made them pretty. If you cannot buy what you want, you can buy dry goods, and employ seamstresses, who will put the hem where you want it. Where the hem should be 'should be determined by two words: lascivious and immodest. A large dictionary should be of value in leading you straight on the meaning of these words. And the following scriptures should give sufficient warning (Gal. 5:19-21; I Tim. 2:9).
3. A strong trend away from the true teaching or doctrine of Jesus is strong evidence of slipping away from God. Read and heed these warning scriptures (2 Tim. 4:1-5; I Tim. 4:16; 2 Jno. 9-11; 2 Pet. 1:3). If you will not take time to "search" (Jno. 5:39) and read, the chances are you will never heed. Some signs of this departure may be mentioned as follows:
(a) Brother Don McWhorter reported, "A statement what's wrong with us today is that we are just a bunch of separate congregations. And all that time I thought that was what we were suppose to be. But evidently not any more." (Yes, brother McWhorter, that is the way God wanted it to be: "separate congregations." He does not want his congregations tied together. C. D. P.).
(b) "A plea for organized Christian sports among various congregations" (is also a sign of slipping, C. D. P.). Brother McWhorter said, "We were informed until this happened we would continue to lose our young people." Brother McWhorter wants to know what has happened to the attracting and holding power of the gospel? Has it been so long neglected that we have forgotten its power?" (Your second question here Brother Mc-Whorter answers your first question. Neglect is the answer. C. D. P.).
(c) Another liberal departure that is fast taking place is: "Pressing for YOUTH DIRECTORS IN EVERY CONGREGATION." Brother McWhorter observes, "Evidently God's plans for elders as directors of all the activities of the saints no longer works." (Yes, Brother McWhorter, God's plan here works, but like God's plan for Church evangelism, and church benevolence, His plan is ignored regarding the work of the elders also. C.D.P.)
(d) Brother McWhorter rightly complains of a departure because women are being encouraged to preach. He mentioned "two women preachers appeared on the program. Following a prayer and congregational singing, they were introduced by a preacher. They then divided 45 minutes between them speaking to a mixed audience of preachers, deacons and elders." Then Brother McWhorter closes his article by writing: "Brethren, this is just the beginning of the story. WAKE UP!"
DO YOU AGREE?
TRUTH MAGAZINE XIV; 44, pp. 10-11
September 17, 1970