By Brent Lewis
This is a simple question-but there is only one way to answer it. Go to the Bible! You see, it is the Bible that tells us what God wants, for it expresses His Will. If man truly desires to know what God wants him to do, he will go to the scriptures (God’s Will). Peter says the scriptures grant us “all things that pertain unto life and godliness” (2 Pet. 1:3). Paul says the scriptures are profitable to teach us, reprove us, correct us, and instruct us in righteousness (2 Tim. 3:16), and that they will direct us completely into every good work that God intends for us to do (v. 17).
In short, what God wants is stated in His Word, His Will. But we must constantly study that will to see what God wants. Paul says, “Study to show thyself approved unto God . . .” (2 Tim. 2: 15). God’s Will is expressed in words-plain, simple, everyday, ordinary words. God conveys to us what He wants us to do by these words. The things that were in the mind of God were revealed to man by words, given to the inspired writers by the Holy Spirit Q Cor. 2:9-13).
God’s Will is understandable. Paul says, “Be ye not foolish, but understand what the will of the Lord is” (Eph. 5:17). He also speaks of the revealing of truth, “as I wrote before in few words, whereby, when ye read, ye can perceive my understanding in the mystery of Christ” (Eph. 3:3-4). Thus, Paul says we can know God’s will when we read the words that were given to us by revelation. Men today need to read the scriptures to determine what God wants! This is the only way.
Too often in the religious realm, men do things simply because they want them that way. But this will not please God. Early in the history of the Jews as God’s people, it is sadly recorded, 16 every man did that which was right in his own eyes” (Judges 17:6). The New Testament speaks of those who went about “measuring themselves by themselves, and comparing themselves with themselves,” and the scripture says they were “without understanding” (2 Cor. 10: 12). The prophet Jeremiah says, “It is not in man that walketh to direct his steps” (Jer. 10:23).
Men need to be more concerned today about the question, “What does God want?” Not, “What does my church teach?” Not, “What were my Mother and Father religiously?” Not, “What does my Pastor say?” Not, “What do I like religiously?” But, this and this alone
“What does God want?” Remember, Jesus said, “Not every one that saith unto me, Lord, Lord, shall enter into the kingdom of heaven; but he that doeth the will of my Father who is in heaven” (Mt. 7:21). If men would concern themselves with this question alone, the problems in the religious world would melt away.
It would solve the problem of AUTHORITY Why? Because those who would ask, “What does God want?” would know that the answer is only to be found in His Will-the New Testament. God wants what He has said-no more, and no less. If we can read it, God wants it-if we cannot, He does not want it. Men would realize that we are to “learn not to go beyond the things which are written” (1 Cor. 4:6, ASV). If it is written, God wants it-what is not written, God does not want. Those who want only what God wants would fearfully recognize that “whosoever goeth onward and abideth not in the teaching of Christ, hath not God” (2 John 9). The “teaching of Christ” tells us what God wants-we may not go beyond. It would solve the problem of UNITY. God wants unity among His followers. Not some man-made, pseudo-unity, where several different denominations merge into “one,” but unity exactly as that for which Paul pled: “that ye all speak the same thing, and, that there be no divisions among you; but that ye be perfected together in the same mind and in the same judgment” (1 Cor. 1:10). All who had the desire to please God and who would read His Will, would see that Christ built only one church (Mt. 16:18); that the wisdom of God designed only one church (Eph. 3: 10-11); and that Christ purchased only one (Acts 20:28).
It would solve the problem of WORSHIP. Men would not burn candles or count beads; they would not play banjos or bongos, piccolos or pianos in “worship” to God; they would not give adoration to Mary or worship to “saints” for none of that “is written,” but rather it is beyond that which is written (1 Cor. 4:6), thus it is not what God wants. God does however; want men to worship Him (Rev. 22:9; John 4:24). The New Testament teaches that God wants men to meet on the first day of the week to partake of the Lord’s Supper and give of their means (Acts 20:7; 1 Cor. 11:23-26; 1 Cor. 16:2); that He wants men to sing (Col. 3:16; Eph. 5:19); and to pray (Acts 2:42; 1 Tim. 2:1,8). No beads, no incense, no piano-but just what is written. What is written is what God wants.
And it would solve every other religious problem; if all men wanted to do only what God wants.
We believe that there are people today who want to do what God wants-no more, and no less. You may be one of them. We believe that you should know that God’s people, the Lord’s church exists among you-a people who wish to do only what God wants. A group of people who will give a “thus saith the Lord” for every religious practice, or give it up. If we can’t read it in God’s word, we won’t do it, because, above all things, we want to do what God wants us to do! Don’t you? Come and study with us, so that together we can do God’s will.
TRUTH MAGAZINE XVII: 28, pp. 10-11
May 17, 1973