ON COURSE IN A COMPROMISING AGE"
A N.T. Preacher who stayed on course
"And from Miletus he sent to Ephesus, and called the elders
of the church. And when they were come to him, he said unto
them, Ye know, from the first day that I came into Asia, after
what manner I have been with you at all seasons, Serving the
Lord with all humility of mind, and with many tears, and temptations,
which befell me by the lying in wait of the Jews: And how I
kept back nothing that was profitable to you, but have shewed
you, and have taught you publickly, and from house to house,
Testifying both to the Jews, and also to the Greeks, repentance
toward God, and faith toward our Lord Jesus Christ." [These
verses speak for themselves!]
The F. D. editor's background
As this editor pens these lines, he is approaching his 76th
birthday and the anniversary of his 60th year of preaching the
Gospel of our Lord Jesus Christ. It seems just like yesterday
that a noble SS Supt. and a local church invested this then
fledging teen-ager with the opportunity of teaching that junior
boys SS class. The years-and the decades-have sped quickly by,
but this preacher records with delightful joy that he is still
preaching/teaching the same infallible Word with the same enthusiasm
and vibrancy he did 60 years ago. While much spiritual water
has crossed under the "dam" in those decades, this
preacher is still proclaiming the "faithful word,"
Some undesirable changes within professing Fundamentalism
In those 60 ensuing years, many undesirable changes have taken
place within professing Fundamental Baptist circles, many of
which he never envisioned in his widest dreams would ever occur.
Men, movements and organizations that once militantly defended
the faith have veered off course and are now making common cause
with those whom they once passionately opposed.
Many men who once ardently warned against the worldly trends
of the day are now warming themselves to those same trends.
Men who formerly loudly blew their trumpets against compromising
associations are now muting their voices and softening their
protests. with some laying down their trumpets altogether and
completely deleting altogether their former defense of the faith.
Despite the massive concessions that some professing Fundamentalists
are making with the compromising New-Evangelical crowd and their
veering off the historic Biblicist Fundamentalist pathway, this
preacher wishes to make clear his staunch intentions of staying
on course and remaining totally true to the task of defending
the faith that was once delivered unto the saints. As he ponders
the future, this preacher earnestly pledges to faithfully stay
"on course" in three vital areas just like the Apostle
Paul did in his Ephesian ministry (See Acts chapter 19 &
20:17-38 for full account.)
1. This preacher pledges to stay on course concerning SCRIPTURE.
The religious world recently celebrated the 400th anniversary
of the publication of the King James Bible. Many deserved accolades
were accorded the KJB, even from sources that normally promote
the unreliable modern versions. However, that 400th historic
anniversary is now past, and the adverse KJB sources can be
expected to return to their former liberal ways by seeking to
place the KJB in the mothball drawer, while they promote the
latest apostate based Critical Text versions.
The King James Bible, based on the reliable Received Text (the
text received by Bible-believing churches down through the ages)
is the preserved-Psalms 12:6-7, powerful-Heb. 4:12 and productive
Word of God-I Peter 1:23. The Word of God-Heb. 11:3-is composed
of the words of God-Matt. 4:4 and if we don't have all the words
of God, then we don't have all the Word of God! Christ however,
promised that while "Heaven and earth shall pass away,"
His inspired "words shall not [never] pass away-Matt. 24:35."
With the infallible declarations stated above, believing that
God has truly preserved His Word TODAY. and that the KJB is
an accurate and trustworthy translation that saints can completely
trust, without reservation, this writer promises not to correct
the KJB, but to allow the KJB to correct him!
This writer has absolutely no desire to turn to undependable
modern translations such as the ESV, the NASV, the TNIV that
delete the eternality of Christ's person (Micah 5:2, omit the
Trinity (I John 5:7), deny the Virgin Birth of Christ (Luke
2:33), and question the deity of Christ (John 3:16, Acts 8:37),
remove the atonement of our Saviour by His shed blood (Col.
1:14). and obliterate the doctrine of repentance (Matt. 9:13.
With God's help, he is not going to move one bit from his firm
belief concerning the absolute veracity of the KJB Scriptures-Ps.
2. This preacher pledges to stay on course concerning SEPARATION,
The Scripture clearly and plainly teaches both personal-II Tim.
2:19-21-and ecclesiastical separation-Eph. 5:7 & 11. In
a world where more and more professing believers are conforming
to the ungodly trends of a world controlled by Satan-Eph. 2:2,
this preacher renews his covenant concerning faithful adherence
to Biblical separation-II Cor. 6:14-18, without any mental reservations
This separation includes a clear severance from the world-I
John 2:15-17, the flesh-Rom. 8:13, and the devil-Eph. 6:11,
the spirit that now works in the children of disobedience-Eph.
2:2. For this believer, Biblical separation is not an option
to be pondered, but an obligation to be practiced-James 4:4.
While Biblical separation is not the saint's ultimate goal,
it is God's mean to help achieve the goal of total conformity
to the image of Christ-Rom. 8:29, and apart from such separation,
genuine believers can never even get close to the noble goal
of total transformation to His likeness-Phil. 3:10-14.
Biblical separation involves both the negative withdrawal from
all of the world's idolatry, along with a positive determination
to live wholeheartedly for the Saviour-I Thess. 1:9. This separation
requires not only severance from apostate unbelievers-II John
7-11, but may sometimes require removing fellowship with a disobedient
child of God-II Thess. 3:6. God's plan towards other believers
is clearly one first of wooing-Rom. 14, then warning-Gal. 2:11-14,
and if necessary, then withdrawing-II Thess. 3:14.
This preacher earnestly promises to stay on course regarding
all areas of Biblical separation. By God's grace, he will continue
to adhere to separation standards regarding (a) modesty, not
adopting immodest or inappropriate fashions of this world-I
Peter 1:14, (b) music-Col. 3:16, retaining spiritual and traditional
music-not sensual music sounds, and (c) morals, seeking to maintain
high standards in conduct and personal demeanor.
3. This preacher pledges to stay on course concerning SOUL-WINNING.
While some modern evangelicals are discarding old-fashioned
soul-winning in favor of worldly techniques, the "fruit
of the righteous" is still "a tree of life" and
"he that winneth souls" is still "wise"-Prov.
11:30. This preacher has no intention of abandoning the Biblical
course that God designed for the salvation of the lost. The
Biblical promise is still true that "they that be wise
shall shine as the brightness of the firmament; and they that
turn many to righteousness as the stars that forever and ever-Dan.
The Great Commission is the local church's mandate for this
age-Matt. 28:18-20. This divine order contains three great elements:
(a) Evangelizing-- "Go ye therefore and teach [reach] all
nations," (b) Baptizing-"baptizing them in the name
of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost,"
(c) Catechizing-"teaching them to observe all things whatsoever
I have commanded you
" Fervent adherence to the first
point is an imperative, for you will never baptize or catechize
anyone until they have first been evangelized!
Christ himself prophetically foretold that one of the characteristic
traits of the age before his return to earth would be an astounding
increase in sinful practices, along with an unscriptural coldness
of heart "And because iniquity shall abound, the love of
many shall wax cold" (Matt. 24:12). This writer pledges
himself to avoid such apathy. It is his sincere desire that
the love of Christ would constrain him, as the Apostle Paul,
in an urgent love for lost souls. As Paul's deepest heart's
desire was to reach lost souls for Christ in Rom. 10:1, this
preacher prays that God's divine flame of love for the unconverted
would similarly burn deeply in his soul.
It is possible to under-emphasize other needed truths while
proclaiming the gospel, but one can never overemphasize the
need to reach the lost. There are virtually "multitudes
in the valley of decision" (Joel 3:14), many of whom will
eternally perish if believers do not use the Sword in evangelistic
Lev. 6:12 stated concerning the burnt-offering that "The
fire shall ever be burning upon the altar; it shall never go
out." It is this preacher's sincere desire to stay on course
and keep those soul-winning fires burning hotly until the day
God calls him home, or the Rapture occurs.
By God's grace and with the Holy Spirit's enabling-II Cor. 9:8-this
preacher plans to stay on course concerning Scripture, Separation
and Soul-Winning and to finish his life's ministry, without
veering off these vital highways with a heart full of tearful
obedience-Acts 20:31. D. J.