Devoted to the Propagation and Defense of New Testament Christianity
October 10, 1957
NUMBER 23, PAGE 8-10

Letters To Rosemary -- No. II.


Dear Rosemary:

I have been told that you lost the first letter that I wrote to you. That is regrettable because if you could have kept it and studied it several times with your Bible, it had much in it that would serve as a guide to help you to know what to do for the best interests of your child and for your own salvation. You know that someday death comes to everyone and after that there is Judgment. Whether we spend Eternity in Heaven or in Torment depends on how we follow the road map that has been given to us in this life.

If you wished to go to California you would certainly want a good road map. Otherwise, you might find yourself in New York, or Canada, or Mexico. You can see a good map is necessary and it must be followed or we will lose our way. The same holds true in our life on earth and what happens to us after we die. We are assured that we will all die and all face Judgment. We will be saved or condemned. It is not hard to be saved. A life of sin can be very hard. There is much peace and happiness in serving God. There is pain, misery and much unhappiness in a life of sin. As we will all be judged someday by the words revealed in God's Word, The Holy Bible, whether we are familiar with the Bible or not, it is necessary that we learn what we must do. We read in St. John's account of the Gospel, Chapter 12, verse 48, "He that rejecteth me, and receiveth not my words, hath one that judgeth him: the word that I have spoken, the same shall judge him in the last day." We see that we will be judged by the Bible whether we know what it says or not. If you are driving a car and get caught driving too fast, you still have to pay the penalty even though you might not know that you had been driving too fast. St. Paul tells the Hebrews in Chapter 10, verse 31, "It is a fearful thing to fall into the hands of the living God." Paul has seen God.

I hope you will get your Bible and check some references with me as we study to see what our opportunities and responsibilities are in this life. The reward for doing God's will is Eternal salvation. Eternal is a long time, much longer than 25 years, or even 50 years. It means forever. For not doing God's will, we will get to spend Eternity in another place. Again Eternity will be just as long. The decision on where we will spend Eternity will be made by each of us in our lifetime. As no one knows how long he will be permitted to live, it is very necessary that we all keep prepared for the Judgment Day at the end of Time and the beginning of Eternity.

The Bible charges us with several responsibilities on the subject of raising children. We will be held accountable on Judgment Day for the way that we handle the job. Let us study and see what God has revealed. In King Solomon's Proverbs we learn in Chapter 22, verse 6, "Train up a child in the way he should go: and when he is old, he will not depart from it." Again in Proverbs 29:15, we learn, "The rod and reproof give wisdom: but a child left to himself bringeth his mother shame." While we are in Proverbs, let us look at another one. Chapter 13, verse 15 says "Good understanding giveth favor:" but the way of transgressors is hard." A transgressor is a person who does wrong. Do you doubt that a Transgressor has a hard time? In St. Paul's letter to the Ephesians, Chapter 6, verse 4, we read "And ye fathers, provoke not your children to wrath: but bring them up in the nurture and admonition of the Lord." In St. Luke's account of the Gospel, Chapter 17, verses 1,2,3,4, we find Jesus speaking "Then said he unto the disciples, it is impossible but that offences will come: but woe unto him through whom they come! It were better for him that a millstone were hanged about his neck, and he cast into the sea, than that he should offend one of these little ones. Take heed to yourselves: If thy brother trespass against thee, rebuke him; and if he repent, forgive him. And if he trespass against thee seven times in a day, and seven times in a day turn again to thee, saying, "I repent," thou shalt forgive him."

In order to raise our children right we need to set a good example for them in our own lives. I don't know how to set a better example than to try to live a Christian life and try to bring up our children to be Christians. In order to do this we must examine the Scriptures carefully and thoroughly. In King Solomon's Proverbs, Chapter 14, verse 12 we read," There is a way which seemeth right unto a man, but the end thereof are the ways of death." So we can't trust our feelings about things, but we must study to determine what is right, and which are the ways of death. In Matthew 15:9, Jesus tells the scribes and Pharisees "But in vain they do worship me, teaching for doctrines the commandments of men." Let us be careful that our worship is not in vain. Again in verse 13, Christ says, "Every plant which my heavenly Father hath not planted, shall be rooted up." This is a reference to false churches. We hear people say that we should attend the church of our choice. We must be very careful about this. We must examine any church that we propose to attend to see whether it is scriptural. Many, many of them are churches of the devil instead of churches of God. Christ has promised that all who do not his will, will be rooted up. In John, Chapter 14, verse 6, Jesus says to Thomas," I am the way, the truth, and life: no man cometh unto the Father, but by me." In St. Paul's, first better to Timothy, Chapter 2, verse 5, he tells him that "There is one God, and one mediator between God and man, the man Christ Jesus; Who gave himself a ransom for all, to be testified in due time."

Now let us study some reasons for being a Christian. In James 5:19,20 we read "Brethren, if any of you do err from the truth, and one convert him; let him know, that he which converteth the sinner from the error of his way shall save a soul from death, and shall hide a multitude of sins." In Peter's second letter, Chapter 3, verses 9,10, we find "The Lord is not slack concerning his promise, as some men count slackness; but is long suffering to us-ward, not willing that any should perish, but that all men should come to repentance. But the day of the Lord will come as a thief in the night; in the which the heavens shall pass away with a great noise, and the elements shall melt with fervent heat, the earth also and the works that are therein shall be burned up. "At that time will be fulfilled the prophecy of Paul in his second letter to the Corinthians, Chapter 5, verse 10, "For we must all appear before the judgment seat of Christ; that every one may receive the things done in his body, according to that he hath done, whether it be good or bad." In Romans 6:23, we read "For the wages of sin is death; but the gift of God is eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord." Let us look at this statement a moment. When we sin we will be paid our wages. Paul tells us the pay is death. That will be banishment from God and Heaven. If we are banished from Heaven there is for us just one place left. There is no escape from that Place. So we must escape from it during this life. We know that our sins can be forgiven. When Paul tells us that the Gift of God is eternal life we can rejoice. It is only necessary that we accept this gift. It is freely offered We cannot earn it. However, it is given to all who do the Lord's will. In John 15:13 Jesus says," Greater love hath no man than this, that a man lay down his life for his friends." Jesus laid down his life on the cross for those who do his will. He paid the price, the penalty for all who will accept Him. However, for those who won't accept his promise of pardon of sins, they will be paid their wages of sin and will pay their penalty themselves and suffer the punishment. In Isaiah 1:18,19, 20, the Lord says, "Though your sins be as scarlet they shall be as white as snow; though they be red like crimson, they shall be as wool. If ye be willing and obedient, ye shall eat the good of the land; But if ye refuse and rebel, ye shall be devoured with the sword: for the mouth of the Lord hath spoken it." Do you have any questions on what is in store for you if you do not obey the Lord's will?

In Mathew 11:28,29,30 Jesus says "Come unto me, all ye that labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you, and learn of me; for I am meek and lowly in heart: and ye shall find rest unto your souls. For my yoke is easy, and my burden is light." Thus we see that Christ is telling us that it is not hard to be a Christian. In fact, it is harder not to be a Christian.

Now let us examine the steps that everyone must take to become a Christian. First, it is necessary to hear the Gospel. The hearing must be with the intention of understanding what is being heard. Everyone must understand that Christ died for each of us if we will accept him. As an example, in the Acts of the Apostles, Chapter 8, verse 26, beginning; we find the account of Phillip and the Ethiopian eunuch. Phillip preached Jesus to the eunuch. The eunuch heard and obeyed the Gospel. Now for step number 2.

In Acts 2:38 we find Peter preaching to those assembled, "Then said Peter unto them, Repent, and be baptized every one of you in the name of Jesus Christ for the remission of sins and ye shall receive the gift of the Holy Ghost." Thus we see when we are baptized for the remission of our sins, they are forgiven and remembered against us no more. Of course, it is possible to sin after we are baptized, but we can have those sins forgiven also. In John 9:31 we learn, "Now we know that God heareth not sinners: but if any man be a worshipper of God, and doeth his will, him He heareth." So we see it is useless to pray to God until we have obeyed His will. After we have obeyed, then we may pray and He will hear us.

Now for the third step. In Matthew 10:32,33, Jesus says," Whosoever therefore shall confess me before men, him will I confess before my Father which is in heaven. But whosoever shall deny me before men, him will I also deny before my Father which is in heaven."

The fourth step is obedience to the commandment of baptism. It is necessary for us to be baptized. In Acts 22:16 we read of the conversion of St. Paul. He had seen Jesus on the way to Damascus. He had been struck blind and then sent into the city to be told what to do. Ananias was sent to him to instruct him. He did, and then in verse 16 he says, "And now why tarriest thou? Arise and be baptized, and wash away thy sins, calling on the name of the Lord." In Acts 8:38 we read of the baptism of the eunuch by Phillip," And they went down both into the water, both Phillip and the eunuch: and he baptized him." So we see that baptism is a burial in water, not sprinkling or pouring a little water on the head.

After we have done all these we are added to the church. Only the Lord can add us to the church. This is outside of man's privilege. We find in Acts 2:47," The Lord added to the church daily such as could be saved."

Now let us look at the promises to a Christian. In John's account of the Gospel, Chapter 14, verses 1,2,3, Jesus is speaking to his disciples," Let not your heart be troubled: ye believe in God, Believe also in me. In my Fathers house are many mansions: if it were not so, I would have told you. I go to prepare a place for you. And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come again, and receive you unto myself; that where I am, there ye may be also."

In Paul's first letter to the Corinthians, Chapter 2, verse 9. he reminds us that even according to the prophet Isaiah," Eye bath not seen, nor ear heard, neither have entered into the heart of man, the things which God hath prepared for them that love Him." The apostle John tells us in Revelation, Chapter 21, verse 4, "And God shall wipe away all tears from their eyes; and there shall be no more death, neither sorrow, nor crying, neither shall there be any more pain: for the former things are passed away." Also in Revelation 2:10, Christ promises us" be thou faithful unto death, and I will give thee a crown of life."

In order that we may know that there is life and consciousness after death. we read in Luke's recording of the Gospel, Chapter 16, beginning with verse 19, Jesus is sneaking "There was a certain rich man, which was clothed in purple and fine linen, and fared sumptuously every day: and there was a certain beggar named Lazarus, which was laid at his gate, full of sores, and desiring to be fed with the crumbs which fell from the rich man's table: moreover, the dogs came and licked his sores. And it came to pass. that the beggar died and was carried by the angels into Abraham's bosom: the rich man also died, and was buried; and in hell he lifted up his eyes being in torments, and seeth Abraham afar off. and Lazarus in his bosom. And he cried and said, Father Abraham, have mercy on me, and send Lazarus. that he may dip the tip of his finger in water and cool my tongue; for I am tormented in this flame. But Abraham said, Son, remember that thou in thy lifetime receivedst thy good things, and likewise Lazarus evil things: but now he is comforted, and thou art tormented. And besides all this, between us and you is a great gulf fixed: so that they which would pass from hence to you cannot; neither can they pass to us, that would come from thence. Then he said, I pray thee therefore, father, that thou would send him to my fathers house: For I have five brethren;

that he may testify unto them, lest they also come to this place of torment. And Abraham saith unto him, They have Moses and the prophets; let them hear them. And he said: Nay, Father Abraham: but if one went unto them from the dead, they will repent. And he said unto him, if they hear not Moses and the prophets, neither will they be persuaded, though one rose from the dead". Do you suppose there is a lesson or two in this? Let's see if we can find one. We learn that there are two different places where the dead go. The one each of us will occupy will be determined by what we do during our lifetime. One of these places is a place of unending, extreme torments. The other is a place of rest. There is a great gulf separating the two places, so that it is impossible to change. Our opportunity to change is given to us now. At that time it is too late. We will be fully conscious. We will recognize friends and acquaintances. Also we will know persons we have never seen before. We will remember our former lives. No one will return from the dead to warn us. We have the Bible for our guide. If we won't listen to it, we would not hear one "rose from the dead".

John tells us in his account of the Gospel, Chapter 20, verses 30,31, "And many other signs truly did Jesus in the presence of his disciples, which are not written in this book: But these are written, that ye might believe that Jesus is the Christ, the Son of God; and that believing ye might have life through His name".

In order to assist you to make a proper choice of a church we will study the required characteristics of the true church.

In Matthew 16:18 Jesus says, "I will build my church." This should be plain and easy to understand, but many people don't believe or follow the information in that statement. If John Bromels were to build a house, would it be Nick Zacom's house? Then why shouldn't the church wear the name of the one who established it? In Paul's letter to the Roman brethren, Chapter 16, verse 16 we read, "The churches of Christ salute you". The church of Christ is the only one we read about in the Bible. Why have one that is not mentioned in the Bible? God gave the pattern for building the church. Many people change the pattern to suit themselves. Let us look at a few examples. In Genesis 6:14, God gives Noah instructions on building an Ark. He told him exactly how to build it. He told him to use gopher wood. How about sassafras? How about steel? How about cedar wood? How about oak? God said to use gopher wood. God said the length shall be three hundred cubits. Let's make it four hundred cubits. No? Why not? It would hold more! God said three hundred cubits!! God said to make a door in the side of the ark. How about two doors? We could have one door for the animals and one for the people. God said one door! Verse 22 says. "Thus did Noah; according to all that God commanded him, so did he". In Exodus 26:1 we find God telling Moses how to build the tabernacle. He tells him exactly how many curtains to use, exactly how large, exactly how to fasten them, exactly what materials to use. The church was founded to worship God according to exact instructions. Things that are not commanded to be done should not be done by the church. Christians are commanded to sing. Colossians 3:16 tells us that we should be "teaching and admonishing one another in psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, singing with grace in your hearts to the Lord." Nowhere in the New Testament is there any commandment to have an organ, piano, or any other musical instrument of any kind in Church worship. Nowhere in the New Testament is there any commandment to have statues and to kneel and pray to them. Acts 17:29 tells us that "Forasmuch then as we are the offspring of God, we ought not to think that the Godhead is like unto gold, or silver, or stone, graven by art and man's device". In Acts 20:7 we find that the disciples came together on the first day of the week to observe the Lord's supper. As it is not stated which first day of the week they did this, it follows that they did it every week. How then do some denominations do it less often? There are other history books, besides the Bible, which record that the early church did observe the Lord's supper every first day of the week. There is nothing to authorize its observance at any other time.

In review, we might notice that any church that refuses to wear the name that is commanded in the Bible is suspect in other ways. In Paul's letter to the Ephesians, Chapter 5:23 we find, "For the husband is the head of the wife, even as Christ is the head of the church: and He is the saviour of the body". Doesn't the church belong to Christ? How about a wife who refuses to be known by her husband's name, but is known by some other man's name? Would you suspect that there might be something wrong?

When you are sick and need a doctor, do you go to a doctor who is sick to be treated? I would prefer a doctor who wasn't sick. Baptists are sick. They preach sermons from the Bible. They are very sincere. There are many very good people who are Baptists, but they are wrong. Baptists teach and believe some things that are directly opposite from what the Bible says. James 2:10 says, "For whosoever shall keep the whole law, and yet offend in one point, he is guilty of all". Baptists offend the law by name and by doctrine. Baptists worship God but their worship is vain. At the final judgment they will be rooted up. See Matthew 15:9-13.

I believe that you should make an effort now to live so that you will not face the final judgment condemned. In Matthew 10:28 we read, "And fear not them which kill the body, but are not able to kill the soul: but rather fear him which is able to destroy both soul and body in hell".

I have spent many, many days in study, preparation and writing this letter because I believe that you and your child should have an opportunity to be saved and avoid condemnation at the final judgment. Also I chose to do this because of what you once meant to me. The good things are easier to remember than the unpleasant things. I would rejoice if I could have a part in your salvation. However, your salvation will depend on what you do. I can assist you but I can't save you. That you must do for yourself.