Devoted to the Propagation and Defense of New Testament Christianity
February 2, 1967
NUMBER 38, PAGE 5c-6a

Burned By A Beautiful Fire

Leslie Diestelkamp

Shortly after dawn, I can anticipate the rapidly approaching African sunrise by noticing the glistening of the sunlight high in the tree-tops. As it sparkles there on the dew-laden leaves, it is beautiful. But the beauty is marred, in my mind at least, by the knowledge that in a few minutes it will not be a glistening, glimmering ray of sunshine, but it will have become a blazing, burning, blistering tropical heat. That which is so pretty now soon will be tormenting my body mercilessly.

Sometimes disobedience to God is attractive too. Indeed, sin can look pretty. Adultery may bring a moment of sheer ecstasy. Vengeance sometimes brings deep satisfaction to the avenger, temporarily.

Lying, stealing and many other immoral practices may bring some degree of pleasure for the moment. But Moses warned, "Be sure your sins will find you out" (Num. 32:23).

Solomon said, "The way of the transgressor is hard" (Prov. 13:15). We must always remember that, whatsoever a man soweth that shall he also reap" (Gal. 6:7). Again the wise man warned, "can one go upon hot coals and his feet not be burned?" (Prov. 6: 28).

Sin that is pretty, will soon blister and burn. Transgression that is attractive at first, will later destroy. Disobedience that seems pleasant will bring certain sorrow and suffering.

From Joy To Grief

Parents may be amused by the disobedience of a "tiny tot" only to later see the fully developed juvenile delinquent. A mother may be delighted at the cuteness of her three-year-old daughter in her extremely short dress (which is really no more than a blouse) and then she may wonder why the same girl, at thirteen wears only shorts, and refuses to wear a dress at all.

Churches may hire a preacher to do the work of Christians, and may rejoice in his efficiency. But soon they may discover they have a dictator whom they can neither advise or dismiss. Some Christians (?) may be happy when they succeed in "firing" the elders, only to find out that they have turned the congregation over to a bunch of unlearned trouble-makers who regard neither spiritual maturity nor scriptural principles.

Many brethren who sincerely love the lost have rejoiced in the conversion of numerous people via the "Herald of Truth" broadcast of the gospel. But then discerning ones have been made to see that the splendid cooperation (?) of hundreds of churches in production of the Herald of Truth has actually evolved into a powerful, dominating machine that bends preachers and brands all who oppose it. It has seemed wonderful to some that Highland church has been able to secure millions of dollars in the last fifteen years, to have been spent for broadcasting the gospel, but those with even the slightest mathematical inclination have been able to see that the same money would have produced much more for truth and righteousness if it had been used by each congregation in support of preachers of the gospel everywhere.

There is no substitute for loyalty to Christ and fidelity to truth. Sin and false doctrine may seem attractive to the short-sighted, but purity of life and of doctrine are the only guarantees of lasting joy and of maximum success. The evil, either in life or in doctrine, that is a glittering jewel now will surely become a tormenting, torturing thistle.

-U. C. I. P. O. Box 4064 Ibadan, Nigeria