Devoted to the Propagation and Defense of New Testament Christianity
November 8, 1951

"And I Cannot Reverse It"

Roy Burgess, Atlanta, Georgia

In Numbers 28:20 Balaam spake to Balak, king of the Moabites, and let him know that God had spoken and he could not reverse it. Would to God this attitude dominated the hearts of religious teachers today. (Though in his heart, Balaam wished otherwise.) As human beings we are so apt to get things in reverse. These things in the Old Testament are written for our learning. (Rom. 15:4)

God's Plan Of Salvation Reversed

Over the radio just about any hour of the day we can hear men telling poor lost sinners to "Bow down right where you are" and "If you believe one must be baptized, that is salvation by works" and "God did not put us here to work to be saved or go to heaven, for we are assured of that the very moment we believe." Those who read the sacred pages of God's book know different from this. They don't have to guess about it. When we tell sinners to do EXACTLY what inspired men told them, we CANNOT BE WRONG—JUST CANNOT. If we told them a part of the scripture, and perverted that little part, we, too, would be false teachers. God's plan for every lost Sinner in the whole world is found in Acts 2:38 and other places in Acts such as chapters 8, 9, 10, 16, 18, 19. Better read these cases of conversion, beloved, and "Try the spirits." (1 John 4:1) Man reversed God's order and gets the cart before the horse. He tells aliens to repent, believe, and pray through at an altar. The Bible tells erring Christians to "Repent and pray." (Acts 8:22) Then tells them they must "Work out your salvation with fear and trembling' (Phil. 2:12) Try to harmonize that with modernism.

"If Thy Brother Trespass ... Go To Him"

This is found in 1 Peter 5:7. We usually reverse this and cast our care upon some human. It is true that we can sympathize with one another and thus "Bear . . . one another's burdens," but how easy it is to forget that the one who really can understand and care in the true sense of the word, is often spurned. How often we "Stand in clover and reach out after a blade." The Christian has a real helper. He knows our infirmities. He knows our every need. Try Him and see.

"Cast All Your Care On Him For He Careth"

This is often reversed. We go to every one else first with the brother's fault. We see the other persons fault and forget our beams. (Matt. 18:15; 7:3-5) How utterly inconsistent we are at times. We magnify all faults and see no good at all. If I sinned against a brother and he came to me in the right spirit, how could I resist that appeal for my own benefit? God's way will work. May we [should] try it.

"Reprove, Rebuke, Exhort"

In 2 Timothy 4:1-5 Paul charges Timothy to preach the Word—to reprove, rebuke and exhort with all long-suffering and doctrine. Notice carefully God's sacred order: "Reprove, rebuke, exhort." Many times we do nothing but exhort, exhort, exhort. May we earnestly examine our preaching and see if it consists of the three things here mentioned. It is good to praise, commend, and extol, but not to the neglect of the other. In contending earnestly for the faith once for all delivered to the saints, we can never afford to reverse it.

"Live Soberly, Righteously, And Godly"

In Titus 2:11, 12 the Holy Spirit tells us that the grace of God appeared teaching us these things. Hundreds of Christians have reversed this order in their lives. They neither live soberly, righteously, or Godly. When the movie door opens, they are there. They will neglect services Sunday morning some time as a result of a late Saturday night party or dance. To ask them to come to church Sunday night or Wednesday night is almost a crime in their poor blinded eyes. (2 Cor. 4:4) What Jesus said about a Christian being the salt of the earth or the light of the world (Matt. 5:13, 14), or what the Holy Spirit said about being conformed to this world (Rom. 12:1, 2), or what John said about loving this world (1 John 2:15-17), or what Paul said about becoming enemies of the cross of Christ with destruction as the end, means little to them. (Phil. 3:18-20) They "trample under foot the Son of God" by crucifying afresh his spiritual body. (Heb. 10: 25-31) This may seem like grumbling, or becoming a grouch. But, beloved, it is said with a prayerful heart that good will be done. We all make mistakes, but may we not reverse God's order of living in our lives and thus become a "Spot" on that blood bought institution—the church. (Eph. 5:25-27)