Vol.VIII No.X Pg.3
December 1971

Who Boast In Face

Jim R. Everett

For awhile, a man and his wife visited our services regularly in Sydney, Australia; then I missed them several Sundays in a row. When I went to visit them, the wife explained that she really enjoyed the simple and unpretentious worship but her husband complained that the singing was terrible and he felt like a little school boy sitting in a classroom because I used the blackboard in preaching. Another objection was that we were a small struggling group, meeting in a converted house, and would never amount to very much. He had agreed to go with her to a large denominational church where the preacher stood and philosophized, and there was a nice brick building.

That presents a real problem — but only to those who boast in face (i.e. who glory in appearance).

Paul says that that which is seen is for a season but that which is not seen is eternal, (2 Cor. 4:18). He ministered in things that were true and lasting, while others were boasting in appearance. Because man is confined to a world of material things, he tends to build eternal hopes upon temporal foundations — its quite natural, really — but that is like building your house on the sand: you lose everything, (Matt. 7:26-27).

When Paul judged Christ by fleshly standards he rejected Him, (2 Cor. 5:16). It was only when Paul learned to evaluate in terms of eternity that he properly evaluated the Saviour. (See Isa. 53: 1-3) And many fail to know Christ today because they seek only to know Him after the flesh. They know him as a human philosopher, human- -itarian, or emotional prop, but never as their eternal Saviour.

There must be constant danger signs to warn Christians and keep us traveling on the road; to make us realize why we are what we are, and why we do what we do. If not, we can slide into a tail-spin and follow denominationalism into the bar-ditch of boasting in face.

Look what a nice building we have. If we are glorying in appearance, we would be better off selling it and meeting under a tree. We had _____ in attendance last Sunday. If we are trying for numbers for the sake of numbers, send them all home. Twenty, thirty, forty people were baptized in our meeting (campaign?). How many never attended one service? How many fell away? Look how fast the Church of Christ is growing. Yes? And what about the Mormons or the J.W.s? If we are just trying for a glowing report and an impressive record, we had better stop before we make them twofold more the sons of hell than ourselves, (Matt. 23:15).

Our glory should be in the heart, for one day we shall be made manifest before the one who sees us as we are. Knowing the fear of the Lord, let us not boast in appearance but persuade men that one died for all that all might live unto Him, (2 Cor. 5:14-15). That is eternal! That is like building your house on rock, (Matt. 7:24-25). You gain all that Jesus has to offer. ——verett