The BIBLE VIEW #941 — Our Speech

In This Issue:
But, You Promised!
Mind Your Speech
Your Words

Volume: 941    January 22, 2024
Theme: Our Speech


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But, You Promised!
Bill Brinkworth

“For what if some did not believe?  shall their unbelief make the faith of God without effect?  4 God forbid: yea, let God be true, but every man a liar; as it is written, That thou mightest be justified in thy sayings, and mightest overcome when thou art judged.” Romans 3:3-4

There was a time when one’s promise would usually be upheld and trusted.  Four copies of notarized signed documents were not needed. 

A person’s handshake and words of commitment were substantial no matter what happened.  Even if there were problems after the agreement, those who gave their promises would uphold their obligations, no matter what.  It was their promise, and it had great value to them and others.

Today, one’s word and signed legal documents are no guarantee that one’s promise will come to fruition.  One’s oral commitment means little in many transactions.

What went wrong?  Why are the promises of politicians, business partners, friends, and other associates of little value many times?

For most, the standard for moral values, the Bible, has lost its importance, and its teachings have never been instilled in lives.  God’s Word defines right and wrong, and many wander through life without godly advice, direction, or conviction. 

Without instilling the Bible’s moral commandments and remembering God’s firm reprisals when one breaks them, there will be no knowledge of them and certainly no fear when God’s ordinances are violated. 

Little guilt or embarrassment is experienced when a commitment is broken.  Sometimes, conscienceless excuses are justified when one’s promises are broken.  “Well, he was dumb to trust me.  That’s his problem,” “It’s not written and legal, so I don’t have to honor what I told her,” or even “I lost my job.  I promised I’d pay, but I can’t afford my rent anymore, so what does the landlord expect of me?” Those are just a few excuses one hears when one’s commitments are not upheld.

Without one’s upheld promise, transactions and the trust of others will disappear.  Society will change as characters will not be relied upon.  Additional laws will attempt to force people to honor their words and commitments.

However, unbiblical immorality will constantly challenge laws and attempts to do what at one time was natural to do.  Promises will not be upheld.

There needs to be value in what one says.  If one says one will do something, it should be done.  When someone says, “I will be there at 5:00, all efforts to meet that time should be made.” If not, it will be quickly realized by others that one’s word cannot be trusted.” 

Because of unkept promises and valueless words, society will breed untrusted generations.  That danger can be stopped by values, including the keeping of promises.

Keep your word.  If you said you would do something, do it.  Your character is at stake, and it is important.

Others are watching and remembering.  Be the trustworthy example others need to hear.
He that is faithful in that which is least is faithful also in much: and he that is unjust in the least is unjust also in much.” Luke  16:10

“Promises may get thee friends, but non-performance will turn them into enemies.”  — Benjamin Franklin

Mind Your Speech
Bill Brinkworth

God gave man the ability to speak.  The purpose of speech is for His creation to communicate with others and to bring glory to Him.  However, man’s sinful, self-centered nature does not always use one’s lips for the intended purpose.

Here are some of God’s wisdom of what to do with the gift He gave us, as is revealed in Proverbs 15:

  • To squelch nasty arguments, lower your voice in heated discussions, and it will diffuse anger.
    A soft answer turneth away wrath: but grievous words stir up anger.” Prov. 15:1
  • Purpose to present facts and not popular answers or opinions.
    “The heart of the righteous studieth to answer: but the mouth of the wicked poureth out evil things.” Proverbs 15:28
  • Be wise and not hurtful in what you say.  Use the truth to inform others and to help them, not just opinions and assumptions.
    “The tongue of the wise useth knowledge aright: but the mouth of fools poureth out foolishness.” Proverbs 15:2   Also: Prov. 15:7.
    “A wholesome tongue is a tree of life: but perverseness therein is a breach in the spirit.”
     Proverbs 15:4
  • Be kind and considerate when speaking to others.
    “The thoughts of the wicked are an abomination to the LORD: but the words of the pure are pleasant words.” Proverbs 15:26
  • There is a time to say certain things.  Wait patiently for the right moment to share your thoughts, experiences, and suggestions.
    “A man hath joy by the answer of his mouth: and a word spoken in due season, how good is it!” Proverbs 15:23

Use the God-given gift of speech to help others, not to separate, hurt, deceive, or sway others in areas that are not right or helpful.  Your testimony, especially if you are a child of God, often rides on what you have said.  Speak carefully.

Oh, be careful, little tongue, what you say,
Oh, be careful, little tongue, what you say.
There’s a Father up above looking down in love,
So be careful, little tongue, what you say.Child’s Song, Author Unknown

Your Words
Bill Brinkworth

God’s words, as preserved in the Bible, are always honest and can be trusted (Prov. 30:15).  Our words, however, are not always truthful and not as reliable as His.  Everyone sins with their mouth.

“Word” is used at least 704 times in the King James Bible.  Although it often refers to God’s Word, we can see by many references that our speech is important to God.  Some of those verses show us what God thinks about what comes out of our mouths.

In Romans 1, at least 30 sins are mentioned.  At least fifteen of those sins involve what was said.  Some iniquities mentioned are unthankfulness, debating, deceitfulness, gossiping, backbiting, pride, boasting, disobedience to parents, and covenant-breaking.  

Although there are over 600 commandments in the Old Testament, the popularly known “Ten” includes at least three commandments that can involve our tongue.  It should be evident to all that our tongue can be used for good, or it can be used to sin.

Here is some of what the Bible says about the words that can come out of our mouths:

  • Many sins are with the tongue.  Our tongues can be behind some of our iniquities.
    “Even so the tongue is a little member, and boasteth great things.  Behold, how great a matter a little fire kindleth!  And the tongue is a fire, a world of iniquity: so is the tongue among our members, that it defileth the whole body, and setteth on fire the course of nature; and it is set on fire of hell.” James 3:5-6
    “But the tongue can no man tame; it is an unruly evil, full of deadly poison.” James 3:8
    Thy tongue deviseth mischiefs; like a sharp razor, working deceitfully.” Psalms 52:2
    “Who whet their tongue like a sword, and bend their bows to shoot their arrows, even bitter words:” Psalm 64:3    Also: Isa. 6:5, Prov. 30:5, Mat. 12:32, Job 15:5, Psa. 15:3, Psa. 73:9, Prov. 6:17.  Prov. 15:2, Prov. 17:4, Prov. 18:21 Prov. 21:6, Prov. 26:28.
  • Be careful what the tongue says.  It can and should be controlled!
    “Keep thy tongue from evil, and thy lips from speaking guile.” Psalm 34:13
    “Be not rash with thy mouth, and let not thine heart be hasty to utter any thing before God: for God is in heaven, and thou upon earth: therefore let thy words be few.” Ecclesiastes 5:2
    “Teach me, and I will hold my tongue: and cause me to understand wherein I have erred.” Job 6:24   Also: Job 27:4, Proverbs 10:31, I Peter 3:10.
  • We will be accountable for every word we say!
    “But I say unto you, That every idle word that men shall speak, they shall give account thereof in the day of judgment.” Matthew 12:36
    “The LORD shall cut off all flattering lips, and the tongue that speaketh proud things:” Psalm 12:3
    For there is not a word in my tongue, but, lo, O LORD, thou knowest it altogether.” Psalm 139:4
    “If any man among you seem to be religious, and bridleth not his tongue, but deceiveth his own heart, this man’s religion is vain.” James 1:26

    There were times when Jesus, our example, knew to say nothing.  Sometimes, following His example and saying nothing in certain situations would be best.
    “And he answered him to never a word; insomuch that the governor marvelled greatly.” Matthew 27:14
  • The tongue can be used for good.
    “And whatsoever ye do in word or deed, do all in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God and the Father by him.” Colossians 3:17
    “And my tongue shall speak of thy righteousness and of thy praise all the day long.” Psalm 35:28
    “The tongue of the just is as choice silver: the heart of the wicked is little worth.” Proverbs 10:20   Also: I Timothy 4:12, Proverbs 15:4, Proverbs 14:15.
  • There will be a time when we should speak what God wants us to say.  Use your tongue for His glory.
    “And that every tongue should confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father.” Philippians 2:11

Like the rest of our body, our tongue was part of God’s creation.  Its creation was not intended for us to use it to sin against our Creator.  

A saved person should strive to control what is uttered by one’s tongue.  Some of the best advice for those desiring to please God and wanting to control their tongue comes from the adage, “If you can’t say anything good, don’t say anything.”  

“The tongue is more to be feared than the sword. — Japanese Proverb

The BIBLE VIEW #938 — Don’t Tolerate Evil

In This Issue:
Should A Christian Tolerate Sin?
Steps in Accepting Evil
Toleration of Sin Is Not Biblical
Because Christians Were Silent
You Are Not Alone

Volume: 938    December 31, 2023
Theme: Don’t Tolerate Evil

Should A Christian Tolerate Sin?  
Bill Brinkworth

“And Jesus went into the temple of God, and cast out all them that sold and bought in the temple, and overthrew the tables of the moneychangers, and the seats of them that sold doves, And said unto them, It is written, My house shall be called the house of prayer; but ye have made it a den of thieves.” Matthew 21:12-13

The world, and unfortunately many Christians, have the wrong idea as to how a Christian should behave.  Many are convinced that a Christian should be tolerant of those doing wrong, be polite, and never tell anyone that, according to the Word of God, they are doing wrong.  Nowhere in the Bible is tolerance to sin suggested.

In verses 12 and 13, we see a contrary example to the pathetic, polite, and “proper” image that most think marks the behavior of a Christian.  In this example, the person who did the opposite was the Saviour Himself – Jesus.

Jesus saw what man had done to the house of God.  Some wanted to make money, so they devised enterprising plans to make a “buck” using the Jewish religion.  They knew the Jews attending the temple were supposed to present animal sacrifices to the priest so their sins would be “covered.”  The attendees themselves were to bring their sheep, doves, oxen, and offerings.

Those exploiters saw an opportunity to make some quick cash from lazy Jews.  They set up tables in the back of the temple and sold those animals to those wanting to give their gifts to the priests.  Soon, the back of the temple was teaming with wildlife and vendors, all trying to make a living on the lazy worshippers. 

The house of God had been turned into a “den of thieves.”  Jesus saw what was happening.  He did not walk quietly and timidly up to the vendors and politely ask them, “Please, gentlemen, take your ambitious enterprise outside the gate, where you can enjoy the sunshine.”

No, sir, He did not. He went up to the tables, threw out the moneychangers, and overturned the tables.  Jesus knew what was right, and that was not the right thing to do in the house of prayer.  There was no hint of polite “tolerance” anywhere in this account or the other accounts in Luke 19:45-46 and Mark 11:15-18.

In another account, possibly three years prior to that event, Jesus did even more to the “thieves” (John 2:14-16).  He not only pushed over their tables, but He chased the vendors out with a whip of chords.

Tolerating sin is not mentioned in the Bible.  When a Christian sees something is wrong, he must speak out.  We are supposed to be the “salt” to change the flavor of this world that naturally will not do right in God’s eyes.  A Christian must also be the “light” in this sin-darkened world.  A Christian would make more changes to this world if he stopped putting up with sin and took a stand against it! 

Putting up with sin and turning “the other cheek” is quite often a cowardly act if one is afraid to make a stand!  This world has gotten so wicked because Christians have not stood up against what is wrong.  It is our responsibility to warn others of the dangers of sin. If we do not stand against sin, who will? 

“To sin by silence, when they should protest, makes cowards of men.” 
— Abraham Lincoln

Steps in Accepting Evil
Author Unknown

“First, we overlook evil,
Then we permit evil,
Then we legalize evil,
Then we promote evil,
Then we celebrate evil,
Then we persecute those who still call it evil.” —    Author Unknown

“Woe unto them that call evil good, and good evil; that put darkness for light, and light for darkness; that put bitter for sweet, and sweet for bitter!” Isaiah 5:20

Toleration of Sin Is Not Biblical
He that justifieth the wicked, and he that condemneth the just, even they both are abomination to the LORD.” Proverbs 17:15
“And even as they did not like to retain God in their knowledge, God gave them over to a reprobate mind, to do those things which are not convenient; 29 Being filled with all unrighteousness, fornication, wickedness, covetousness, maliciousness; full of envy, murder, debate, deceit, malignity; whisperers, 30 Backbiters, haters of God, despiteful, proud, boasters, inventors of evil things, disobedient to parents, 31 Without understanding, covenantbreakers, without natural affection, implacable, unmerciful: 32 Who knowing the judgment of God, that they which commit such things are worthy of death, not only do the same, but have pleasure in them that do them.” Romans 1:28-32   Also: Isaiah 5:20.

“Tolerance is a virtue for those who have no convictions.” — Author Unknown

Because Christians Were Silent
Bill Brinkworth

Christians are responsible for sharing the Gospel and the truths from the Word of God.  However, many believers have not done as they are biblically commanded.  They are not the society-changing “salt” or the sin-revealing “light” God requires them to be.  As a result of many’s refusal, rebellion, and ignorance to do as they are commanded, others have suffered. 
“Ye are the salt of the earth: but if the salt have lost his savour, wherewith shall it be salted? it is thenceforth good for nothing, but to be cast out, and to be trodden under foot of men.” Mat.5:13  Also: Mark 9:50, Luke 14:34.
“Let your light so shine before men, that they may see your good works, and glorify your Father which is in heaven.” Mat. 5:16  Also: Luke 1:79, John 11:10.

Here are some of the damages and sufferings caused by those who know better but fail to uphold their responsibilities.

  • Millions of people will spend an eternity in Hell because they never heard the Gospel.  Many Christians were “embarrassed,” ashamed, afraid, or too proud to tell others about God’s way to Heaven.
    “How then shall they call on him in whom they have not believed? and how shall they believe in him of whom they have not heard? and how shall they hear without a preacher?” Rom. 10:14
  • Millions of people will live a life sinning and defiant to God because they never heard the truth nor ever saw a good Christian example.
    “And Philip ran thither to him, and heard him read the prophet Esaias, and said, Understandest thou what thou readest? 31 And he said, How can I, except some man should guide me? And he desired Philip that he would come up and sit with him.” Acts 8:30
  • Millions do not know what the Bible teaches as they have never heard biblical truths nor have seen one living the way God commands. Since they have never heard biblical truths, they have incorrectly supposed what they think the Bible teaches or believed false teachings.
    “For they being ignorant of God’s righteousness, and going about to establish their own righteousness, have not submitted themselves unto the righteousness of God.” Rom. 10:3  Also: Phil. 3:9.
  • Millions think they are going to Heaven because of the good deeds they have done, as so many “Christians” have not taught them otherwise. That fallacy is the foundation of many false religions.
    “For by grace are ye saved through faith; and that not of yourselves: it is the gift of God: 9 Not of works, lest any man should boast.” Eph. 2:8-9
  • Millions thought there was no difference between a Christian and the lost because they never saw any variance between the two groups. They have not witnessed holy living. The toleration of sin by many confessing Christians has also added to the confusion of the lost.
    “Wherefore come out from among them, and be ye separate, saith the Lord, and touch not the unclean thing; and I will receive you,” II Cor. 6:17

Some of those millions could be your loved ones, neighbors, or friends. They may suffer a terrifying eternity because of your closed lips.  Share the truths of the Bible and Gospel now.  It may be too late to change the godless direction of society, but at least a Christian can hear the “… Well done, thou good and faithful servant: thou hast been faithful over a few things …” from one’s Saviour, Jesus Christ (Mat. 25:21, 23), and one may make a great difference in some lives.

“The world will not be destroyed by those who do evil, but by those who watch them without doing anything.” — Albert Einstein

You Are Not Alone
Harry Todd

As you witness for the Saviour
It is a spiritual fight
Sometimes, you will stand alone
Making a stand for Christ.

People will think you’re odd
If you don’t go their way
But live to please the Saviour
No matter what they say.

Keep your standards high.
Don’t let others drag you down.
Just look for the approaching day
When you’ll wear the victor’s crown.

You may think you are alone,
When you stand for what is true
But remember, you’re a Christian
So the Holy Spirit dwells in you.

So remember when you’re alone,
God is with you, it is true;
He has given you the Comforter
Who always dwells in you.

The BIBLE VIEW #925 — Getting Right with Others

In This Issue:
Get It Right — Immediately!
When Anger Is Sinful
You’re Only Fooling Yourself

Volume: 925     September 25, 2023
Theme: Getting Right with Others

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Get It Right — Immediately!
Bill Brinkworth

“Therefore if thou bring thy gift to the altar, and there rememberest that thy brother hath ought against thee; 24 Leave there thy gift before the altar, and go thy way; first be reconciled to thy brother, and then come and offer thy gift.” Matt 5:23-24 

Although much of the Matthew  5:23-24 verses was about another time, the principle of getting right with fellow Christians still applies today.  Getting along with others,  even Christians,  will always be a challenge.

As a church deaf interpreter, I stood before the deaf congregation at the front of the church.  After hearing what the pastor said over my right shoulder, I relayed what God had laid on Pastor Fedena’s heart to the deaf congregation in sign language.

Part of the sermon was about not holding a grudge against another Christian.  Being angry at a brother or sister in Christ will hinder the Holy Spirit from working in one’s life and may keep one from being used by God.  The pastor detailed some examples of how that sin hurts individuals and the church. 

God began to deal with my heart about a grudge I was holding against a man in the church.  The man had offended me, and the smoldering embers of bitterness were rekindled every time I looked at him.

Trying to concentrate on delivering the message to the deaf and remembering my sin soon distracted me.  The pastor’s sermon became more personal and required a decision on my part.  “If God reminds you of a person you have something against, go to him and get it right,” the pastor emphasized.  

As the preacher continued, he made the invitation even more immediate.  “If that person is here, go, get it right now.  Don’t delay!  Go to them and deal with your sin.…”

“Gulp!” That was when the conviction became overwhelming.  I silently argued with the Lord while still interpreting.  “Lord, I can’t do it now.   I’m interpreting.  I’ll do it later….”

The conviction became stronger, and dealing with it immediately seemed inevitable.  It was as if the preacher knew about the sin I had harbored in my heart and was speaking to me personally.  He did not, but it certainly felt like it.  More urges like “… now  … don’t grieve the Holy Spirit … go to that person now … don’t wait another second …” pestered my thinking.

That was it.  I could not take another second of the Holy Spirit’s conviction.  I signed to another nearby interpreter to take over and interpret for me.  After he had taken my position, I looked for the man with whom I was harboring bitterness.  Wouldn’t you know it, he was sitting on the other side of the church and towards the back.

I crossed the front of the church and went down the aisle to the back of the church.  It seemed like all eyes were on me, but I had to get that sin right.  I went to the man and leaned over to speak to him.  Without getting into details and trying not to justify that my reasons were right, I apologized to him for getting angry at him and asked for his forgiveness.  He must have been embarrassed as much as I, but fortunately, he accepted my apology, and the matter was closed. 

I had previously apologized to the Lord, and now I had forgiven the man.  The conviction subsided.  I had done what the Lord told me to do.  Peace returned.

No matter what the other person did or said, it is essential for us not to sin.  If the offender sinned, it should not be a reason for us to do likewise.  However, if we sin, it may require humbling ourselves and getting it right with a family member, child, parent, friend, or acquaintance.  If their sin was greater, that is between them and the Lord.  Our concern should be to keep our slate clean from unconfessed sin.

Is there a person you may have something against?   Perhaps it is a matter that happened a long time ago, but it still gnaws at your memory.  Is that bitter feeling more important than grieving the Holy Spirit by harboring that sin?

If your conviction reminds you of an unsettled matter, now would be a good time to get that sin forgiven by God and right with that person.  You may not have to cross a whole church congregation, but you may have to pick up a phone, write a letter, or even visit that person personally — TODAY!

“And when ye stand praying, forgive, if ye have ought against any: that your Father also which is in heaven may forgive you your trespasses.  26 But if ye do not forgive, neither will your Father which is in heaven forgive your trespasses.” Mark 11:25-26
“If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins, and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.” I John 1:9

If anger is not restrained, it is frequently more hurtful to us than the injury that provokes it.”   — Seneca

When Anger Is Sinful
J. Beaumont, 1871

Anger is a sin:

  • When we are angry with the providence of God.
  • When we are angry with the laws of God.
  • When we are angry at the doctrines taught in the Word of God.
  • When we are angry at the good we see in others.
  • When we are angry with those who differ from us in religious sentiments.
  • When we are angry at reproof.
  • When we wish evil upon our reprover. 

The sun must not set upon anger; much less will I let the sun set upon the anger of God towards me.”   — Donne

You’re Only Fooling Yourself
Bill Brinkworth

In starting the first of his three letters, John the Apostle bluntly covers two areas many are not completely honest with themselves about.  Those areas are:

  • When people claim to be in fellowship with God but are not!
    “If we say that we have fellowship with him, and walk in darkness, we lie, and do not the truth:” I John 1:6

    Many times folks fool even themselves into believing that they can talk to God, He is listening to them, answering them, and they are in full fellowship even when they are in sin.  They are lying to themselves.  

    It is impossible for a believer to have close fellowship with God when there is sin in their life!  God hates sin, and although people do not lose their salvation when they fall for sin’s enticement, they certainly grieve Him (Ephesians 4:30).  

    That grieving will cost anyone a close relationship with God.  The only remedy for that broken relationship is to turn from sin (Acts 8:22) and again “… walk in the light …” (I John 7).  One should then live in the manner in which God requires.
  • When people claim to have no sin.
    “If we say that we have no sin, we deceive ourselves, and the truth is not in us.” I John 1:8   Also: vs. 10.

    Some consider themselves sin-free.  My grandmother claimed never to have sinned.  She was a good person by man’s standards, but when I approached her with the Bible truth that “… all have sinned …” (Romans 3:23), she insisted that she was not a sinner. 

    I remember her even being insulted that I would even think such a thing about her.  No matter how much I loved my grandmom, she was like the rest of us — a sinner!  She was deceiving herself, and as far as I know, she was never saved because of that deception.

    The only cure for my grandmom, and any other person in that state of not recognizing their sin, is to acknowledge their iniquities and admit them.  Once we realize and confess it to Him, God is “… faithful and just to forgive us our sins, and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness” (I John 1:9).  

    However, that first step is the tough part: recognizing oneself as a sinner.  Some know it at a young age, but other folks, such as my grandmom, can go 80 years and still not recognize their sinnership.  One of the most important steps for anyone’s salvation is to first realize they are a sinner.

The most valuable and important thing everyone has is their soul.  Making the decision to be close to God and to go to Heaven rests on their shoulders.  That decision can only be made when one is completely honest with Him, and is willing to do what the Bible commands.

The wages of sin is death.  There is no minimum wage.”

The BIBLE VIEW #921 — Sin’s Damage

In This Issue:
Too Close to the Jalapenos
The Ink Spot
The “Harmless” Ivy
The Marks That Remained
“I Can’t Get Clean

Volume: 921     August 28, 2023
Theme: Sin’s Damage

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Too Close to the Jalapenos
Bill Brinkworth

A friend graciously gave me a few fresh jalapeno peppers from his garden.  We usually do not eat anything “hot,” but sometimes a recipe calls for them, and I thought it would be a good idea to have some handy for when they were needed.

I took those fresh peppers and cut them up very carefully for freezing.  I knew the juice could be harmful if it got in one’s eyes or mouth, and I ensured it did not get on my body.  I handled them cautiously, and after bagging them, I washed my hands very carefully three times. 

Much later, I washed my face.  Not once do I recall getting a drop there, but the pain began after scrubbing.  Apparently, just the vapors of the “hot” vegetable got on my face, up my nose, and even down my throat.  After rinsing, the waters activated the pepper’s juice, and I had to deal with the agonizing pain for the rest of the day and still felt some of its havoc the next day.

While dealing with the vegetable’s side effects, I could not help but think how sin affects one’s life very similarly to what I suffered from the jalapeno juice.  No, sin may not burn one’s face or immediately cause pain, but one does not have to be in direct contact with iniquity to reap the damage it can do.

One may not commit adultery, but watching suggestive television or movies can put lustful thoughts in one’s mind, changing how one thinks about being faithful in marriage.   Perhaps one never would think about doing anyone harm, but after years of seeing violence on television, killing the “bad guys” on a video game, or seeing it much in a family or work situation, it may be easier for one to act more violently when angry. 

Stealing may be one thing one would never contemplate doing, but after hearing of peers who shoplifted and did not get caught, it may be considered a solution for getting what one wants.  One may never imagine himself being involved in a certain sin, but continual exposure to it by being around those engaged in the iniquity or seeing it repeatedly via different media may have one considering such a sin or changing one’s thoughts to “it’s not that bad.”

Sin is so dangerous that distant exposure to it can affect one’s life.  That is why God commands us not only not to commit it but to stay as far away as possible from it.  Any contact with iniquity can desensitize one to it and may break down any mental barriers one has in being involved with it.  Exposure to sin may not burn your face, as did the jalapenos, but it may allow one to be one step closer to sinning.

“Wherefore come out from among them, and be ye separate, saith the Lord, and touch not the unclean thing; and I will receive you,”  II Corinthians 6:17  Also: Isaiah 52:11, I Thes. 5:22.

“One leak can sink a vessel and drown all.  One sin can sink one’s
life as easily.”

The Ink Spot
Hare, (1796-1834)

The mind of man has been compared to a white sheet of paper.  Whatever we write upon the writing material, and every drop of ink that falls upon it, makes a permanent mark.  That mark cannot be rubbed out without much injury to the paper.  

Even while the ink may be somewhat fresh, it cannot be eliminated.  Sometimes, a bigger mess is made while attempting to remove the spot.  Every ink speck embeds itself into the paper.  If we even try to write over it, we may make a deeper blot.  After scratching it out, the next letters written on the spot are blurred.

However small we deem them, every sin affects our lives.  Therefore, we must be careful of what we “write” on our lives. 

Sin will harm all who allow its life-altering marks to soil themselves.  This is why we must separate ourselves from it and avoid it at all costs.

The wages that sin promises the sinner are life, pleasure, and profit.  However, it only pays him death, torment, and destruction.  He that would understand the falsehood and deceit of sin must compare its promises with what its payments truly are.” — South, (1633-1716)

The “Harmless” Ivy

In the gardens of Hampton Court, you will see many trees entirely vanquished and strangled by huge coils of ivy.  They are round about them like the strangling snakes around a victim.  Every hour the rootlets of the climber are sucking the life out of the unhappy tree.

Initially, the ivy was a tiny, harmless appearing plantlet, only requiring a little aid in climbing.  Had it been denied then, the tree would have never become its victim.  The humble weakling grew in strength, arrogance, and soon assumed the mastery.  The tall tree became the prey of the creeping destroyer.

The moral is apparent.  Sorrowfully, we remember many noble characters ruined by their “little” habits.  

Drink has been one’s ivy in many cases.  For others, it may have been dishonesty, laziness, or jealousy.  Reader, see that you are not involved in sin, lest the slowly-advancing iniquity overpowers you.  Sin hurts everyone!

It is Satan’s custom to use small sins to draw us to greater crimes
against God.”Manton (1620-1667).

The Marks That Remained

A father told his child that the youngster should drive a nail into a post whenever he did anything wrong.  He also told him that when the child did that which was good, he could pull one of the iron spikes out of the post.  A great many nails were driven into the post, but the child tried very hard to get the post cleared of the nails by striving to do right.

At length, he was so successful in his struggles with himself that every nail was drawn out of the post.  The father was just about to praise the child when, stooping down to kiss his son, he was startled to see tears fast rolling down the child’s face.  “Why, my boy?  Why do you cry?  Are not all the nails gone from the post?”

“Oh yes!  The nails are all gone, but look at the marks that are left.”

This familiar illustration reminds many of past sins’ damage to their lives.  It is possible to have those sins forgiven and forgotten as one calls on the Lord to do so.  However, the havoc done by sin may linger for the rest of one’s life.  That is why it is wisest never to get involved with iniquity in the first place.  There will be no regrets when nothing regretable has been done.

Your ship may have escaped damage by the formidable rocks, but beware lest you be wrecked on the unsuspecting sands.” Gregory Nazianjen

“I Can’t Get Clean

In one of the grandest tragedies of a great English poet, there is a scene that is enough to make one’s blood run cold.  A woman whose husband had made himself king of Scotland by means of several murders and who had been the prompter and partner of his crimes came on stage.  While in her sleep, she continually rubbed her hands as though she were washing them.  She cried, “Here’s a spot!  And another!  Will these hands ne’er be clean?  This blood I have soiled myself with will not come off!  All the perfumes of Arabia will not sweeten its stench.”

In her words, this is an awful truth.  We can stain our souls with sin.  We can dye them, and double-dye them, and even triple-dye them.  We can dye them all the colors of Hell’s rainbow, but we cannot wash them white.  All the sweetest perfumes in the world will not mask the stench they have left on our consciences.  All the fountains of the great deep will not wash away one little spot of sin.  Its wage and the guilt it often brings can linger around much of our lives.

The usurping Queen of Scotland had been guilty of murder.  The blood from the one she had a part in spilling stained her conscience.  However, it is not just the sin stain of murder that robs one of peace.  Every sin soils the soul.

In that tragedy, the Queen said, “What’s done cannot be undone.” Consider those words.  One cannot push back the wheels of time and make yesterday come again to do over afresh what was done wrongly.  That which you did in the past cannot be changed.  However, a Christian can confess it to the Lord, ask for forgiveness, and strive not to repeat that sin.
“As far as the east is from the west, so far hath he removed our transgressions from us.” Psalm 103:12  

The BIBLE VIEW #919 — Sowing & Reaping

In This Issue:
Reaping and SowingSin’s Crops
He Regretted That Crop
What We Sow

Volume: 919     August 14, 2023
Theme: Sowing & Reaping

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Reaping and Sowing
Bill Brinkworth

When a gardener plants corn kernels, he expects them to germinate and produce corn.  Likewise, when he drops lettuce seeds into the soil, he assumes he will one day harvest lettuce.  All farmers and gardeners rely on the law of sowing and reaping.

Just as the agricultural law is always true, so is a similar truth of reaping and sowing the things in life.  When one sows godliness, he will reap blessings and have God’s hand on what “grows.”  When sin is “planted, it also will produce a crop, but a very unpleasant one that most regret.

Here are some biblical verses that teach principles about sowing and reaping in our lives:

Sinful seeds:
“Even as I have seen, they that plow iniquity [sin], and sow wickedness, reap the same.” Job 4:8
“He that soweth iniquity shall reap vanity: and the rod of his anger shall fail.” Prov. 22:8
“Be not deceived; God is not mocked: for whatsoever a man soweth, that shall he also reap.  8 For he that soweth to his flesh shall of the flesh reap corruption; but he that soweth to the Spirit shall of the Spirit reap life everlasting.  9 And let us not be weary in well doing: for in due season we shall reap, if we faint not.” Gal.  6:7-9

Godly seeds:
“Sow to yourselves in righteousness, reap in mercy; break up your fallow ground: for it is time to seek the LORD, till he come and rain righteousness upon you.” Hosea 10:12
“They that sow in tears shall reap in joy.” Psalm 126:5

“Sin wouldn’t be so attractive if its wages were paid immediately!”

Sins’ Crops
Bill Brinkworth

“Then there was a famine in the days of David three years, year after year; and David enquired of the LORD.  And the LORD answered, It is for Saul, and for his bloody house, because he slew the Gibeonites.” II Sam.  21:1

The idea that “when I sin, it only affects me” is not biblical.  There are many scriptural examples that when a person sins, it affects others around them and even many in their future generations.  One such instance occurred to the people of Israel because of King Saul’s sin.

The Gibeonites had tricked Joshua into sparing their lives (Joshua 9:3-27, around 1,451 B. C.).  The tribes’ falsehood was soon detected, but only after Joshua’s princes gave the Gibeonites their word that their lives would be spared.  The dishonest Gibeonites and their future generations were sentenced to be servants to the Israelites because of their sin, but they were not killed.

Many years later, King Saul broke that promise and killed many Gibeonites (II Sam.  21:1, around 1021 B. C.).  Although the pledge was made generations previously, God judged Israel by allowing famine in their land.  They suffered from a leader’s breaking a promise of bygone days.

Others also encountered God’s judgment because of the sin of:

Idolatry and hating God:
“Thou shalt not bow down thyself to them, nor serve them: for I the LORD thy God am a jealous God, visiting the iniquity of the fathers upon the children unto the third and fourth generation of them that hate me;” Ex. 20:5   Also: Deut. 5:9, Lev. 20:4-5 (Also for the killing of babies.), Isa. 65:6-8.

Parent’s sins:
“Keeping mercy for thousands, forgiving iniquity and transgression and sin, and that will by no means clear the guilty; visiting the iniquity of the fathers upon the children, and upon the children’s children, unto the third and to the fourth generation.” Ex. 34:7 
“Let the iniquity of his fathers be remembered with the LORD; and let not the sin of his mother be blotted out.  15 Let them be before the LORD continually, that he may cut off the memory of them from the earth.” Psalms 109:14-15
“I call heaven and earth to record this day against you, that I have set before you life and death, blessing and cursing: therefore choose life, that both thou and thy seed may live:” Deut. 30:19  Also: Num.  14:18, Num.  14:33, Lev.26:39-40, Isa. 14:20-21, Jer.  32:18.

“How oft is the candle [their future] of the wicked put out!  and how oft cometh their destruction upon them!  God distributeth sorrows in his anger.” Job 21:17

Although there are many more examples in the Bible, it should be evident from the instances above that people often reap the consequences of another’s sins.  Sin hurts many people.

We also can see it in our own lives.  Laws are made that restrict the freedoms of many because of the actions of a few. 

Teachers sometimes have to be stricter in their classrooms because of the actions of some disobedient students.  Security is often increased in a country because of the sin of others, and often those doing right have to pay for their lack of freedom with their taxes.  A country’s leader can make decisions that hurt his own citizens and sometimes even kill them.  Sin always hurts the trespasser and, many times, those around him.

However, sometimes others can receive God’s blessings from the actions of a godly person or persons.  People and countries were changed and saved by King David, Jonah, Paul, John, Peter, and other righteous people.  If our own Saviour, Jesus, had not stood up and done right, we would never have had the possibility of going to Heaven.  Many nations, including the United States, have been blessed because of the godly stand its early forefathers had made.  Future generations can reap good things from those that lived earlier by God’s principles.

The wrath of God does not have to fall on all of those nations with ungodly leaders or those with wickedness in their ancestry.  The one thing that can override God’s judgment on individuals and even countries is that people of the current generation can make the right decisions. 

God’s grace and mercy are often poured out on those who choose to live according to God’s will and way.  Yes, we will often reap some of God’s judgment on the sins of others and for leaders’ ungodly decisions.  Still, it can be limited if God’s people turn and obey Him — individually and nationally.
“If my people, which are called by my name, shall humble themselves, and pray, and seek my face, and turn from their wicked ways; then will I hear from heaven, and will forgive their sin, and will heal their land.” II Chron.  7:14

Never forget or be fooled; one always reaps what one sows!  If one plants a crop of sin, he will reap the harvest of some rotten fruit.”

He Regretted That Crop

Two farmers in Kentucky were mad at each other.  One had carefully kept the evasive Johnson grass out of his fields.

Meanwhile, a mischievous son of one of the farmers took a bushel of Johnson grass seed and scattered it over a 40-acre field one night to bring havoc to the other’s property.  The feud was settled in due time, and the neighbors became friends.  The boy who planted the seed fell in love with his neighbor’s daughter and married her.

When her parents died and the administrator came to divide the estate, that boy was given the 40-acre field he had planted years previously.  The last I heard from him, he was still digging Johnson grass and regretted the day he sowed the weed!

So it is with sin; in the end, we reap what we sow — and usually regret it!

“You can’t shack up with the devil and expect God to pay the rent!” 
— Author Unknown

What We Sow
Author Unknown

If we sow a thought, we reap an act;
If we sow an act, we reap a habit;     
If we sow a habit, we reap character;
If we sow character, we reap our future.

Michael P. Green

Lord Byron, a poet, spent his life searching for pleasure.  Modern people would say, “He tried to live it up.” One day in desperation, he wrote:

The thorns I have reaped are of the tree I planted.
They have torn me, and I bleed.
I should have known what fruit would spring
from such a tree.

“He who sows thorns should not go barefoot!”  — Author Unknown

The BIBLE VIEW #912 — The Cost of Sin

In This Issue:
Payday Will be Someday
The Leopard Is Out of Control
Serve Not Sin
There Is Danger Close at Hand
Others Go Down with the Sinking Sin Ship

Volume: 912     June 26, 2023
Theme: The Cost of Sin

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Payday Will be Someday
Bill Brinkworth

Psalm 94 and many other Scriptures ask the same question.  How long are the wicked going to get away with their sin?  We see and hear so many in blatant disregard to God’s moral laws and His desired behaviors, and we wonder how some seemingly get away with the terrible things they are doing.
“LORD, how long shall the wicked, how long shall the wicked triumph?” Psalm 94:3

The answer is they will not get away with sin.  The payday for iniquity will come someday.  It may be today; it may be ten years from now.  They may appear unscathed from their wrongdoing in this life, but there is God’s promise that in the next, they will stand before a judge that will issue a verdict they will fear and regret.

As I told many Sunday school classes, no one gets away with sinning against God.  True to that biblical promise, I have seen sinners pay a price for their wrongdoing that they never thought they would pay.  The wage for their offense against God came after the transgression, bringing grief and regret that lasted much of their lives.

When raising my daughter, I remember her observation of one in our church that regularly committed sins.  One day she commented, “See, so-and-so is doing this and that, but nothing is happening to them.”

My reply was, “Be patient.  They won’t get away with it.” Sure enough, a time did come, several years later, that they received the wage for the transgression they had sown, and it was devastating. 

God is the judge, and nothing escapes His scrutiny.  Vengeance is His, and He will receive it (Psalm 94:1-2).  All wrongdoing will be dealt with (Psalm 94:4-6).

A sinner may think their iniquity escaped the eye of the Lord, but it did not (Psalm 94:7-10).  He even knows our thoughts (Psalm 94:11), so there is no escaping sin’s consequences.  With this in mind, it is prudent and wise to flee sin and get as far away from it as possible.
“And he shall bring upon them their own iniquity, and shall cut them off in their own wickedness; yea, the LORD our God shall cut them off.” Psalm 94:23
“Be not deceived; God is not mocked: for whatsoever a man soweth, that shall he also reap.” Galatians 6:7

… there are only two places for your sins: either they are on Christ or you.  If they are on Christ, the judgment is passed; if they are not, you have only judgment to look forward to in the future.”   — J. Vernon McGee

The Leopard Is Out of Control
C. H. Spurgeon

I have heard of one who kept a tame leopard in his house.  He had nursed it when it was a cub, and it wandered and played about the house like a cat.  One day, while the master was asleep, it licked his hand.  The man’s blood flowed as the cat licked a place where the skin was thin and broken.

All the wild instincts of the beast of the forest flashed in its fierce eyes.  The man suddenly awoke and saw the situation.  His end was near unless he should be quick and skillful enough to destroy the animal.

Do you think he paused or hesitated?  No.  A loaded pistol was within reach, so he stretched out his hand quietly, grasped it firmly, aimed it steadily, fired it instantly, and the creature lay dead at his feet.  It had come to the time that either he must kill it, or it would kill him.

It may be so with you.  Your sins began to draw blood from you already.  Those stings of conscience, that empty purse, or those alcohol-induced red eyes, are telling what sin can do.  Not yet do you know all its horror.  Before the leopard springs upon you and speedily tears you into pieces, God can help you give it up!

“Lusts of the flesh are much like enemy soldiers encamped within us, foraging amongst us, and ready to enforce their military control against us.”
— Author Unknown

Serve Not Sin
Edited from Morning and Evening, C. H. Spurgeon

“Knowing this, that our old man is crucified with him, that the body of sin might be destroyed, that henceforth we should not serve sin.” Romans 6:6

Christian, what hast thou to do with sin?  Hath it not cost thee enough already?

Burnt child, wilt thou play with the fire?  When thou hast already been between the jaws of the lion, wilt thou step a second time into his den?

Hast thou not had enough of the old serpent?  Did he not poison all thy veins once, and wilt thou play upon the hole of the asp and put thy hand upon the cockatrice’s den a second time?  Oh, be not so mad nor so foolish!

Did sin ever yield thee real pleasure?  Didst thou find substantial satisfaction in it?  If so, return to thine old drudgery and wear the chain of bondage again if it delights thee.  Inasmuch as sin did never give thee what it promised to bestow, but deluded thee with lies, be not a second time snared by the old fowler; be free.

Let the remembrance of thy ancient bondage forbid thee to enter the net again!  It is contrary to the designs of eternal love, which all have an eye to thy purity and holiness.  Run not counter to the purposes of thy Lord.

Another thought should restrain thee from sin.  Christians can never sin cheaply.  They pay a heavy price for iniquity.  Transgression destroys the peace of mind, obscures fellowship with Jesus, hinders prayer, and brings darkness over the soul.  Therefore, be not the serf and bondman of sin.

There is yet a higher argument.  Each time you “serve sin,” you have “Crucified the Lord afresh and put Him to an open shame.” Can you bear that thought?  Oh!  If you have fallen into any sin during this day, it may be my Master has sent this admonition today to bring you back before you have backslidden very far.

Turn thee to Jesus anew.  He has not forgotten His love for thee.  His grace is still the same.  With weeping and repentance, come to His footstool, and thou shalt be once more received into His heart.

“True repentance hates the sin, and not merely the penalty…”  — Taylor

There Is Danger Close at Hand
Bill Brinkworth

When working with young people, I often tried to get them to deal with the sin in their lives. Sin was usually the culprit behind most problems they had. After discussing the wrongdoing they were involved in, and what the Bible said about it, I sometimes heard the remark, “Oh, God just doesn’t want me to have any fun.”

The reason God wants all to keep away from sin has nothing to do with prohibiting us from any “fun.”  He knows that sin always hurts someone, and that is why God hates sin so much. Getting involved in iniquity ruins marriages, robs people of joy, shortens lives, destroys and wastes futures, causes physical problems, shortcircuits proper thinking, and has thousands of other terrible side effects.  No wonder God detests sin!

There is also another very important reason God abhors sin.  God knows that there is a terrible price tag on all sin. Unless one’s sin is paid for by trusting only on the shed sacrifice of Jesus’ blood, there is an eternal price for our iniquities.

Just as one works all week and expects a wage for their labor, so will it be at the end of our lives. For the unsaved, the wage for their sins will be an eternity in the Lake of Fire.  That is unfortunate news, but there can be good news. The good news is that there is a gift from God that will save all sinners that believe and request it.  It is the gift of eternal life in Heaven by receiving Christ as Saviour.
“For the wages of sin is death; but the gift of God is eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord.” Romans 6:23.

“You can make choices freely, but you cannot determine the consequences of those choices.” — Barbara Brinkworth

Others Go Down with the Sinking Sin Ship
C. H. Spurgeon

A vessel sailing from Joppa carried a passenger, who, beneath his berth, cut a hole through the ship’s side.  The men on the watch reprimanded the unthinking man.

“What doest thou, O miserable man?” they cried.

The offender calmly replied, “What matters it to you?  The hole I have made lies under my berth.”

The passenger finally saw his folly as the whole ship began to sink.  Sailor’s lives were endangered.  Merchants lost their livelihoods as their onboard cargo was lost at sea.  One man’s foolishness cost so many very much.

No man perishes alone in his iniquity.  No man can guess the full consequences of his transgression, but usually others suffer from another’s sin.

The Burglar in the Heart
C. H. Spurgeon

I do not believe that a man becomes a villain all at once.  He puts his soul to school.  His thoughts are his teachers, or rather, they are the schoolbooks in which his soul reads.  At last, he becomes capable of transacting the deeds of a scoundrel.

If you think long upon any sin, the chances are that as soon as the temptation to that sin comes, you will commit it.  Beware then of all thoughts of sin.

If you show a thief all the locks and bolts and bars in your house and tell him how the cellar window could be opened or the back door be made to give way, do not be surprised if one night you should find all your goods stolen.  If you introduce these evil thoughts into your habitation, you should not wonder about the consequences.

The BIBLE VIEW #904 — Alcohol

In This Issue:
Should a Christian Drink Alcohol?
Effects of Drinking
A Monster

Volume: 904   April 16, 2023
Theme: Alcohol

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Should a Christian Drink Alcohol?
Bill Brinkworth

Today, possibly because the Word of God is not obeyed and is considered not relevant, many Christians have no conviction about what the Bible says about many things, including the drinking of alcohol.

The Bible says much about the dangers and effects that alcohol will have on one and a Christian testimony.  Indulgence in alcohol is never recommended in God’s Word.  Its use is usually negatively spoken about.

Here are some reasons why a Christian should avoid alcoholic beverages:

  • Alcohol is dangerous.  Even wine is likened to a poison that will ruin one’s life!
    “Look not thou upon the wine when it is red, when it giveth his colour in the cup, when it moveth itself aright
    [fermenting].  32 At the last it biteth like a serpent, and stingeth like an adder.” Pro.  23:31-32
  • Alcohol should not be drunk by a wise person.
    “Wine is a mocker, strong drink is raging: and whosoever is deceived thereby is not wise.” Prov. 20:1
    Wine’s influence will make one mock, or deride, others.  Strong drink will often make one loud and cause him to show his anger.
  • Alcohol will increase one’s problems and affect health and mental stability.
    “Who hath woe?  who hath sorrow?  who hath contentions?  who hath babbling?  who hath wounds without cause?  who hath redness of eyes?  30 They that tarry long at the wine; they that go to seek mixed wine.” Pro.  23:29-30
  • Alcohol will control a person and affect one’s thinking and discernment.
    “But they also have erred through wine, and through strong drink are out of the way; the priest and the prophet have erred through strong drink, they are swallowed up of wine, they are out of the way through strong drink; they err in vision, they stumble in judgment.” Isa. 28:7
  • Alcohol will affect one’s will.
    “Whoredom and wine and new wine take away the heart.” Hos. 4:11
    Notice that there are two types of wine: new, unfermented wine, and alcoholic (fermented) wine.
  • Alcohol will affect one’s desire to do something for the Lord and the desire to be industrious.
    “Woe unto them that rise up early in the morning, that they may follow strong drink; that continue until night, till wine inflame them!  12 And the harp, and the viol, the tabret, and pipe, and wine, are in their feasts: but they regard not the work of the LORD, neither consider the operation of his hands.” Isa. 5:11-12 “
    Be not among winebibbers; among riotous eaters of flesh: 21 For the drunkard and the glutton shall come to poverty: and drowsiness shall clothe a man with rags.  We are not to even be around drinking, so certainly the Saviour would not have broken this commandment.” Pro.  23:20

These verses, and many more, show we should not drink, especially if we are concerned about keeping the “temple” that God gave us clean (I Cor. 6:19) from temptations and sin.  However, what confuses many, and is often used to justify drinking, is the Bible’s usage of the word “wine.”  In the New Testament, that word is used to describe alcoholic and non-alcoholic wine.  The Greek word “oinos” refers to fermented and unfermented “wines.”  The context of the verse usually reveals which type of “wine” it refers to.

What is non-alcoholic “wine”?  We call it grape juice.  Sometimes the Bible refers to it as “new wine” (Mat. 9:17, Luke 5:39).  Understand that in biblical days there was no refrigeration and that it was hot, which would quickly ferment the “new wine.”  To keep this from happening, the new “wine” was often simmered so that the water would evaporate from the “wine.”  

That process would result in a thick grape syrup that would last a long time.  It also was called “wine.”  Before it was drunk, water would be added to it again.  An ancient shipwreck was recovered with a cargo of containers of that grape syrup, which was still preserved.

There are other reasons why a Christian should not drink, even wine.  They include:

  • Fermented wine is a picture of sin!  The yeast (“leaven”) in the grape skins turns the juice to alcohol.  Yeast is a picture of sin, as it spreads and “ruins” (fermentation is a decaying and rotting process) many things it is placed in.  For this reason, it should not be drunk and should NEVER be used in the Lord’s supper, as Jesus was sinless and should not be pictured as sinful by fermented grape juice.  

    Also, for the same reason, raised bread should not be used.  A little “leaven” in grape juice or flour will raise and spread throughout the product, just as a little sin spreads and affects whatever life it touches.
    “A little leaven leaveneth the whole lump.” Gal. 5:9
    “Your glorying is not good.  Know ye not that a little leaven leaveneth the whole lump?” I Cor. 5:6
  • Many justify drinking because Jesus turned water into “wine” (John 2:9-10).  It was not alcoholic wine He changed from water.  If He did that, He would have been serving alcohol, which would have earned Him God’s “woe” rather than God’s approval on His life (Mat. 3:17).  Jesus’ converting the water was not an example of biblical doctrine on drinking.  It was a miracle to show Jesus was God in the flesh.
    “Woe unto him that giveth his neighbour drink, that puttest thy bottle to him, and makest him drunken also, that thou mayest look on their nakedness!” Hab. 2:15   If one is not to give it to others, then he should not be drinking it himself.
  • Alcohol is often a gateway to other sins.  One sin usually leads to others, and alcohol is no exception.
    “Thine eyes shall behold strange women, and thine heart shall utter perverse things.” Pro.  23:33
  • Some twist I Tim. 5:23 around to say that drinking wine for your health is okay.  Any drunk or doctor will tell you that alcohol will tear up one’s stomach.  Alcohol irritates the digestive system, including the stomach, causing it to produce too much acid.  This can lead to gastritis, stomach pain, vomiting, diarrhea, and bleeding.  Look at the beer belly of a beer guzzler for proof.  God knows all this, so alcohol consumption cannot be what I Tim.  5:23 is referring to.
    “Drink no longer water, but use a little wine for thy stomach’s sake and thine often infirmities.” I Tim 5:23  I read that to get the “good” chemical in wine that is supposed to help one’s health, many bottles of wine should be drunk daily.  Drinking that much would qualify one as a drunkard the Bible condemns.  Eating grapes or drinking unfermented grape juice is a better choice for one’s stomach health.
  • What is “drunk”?  How many drinks does it take to be “drunk”?  An excellent answer to this question is from Jim Jorgenson in Should I.   He wrote, “Perhaps you would say, ‘It would take six beers to make me drunk.’ If you only drink one beer, then you are one-sixth drunk.  You are one-sixth less able to serve God than before drinking.”
  • We are not to have the appearance of doing anything wrong.  We are to have an upright testimony.  Drinking would give an impression to others that we were drunkards.
    “Abstain from all appearance of evil.” I Thes. 5:22

Christians should be led and guided by the Spirit of God, not the spirit of drunkenness.  Interestingly, the old-time drunkards knew that drinking was not of God, and the wrong spirits influenced users of it.  To prove that look at a bottle of booze, which will still be identified as 50% (or another number) spirits.  Drinking it leads one to follow the wrong spirit, which will not be the Spirit of God.

A Christian should be “Christ-like,” as the name implies.  He should not be close to the edge of the godless world from which he was saved.  A believer should be as far from temptation and sin as possible.  One cannot lose his salvation, but he can lose his Christian testimony and be ensnared by many of the same pitfalls the unsaved fall into when they indulge in alcohol.  All lose when they drink booze!
“And be not drunk with wine, wherein is excess; but be filled with the Spirit;” Eph. 5:18

“Alcohol is a very effective dissolving agent.  It dissolves families, marriages, friendships, jobs, bank accounts, and neurons, but never problems.”

Effects of Drinking
Gleaned from Should I?  by Jim Jorgensen, Page 51

Physical Effects
Controlled by alcohol: (Isa. 5:11)
Leads to sickness: (Hosea 7:5)
Causes one to stagger: (Job 12:25)
Can cause one to vomit: (Isa. 19:14)
Affects one’s eyes: (Prov. 23:29)
Leads one to be hurt: (Prov. 23:29)
Produces filthiness: (Isa. 28:8)
Provokes one to do dumb things: (Prov. 23:34)

Mental Effects
Impairs judgments: (Prov. 31:5, Isa. 28:7)
Impairs the memory: (Prov. 31:4-5)
Encourages one to lose his temper: (Prov. 20:1)

Moral & Spiritual
Leads to indifference for the work of the Lord: (Isa. 5:12)
Is allied with gambling and licentiousness: (Joel 3:3)
Is allied with indecent exposure: (Gen. 9:21, Hab. 2:15-16)

Ultimately, it can lead to:
A ruined life: (Prov. 23:32)
Poverty: (Proverbs 21:17, 23:21)
Strife: (Proverbs 23:29-30)
Woe and sorrow: (Proverbs 23:29-30)

“One never has to battle the strangling grasp of alcohol, if one never takes the first sip.”

A Monster
T. Adams, 1871

A drunkard is the annoyance of modesty, the trouble of civility, the spoil of wealth, and the destroyer of reason.  He is the thief of one’s self, the beggar’s companion, and the sheriff’s trouble.  The drunk is his wife’s woe, his children’s sorrow, his neighbor’s scoff, and his shame.  He is a spirit of unrest, a thing below a beast, and a menacing monster.

“To a drunkard who feels unlovable, the message that God loves him comes as good news.”   — Jerry Dunn

The BIBLE VIEW #893 — Wages of Sin

In This Issue:

When God’s Hand of Blessing Was Removed
Wrath of God
God’s Restraint
Curse of Sin
A Free Pardon

Volume: 893     January 16, 2023
Theme: Wages of Sin

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When God’s Hand of Blessing Was Removed
Bill Brinkworth

The Bible has recorded that when people disobeyed or disregarded God’s commandments, their sin would cost them much.  It is clear, by the countless examples in the Word of God, that no person or country gets away with iniquity. 

Here are a few biblical examples of what a people did to lose God’s blessing and to be cursed by the Almighty:

  • God cursed Adam and Eve, all their future generations, and the earth (Genesis3:14-19) because of Adam’s and Eve’s disobedience.
  • God cursed Canaan with slavery (Gen. 9:25) because of Ham’s sexual sin (Gen. 9:22).
  • God destroyed Sodom, Gomorrah, and two other cities (Deut. 29:23) because of their wickedness (Gen. 13:13).
  • God removed qualified, honorable, experienced God-approved leadership (Isaiah 3:1-3).  He then allowed inexperienced, youthful men (Isaiah 3:4-5) and those whose leadership would harm their country (Isa. 3:12) to rule.
  • God allowed foreigners to invade Israel (Judges 6:1-6) and to take away Israel’s freedoms, belongings, and peace.
  • God allowed Israel’s place of worship, Jerusalem, to be destroyed (Nehemiah 1:3) because the people did not keep God’s commandments (Neh. 1:7).  God also allowed the people to be scattered from the land He had given them because of their sin (Neh. 1:8).

God also promised, usually to His people, that He would allow them to learn from the consequences of their sin when they violated His laws.  Here are some other reasons God promised to curse people and nations when they broke His commandments:

  • God promised to curse those that cursed the offspring of Abram (Israel): Gen. 12:3.
  • God will curse those that curse their parents: Proverb 20:20.
  • God will curse those that do not obey the Lord’s commandments, including going “after other gods”: Deut. 11:28, Jer. 44:8.
  • God will curse the wicked: Pro.  3:33.
  • God will allow a people to go through wars, captivity, famines, pestilences, and to be disliked by other countries because they did not obey God’s words: Jer. 29:1-19.
  • God would allow His people to face wars and famines if they insisted on returning to the world from which Lord delivered them: Jer. 44:12.
  • God will curse those that do not give glory to His name: Mal. 2:2.
  • God cursed those that would not give Him their tithes (at least 10% of what God allowed them to earn): Mal. 3:9.

Many consequences of sin to earlier people are also occurring today.  Since God never changes (Mal. 3:6, Heb. 13:8), sins He would not tolerate then will not be put up with today.

No one gets away with evilness.  The people of Israel did not get away with iniquity, and neither will we!

Many say that if we do not turn from our current wicked sins, we may suffer the curse of God.  According to the biblical examples, we are already facing the after-effects of God’s curse on a rebellious people.  His hand, which often blessed this nation, may have been removed, and we may be suffering the same “lessons” that earlier people faced.

The curse of God is always intended to halt the violations against Him.  God intends that the hardships He allowed to happen will stop iniquity, and people will turn to Him.

There is always hope for those that turn from their wickedness.  When people face hard times, they usually realize they cannot handle them without God and turn toward Him in obedience.

It is possible to be blessed by God because of obedience to His commandments rather than be cursed.  Hopefully, people, and eventually as a nation, will see their wickedness and turn from it.
“If my people, which are called by my name, shall humble themselves, and pray, and seek my face, and turn from their wicked ways; then will I hear from heaven, and will forgive their sin, and  will heal their land.” II Chron.  7:14  

“The curse of the LORD is in the house of the wicked: but he blesseth the habitation of the just.” Prov. 3:33

 Wrath of God
Jonathan Edwards

The wrath of God is like great waters that are dammed for the present.  The waters increase and rise higher and higher until an outlet is given.   The greater the waters rise, the more rapid and destructive its course will be when the waters are loosed. 

If God should withdraw His hand from the floodgate, it would immediately fly open.  The floods of the fierceness and wrath of God would rush forth with inconceivable fury and come upon you with omnipotent power.  If your strength were ten thousand times greater than it is, yea, ten thousand times greater than the strength of the stoutest, sturdiest devil in Hell, it would be nothing to withstand or endure it. 

“No one gets away with any sin!”

God’s Restraint 
Jonathan Edwards

The bow of God’s wrath is bent, and the arrow is ready on the string.  His justice aims the arrow at your heart and strains His bow.  It is nothing but the mere pleasure of God, and that of an angry God, without any promise or obligation that keeps the arrow one moment from being made drunk with your blood.

“He that covereth his sins shall not prosper: but whoso confesseth and forsaketh them shall have mercy.”  Proverbs 28:13  

Curse of Sin 
Dr. J. Parker

Oh, sin!  How hast thou curst us!  Thou hast thrown up a barrier between ourselves and God; with thy chilling breath, thou hast extinguished the light of our household joys.  Thou hast unstrung our harp and filled the air with discordant cries.  Thou hast unsheathed the sword and bathed it in human blood.  Thou hast dug every grave in the Earth’s bosom, but for thee, we should not have known the name of widow or orphan, tear and sigh, and sorrow and death, but for thee our hearts would not have known pain.

A Free Pardon
C. H. Spurgeon

A prisoner was taken out to die, and as he rode along in the death cart, his heart was heavy at the thought of his demise. None would cheer him from the watching throng.  The gallows tree was in sight and blotted out the sun for him.  But lo, his prince came riding up in hot haste, bearing a free pardon.

Then the man opened his eyes, and he returned to happy consciousness as if he had risen from the dead.  The sight of his prince had chased all gloom away.  He declared that he had never seen a fairer countenance in all his days.  When he read his pardon, he vowed that no poetry should ever be dearer to his heart than those few lines of sovereign grace.

Friends, I remember well when I was in that death cart, and Jesus came to me with a pardon.  Death and Hell were before me, but I rejoiced exceedingly when I saw the nail prints in his hands, feet, and the wound in his side.

When he said, “Thy sins, which are many, are all forgiven thee,” I thought I never saw such loveliness before and never heard such music in all my days.  Eternity itself shall never disclose anything sweeter.  My pardoning Lord hath no peer nor rival.  Oh, what a Christ is He who appeared to me, a guilty, condemned sinner, and on the way to Hell!  Blessed be His name.  Jesus bore my curse, shame, and death, and I am free!

“Life has taught me to forgive much and to seek forgiveness still more.”

The BIBLE VIEW #882 — Reaping What Was Sown

In This Issue:
What Did You Expect?
The Crossroads
Poor Taste in Clothes
The Stone Inside

Volume: 882     October 31, 2022
Theme: Reaping What Is Sown

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What Did You Expect? 
Bill Brinkworth

Truths in botany can apply to our lives, as well.  One principle in the science is that one gets what is planted.  If one plant marigolds seeds, one gets marigolds.  If tomato seeds are planted, one certainly would not expect a crop of corn.  This law of “sowing and reaping” can be applied in our lives:

  • If one spends most of one’s life doing what is selfishly wanted, can one be expected to get the blessing of God in one’s life?
  • If one does not pray, read the Bible, does little that is spiritual, and purposely avoids doing what one knows God wants one to do (going to church, reading your Bible, praying…), why does one get angry and blame God when something terrible happens in one’s life?
  • Why does one curse or get angry with God for not answering the one requested prayer in many years?
  • If one never got saved, why would it be expected one will go to Heaven rather than Hell? 
  • Why would one think one’s opinion or philosophy was more important than what God thinks or says, and He will change everything He has said just because of one’s thoughts and beliefs? 
  • If one lets their children do what they want and certainly did not encourage them to live the way the Lord tells them to, why would anyone blame God (or a church) when something terrible happens to them or their lives are headed in the wrong direction?
  • If one allows their children to attend a secular school that teaches evolution, elevates ungodly lifestyles, mocks God, allows the children to be exposed to ungodly examples and philosophies, why would one be surprised that their life turns out to be ungodly, unfruitful, and unhappy?
  • If one allows one’s children to listen to music encouraging ungodly lifestyles, allows them to view television and movies that advertise sinful behavior, or hang around children that have ungodly lifestyles, why would one be surprised that their future lives are ruined by their wrong decisions?
  • If one avoided studying, cheated when possible, and avoided many learning situations (playing video games or watching TV rather than studying), why would one be surprised that one did not pass into the next grade or have problems learning?
  • If one does not take care of one’s health, why is God blamed when one is sick?
  • If one succumbed to the sins of smoking, drinking, or drug taking, why is one surprised that one has an addiction, one’s body has reaped the havoc of the sin’s participation, or one has a ruined life because of the sin’s side effects?
  • If one covered up what was happening in one’s life with lies and deception, why would one be surprised that people in one’s life do not trust or “just don’t understand you?”
  • If one sinned and broke laws in the past, why would one be surprised one is in jail or facing some other punishment?
  • If one cheated God by not tithing (Malachi 3:8-9) and giving to Him in the past, why would anyone be surprised their financial situation is not blessed by God?
  • If one spent money one did not have, why would anyone be surprised one’s debts are high?
  • If one “shacked up” with a boyfriend or girlfriend without marrying them, why would one be surprised that the romance with that person is in turmoil or has failed?  Does one think God was going to bless such a relationship?
  • If one looked at or flirted with other women or men, even though married, why would one be surprised when one finds themself in an adulterous relationship?
  • If one allowed their eyes to see ungodly pictures or movies, why would anyone be surprised when one has wrong thoughts and commits sin?

If you purchase, plant, and sow iniquity, sin is what you will reap!
“Be not deceived; God is not mocked: for whatsoever a man soweth, that shall he also reap.” Galatians 6:7

Would you prefer a more joyful, God-directed life?  If so, then plant the right things in your life.  Plant a God-approved spiritual crop!
“For he that soweth to his flesh shall of the flesh reap corruption; but he that soweth to the Spirit shall of the Spirit reap life everlasting.”  Galatians 6:8


The Crossroads
Author Unknown

He came to the crossroads all alone,
With the sunrise in his face;
He had no fear of the path unknown,
He was set for an ambitious race.

The road stretched east, and the road stretched west,
The “Signboard” showed which way was the best;
But the boy turned wrong and went on down,
And lost the race and the victors’s crown,
And fell at last into an ugly snare
By choosing wrong at the crossroads there.

Another boy, on another day,
At the selfsame crossroads stood,
He paused a momemt to choose the way
Which would lead to the greater good.

The road stretched east, and the road stretched west,
But the “Signboard” showed him which way was best.
And the boy turned right and went on and on;
He won the race and the victor’s crown.
And came at last to the Mansions fair,
For choosing right at the crossroads there.
For choosing right at the crossroads there.

“I find the doing of the will of God leaves me no time for disputing about His plans.”  — George MacDonald


Poor Taste in Clothes

In the spring of 1924, I assisted Pastor N. E. Norwood in a revival meeting at Fort Ogden, Florida.  Driving along the highway, we passed a gang of convicts working on the road.  They were clothed in stripes, and I remarked to the pastor that I didn’t like their clothing.

“If I had the selection, I should have selected a different suit.”

“Why,” he answered, “they don’t select their suits, do they?”

“Oh, yes!” I answered.

“Well,” he said, “I didn’t know that.  I thought the state selected their suits for them.”

“No,” I replied, “Every man selects his suit.  Those fellows knew the penalty of violating the law before they committed the acts.  They made their choice.  They selected their suits.  They are wearing the “clothing” of their selection.”

What suit have you selected: the black stripe suit of shame and dishonor or the “white robe of righteousness?”

The Stone Inside
H. A. Ironside

I was talking to a group of little boys and girls in a Sunday school in San Francisco.  “How sad to know, each time you say ‘No’ to the Lord Jesus, your heart gets a little harder.  If you keep saying ‘no,’ the heart gets harder and harder until by-and-by God calls it a heart of stone.  If you persist in disregarding His grace, you will die in your sins.”  I pleaded with those boys and girls to give their hearts to Jesus in their early days.

There was one dear little tot there, only five years old.  Her mother brought her to Sunday school and then took her home.  The little one was thinking of her dear father, who never went to hear the Word of God.  When she got to the house, she darted into her father’s arms and said, “Daddy, Daddy, feel your heart!  Is it getting like stone?”

He said, “What are you talking about?”

She said, “Well, the man at Sunday school said if you say ‘No’ to Jesus, you will get a stone inside.  Oh, Daddy, I hope you haven’t for if you have, you can’t be saved.”

The father growled to the mother, “What have they been telling this child, anyway?”

Then the mother explained a little more fully, and he saw tears in his wife’s eyes and felt the arms of his little girl about his neck, and heard her saying, “Oh, Daddy, don’t go on saying ‘No’ to Jesus.”

He looked up and said, “Well, I think I had better settle this.”  He got down on his knees and yielded his life to Christ.

“There is a God-created vacuum in the heart of every man, which cannot be satisfied by any created thing, but only by God the Creator made known through Jesus Christ.”  — Blaise Pascal

The BIBLE VIEW #878 — Sin’s Consequences

In This Issue:
Why Is Society A Mess?
Sliding Down Sin’s Slippery Slope of Ruin

Volume: 878     October 3, 2022
Theme:  The Consequences of Sin

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Why Is Society A Mess?
Bill Brinkworth

For centuries, America has had the liberty to have free speech. People could, without fear, voice their opinions. Churches unashamedly preached what the Bible said. Most clearly knew what was right and wrong, as it was taught and practiced in homes, schools, government, and churches.

Although free speech was a taken-for-granted freedom, some areas of wrongdoing were taboo. Those actions were not even mentioned because the majority knew right from wrong.

Slowly, a change happened. Since radical, immoral opinions and behaviors were not usually accepted, outcry, when they did occur, was minimal.

Since there was little resistance to once unaccepted thoughts and behavior, more realized they could break moral barriers and get away with voicing and living the way their lusts and likes lead them. As more vocalized once unaccepted practices, more heard and contemplated the once forbidden sins. Soon, radical behaviors, beliefs, and opinions spread throughout the country.

Boldness to commit once ridiculed and unthought-of practices spread from one to another. In time, degraded morals spread through the land like a plague. No longer was homosexuality, drug use, deserting families by divorce, lying, politically controlling school children’s upbringing, abortion, breaking laws, and doing whatever felt good even questioned. In many places, laws were ignored to further allow what was once shunned to continue. Sin rampaged throughout the nation.

Since the nation’s morality change was gradual, an entire generation became accustomed to the new “morality.”  When that group became parents, they were not troubled when their children also accepted and even practiced the new standards.

Many were busy with their lives and earning an income to obtain what they wanted. Those who did remember what used to be right and wrong made little outcry about the changes in society.

Pulpits that once boldly blasted what God’s Word clearly defined as sin hesitated in reminding their congregations of God’s standards. Worldly brain-washing continued, and churches seldom opposed the new “normal.”  Over time, few ministries remained to remind people of God’s standards.

Confusion about what was “right” and “wrong” became cloudier. People with lifestyles that would not have been acceptable decades previously became leaders, teachers, preachers, and socially recognized “heroes” of the changing society.

Over decades, those with millennia-held biblical standards were now the social outcasts. A growing majority now looks down upon those that will not tolerate or accept sin. What once was recognized as iniquity has become acceptable, and “good” is now seen by many as “bad.”

Names were created to negatively label those that would not accept the new “morality.”  Those adhering to biblical morals were now branded as “hateful,” anti-politically correct, anti-environmental, ignorant (because they did not think like the masses), social terrorists, and many more demeaning titles.

Freedom of speech is slowly removed from society. Some that hinted at holding onto past social beliefs are now having their employment threatened, dismissed from schools, not allowed in certain sports, and castigated from even vocalizing their opinion. 

Pressures to make more conform to the new morality is even spreading throughout the world. The growing insistence on rejecting the old morality is not unlike the Nazi movement before World War II.

Unstopped, this growing out-of-control movement will further divide and destroy freedoms all take for granted. Changing centuries of beliefs and practices will probably not be diverted by any political or public outcry.

Those that discarded and disobeyed God’s Words have suffered a significant loss while on this Earth and will face devastation in eternity. No nation or people has ever prospered when the commandments of God were not obeyed.
“And he said unto them, Ye are they which justify yourselves before men; but God knoweth your hearts: for that which is highly esteemed among men is abomination in the sight of God.” Luke 16:15
“Woe unto them that call evil good, and good evil; that put darkness for light, and light for darkness; that put bitter for sweet, and sweet for bitter!” Isaiah 5:20

There is still hope, however, if only for individuals. That hope is to recognize what is right and wrong. Society’s definition changes constantly and cannot be relied upon. However, there is a source God labored to save that identifies truth and what is right and wrong. It is His Word, the Bible.

It has been the guideline for previous millennia. Guidance from it has improved lives, even those that many thought had no hope. Families have been reunited after adhering to its laws. Those with no hope have gained insight and flourished. Nations abiding by His commandments have prospered and been blessed. Obedience to God’s commandments is the only solution for improving the current “mess” in society.

In your lifetime, have you seen how our society is degraded? Common sense is no longer common. Right is wrong, and wrong is right. Good is now evil, and evil is now acceptable. Most likely, there will not be a great revival changing the minds and actions of multitudes, but you can change.

Dive into the Bible. Find what God defines as right or wrong. Follow His way no matter if it is unpopular or the price you may have to pay to do what God says is “right.”  Living God’s way is the only hope we and our society have!
“And if it seem evil unto you to serve the LORD, choose you this day whom ye will serve; whether the gods which your fathers served that were on the other side of the flood, or the gods of the Amorites, in whose land ye dwell: but as for me and my house, we will serve the LORD.” Joshua 24:15

Sliding Down Sin’s Slippery Slope of Ruin
Bill Brinkworth

Sin’s unrelenting temptations often push one into a position that often cannot be escaped. Romans 1 details a terrible, downward spiral in which many find themselves. Many find out too late that one sin leads to another and that no one gets away with iniquity’s dreadful wages.

The seven-fold decline described in Romans 1 started when people did not recognize and honor God for His creation. All around them were the glorious things that only God could have made:  innumerable stars, an Earth that has all the necessities of life, life itself, living creatures that do remarkable things, man and all he can do, and flowering and food-supplying plants.  

Many, as also happens today, explain away God’s marvelous handiwork with their imaginative ideas and theories of how they think those things came to be. God is not given credit for what He has done, and they certainly are not thankful for what He did.
“Because that, when they knew God, they glorified him not as God, neither were thankful; but became vain in their imaginations, and their foolish heart was darkened.” Romans 1:21

Because God’s wondrous works are explained away with concocted myths, fables, and the theory of evolution, a person can become unthankful for what God has done. Eventually, foolish hearts are darkened and hardened to hear and understand God’s truths. Many ruined lives find themselves without answers, a hopeful future, and the guidance and protection of an all-knowing, wise, and loving God. People often do not even recognize their depraved, weak conditions.

In many situations, since humanity often measures themselves by their standards or compares themselves to others, one often thinks he is intelligent and successful. However, what is considered wisdom in one’s eyes may be foolishness in God’s.
“Professing themselves to be wise, they became fools,” Rom. 1:22

However, man’s decline rarely stops there. Since one does not have God to worship, obey, and follow, one often creates his gods to worship. Sometimes it may involve worshipping a man-made idol, as in idolatrous religions. Others worship the creation rather than the Creator. The Earth is reverenced, as are animals, trees, etc.
“And changed the glory of the uncorruptible God into an image made like to corruptible man, and to birds, and fourfooted beasts, and creeping things.” Rom. 1:23

When one finds oneself at this stage of depravity, one usually justifies there is no God or that He does not need to be heeded. The sins of those rebellious often increase. One sin usually leads to others, and the rest of the Romans 1 verifies this. Verses 24 to 31 list at least 27 sins that resulted from the original sin of not glorifying God and all He has done.

The description of man’s sinful decline mentions three times that God “gave them up” and “gave them over” to their sins. Those words in those phrases mean “surrendered.”  

God saw that their mind was set on “doing their own thing,” not on acknowledging Him and not obeying His commandments. God then took His guiding, protecting hands off them and let them face the consequences of their sin. They wanted their sinful lifestyle, so God “surrendered” them to the wages of their unrighteousness. How hopeless, vulnerable, and lonely it would be to have the great God give up on helping and protecting a person, yet this is a reality for many.

The progression of unrighteousness described in Romans 1 explains why sin is rampant worldwide. In their early youth, most look around and feel what they see, hear, and feel can only be there by some creative Hand.  

As they get older, soon that feeling is explained away. God is forgotten, and the regression to a life devastated by sin results.

God may have every reason to take his guiding, protecting hand off lives because of their sin, but He is still a loving and forgiving God. There is always an opportunity to recognize the true, living God again, ask His forgiveness, and turn back to what was once believed. One can get back to having Him direct and help one through life, no matter how far down sin’s spiral one has plummeted. There can be hope!
“If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins, and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.” I John 1:9

Everybody, sooner or later, sits down to a banquet of consequences.
Robert Louis Stevenson