Volume: 895 February 5, 2023
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The Church That Would Not Help
Dr. Ralph Yarnell
Once upon a time, there was an average preacher who pastored an average church in an average city. The church was always short on mission funds. One day a salesman approached the pastor with the following proposal.
“If you allow me to speak to your congregation for 15 minutes, I will show you how to easily add $10,000 to your mission program now and an extra $1,000 each month, if the church members cooperate.”
The average preacher consulted with the average church board. They put it to a vote of the average congregation and quickly accepted the proposition. A date and time were set. Announcements were made, and every church member was urged to attend.
The time arrived; the church was packed, and the salesman began:
“Ladies and gentlemen, I represent a home training program. If you use our equipment, I guarantee you will quickly learn at least 32 things that will give you a thrilling experience. Our equipment sells from $100 to several thousand dollars and $20 each month from then on. Our equipment will teach you:
- How to murder anyone you don’t like
- How to deceive
- How to commit adultery
- How to get drunk
- How to use and push drugs
- How to curse
- How to have an abortion
- How to display your nakedness
- How to embrace Humanism
- How to get a divorce
- How to spread violence
- How to enjoy vulgarity
- How to be anti-God and anti-Christian
- How to be anti-American
- How to show hate
- How to tell lies
- How to be a thief
- How to live immorally
- How to have illicit sex
- How to be a homosexual
- How to show vengeance
- How to become a gambler
- How to commit suicide
- How to be an arsonist
- How to cheat others
- How to be continually fighting
- How to be a mugger and a rapist
- How to commit hideous crimes
- How to torture others
- How to loot
- How to riot
- How to disobey both God and the government.
“The 32 things are only the beginning of what our equipment will teach you. I guarantee it!
“Now, by showing raised hands, let me see how many of you are willing to invest in our equipment. None? Can it be there is not one raised hand?
“Now, by the raised hand, let me see how many of you have a television or DVD player. Nearly every hand is raised.
“Evidently, someone beat me to the sale, for I am selling TVs and DVDs. I promised this church an opportunity for $10,000 plus more than $1,000 each month for your mission program if you would follow my suggestions. The suggestions are for each of you to sell your TVs and DVDs, give the proceeds to your church missions program, and donate the monthly cable charge to your church’s program.
“Now, how many of you are willing to follow my suggestions? Raise your hands, please. Can it be not one hand is raised? Tell me, why are none of you willing to help missions?”
“Wait, we don’t want to be too hasty. There are some benefits of controlled TV,” said the pastor.
The salesman questioned, “Do you control the TV, or does it control you? Few, if any Christians can overcome the erosion of clear thinking, traditional values, and Biblical living caused by improper exposure to TV and DVDs.”
“There are still some good things on TV,” retorted a deacon.
“Yes, of course; even a stopped clock tells the right time twice a day.”
“I believe there is some good in everything,” a Sunday school teacher added.
“Yes, there is no doubt some good food in the garbage can, but we do not go there to get our dinner,” answered the salesman.
“Most of us have already signed a petition to the FCC to clean up TV,” said a choir member.
“Noble thought, but the Christian’s job is not to clean up the pigpen, but to keep the pigpen out of our homes, lives, and churches.”
“Let’s be reasonable. There’s nothing wrong with laughing at comedy and having a good time,” interjected the youth leader.
“Yes, but we cannot laugh our life away or when sin is glorified. Folks, the mission money your church needs is in your TVs and DVDs. The revival you need is in the disposal of that equipment.” The salesman ended his presentation at that point as no one wanted to support missions or end their exposure to sin.
The average church continued to wonder why they were always short of money for the missionaries.
“One leak will sink a ship, and one sin will destroy a sinner.” – John Bunyan
One morning in George Mueller’s orphanage, there was no food for the children’s breakfast. The tables were set with empty plates and mugs. Mr. Mueller prayed, “Dear Father, we thank Thee for what Thou art going to give us to eat.” Immediately, there was a knock at the door. Opening it, he saw the local baker.
“Mr. Mueller,” he said, “I couldn’t sleep last night. I felt you had no bread for breakfast, so I got up at 2 o’clock and baked fresh bread. Here it is.”
Mueller thanked him and praised God. Then a second knock came. It was the milkman. His cart had broken down out front, and he wanted to give the milk to the children.
It was a happy group that gave God thanks that morning. God never fails His child who trusts Him.
“And whatsoever ye shall ask in my name, that will I do, that the Father may be glorified in the Son. If ye shall ask any thing in my name, I will do it.” John 14:13-14
“Every believer is God’s miracle.” — P. Bailey
The clock of life is wound, but once
And no man has the power
To tell just when the hands will stop
At late or early hour.
To lose one’s wealth is sad indeed.
To lose one’s health is more.
To lose one’s soul is such a loss
That no man can restore.
“For what is a man profited, if he shall gain the whole world, and lose his own soul? or what shall a man give in exchange for his soul?” Matthew 16:26