John Newton, author of the well-known hymn Amazing Grace, was a miserable man at the age of 23. He had been involved in an immoral lifestyle and was engaged in the heartlessly cruel African slave trade. But he was fed up with his sinful way of life.
I recently saw a photograph of people leaving a church after a service. They were carrying Bibles and smiling. As I looked at those men, women, and children, I thought, there goes the church. The building will stay, and it will be referred to as “a church.” But those bricks can’t preach and those pews can’t witness. Only people can do that.
Having just received the Lord Jesus as his Savior from sin, an enthusiastic young boy blurted out, “Now what do I do? What’s next?” He had the right idea! Although nothing further had to be done to receive salvation, there was much more to do to serve God.
He was a politician noted for his integrity. Although this description might be viewed by some as a contradiction in terms, it certainly was used often and correctly to describe US Congressman Paul Henry. After the three-term member of the House of Representatives lost a battle with brain cancer in 1993, political commentator David Broder said, “He was a model of what a public servant should be.”
A glance at the daily newspaper tells us that modern life is still infected by the ancient practice of astrology. Guests on talk shows discuss their astrological signs with the same ease that they discuss their divorces. Late-night television offers the services of stargazers by telephone at four dollars a minute. The wife of a recent president of the United States consulted an astrologer for advice on the travel schedule for her husband.
Turmoil continues to seethe in many parts of the former Soviet Union. Unrest, revolt, hunger, unemployment, and severe shortages still plague most of the land. It prompted a leading Russian journalist to refer to these days as smutnoye vremya, the “time of trouble.”
An unknown author wrote, “When I was first converted, and for some years afterward, the second coming of Christ was a thrilling idea, a blessed hope, a glorious promise, the theme of some of the most inspiring songs of the church.
Some opponents of Christianity may not be so much against Christ as they are against hypocrisy. Ironically, it hasn’t occurred to them that no one was more opposed to hypocrisy than Christ Himself.