The ignorance of God's Word is not just a "happening" in the world today. It is a PLAN, well thought out and fostered by Satan. He first creates a respect for higher learning. He leads his dupes to worship at the shrine of men of letters. Scientific findings, philosophical utterances, standardization of achievement among men in the matter of degrees and distinctions in the field of learning are tools he uses to beguile the "religious" without understanding.
This system of recognizing men as distinguished in learning fills with conceit small souls among the profession of the "learned." They begin to rely on their own wisdom and forsake the Word of God. Soon the world, and world-conforming church members, are listening to their "words of wisdom" instead of searching the Scriptures. That is exactly where we are today.
I often mingle with college professors, and I enjoy their friendships. Some of them are spiritual men and respect the Word of God. But many of them are either indifferent or skeptical. As a whole, they are inconsistent in the matter of their own "ethics," when it comes to questions of religion.
They are specialists, each in his particular "field." They have taken their degrees, written their theses, and graduated as Doctors in this and Doctors in that. They spend four years in a university getting a Doctor's degree in some particular "field." From then on they guard that "field" with keen watchfulness as the realm of their authority.
If, for instance, a professor of English steps over into the field of science and makes a statement, the scientist frowns his dispeasure at the intrusion, and grimly remarks: "How do you know? You are not a scientist."
So it is with a luckless professor who makes the mistake of expressing a belief beyond his "field." This is the "ethics" of the profession, and woe unto any who dares to violate them.
BUT LET A STUDENT RAISE A QUESTION ABOUT RELIGION, THE BIBLE, GOD OR SOME SPIRITUAL MATTER AND NEARLY EVERYONE OF THESE "FIELD"-GUARDING PROFESSORS WILL JUMP RIGHT OUT OF HIS FIELD AND SET HIMSELF UP AS AN AUTHORITY ON THE SUBJECT. IN THEIR VIEW, RELIGION IS A FREE-FOR-ALL FOR ANY MAN IN ANY PROFESSION WITH THE LIBERAL, PROFESSIONAL SCHOLAR USUALLY FEELING THAT HIS LEARNING IN A "FIELD" SHOULD MAKE HIS WORD CONCLUSIVE.
I have not many degrees, but I have been preaching and studying the Bible, and praying and living for the Lord for more that twenty-three years. But not one of those professors who got their degrees in only four years vould accept me as an authority in my "field."
It never occurs to them that "the natural men receiveth not the things of the Spirit of God: for they are foolishness unto him: neither can he know them, for they are spiritually discerned" [I Corinthians 2:14]. To them there is no sense of need that they should study God's "source Book" to learn what it really teaches.
What I have searched for through prayer, experience, meditation, Bible study, and preaching for twenty-three years, they deny and substitute their opinions for, without ever praying, having personal experience with God, or looking into His Word. Thousands of students in America who are taught to admire worldly-learning, are being led "into the ditch" by these blind leaders of the blind, sincere though they may be.
Spiritual wickedness in high places [Ephesians 6:12], right up in the seat of the world's learning — that is what we are up against. It is well organized, set up in the kingdom of Satan, with the best brains of the land deceived and fostering it. You find it in the most learned pulpits, in the most widely-circulated journals and magazines, in "leading" religious papers, in the largest theological seminaries. To draw men's minds away from the Word of God. The success of Satan in this great movement is appalling. The ignorance of God's Word all over the land, while Bibles lie in dust on our shelves, is proof of this Satanic success.
What will be the answer at the Judgment? Here is the awful test, brother. Are you ready to meet it?
In John 12:46-48, Jesus says: "I am come a light into the world, that whosoever believeth on me should not abide in darkness. And if any man hear my words, and believe not, I judge him not: for I came not to judge the world, but to save the world. He that rejecteth me and receiveth not my words, hath one that judgeth him: the word that I have spoken, the same shall judge him in the last day."
And if you do not think the Word of God will be final, turn to Luke 16:19-31, and read the story of the rich man who went to hell. In the twenty-ninth verse you hear Abraham saying about the man's five brethren: "They have Moses and the prophets, let them hear them." That is, they have the Bible, let them read it! And when the rich man argued that if one went from the dead these brothers would repent, Abraham told him the Word of God was final. If they will not heed the Word of God they would not repent if one went from the dead. That came true, for Jesus went from the dead, and men rejected Him.
There is not much excuse for us to be led astray except — that we are too lazy, too indifferent, and too worldly to take time to "search the Scriptures." The most vital thing for all humanity is the most neglected — the Bible, the Word of God. And that neglected Word will rise up to judge us when we come to the Last Day. That Word will be the final appeal. If we are not in line with it we shall in vain blame it on false teachers. We should have searched the Scriptures for ourselves.
Take up the Book, brother, and be not deceived. The matter of meeting God on the terms of His Word is your most vital consideration. God in His Word gives the terms of salvation: REPENT. It is found in many passages, such as Luke 13:3, "Except ye repent, ye shall all likewise perish." Or Acts 2:38, "Repent and be baptized, every one of you, in the name of Jesus for remission of sins, and ye shall receive the gift of the Holy Ghost." Or Acts 20:31, ". . . repentance toward God and faith toward our Lord Jesus Christ."
If "the Word of God endureth forever," do you think God will change it for you at the Judgment, when you tell Him you have been a good church member? Do you think He will substitute infant baptism, confirmation, good works, social endeavors, patriotic attitudes, or any other claim you can make as a substitute for repentance? No, at the Judgment you will have to tell God whether or not you repented of your sins and turned to the Savior for mercy. And be careful about this, brother, for the general run of preachers have just about forgotten repentance as a thing to preach, but the Word of God has not.
If Jesus was baptized in Jordan to declare His death to the world in symbol, and if He commanded His disciples to baptize those who died to the fleshly life with Him in a spiritual experience and had arisen to walk with Him in the new life, do not think that the Bible will let you substitute sprinkling when you were a little baby and could not repent nor believe, nor die, nor arise in this glorious experience.
If God's Word says: "Ye must be born again," do not think a long life of service in the church will substitute for it. It matters not what the world says, or what men think, or what the preachers say, or think, the Bible still says, "Ye must be born again." That is what you will face at the Judgment.
If God's Word says that "the wicked shall be cast into hell, and all the nations that forget God," do not think you can substitute for that the philosophy that "we get all the hell that's coming to us right here," or any other say-so of a college teacher who has not in his "special field" discovered God.
World opinions will not stand in the day of Judgment. Only the Word will stand. This is too serious to be treated with the indifference found everywhere in this age. Child of God, preacher, teacher, laymen, professor, lost one, let us hearken unto the final authority in this world — the Word of the living God.
===========[Western Recorder, February 22, 1940. The Western Recorder is the Kentucky Baptist State paper. - jrd]
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