In II Corinthians 4:13, Paul said, “We having the same spirit of faith, according as it is written, I believed, and therefore have I spoken; we also believe, and therefore speak.” Deep convictions with reference to the welfare of the human race, are not to be kept locked up in our hearts. They should be made known for the blessing of all. Paul had received a message from God, and not every bitter persecution could keep him quiet. In all places, he boldly made known the manifold wisdom of God. When he came to Corinth, Christ appeared to him, saying, “Be not afraid, but speak, and hold not thy peace; for I am with thee, and no man shall set on thee to hurt thee; for I have much people in this city.” And so we have the story of a brave soul who proclaimed his message all over the Roman world. His religious convictions were far more precious to him than life itself. Journeying to Jerusalem, he was informed that great persecution or possible death awaited him there, but he answered, “What mean ye to weep and to break my heart? For I am ready not to be bound only; but to die at Jerusalem for the name of the Lord Jesus.”
Convictions are the material of which character is made. The spineless, dissolute character is such because of a lack of convictions to rule and regulate his life. The great men of Bible times were great because they had earth-shaking convictions and boldly made them known. Jonah was given a message to a sinful and doomed city; but he sought to evade an unpleasant duty by trying to escape to another place. The hand of God reached him and brought him back to deliver his trenchant message of doom. When his message was delivered with earnestness and power, the condemned Ninevehites heard the message of God delivered by Jonah, and they repented of their sins with the result that God’s anger was turned away, and their city was spared. Only when the prophet’s message was delivered did they know of the great danger to which they were exposed, and so the means were provided whereby they were influenced to change their ways and receive God’s infinite grace.
We, too, have a message, and this is why this paper is being published. God has not spoken to us personally, but his message contained in the Bible, written by men inspired by God to make known his will, is the message a sinful and unhappy world needs today. We feel that God is most gracious in giving to us this golden opportunity to speak the words of truth and soberness. Paul said of his message, “Which things also we speak, not in the words which man’s wisdom teacheth, but which the Holy Ghost teacheth; comparing spiritual things with spiritual”—I Corinthians 2:13. The inspired words of Paul have been preserved for our learning and guidance today. God has not seen fit to reveal a new plan of salvation, and this being true, that which God has already revealed is of the utmost importance in effecting the salvation of mankind. Only through the scriptures can one be made wise unto salvation (II Timothy 3:15), and only through that word can we know God’s will and be able to make our peace with him.
The young evangelist Timothy was given urgent instructions to “preach the word” (II Timothy 4:2), and we know that this refers to the New Testament. Paul said of the scriptures: “All scripture is given by the inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness; that the man of God may be perfect, thoroughly furnished unto all good works” (II Timothy 3:16, 17). This testament contains God’s last and final revelation to men, and it is imperative that man should accept in faith the testimony revealed and obey from the heart all the commands recorded therein. This is man’s one and only hope of salvation. Jesus said, “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”—John 12:48. How very important then that all people should hear the word that shall be the divine standard of judgment in that day when God shall judge the secrets of men by Jesus Christ.
Paul affirmed that “it pleased God by the foolishness of preaching to save them that believe” (I Corinthians 1:21); and so we have this inspired message to give to the world, a message of hope and love. Our message reveals a Savior of infinite compassion and love who came to seek and save that which was lost. We teach and preach this message not with the “enticing words of man’s wisdom” but in all sincerity of heart, imploring all who read to heed these messages, for they are much of eternal importance.
When the apostles, Peter and John, were imprisoned in Jerusalem, the angel of the Lord freed them from their bonds and opened the prison gates with this admonition: “Go, stand and speak in the temple to the people all the words of this life.” We, too, have the divine obligation to speak the words of life to all who will hear, and our speaking is the outgrowth of two very important facts:
1) Our love for our Lord who would have all men to be saved and to come to a knowledge of the truth. Nothing can be more pleasurable than to reveal to dying men the fact that in the midst of their troubles, sufferings, and grief, there is a Being of infinite compassion and love who cares for them. We are happy to preach Christ unto you as one who can be of inexpressible help to you as you walk the pathway of life.
2) We have love for you, and because of that love, we wish to bless you with the knowledge of salvation. Ignorance has led untold thousands into the quicksands of sin and error. God’s word is a lamp unto our feet and a light unto our path—Psalm 119:105, and its value is greater than rubies or fine gold. Our convictions are that you will be eternally blest by these messages, and we are humbly thankful to our Lord for this opportunity to be of service to you.