with Keiran & Eraina Mckenzie
Taken from creeping Compromise
Every lady who enters the remnant church passes through the throes of decision over makeup and jewellery. It is not easy to change the customs of time and tradition, especially when they are rooted in feminine vanity. Fashion is a slave master. Many are turned away from the truth because the members are not living what they preach. Some ladies are devotees of style, and find it hard to give up the vanities of the world. They see just enough artificial adornment in the church to comfort them in their own worldly pride. Their questions about wearing inappropriate clothing are also settled quickly as they see them walking into the sanctuary on Sabbath morning and Wednesday night.
The problem is that no one can ever win the victory over an enemy that they secretly admire. Many sisters in the church have a secret love of the world, and have, therefore, never been able to win the battle against sinful pride and worldliness. Until they learn to love Jesus supremely and are willing to deny self, they will continue to be stumbling blocks to others.
What will it take to arouse and revive the church on these crucial issues of Christian living? How can we get the church members excited about the truth, so that it fills their lives? When evangelistic meetings are held every member should be there, eager and enthusiastic about the opportunity to share the truth. Tragically, only a faithful few of the members support the meetings night by night as the message is presented. I’ve seen fine men make their decision in the and join the church. Later they are invited to the homes of deacons and elders who gave only token support to the evangelistic meetings.
But in those homes the new member is invited to spend an afternoon looking at a ball game on TV. There the church leader finally gets excited, but alas, it is over the fanatical excesses of one team trying to beat down and humiliate another team. With shouts and uncontrolled excitement he sits for hours, completely absorbed in an activity that is the very antithesis of everything Jesus stood for and taught.
That deacon knows all the batting averages and league records, but he’ll sit next Sabbath half asleep in church and will not know a single answer in the Sabbath School class. His life interest is not God’s work. Like Mrs. Lot he is bound to the things of the world. This is why the great majority in the church today will be shaken out. Little by little, they have allowed the world to nibble away their experience, followed by the loss of Christian standards. Finally, only a dead form remains—a form that will crumble quickly under the stresses of the time of trouble.
Perhaps more Adventists will be lost over the issue of money than any other factor. This may explain why Jesus had so much to say about stewardship. In these days of materialistic plenty it would seem logical for Satan to concentrate on this device. Some do not want to pay tithes. There is an innate selfishness within the carnal heart of man, which Satan is successfully exploiting today.
Jesus said, “Give, and it shall be given unto you; good measure, pressed down, and shaken together, and running over.” Luke 6:38. In other words, we cannot outgive the Lord. No matter how drastically we stretch our faith and try to give a sacrificial amount, it always comes back to us in some way. The promises of God cannot fail.
Jesus indicated that few rich men would make it into heaven. This is not because it is a sin to have money or property. Some wealthy people are dedicated Christians and they will be saved. There are really only two kinds of rich people—those who have made themselves rich and those whom God has made rich. By giving liberally some have claimed the over- flowing blessings of the Bible promises. They keep pouring it out and God keeps pouring it back in greater measure.
Some may object and say, “That doesn’t make sense. There is only a certain amount of money to deal with, and it can only go so far.” The ones who raise such objections are sincerely perplexed because they have not experimented with the promises, and it does seem presumptuous and unreasonable. We can just as well explain how the loaves and fishes fed a multitude as we can comprehend how we get more by giving more. But those who have stepped out in faith to do it know that it happens. They don’t try to explain it. It will not work out on paper, but the more they give to the Lord the better off they become financially.
I’ll never forget being challenged by a friend years ago to put God to the test. He was giving 25 percent of his income to God and had prospered tremendously. My wife and I decided to take God at His word. We stepped out into an apparent giving plan of great sacrifice, but we have yet to catch up with the sacrifice. Gradually, our giving in- creased from 25 percent to 30 percent to 35 percent and almost to 40 percent one year, yet we have increased in material blessings as our faith increased. How thankful we have been that someone urged us to test the promises of God. Now we feel so sorry for those who have missed the thrill of seeing God do the impossible by multiplying the loaves.
In a thousand cities, towns, and villages around the world the work of God languishes for lack of funds. This should be the smallest problem facing the remnant church today, because God has given the means to His people for finishing the work. What an account we must settle some day if we hold that money and property until it is worthless. Now it can be used to prepare souls for the Kingdom. Jesus urged His people to lay up treasure in heaven by using the money, not storing it away to rust and mildew. Millions of dollars have been willed to godless children by Adventist parents who should have known that it would be used to advance the devil’s cause instead of the truth. That money could have hastened the coming of Jesus and the restoration of all things.
Jesus spoke of the “deceitfulness of riches,” in Matthew 13:22. Will that deceit in- volve Seventh-day Adventists who plan some day to place their property upon the altar for God? Many right now are watching the last opportunity pass by in which their accumulated wealth could be utilised for the cause. In the face of a miserable giving record they live in luxurious ease. How true Christ’s words, “For where your treasure is, there will your heart be also.” Matthew 6:21. When the money has been invested in God’s work, the giver’s heart is bound up with the work as well. These are the exceptional ones who will not be deceived by riches, but will have treasure in heaven.