How many Christians seek for just the right program, just the right method of reaching the lost? How many discussions have taken place in business meetings to find out why the congregation is not growing or why members are leaving? How many congregations now engage in “outreach” programs so that they can “reach” the “unchurched” in the community? Let me introduce you to the perfect tool and the best program for converting the lost. Interested? Read on.
The law of the Lord is perfect, converting the soul (Psalm 19:7).
Though some want to deny it, the Bible clearly teaches that God’s will is a law. A law is a binding or enforceable rule by some authority. God’s will is legally, morally, ethically, and spiritually binding in every way on all accountable human beings (Rev. 20:11,12). The Old Testament was a law (e.g., I Kings 2:3) that was binding upon the children of Israel alone (Ex. 34:27). The New Covenant is also a law (Gal. 6:2), but it is binding upon everyone (Matt. 28:18-20). Since God is the authority behind this law and it is universal, no man will be able to escape the accountability it brings.
The New Testament is not a “love letter” as some like to describe it (though love is central to it’s message –John 3:16), but it is a pattern to be followed. It contains laws to be obeyed, rules to be followed, precepts to be mastered. Paul said “If any man teach otherwise…withdraw thyself” (I Tim. 6:3-5). He further said, “Now we command you, brethren, in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ, that ye withdraw yourselves from every brother that walketh disorderly, and not after the tradition which he received of us” (II Thes. 3:6). We will be judged by the things written in God’s word (John 12:48). These passages and many, many others clearly demonstrate that the New Covenant is a pattern to be followed, a law to be obeyed.
God’s law is also perfect. We human beings are fallible and the laws we make are also fallible. The Constitution of the United States is as great a document as any man could ever hope to produce, but it is fallible. The founders recognized this when they made provision in the law to amend it over time if necessary. But God’s word is perfect. The word here translated “perfect” is variously translated as “without blemish,” “upright,” “whole” and “complete.” Because it is without spot and without blemish, it is pure: “The words of the Lord are pure words: as silver tried in a furnace of earth, purified seven times” (Psalm 12:6). And it is true (John 17:17). God’s word doesn’t ever need amending or changing because it is perfect truth.
It is this aspect, perfect truth, that gives it it’s power to convert. If the pure word of God is not taught, then the soul cannot be saved (Rom. 10:13-15)! I simply cannot understand those who want to water down the word of God in order to attract people who would otherwise be offended by the truth. If you water it down and change it, then it cannot save because it ceases to be the perfect truth of God! I do not understand the need by many to offer something in addition to the simple truth of the Gospel of Christ–things like games, entertainment, food, plays, etc.,–in order to attract people to God.
The best way to grow any kind of plant is not to set up entertainment, not to put on plays, not to draw other plants with fun and games, but to plant the seed of the plant you want to grow. In my small garden there is growing lettuce, tomatoes, cucumbers and corn. The way I was able to get them to grow was to plant lettuce, tomatoes, cucumbers and corn seed. Spiritually, the seed is the word of God (Luke 8:11). If we want to grow Christians, we will plant the law of the Lord because it is perfect, converting the soul.
The Truth and the Truth alone has the power to save the soul, but lies have the power to damn it eternally. But many would rather believe a comforting lie than know the saving truth. Watering down the word of God is like dirtying the mirror you look into each morning. If you dirty the mirror, then you cannot know if you need to wash or not, but you will not feel bad about the way you look. That, unfortunately, is the condition of many souls today because too many want to dilute the truth. Too many want to dull the sword of the Spirit so that it cannot cut as deep.
No soul will ever be saved by any doctrine originated in the heart or head of any man. No soul will ever be saved by any program devised by any man or group of men. No soul was ever or will ever be saved by games, entertainment or secular enticements. It is only the perfect truth of God, the Law of the Lord, that converts the soul. Why change it?
Eric L. Padgett