From the Desk of Bishop Samuel L. Smith: General Chairman of the AWCF
The famed poet, Rudyard Kipling composed one of the most memorable masterpieces in literary history when he wrote the poem – IF. The message contained in his notable composition has been both a challenge and inspiration to millions.
On that word “if” hinges success or failure! Someone has well said, “if” is the biggest word in the dictionary. Man’s dreams can come to a screeching halt at its mention, while others are driven onward by its challenge!
There are times when “if” is an honest inquisitor of dubious circumstances. Other times it can be a “lingering cancer” to positive faith. It is the latter that is the object of serious concern as more frequently “if” has become a weapon against Bible faith. Long before thoughtful people disregard anointed scripture, they first tolerate doubt. All “faith” must stand the test of study and be proven by the inerrant Word of God. When that is done, to further doubt is “raw” unbelief, the cancer to spiritual hope.
God has proven Himself! His Word has been prophetically accurate and His principles when applied have brought peace, happiness, and love to those who have applied them. And to the unbeliever, time and again we have seen eternal ruin become their portion. Faith in God depends on being able to say humbly and completely, “I believe.” This manner of faith has been the bedrock on which great nations have risen. Likewise, it has been the backbone of men like Washington and Lincoln.
Washington said, “It is impossible to rightly govern the world without God and the Bible.”
Lincoln proclaimed, “I believe the Bible is the best gift God has given to man. All the good from the Savior of the world is communicated to us through this book.”
We expect the atheist to boast of his unbelief. We sadly tolerate the rambling doubts of the agnostic. But what cuts deeper than a cold knife is the frequent statement by liberal churchgoers, many, many youth, and the so-called intellectual community; “If there is a God?” The Bible says, “that from the abundance of the heart, the mouth speaketh.” (Luke 6:45)
That being true, then doubt, relative to God, is becoming a wide-ranging trend; thus, accounting for the latter-day turning away from His Word. “Knowing this first, that there shall come in the last days scoffers, walking after their own lusts, and saying, Where is the promise of His coming?” (II Peter 3:3-4)
History has a remarkable way of repeating itself. Great civilizations have risen, based upon God-blessed “truths”. When they departed from them, decay, ruin, and destruction followed. Gibbon’s “Rise and Fall of the Roman Empire” gives us an insight to the fate of any people who depart from spiritual values and seek to gratify only the “carnal” man. At the peak of Rome’s power, Apostle Paul gave an ordained warning in his epistle addressed to the Romans. “Because that, when they knew God, they glorified him not as God neither were thankful … who changed the truth of God into a lie, and worshipped and served the creature more than the Creator…” (Romans 1:21 and 25)
Rome never heeded the warning! It decayed from within and was overrun and destroyed by the barbarians. Our beloved land is riddled with internal moral decay. From abortion, sexual immorality to crime, the problem is “sin”.
“Righteousness exalteth a nation, but sin is a reproach to any people.” (Proverbs 14:34)
Seeking any and all pleasure while ignoring Bible warnings, “Lady Liberty” surely must be blushing! Be sure of this, America’s enemies wait the moment to capitalize on her weaknesses! Will history repeat itself? Should America follow its present course, it will go the way of Rome. Will some future historian, God willing, look back and say the road downward began with “if”: “If there is a God … If the Bible is true… If there is a judgment?”
Mankind is God’s creation! The Creator has provided a way of salvation for every soul, but has given man a choice. Each person, based on his faith, has the opportunity to accept or reject the gift of God. “If” can be the “searchlight” that finds out God and starts a soul towards eternal glory. Or, “if” can be the excuse to doubt, like liquor to a drunkard, a driving master, an elusive dream, and a goal in itself.
We must return to Bible faith. Every positive law enacted by successful people anywhere has its roots in the Word of God. The good way is the Lord’s way!
From our adults through to our youth, moral revival and spiritual renewal is the need of the hour. God’s way works! Believe Him. Obey Him. It is not a matter to be regarded with an uncertain “If”, but rather, the searchlight of reason reveals that Jesus Christ “Is” the hope of the world.
All scripture references are the King James Version.