life lines “This column could be hazardous to your (spiritual) health”
By Ian Robinson, Major
The Long Beach Grand Prix is finally over and the streets of the city can get back to normal. For the past two or three weeks, there has been a restriction on turning left from Pine Avenue onto Ocean Boulevard. Meaning those of us at DHQ and THQ must go right on Ocean and then make a U-turn at the first opportunity. However, it is amazing how many THQ and DHQ drivers I saw ignoring the “no left turn” sign and zipping over to the left lane. I never saw anyone get a ticket, but a lot of us ignored the warning sign.
I’ve seen many funny warning signs. In Singapore we saw people sheltering under palm trees beside signs that said, “Beware of falling coconuts.” There is a sign in a church (not Salvation Army) that says, “WARNING—articles of value should not be left on seats when receiving Holy Communion.” The Newcastle (Australia) Tramway Authority posted signs that said, “Touching wires causes instant death—$200 fine.” Then there was one sign which said, “Violators will be towed and fined $50.” That should cover the cost of towing. A sign in Myanmar reads, “Please do not sit on crocodile,” and my favorite says, “Children left unattended will be sold to the circus.”
Life has its warning signs too. I have noticed as I get older my body is giving me more and more serious warnings every year. Recently, I have discovered I can no longer race my granddaughter on a scooter, nor can I eat an ice cream sundae at bedtime and expect my blood sugar to be normal.
The Bible has plenty of warning signs. Israel was told many times in the Old Testament about what would happen if they disobeyed God’s commands–and for the most part, they ignored them. Perhaps one of the most serious in our day is found in Revelation 22:18, I warn everyone who hears the words of the prophecy of this book: If anyone adds anything to them, God will add to him the plagues described in this book. And if anyone takes words away from this book of prophecy, God will take away from him his share in the tree of life and in the holy city, which are described in this book.
Ah, yes! I can hear you say, but that only applies to the book of Revelation. Then turn to Deuteronomy 12:32, “See that you do all I command you; do not add to it or take away from it.” And in Deuteronomy 4:2 Moses says, “Do not add to what I command you and do not subtract from it, but keep the commands of the Lord your God that I give you.”
God’s word was written under the inspiration of the Holy Spirit and has never changed and never will. What God has decreed as sin, is still sin. So we are warned by God not to mess with it. Not to try to make it agree with our opinions, or fit into our culture. Culture cannot change the Word of God, but the Word of God can and must be used to change culture.
One final warning from Leonard Ravenhill, “If the whole church goes off into deception, that will in no way excuse us for not following Christ.” Christ trumps culture. Don’t take my word for it, take God’s Word.