Devoted to the Propagation and Defense of New Testament Christianity
August 28, 1969
NUMBER 17, PAGE 2b-3

"Stock Market Christians"

Gary Fiscus

Stock market quotations usually run something like this: "Kodak 135; up 1/2: Westinghouse 64; down '4," and we could go on and on, to the last market listed for one particular day. Stock markets fluctuate so much that it is nearly impossible to tell what prices will be in even an hour or two.

We can learn a lesson from the stock market, concerning the "religion' we practice today. Does our strength go up and down? Do we buy today and sell tomorrow? Do we buy today and hold? Are we waiting until something better comes along? Perhaps we are waiting for better quality merchandise? The point is that many people treat God's word as they would the stock market. They are constantly buying and selling God's requirements. The stock market gives a daily report of the prices and stocks. We, likewise, should be doing the same with our lives.

Price Same

Let's see now what the Bible says about our "stock market religion." In the first place, we read in the Bible the word of God that the "price" is still the same today as it was when Christ purchased the church. In Acts 20:28 we see this reading, "Take heed therefore unto yourselves, and to all the flock, over the which the Holy Ghost hath made you overseers, to feed the church of God, which he hath purchased with his own blood. It is still true today. The price is the same! In I Cor. 6:20 we find this statement, "For ye are bought with a price: therefore glorify God in your body, and in your spirit, which are God's." I Cor. 7:23 says, "Ye are bought with a price be not ye the servants of men." Nothing has changed then as far as the price that Christ paid for his church is concerned — it is still the same!

What about the price we have to pay as Christians? Is it still the same? Yes, sir! Mt. 5:11 says, " shall revile us, and persecute us...", and we must remain strong, "...for Christ's sake." Mt. 5:10 states, "Blessed are they which are persecuted for righteousness sake: ..." That's the price. The reward is, "...for theirs is the kingdom of heaven." Our price then today still remains the same as it was in New Testament times when the Lord, "...added to the church daily such as should be saved." (Acts 2:47).

In one given day do you think the prices of stock would change once they were set at the close of the market? On one given day, Christ bought his church and the market was closed to all other men wanting to purchase a church! Christ did not buy any other church, but his own. He paid for it, and it remains the same even today. (See Mt. 16:18).

Quality Same

If the price is the same, then the quality is surely the same. We pay for what we get, and Christ paid for his church; therefore, he marked it with a certain quality, just because it is His! As an illustration of quality let's read Mt. 28:20, "Teaching them to observe all things whatsoever I have commanded you and lo, I am with you alway, even unto the end of the world." Christ says he will be with us, "...alway, even unto the end of the world." Since the end of the world has not come as yet, then Christ's word and quality of his word must still be here!

Turning back to the Old Testament in Deut. 5:29 this is the scripture, "Oh that there were such an heart in them, that they would fear me, and keep all my commandments always, that it might be well with them, and with their children forever!" How long will God be with us? Forever!

If the quality of the word of Christ and of God is such a quality that it will last until the end of the world — then it must be here even today because the world has not been destroyed as yet. The quality then is the same even as the price is.

Paul pointed out something in Phil. 2:12 that surely suggests a certain quality in the word of God. He said, " out your own salvation with fear and trembling." If Paul was so inspired to make such a statement, then he must have realized the quality in the word itself, and that you and I would have to follow it today in order to work out that salvation.

One more thought along this line is in II Pet. 1:15, "Moreover I will endeavor that ye may be able after my decease to have these things always in remembrance." Isn't it a shame that so many of us nowadays misunderstand the quality of Christ and his word, and are letting these apostles down in their last request? They realized the quality enough to say to us, "...have these things always in remembrance." Do we possess the quality that is exemplified in II Pet. 1:5,6,7,15? This is the quality along with the other commandments that God has specified, that remains the same today as it was then.

Volume Down

When we speak of volume in scriptural terms we are referring to number, attendance, etc. To build up the church both physically and spiritually we need to keep in mind, Rom. 12:11, "Not slothful in business; fervent in spirit; serving the Lord." This is the key to volume in spirit and truth. Not to be slothful, but fervent and willing to serve the Lord.

God surely wants and respects volume, but it must be combined with the quality that we have previously studied. Acts 2:47 says, "...and the Lord added to the church daily..." Even though he added them, they had to meet certain qualifications before they could be added.

I am afraid that the time is here that is mentioned in II Tim. 4:3, and certainly this is why we can say that the volume is down. We must stand firm on the truth, and accomplish those things that need to be emphasized scripturally.

What Can I Do?

In New York City, Chicago, and else where the stock market will continue to go "up and down" for possibly many years to come. The prices will change, the quality of the products will change, and even the volume will change. Throughout the world, God's people must realize that the Price that Christ paid for the church will never change; the Quality of God's word and his church will never change; but unless we do something now, the volume is going to be very low. What can I do? Read Mk. 16:15; Mt. 28:19; apply these scriptures and strive to teach others, "price same, quality same, volume up".

— 1046 Westview Ave., Hamilton, Ohio