Devoted to the Propagation and Defense of New Testament Christianity
September 3, 1970
NUMBER 17, PAGE 5a,6a

The Danger Of Changing God's Arrangements

John W. Hedge

We should view with alarm any effort on the part of man to change any of God's arrangements. Faith in the wisdom and power of God forbids the idea that we can improve or change in any way, God's arrangements. What he does is perfectly done — and will not, therefore, allow any changes with impunity. "Every transgression and disobedience" to God's will and way on the part of man has "received a just recompense of reward." Such men as Moses, Uzzah, Nadab and Abihu, along with others who sought to change God's arrangements did not escape punishment. We may think our ways and thoughts are greater than God's ways and thoughts but God teaches the very reverse, for he said: "For as the heavens are higher than the earth, so are my ways higher than your ways, and my thoughts then your thoughts." (Isa. 55:9).

It is true, many times we may not be able to see through some of God's arrangements and are tempted to make some changes in such. A person unskilled in making watches might decide that a certain piece within his watch is needless and remove it. As a result the watch stops. In this act the unskilled watch "tinker" not only stops his watch, but he called in question the one who made it. God's arrangements in the matter of saving man from sin and preparing him for heaven will "tick" without any tampering on our part. There are no "non-essentials" in God's Plans. God makes the essentials and man makes the non-essentials. Everything which God has made is essential to some end or purpose whether we understand it or not. It is at this point where our faith in God and His word steps in and becomes the basis for hope in God.

Some of the changes of God's arrangements on the part of mankind are summed up by Paul in Romans 1:21-32. Here we observe three changes, as follows: First when the race forgot God, they "changed the glory of the incorruptible God into an image made like to corruptible things." This was a change from the true worship of God to heathenism -- the worshipping of earthly creatures. Second, they "changed the truth of God into a lie, and worshipped and served the creature more than the Creator, who is blessed forever." Third, they became so corrupt that God "gave them up to vile affections" and they sought to even change the course of nature in sex-relationship. This is the darkest picture of human depravity we have ever read at any time. But it is the natural result of man in changing God's arrangements.

The Jews of Christ's day changed God's house — the temple — into a "den of thieves." The purpose of the temple was that God's people might have a place for religious activities. But the Jews made it a thing of commercial interest and sold to the people who came to worship things needed at excessive profit. Is it not possible that men may change the true temple of God — the church — into other than divine channels and thereby defeat it's purpose? Is it possible to turn the church into a "political ring"? Is it possible to turn the church into a "social order," or into a thing of recreation and fun? It is my conviction that if the Jews of Christ's day could and did turn God's "house of prayer" — the temple — into "a den of thieves" so may we change the church into something else other than the church. I have no objection to political parties, nor to "amusement and recreation centers," nor to "social functions," provided such things are held within proper bounds, but such things are no part of "the work of the church." Had the Lord intended the church to participate in these things we would have been given specific instructions concerning the course to pursue. The Bible is very plain in stating that the church which Jesus built is "a spiritual house" composed of "living stones" — that it is the basis of all spiritual operations in the saving of the race of mankind. This is it's primary mission in the world. When it is diverted from this course into secular affairs its light goes out and its influence is not felt in the world of darkness and sin. Someone has said, "Tell me what the primary mission of Christ was in coming into the world, and I'll tell you what the primary mission of the church is which he established in the world." Brother C. R. Nichol, a great and good gospel preacher, used to say, "Let the church be the church and not something else."

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