Devoted to the Propagation and Defense of New Testament Christianity
September 24, 1959

Fair Weather Friends

Jerry F. Bassett, Willits, California

As the story goes, shortly after the close of World War II a long, gangly country boy walked into an army recruiting office and drawled, "Sir, I'd like to join up for the duration." Said the recruiter, "Son, the war is over, the peace has been re-established." Replied the country boy, "That's what I mean. I want to be in for as long as it lasts."

The world is replete with "fair weather friends" in every sphere of activity from civic and national responsibility to every day personal relationships. The spiritual realm is no exception. Many avowed Christians are all too happy to be known as such as long as the ship of Zion sails on smooth waters with balmy caressing breezes, but just let a trying storm arise and these are the first to abandon ship. Like the country boy their attitude is that they have just "joined up for the duration" of easy going. Christians must realize that the Lord's church has always had to face trying times and will always do so till the faithful are called to their eternal home in heaven. The very nature of the church ought to reveal this fact to anyone who has a proper understanding of the church of Christ. It is an aggressive, hard-hitting, uncompromising spiritual army to wage war against iniquity. Christ said, "Think not that I am come to send peace on earth; I came not to send peace, but a sword." (Matt. 10:34.) An institution so dedicated can hope to receive no love from Satan and his servants, war is inevitable.

When people obey the gospel of Christ, they become Christians, their sins are forgiven and they are added to the Lord's church. (Acts 2:38-47.) Moreover, they remain faithful Christians and members of the church as long as they continue to obey the gospel. (Heb. 3:12-14.) But if when they see the church confronted by an enemy which threatens its peace and welfare they quit the church, then they have stopped obeying the gospel and are no longer faithful. These fair weather friends have thrown down the sword of the Spirit, given up the fight, deserted the Lord, and surrendered to the enemy. Brethren, the church does not need fair weather friends, but loyal members. It does not need social dandies, but diligent workers. It does not need diplomats, but valiant soldiers. "Watch ye, stand fast in the faith, quit you like men, be strong." (I Cor. 16:13.)