Devoted to the Propagation and Defense of New Testament Christianity
October 13, 1960
NUMBER 23, PAGE 10-11a

Unbalanced Hearts

Doyle Williams, Sunnymead, California

The Lord said, "for out of the abundance of the heart the mouth speaketh." Matt. 12-34. What a man is, what he does, and what he says, are results of what kind of heart he has. His heart is even the breeding ground of his thoughts. The things that weigh the heaviest on our hearts, are the things that we love to talk about most. This is not only true in our religion, but in every walk of life. A man's heart can be good or it can be evil, and this adjusts his words and his actions — whether he is conscious of it or not. I wish that all gospel preachers everywhere fully understood this. If we preachers could ever understand this principle, there would be a lot of sermon outlines discarded. Because men are not going to talk and act right until their hearts are made right. Their hearts always pronounce their words and actions.

Many of our church bulletins are filled with nothing that would serve to fix the hearts of those that read them; but only those things that will excite and stimulate the baser part of man. To create within him a greater desire for the pleasures of this world. You could never tell by reading some of our modern bulletins, what the church is trying to do in the spiritual realm; there is nothing in them that would scripturally edify anybody spiritually in any thing. They are filled with announcements of marriages, births, suppers, recreations, money begging, and nose counting, and not one thing that would prepare and purify people's hearts for eternity. These are the things that dominate their heart. In many of the bulletins that are sent to me, there is more said about money than is said about the gospel or the Lord. My advice to many would be; you purify my heart with the word of God, and I'll give you my money without you having to beg for it.

When I put my money into the treasury of the church, I want it to be spent to prepare people for eternity — make Christians out of them, and feed them if they are hungry. And not used to satisfy the lust of the flesh. When we preachers in the pulpits and leaders in the congregations learn this lesson and begin practicing it, there won't have to be so much talking about money. People who love the lost souls of men and women will put their own hands in their pocket and give freely. I say, after people have been taught when and how to give, and they don't obey, keep your hands out of their pocket preacher brother, you are working at the wrong place. Fix their hearts by preaching the word of God, and they will put their own hands in their pocket. Christians will give if their heart is right, and they won't have to be begged each week in the church bulletin and from the pulpit. The quicker we understand that God has one saving power in the world, the "Gospel of Christ" and believe it with all our hearts, the quicker we will see men and women being really drawn to God.

An appointed (and you notice I said appointed) elder said to me not long ago, "I wish we could think up some new gadget that would draw people to church." What a shame. In the book that I have been studying for the past forty years the Lord reveals the word that will draw men and women to the assembly, and it sure doesn't spell like this man pronounced it. He had the right number of letters, but his spelling was bad. The word the Lord and the apostles used spells like this: "Gospel." In my estimation, this man needs teaching, in place of trying to pose as an elder. His heart needs fixing. "Out of the abundance of the heart the mouth speaketh." I would be among the last to speak disrespectfully of the honored office of the eldership anywhere. But I think any one almost could see the result of such leadership among us.

Paul said, "Set your affection on things above, and not on things on the earth." (Col. 3:2) "Things above" have to do with the eternal — the spiritual, and not the temporal. The greatest need today is, to reset our affections — put them back on the spiritual. Men need converting through the heart and not through the stomach. The Gospel of Christ is designed to change men, and not primarily to please and satisfy hunger. Many preachers, elders, and Christians at large need to re-learn the great commission. It doesn't say, go into all the world, and provide recreation and food for every creature. He that enjoys it and is baptized shall be saved. It doesn't say, Teach them to observe all ball games, skating parties, and picnics. It doesn't say, Add to your gadgets orphan homes, institutions, ministerial alliances, and youth camps: "For if ye do these things ye shall never fall." To us that feel that we are able to digest meat in the kingdom of God, I would suggest you turn and read the admonition to the Hebrew brethren. "For when for the time ye ought to be teachers, ye have need that one each you AGAIN which be the first principles of the oracles of God; and are become such as have need of milk, and not of strong meat." (Heb. 5:12)

In many places churches are spending more money from their church budgets to keep people happy in the temporal things of this life, than they are to give people the greatest joy of all; The knowledge of the forgiveness of their sins, and the sweet hope of eternal life in that great beyond.

There is a congregation building here in California which, judging from the size of two of the compartments in the building, the auditorium and recreational room, is spending more money to keep people happy here, than they are to save their souls from a devil's hell. I confess, if this is placing the emphasis where the Lord placed it, I have been studying the wrong book. Brethren, let us fix our hearts, set our affections where they belong, and you will soon see all such temporal things take their place. They will do like the colored man's fish that was substituted with a smaller one while he was not looking, they will start "drawing up."