Devoted to the Propagation and Defense of New Testament Christianity
September 7, 1950

Use And Abuse

Floyd Thompson, Santa Ana, California

"There were present at that season some that told him of the Galileans, whose blood Pilate had mingled with their sacrifices. And Jesus answering said unto them, Suppose ye that these Galileans were sinners above all the Galileans, because they suffered such things? I tell you, nay: but except ye repent ye shall all likewise perish. Or those eighteen, upon whom the tower in Siloam fell, and slew them, think ye that they were sinners above all men that dwelt in Jerusalem? I tell you, nay: but, except ye repent, ye shall all likewise perish." (Luke 13:1-5).

That a sinner must repent in order to become a child of God is not denied by those who believe the truth, but to so use the above scripture is to abuse it. It is also taught in the testament that a child of God who has sinned must repent in order to escape eternal punishment. To so use the above scripture is also an abuse of the text.

Jesus is here warning the Jews unless they turned from their sins that they would "likewise perish." " like manner perish" is the expression used in the American Standard Version.

These Galileans were subject of the wrath of Pilate. The eighteen men were under the tower of Siloam when sudden destruction came. If they had been some other place they would not have been destroyed. Just so, if the Jews repent, they would not "likewise perish."

In connection with Luke 13:1-5 we should also read verses 6 through 10. "He spake also this parable: A certain man had a fig tree planted in his vineyard; and he came and sought fruit thereon, and found none. Then said he unto the dresser of his vineyard, Behold, these three years I come seeking fruit on this fig tree, and find none; cut it down; why cumbereth it the ground? And he answering said unto him, Lord, let it alone this year also, till I shall dig about it, and dung it; and if it bear fruit, well; and if not, then after that thou shalt cut it down. And he was teaching in one of the synagogues on the Sabbath."

I suppose all accept this parable as being a rebuke to the fruitless nation of the Jews. The nation of the Jews was soon cut down. Jesus gave other such warnings. Some of them are recorded in Matthew 24, Mark 13, and Luke 21. Just as violent and sudden destruction came upon the Galileans and these eighteen Jews, so also Jesus said to the Jews: "except ye repent, ye shall all likewise perish."

Let the text remain in its context. Let God's word say what he intended for it to say. Let us use the text, but let us not abuse it.