Devoted to the Propagation and Defense of New Testament Christianity
October 26, 1950

Our Greatest Danger

A. Hugh Clark

The greatest foe which the kingdom of Christ faces today is not, as most of us think, from without; from among the people of the world. Our greatest danger is from within; our most formidable foe is ourselves!

It is with us as it was with Israel of old. Their greatest danger was not that they would not be strong enough in battle to meet and vanquish the nations which inhabited Canaan before them. Oh, no; they had been promised, "Jehovah thy God will cast out those nations before thee... And he will deliver their kings into thy hand, and thou shalt make their name to perish from under heaven: there shall no man be able to stand before thee, until thou have destroyed them." (Deut. 7:22-24) Israel had no real danger of failure from without, their only danger was from within.

God, who knew the danger of that complacency and self-satisfaction which is the usual consequence of a little success warned them beforehand, saying, "All the commandment which I command thee this day shall ye observe to do, that ye may live, and multiply, and go in and possess the land which Jehovah sware unto your fathers. Beware lest thou forget Jehovah thy God, in not keeping his commandments, and his ordinances, and his statutes, which I command thee this day: lest, when thou hast eaten and art full, and hast built good houses, and dwelt therein; and when thy herds and thy flocks multiply, and thy silver and thy gold is multiplied, and all that thou hast is multiplied; then thy heart be lifted up, and thou forget Jehovah thy God," (Deut. 8:1, 11-14).

But in spite of this and other warnings from God, the days of Amos the prophet finds them with "Yet very much of the land to be possessed," stagnant and apostate; living in the most elegant luxury, "putting far away the evil day" and too complacent and indifferent quite to be "grieved for the afflictions of Joseph" no matter how many prophets God had sent.

The patience of God is exhausted, and the sentence is pronounced. "Therefore shall they now go captive with the first that go captive; and the revelry of them that stretched themselves shall pass away. The Lord Jehovah hath sworn by himself, saith Jehovah, the God of hosts: I abhor the excellency of Jacob, and hate his palaces; therefore will I deliver up the City with all that is therein." (Amos 6:7-8).

Space forbids an application, but the lesson is obvious and unmistakable. Let him who reads lay off ease and complacency and be concerned, even distressed for the future of the kingdom of Christ.