Devoted to the Propagation and Defense of New Testament Christianity
May 8, 1968

Lovers Of The Bible

Johnnie Edwards

This article does not deal with romance! It does deal with a list of fourteen things which people are said to love. Some of the things listed are things which God would have us love and there are some listed which God does not approve of man loving.

1. Lovers of God. God expects a first place in the lives of His people. Jesus said, "Thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy mind" (Matt. 22:37). We cannot please God if we fail to love Him. Yet there are those who are "lovers of pleasures inure than lovers of God..." (II Tim. 3:4). When men find no pleasure in loving God and do not want to retain God in their knowledge, God will give them over to a reprobate mind, to "do those things which are not convenient" (Rom. 1:28). We should be ready to confess as did Peter, "Yea Lord, thou knowest that 1 love thee..." (Jno. 21:15).

2. Lovers of Good. God expects us to be lovers of good men and good things. One of the qualifications for elders is that they be lovers of 'good men' (Tit. 1:8). We need to think on "whatsoever things are of good report..." (Phil. 4:8). If we are to be lovers of good, we must by reason of use have our senses exercised "to discern both good and evil" (Heb. 5:14). Too many have pleasure in that which is bad and dislike that which is good.

3. Lovers of Hospitality and of Strangers. So many fail to practice hospitality as God expects of his people. An elder must be "a lover of hospitality..." (Tit. 1:8). Peter said, "Use hospitality one to another without grudging" (I Pet. 4:9). Paul said, "Distributing to the necessity of saints, given to hospitality" (Rom. 12:13). I am afraid that too many don't want to clean up, miss an afternoon nap and are just too lazy to practice hospitality! When we begin to put hospitality into practice we will be a willing host, ready to receive guest, even to lodge, without partiality, the rich as well as the poor.

4. Lovers of the Brethren. There is not enough love among the brethren. Paul said, "Be kindly affectioned one to another with brotherly love; in honour preferring one another" (Rom. 12:10). We are told, "Let brotherly love continue" (Heb. 13:1). We must to be saved. Peter said, "Seeing ye have purified your souls in obeying the truth through the Spirit unto unfeigned love of the brethren, see that ye love one another with a pure heart fervently" (I Pet. 1:22).

5. Lovers of the Truth. There is a great demand for more people to love the truth. The truth is the word of God. (Th. 17:17) The Psalmist said, "Therefore I love thy commandments above gold; yea, above fine gold" (Psa. 119:127). Loving the truth can be a matter of life and death. Paul told the Thessalonians, "And with all deceivableness of unrighteousness in them that perish; because they received not the love of the truth that they might be saved" (II Thess. 2:10). If I do not love the truth, I will be lost. One reason people do not obey the truth is that they do not love the truth.

6. Lovers of Worldly Wisdom. We must beware of the 'god of education.' Much emphasis is being put on getting more schooling, getting a better job and having more things. Education is fine, and I am not against education but education must be one's servant, not his master! Paul warned the Colossians, "Beware lest any man spoil you through philosophy and vain deceit, after the tradition of men, after the rudiments of the world, and not after Christ" (Col. 2:8). Paul said, "That your faith should not stand in the wisdom of men, but in the power of God" (I Cor. 2:5). Gospel preaching must not be with 'enticing words of man's wisdom, but in demonstration of the Spirit and of power" (I Cor. 2:4). Man, by worldly wisdom cannot know God nor His will. We need to remember that "the foolishness of God is wiser than men; and the weakness of God is stronger than men" (I Cor. 1:25).

7. Lovers of Pleasure. Paul told Timothy that people would be "lovers of pleasures more than lovers of God" (II Tim. 3:4). We seem to be living in a `pleasure crazy' world. Pleasure has brought death to many. Paul said, "But she that liveth in pleasure is dead while she liveth" (I Tim. 5:6). Loving pleasure keeps many from obeying the word of God. Jesus pointed out in the parable of the sower that the "cares and riches and pleasures of this life choke out the word." (Lk. 8)

8. Lovers of Self. Paul told Timothy, "that in the last days perilous times shall come. For men shall be lovers of their own selves. (II Tim. 3:1-2). Too many are so much in love with themselves that they have no room for loving God and their fellow-man. Jesus said "He that loveth his life shall lose it; and he that hateth his life in this world shall keep it unto life eternal" (Jno. 12:25). The love of self has led many to gratify their desires regardless of what God has said. Self-love keeps church members from faithful attendance if there are other things they like to do when services of the church are being conducted.

9. Lovers of Money. "For the love of money is the root of all evil: which while some coveted after, they have erred from the faith, and pierced themselves through with many sorrows" (I Tim. 6:10). There is no evil in money but the love of it leads many astray. This is the reason for these words: "Charge them that are rich in this world, that they be not highminded, nor trust in the uncertain riches, but in the living God, who giveth us richly all things to enjoy" (I Tim. 6:17).

10. Lovers of the Praise of Men. Some are more concerned about what men think than what God has said. The reason given for some rulers not confessing Christ was: "For they loved the praise of men more than the praise of God" (Jno. 12:43). Paul's attitude concerning the praise of men is worthy of our attention. "For do I now persuade men, or God? or do I seek to please men? for if I yet pleased men, I should not be the servant of Christ" (Gal. 1:10). The Pharisees, in the days of Jesus, were seeking the praise of men and this was their reward. (Matt. 23)

11. Lovers of the World. Christians are admonished, "Love not the world, neither the things that are in the world. If any man love the world, the love of the Father is not in him" (I Jno. 2:15). Loving the world caused Demas to forsake Paul, (II Tim. 4:10) and it will cause us to forsake God and his word. No wonder James said, "Ye adulterers and adulteresses, know ye not that the friendship of the world is enemity with God? Whosoever therefore will be a friend of the world is the enemy of God" (Jas. 4:4).

12. Lover of Preeminence. The desire to be above others, and to be first is the desire of those who seek preeminence. The desire for preeminence in the church has caused much trouble among brethren. John wrote of one who desired preeminence in this language, "I wrote unto the church: but Diotrephes, who loveth to have the preeminence among them, receiveth us not" (III Jno. 9).

13. Lovers of Darkness. Darkness is opposed to light. Men of God are men of light and are urged to walk in the light (I Jno. 1:7). Yet many love darkness more than they do the light. Listen to John as he wrote about darkness. "And this is the condemnation, that light is come into the world, and men loved darkness rather than light, because their deeds were evil" (Jno. 3:19-20).

14. Lovers of Parents More Than of God. Often one will not obey the gospel because of parents. Jesus said, "He that loveth father or mother more than me is not worthy of me: and he that loveth son or daughter more than me is not worthy of me" (Matt. 10:37). Children are to love their parents but this love must not interfere with their love for God and his word. (Lk. 14:26; Mk. 10:29-30)

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