Devoted to the Propagation and Defense of New Testament Christianity

The Wedding March Has Begun

Jesse Kelley, Lafayette, Louisiana

"For thou art an holy people unto the Lord thy God, and the Lord hath chosen thee to be a peculiar people unto himself, above all the nations that are upon the earth." (Deut. 14:2.)

The above is the language of Moses as he was moved by the Spirit of God to speak unto the children of Israel concerning their relationship to God and the nations around them. Both Paul and Peter quote the statement of Moses (Titus 2:14; 1 Peter 2:9), and apply it to Christians. The Lord's people in Moses' day were a distinct people and their distinctiveness consisted in the fact that they did what the Lord said while others did something else; and this is what Paul and Peter are saying concerning Christians. Now, as then, God's people are to be a holy, peculiar people; distinct from other peoples and religions, and this distinction must lie in the fact that the Lord's people do what the Lord says, while others do something else.

It is the nature of man to want to follow the crowd. This has been the bane of God's people in every age of the world. The history of God's people in all ages is a history filled with departures from the way of life ordained by God, to follow the ways of men — the ways of the crowd. Concerning Israel, God speaks through Malachi his prophet thus: "But ye are departed out of the way; ye have caused many to stumble at the law; ye have corrupted the covenant of Levi, saith the Lord of hosts." (Mal. 2:8.) Israel had once been a happy, prosperous, and God-fearing people. On many occasions they had drunk at the fount of God's grace, and had stood in the shadow of the Almighty to receive strength and vitality and life from His matchless council. By His strength they grew from a small band of insignificant pilgrims in Egypt to a great and mighty nation, the like of which had never been on the face of the earth before. They lived off the milk and honey of God's land and waxed fat on the bounty of His footstool. Then they departed from God. Prosperity proved their undoing; they followed after and became like the nations around them; they lost their peculiarity; they corrupted the covenant of God. And 'God speaks: "Judah hath dealt treacherously, and an abomination is committed in Israel and in Jerusalem; for Judah hath profaned the holiness of the Lord which he loved, and hath married the daughter -of a strange god. The Lord will cut off the man that doeth this, the master and the scholar, out of the tabernacles of Jacob, and him that offereth an offering unto the Lord of Hosts." (Mal. 2:11, 12.)

The church of Jesus Christ is fast losing its peculiarity. Within the memory of most of now living it has grown from a small insignificant band of struggling pilgrims to a prosperous nation in a land where there are many nations religiously. God has favored His people with growth and prosperity. Holy men of God have taken their place in the ranks of the army of Zion and with His word upon their hearts have won every battle for right, and God's word has not returned unto Him void, but has accomplished that which He pleased — the salvation of souls. Indeed we have drunk gat the fount of Living Waters and have been nourished with the Living Manna that comes down from above. But we are beginning to gloat over our successes, and an unholy desire to find "our place in the sun" has turned the heads of many to gaze across the borders at the ungodly nations around us. Our "peculiarity" is being replaced by our "popularity," and like Israel of old we are beginning to "set down to eat and rise up to play," and the clamor is growing louder and louder. In days of old the Bible doctrine of the all-sufficiency of the one church of Christ was preached and God's Israel rejoiced; today, many squirm and cry "hobbyism." The odor from the flesh pots of Egypt is drifting across the borders of Canaan and our golden calf is almost finished. The daughter of the strange God is marching down the isle where awaits the sons of God and the wedding ceremony is about to begin. Her father will gain many sons while Jerusalem is over run by the unholy mob; and God will condemn to an everlasting hell those who trifle with His holy word.

The devil will demand his dues and God will pay with the souls of those who will bow before the idols of Ephraim to do like others religiously. The saved will be the separate, the distinct, the Peculiar people of God, who do His will in His way, while all others are doing something else, and indeed there will be "few that find it."