Devoted to the Propagation and Defense of New Testament Christianity
September 12, 1957
NUMBER 19, PAGE 1,10b-11

Letters To Rosemary -- No. 1

Yours truly,

(Editor's note: Rosemary is a real person. While still married to her husband she had a love affair with another man. She divorced her husband, and married the man who was her lover. The rejected husband, a faithful member of the body of Christ, out of the anguish of his own personal tragedy, and with a deep sense of responsibility for the eternal salvation of one who had once shared his life, wrote these "letters To Rosemary," the first of which we publish in this issue. Others will follow from time to time as we have space for them. He spent many hours of careful and prayerful study in the preparation of these letters, and has made them available to us for publication in the hope that, whether they ever touch the heart of his ex-wife or not, they may perhaps lead some other lost soul to Christ. The identity of the author is withheld, but many in his home congregation will be familiar enough with the circumstances of the case to recognize who he is.)

Dear Rosemary:

In the past few months I have had an opportunity to spend much time studying my Bible and I have learned much that has been of great benefit to me. I do not know whether you have been studying your Bible and attending church services. This is written in all seriousness in accordance with my interpretation of Jesus' command as recorded by Mark, Chapter 16, Verses 15 and 16: "And he said unto them, Go ye into all the world, and preach the gospel to every creature. He that believeth and is baptized shall be saved; but he that believeth not shall be damned."

Soon you will enter the valley of the shadow of death to bring forth a new life. A great opportunity and responsibility will be given to you.

I hope you will have your Bible handy and check some references with me as we study what our opportunities and responsibilities are in this life. The reward for doing God's will is eternal salvation. Eternal is a long time, much longer than 25 years, or even 50 years. It means forever. For not doing God's will, we will get to spend eternity in another place. Again eternity will be a long time. The decision where we will spend eternity will be made by each of us in our lifetime. As no one knows how long he will be permitted to live, it is very necessary that we all keep prepared for the judgment day at the end of time and the beginning of eternity.

Now let us study God's will as recorded in the Holy Bible. In King Solomon's Proverbs we learn in Chapter 22, Verse 6, "Train up a child in the way he should go: and when he is old, he will not depart from it." Again in Proverbs 29, Verse 15, we learn "The rod and reproof give wisdom: but a child left to himself bringeth his mother to shame." In Paul's letter to the Ephesians, Chapter 6, Verse 4, we read "and ye fathers, provoke not your children to wrath: but bring them up in the nurture and admonition of the Lord." In Luke's account of the gospel, Chapter 17, Verses 1, 2, 3, and 4 we find Jesus speaking "Then said he unto the disciples, It is impossible but that offences will come: but woe unto him through whom they come! It were better for him that a millstone were hanged about his neck, and he cast into the sea, than that he should offend one of these little ones. Take heed to yourselves: If thy brother trespass against thee, rebuke him; and if he repent, forgive him. And if he trespass against thee seven times a day, and seven times in a day turn again to thee, saying, I repent; thou shalt forgive him."

In Mathew's account of the gospel, Chapter 19 Verse 13, Jesus again speaking to his disciples "Then were there brought unto him little children, that he should put his hands on them, and pray: and the disciples rebuked them. But Jesus said, suffer little children, and forbid them not, to come unto me; for of such is the kingdom of heaven. And he laid his hands on them, and departed thence."

In order to raise our children right we need to set a good example for them in our own lives. I don't know how to set a better example than to try to live a Christian life and try to bring up our children to be Christians. In order to do this we must examine the scriptures carefully and thoroughly. In King Solomon's Proverbs, Chapter 14, Verse 12 we read "There is a way which seemeth right unto a man, but the end thereof are the ways of death." So we can't trust our feelings about things, but we must study to determine what is right, and which are the ways of death. In Mathew 15:9 Jesus tells the scribes and Pharisees "But in vain they do worship me, teaching for doctrines the commandments of men." Let us be careful that our worship is not in vain. Again in Verse 13 Christ says "Every plant, which my heavenly Father hath not planted, shall be rooted up." This is a reference to false churches. We hear people say that we should attend the church of our choice. We must be very careful about this. We must examine any church that we propose to attend to see whether it is scriptural. Many, many of them are churches of the devil instead of churches of God. Christ has promised that all who do not his will, will be rooted up. In John, Chapter 14, Verse 6, Jesus says unto Thomas "I am the way, the truth, and the life: no man cometh unto the Father, but by me." In St. Paul's first letter to Timothy, Chapter 2, Verse 5, he tells him that "there is one God, and one mediator between God and men, the man Christ Jesus; Who gave himself a ransom for all, to be testified in due time."

Now let us study some reasons for being a Christian. in James 5:19,20 we read "Brethren, if any of you do err from the truth, and one convert him; Let him know, that he which converteth the sinner from the error of his way shall save a soul from death, and shall hide a multitude of sins." In Peter's second letter, Chapter 3, Verses 9,10 we find "The Lord is not slack concerning his promise, as some men count slackness; but is longsuffering to us-ward, not willing that any should perish, but that all men should come to repentance. But the day of the Lord will come as a thief in the night; in the which the heavens shall pass away with a great noise, and the elements shall melt with fervent heat, the earth also and the works that are therein shall be burned up." At that time will be fulfilled the prophecy of Paul in his second letter to the Corinthians, Chapter 5, Verse 10, "For we must all appear before the judgment seat of Christ that everyone may receive the things done in his body, according to that he hath done, whether it be good or bad." In Romans 6:23, we read "For the wages of sin is death; but the gift of God is eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord." In Mathew 11, Verses 28,29 and 30 we find Jesus speaking "Come unto me, all ye that labour and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you, and learn of me; for I am meek and lowly in heart: And ye shall find rest unto your souls. For my yoke is easy, and my burden is light." Thus we see that Christ is telling us that it is not hard to be a Christian. In fact, it is harder not to be a Christian.

Now let us examine the steps that everyone must take to become a Christian. First; it is necessary to hear the gospel. The hearing must be with the intention of understanding what is being heard. As an example, in the Acts of the Apostles, Chapter 8. Verse 26. beginning; we find the account of Phillip and the Ethiopian eunuch. Phillip preached Jesus to the eunuch. The eunuch heard and obeyed the gospel. In. Acts 2:38 we find Peter preaching to those assembled "Then said Peter unto them, Repent and be baptized every one of you in the name of Jesus Christ for the remission of sins, and ye shall receive the gift of the Holy Ghost." In Acts 2:47 we read that "the Lord added to the church daily such as should be saved."

Now let us see what are the promises to a Christian. In John's account of the gospel, Chapter 14, Verses 1, 2, and 3 Jesus is speaking to his disciples "Let not your heart be troubled: Ye believe in God, believe also in me. In my Father's house are many mansions: If it Were not so, I would have told you. I go to prepare a place for you. And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come again, and receive you unto myself; that where I am, there ye may be also." In Revelation, Chapter 2, Verse 10, Christ promises "be thou faithful unto death, and I will give thee a crown of life."

In order that we may know that there is life and consciousness after death, we read in Luke's recording of the gospel, Chapter 16, beginning with Verse 19, Jesus is speaking "There was a certain rich man, which was clothed in purple and fine linen, and fared sumptuously every day: And there was a certain beggar named Lazarus, which was laid at his gate, full of sores, and desiring to be fed with the crumbs which fell from the rich man's table: Moreover, the dogs came and licked his sores. And it came to pass, that the beggar died, and was carried by the angels into Abraham's bosom: The rich man also died, and was buried; and in hell he lifted up his eyes, being in torment, and seeth Abraham afar off, and Lazarus in his bosom. And he cried and said, Father Abraham, have mercy on me, and send Lazarus, that he may dip the tip of his finger in water, and cool my tongue; for I am tormented in the flame. But Abraham said, Son, remember that thou in thy lifetime receivedst thy good things, and likewise Lazarus evil things; but now he is comforted, and thou art tormented. And beside all this between us and you there is a great gulf fixed: So that they which would pass from hence to you cannot; neither can they pass to us, that would come from thence. Then he said, I pray thee therefore, father, that thou would send him to my father's house: For I have five brethren; that he may testify unto them, lest they also come to this place of torment. And Abraham saith unto him, They have Moses and the prophets; let them hear them. And he said, nay, father Abraham: But if one went unto them from the dead, they will repent. And he said unto him, if they hear not Moses and the prophets, neither will they be persuaded, though one rose from the dead." This teaches us several lessons:

That we are either at peace or in torment after death and before the judgement.

After death we are powerless to change our condition. That no one will return from the dead to warn us.

John tells us in his account of the Gospel, Chapter 20, Verses 30. 31: "And many other signs truly did Jesus in the presence of his disciples, which are not written in this book: But these are written, that ye might believe that Jesus is the Christ, the Son of God; and that believing ye might have life through his name."

In order to assist you in making a choice of a church we will study the required characteristics of the true church.

In Mathew 16:18 Jesus says "I will build my church." If Paul Komyatti builds a house, isn't it Paul's house? In Ephesians 5:23 "For the husband is the head of the wife, even as Christ is the head of the church: And he is the saviour of the body." Doesn't the church belong to Christ? Shouldn't the church wear the name of Christ, even as a wife is known by her husband's name? In Romans 16:16 we read "The Churches of Christ salute you." The Church of Christ was established on the first Pentecost after Christ's resurrection. All other churches were established later, starting with the Catholic Church several hundred years later. All Protestant churches are outgrowths of the Catholic churches. Beware of associating with them. They are full of error. They have creeds and practices which are directly opposite to the teaching of the New Testament. Any Church of Christ should be able to quote a passage from the New Testament to prove everything it does or says. The Church of Christ has no idols or images to worship. There is no instrumental music because there is nothing in the New Testament to authorize instrumental music. The Church is supported by direct contribution from its members. No raffles, carnivals, or other devices are used to raise money because there is no authority for them.

The Church of Christ is very careful in its behavior, keeping in mind Revelation 22, Verses 18 and 19 "For I testify unto every man that heareth the words of the prophecy of this book, if any man shall add unto these things, God shall add unto him the plagues that are written in the book: And if any man shall take away from the words of the book of this prophecy, God shall take away his part out of the book of life, and out of the holy city, and from the things which are written in this book."

I have spent many, many days in study, preparation, and writing this letter. The purpose has been that I believe that you and your child should have an opportunity to be saved and avoid condemnation at the final judgement. Also I chose to do this because of what you once meant to me. The good things are easier to remember than the unpleasant things. I would rejoice if I could have a part in your salvation. However, your salvation will depend on what you do. I can assist you but I can't save you. That you must do for yourself.