Man knows that he is here. For six thousand years he has trooped down through the centuries, wondering from whence he came, -- and has been trying to understand the things that are about him upon the earth, and in the universe that surrounds; what is at the end of life? When a man dies, is he dead forever?
All nature points to a Great First Cause, "the Creator of the heavens and the earth." Many theories have been originated to account for man, and the things about him, but these theories differ one from the other, and so they prove nothing.
The wisdom displayed in nature, and the invariability of the laws prevailing throughout the universe, speak to us of Omnipotence, Omniscience, and Omnipresence, -- a Being whom we designate as God. Law, order, and system, do not come by chance any more than the watch that is carried in the pocket.
If "the high and lofty one that inhabiteth eternity," whom we call God, "spake and it was; commanded and it stood fast," -- created man along with all nature, -- then it is reasonable to suppose that God's desire in reference to his creatures should be made known to them, and so this is why we have the Word of God, -- the Bible. "All Scripture is given by inspiration of God," -- and so there are no contradictions.
Trying to account for the creation of the universe, existence of man, life, laws of nature, and all else, without the Bible records, results in the greatest confusion and differences of opinion. No explanation can be more than a theory, because it cannot be demonstrated. Man by reasoning cannot comprehend God. "For as the heavens are higher than the earth, so are My ways higher than your ways, and My thoughts than your thoughts," -- Isa.55:9.
The "thus saith the Lord" also establishes the relations of man to questions as to the origin of things. "By the word of the Lord was the heavens made; and all the host of them by the breath of His mouth," -- Psalms 33:6. "For he spake, and it was; He commanded, and it stood fast," -- Psamls 33:9. "Who laid the foundations of the earth, that they should not be removed forever," -- Psalms 104:5.
The "thus saith the Lord" also establishes the relations of man to his Maker; what he should do to please God, rewards and punishments for obedience and disobedience, and his final disposition at the end of life's journey. If God is man's creator, then it is reasonable that he should instruct man as to how he should live, worship, and treat his fellow man, -- and what to expect after death. This is the object of God's Word as expressed in the Bible, "That the man of God may be perfect, thoroughly furnished unto all good works," -- 2.Tim.3:17.
There would be no other way of knowing of these things. The guesses of men are different and mostly wrong. With the Word of God there is uniformity and all are placed under the same requirements.
In this world, men usually follow the lines of least resistance, -- do the things that are easiest to do, which afford the most pleasure and enjoyment; we say that it is the natural thing to do, but is it the right way?
The right way was never popular, and requires effort, self-denial, and a "coming out from the world," -- and, "be ye separate." "Fear not little flock, for it is your Father's good pleasure to give you the kingdom," -- Luke 12:32. The real, true Christian is not like the "multitude," and so is looked upon as being "peculiar," -- and sometimes is subject to affliction and ridicule. It is recorded that Moses "chose rather to suffer affliction with the people of God, than to enjoy the pleasures of sin for a season," -- Heb.11:25.
Resting upon the seventh day Sabbath, "according to the commandment," sometimes causes ridicule, persecution, and affliction, but that should be no discouragement, as it was the same in the time of Moses, Christ, and His apostles, and will be to the end of time. "He that endureth to the end, the same shall be saved," -- Matt.10:22. Many of the saints "come up through much tribulation."
The only reward worth while is that which comes from obedience to God's word, and following His requirements, -- regardless of consequences,
"The worldly hope men set their hearts upon turns ashes, -- or it prospers; and anon, like snow upon the desert's dusty face, lighting a little hour or two was gone." -- Qmar Khyam, a Persian philosopher, in "The Rubiat." The things that are looked forward to as a source of pleasure and satisfaction, usually prove to be a disappointment when realized. How to get the most out of this life is not the important question, -- but how to live to attain a home in the kingdom to come.
"Consider the end," -- Chilo.
"One may live like a conqueror, a king, or a magistrate; but he must die a man. The bed of death brings every human being to his pure individuality, to the intense contemplation of that deepest and most solemn of all relations -- the relation between creature and Creator," -- Daniel Webster.
"Death stamps the characters and conditions of men for eternity. As death finds them in this world, so will they be in the next," -- Emmons.
Life, even in this world, is not rated very highly, until sickness comes, or death stares us in the face, -- then all is concern, and, "All that a man hath will he give for his life," -- Job 2:4.
The future is very seldom considered when a man is in health, but life is so uncertain that he should not overlook contemplation and preparation for the life beyond this "bank and shoal of time." Many drop dead suddenly of heart disease, or go to bed and never wake up. We never know what a day may bring forth.
"Be sure of the foundation of your life. Know why you live as you do. Be ready to give a reason for it. Do not in such a matter as life, build on opinion or custom, or what you guess is true. Make it a matter of certainty and science," -- Thos. Starr King.
The Creator, the Supreme Ruler of the Universe, has not left man to grope his way in darkness, for he has given him His Word, the Bible. David, "the sweet singer of Israel," made this acknowledgement to God when he said, -- "Thy word is a lamp unto my feet, and a light unto my path," -- Psalms 119:105.
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