John T. Willis

Thursday, May 23, 2013

Whitewashed Tombs

We human beings always attempt to put on a good front, to present ourselves in a certain way to convince other people that we are just this type of person. Christians in particular try very hard to convince others that we are good, godly people. Jesus describes alleged godly people in these terms in Matthew 23:27-28: "Woe to you scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! For you are like WHITEWASHED TOMBS, which on the outside look beautiful, but inside they are full of the bones of the dead and of all kinds of filth. So you also on the outside look righteous to others, but inside you are fully and hypocrisy and lawlessness." 1. Most universities build beautiful buildings and spend a tremendous amount of money to keep the campus beautiful with flowers and trees and paintings and sculptures. All of this is very nice to the external eye. What is the character of the people? Are they committed to God through Jesus Christ? Are they REALLY concerned for the well-being of the students, or are they REALLY concerned about their own fame and wealth and personal interests? Are they seeking to be in control of others, or do they consider others better than themselves? A very important text along this line is Philippians 2:3-4: "Do nothing from selfish ambition or conceit, but in humility regard others better than yourselves. Let each of you look not to your own interests, but to the interests of others." 2. Fads constantly sway millions of people. Some obvious current fads are professional sports, the music industry, the internet with all of its aspects, and beer and wine. One hundred years ago, most of these did not even exist. One hundred years from now, new fads will replace these fads. We all seek satisfaction, and in every case we think this fad or that fad will satisfy our needs. This never works. This is the theme of Ecclesiastes. The recurring expression is: "Vanity of vanities! All is vanity." We attempt achievement, education, sex, pleasures of all type, hard work, external religious activities, and many other things to satisfy our desires. ONLY ONE THING can satisfy our desires: that is GOD our creator, sustainer, king, and lord. The composer of Ecclesiastes champions this important concept: "The end of the matter; all has been heard. Fear God and keep his commandments; for that is the whole duty of everyone. For God will bring every deed into judgment, including every secret thing, whether good or evil." (Ecclesiastes 12;13-14). Share YOUR insights and concerns and fears and experiences with others. Let me hear from YOU. John Willis


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