of Gospel Tracts
F. B. Hole.
3. Reconstructing the World
If we are to believe the public pronouncements of many eminent men the task that lies before us is nothing short of this. How shall we set about it?
A man established a business in order to exploit a new process for treating certain fabrics. As it happened his very first order involved his handling a quantity of particularly valuable stuff. He could not shut his eyes to the risk involved. He hesitated. Then he made up his mind what to do. He managed to cut off an unconsidered fragment, and treated this first. That being a success, he went forward with confidence and dealt with the lot.
His idea was a wise one. Let us adopt it. The world is a big affair. There are quite two thousand million people, and perhaps two thousand languages to be tackled. What about something smaller first? Can we reconstruct one country or even one city, one village or one family? You will have to go a long way to find the first village or even family that invites or even welcomes your kind offices in this direction. On the contrary they will object very strongly and ask who told you to come poking your nose into their affairs?
Here is a less pretentious suggestion. Let us each begin with our solitary selves. You reconstruct yourself: I must deal with myself. In so doing we have reached rock bottom and we face the problem in its simplest form.
And also in its most hopeless form! It is easy to entertain vague hopes while they are camouflaged by being applied to millions. Apply them to one and they are completely shattered. It was during His night interview with a highly respectable man, Nicodemus by name, that Jesus said, "Verily, verily, I say unto thee, Except a man be born again, he cannot see the kingdom of God" (John 3:3). Without that new birth in the region of the spirit the kingdom of God does not even come within sight of an individual, much less of a world.
You cannot reconstruct yourself so as to be fitted for the Divine inspection, which is the thing that really matters. But it can be accomplished by that very God before whose searching eye you must pass. He "so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son, that whosoever believes in Him should not perish, but have everlasting life" (John 3:16). It is a new life you need, and just that is offered to you.
The Son of God, Jesus Christ, is the test. If your heart opens to Him in faith that life is yours. He that believes on the Son has everlasting life" (John 3:36). Then you will make the joyful discovery that you indeed are reconstructed.
But do not forget that there is a solemn alternative, for the same verse proceeds to say, "He that believes not the Son shall not see life; but the wrath of God abides on him."
6. False News!
The bearing of false news appears to some people in the light of a joke. In the eyes of the law it is, however, sometimes a punishable offence.
During the war of 1914-18, when arrangements were not nearly so elaborate and warning sirens did not sound, a man ran down a London street shouting that an air-raid was coming. It was a false alarm, and in due course the man received an appropriate sentence from a bench of magistrates.
On another occasion a boy was convicted of shouting "All clear" while a raid was still in progress, and he got a severe reprimand.
But why this concern about matters so small? Because news influences people, and leads to behaviour on which much depends.
In the first case people began to leave their houses and shops for shelter, and the man doubtless intended to have a clear field for pilfering. In the second people were tempted out of shelter to their personal danger and harm.
Beware then of false news which poses as being gospel news with Divine authority behind it.
Does someone tell you that it does not matter much what a person believes if only they are sincere? Believe him not!
Is it stated that for any of us the great thing is a decent life, the doing of our best, and that he who "does to others as he would be done by" cannot be far wrong in the end? Do not listen!
Or is it affirmed that the Bible is a back number, and that in democratic institutions lie all hopes of salvation? Be not deceived!
One and all, these and similar lies of the devil will divert you from the true and God-given shelter for guilty sinners, and lure you to false refuges while you are despoiled of all that is true and good.
Tennyson, the great poet, once met an old woman on a country walk, and asked her if there was any news. The dear old Christian replied, Why, Mr. Tennyson, there's only one piece of news that I know, and that is Christ died for all men." He answered, "That is old news, and good news, and new news." He might well have added "and true news," for true it is. "This is a faithful saying and worthy of all acceptation, that Christ Jesus came into the world to save sinners, of whom I am chief" (1 Tim. 1:15).
This is news which, if believed, will lead to a personal trust in the Christ who died for our sins and rose again, and this brings forgiveness and justification, and life, and salvation; for it is written, "Believe on the Lord Jesus Christ, and thou shalt be saved" (Acts 16: 31).
Make sure that false news shall not deceive you by humbly yet heartily believing the News that is true.
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