A Warning And An Invitation

A Warning And An Invitation

Thursday’s Column: Captain’s Blog

On June 14, 1921, Winston Churchill warned the British House of Commons about a looming threat that took a little over 80 years to see come to fruition in a graphic way:  “The Wahabis profess a life of exceeding austerity, and what they practise themselves they rigorously enforce on others.  They hold it as an article of duty, as well as faith, to kill all who do not share their opinions and to make slaves of their wives and children” (Churchill, “Never Give In,” p. 83).  These ones he called “bloodthirsty” were ancestors of many of today’s radical Islamic fundamentalists.  

It is eerie to see how accurate Churchill’s concern was and how timeless his warning.   He warned of a threat that few saw as looming in the days immediately following World War I.  If politicians and military strategists had given deeper consideration to his warnings, lives would have been saved.  Often, though, warnings are more dutifully considered in the rearview mirror.

In the last chapter of the Bible, John relays a heavenly warning and an invitation.  The warning is against tampering with the word of God (18-19).  It will bring about spiritually fatal results, whether one adds to what God says (cf. Prov. 30:6) or takes away from what God says (Deut. 4:2).  Adding to divine truth adds torment to the soul; taking away from divine truth results in one having taken away from him the promises and hope of heaven.  In both testaments, God warns man not to change His word.

Yet with this warning is also an invitation (17).  It is an invitation to share in a gift undeserved and yet unreservedly given.  It is for all who are willing and who come.  Those who hear this invitation and properly respond need not worry about the warning.  “The grace of the Lord Jesus Christ” will be with them (Rev. 22:21).  We are wise to consider the validity of the warning and prepare our lives convicted of its power and reality.  In turning from iniquity, though, let us turn toward the one who invites and live.

Neal Pollard

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