Life, Hope & Truth

From the January/February 2019 issue of Discern Magazine

What Are You Doing With What You Know?

The truths of the Bible are not just about head knowledge. God wants us to be cut to the heart and to commit to change and grow. Is it now time to act?

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You’ve read the articles in Discern and on Life, Hope & Truth. You’ve studied. You’ve diligently compared them with what the Word of God actually states. And slowly but surely conviction has formed in you. You’ve found the “pearl of great price,” the knowledge of the Kingdom of God.

But now what are you going to do with what you’ve learned? Is it now time to act on that knowledge?

What about the Sabbath?

Unless you’re new to this site, chances are you’ve already learned about God’s Sabbath, the fourth of the 10 Commandments (Exodus 20:8-11). You may know by now that your Creator commands His children to rest on the Sabbath from Friday sunset till Saturday sunset. Work is forbidden during that time. Yes, it can be a challenge to rearrange one’s work schedule to follow God’s command in this—but He demands no less.

So isn’t it time for you to begin to keep the Sabbath day holy?

Maybe you’ve read the command for the people of God to assemble on the seventh day, the Sabbath (Leviticus 23:2-3; Hebrews 10:24-25). For some it may be hard to begin to assemble with true Christians on the Sabbath. Yet that is what God requires. It’s pretty clear in the Scriptures. And the rewards are great: time with other like-minded believers, the chance to listen and learn from God’s ministers and to begin a life of Christian growth.

Is it time? And if not now, when?

Perhaps you’ve come to understand the deeper things of the plan of God, including the fact that God brings His plan to fruition in phases. You may by now see that this era before the second coming of Jesus Christ is the era of the gathering of the firstfruits of God’s plan, symbolized by the spring harvests in the Middle East. If so—if God is calling you—isn’t it time for you to respond?

Living, active faith

Christian study should produce conviction. Conviction leads to faith. And faith leads to action. As the apostle James so concisely put it, “faith by itself, if it does not have works, is dead” (James 2:17).

Christian study should produce conviction. Conviction leads to faith. And faith leads to action.He went on to explain the difference between a belief that produces nothing, and true faith that does something. “But someone will say, ‘You have faith, and I have works.’ Show me your faith without your works, and I will show you my faith by my works” (verse 18).

He goes even further: “You believe that there is one God. You do well. Even the demons believe—and tremble! But do you want to know, O foolish man, that faith without works is dead?” (verses 19-20).

Just believing, without doing, puts us in bad company! The demons believe, but they are enemies of God whose goal is to thwart the plan of salvation. But when we do—when we follow through on what we know to be right—we share an experience with the rest of the saints of God.

“But recall the former days in which, after you were illuminated, you endured a great struggle with sufferings: partly while you were made a spectacle both by reproaches and tribulations, and partly while you became companions of those who were so treated” (Hebrews 10:32-33).

Those early steps, taking action on what we have learned, may bring struggles and sufferings, but they also bring a great reward in the form of companionship with those who’ve experienced the same.

God wants to see us grow

Jesus Christ likened the preaching of the gospel to a sower of seed going out to sow, not knowing whether a crop would be produced or not (Matthew 13:3-9). Some of the seed fell by the side of the road and was quickly plucked up and devoured by the birds without producing anything (verses 4 and 19). Some fell on the wrong kind of terrain, stony ground, where the seed didn’t put down the roots so necessary for it to grow and produce (verses 5-6, 20-21). The one who receives the seed in this way is superficial and doesn’t produce over time.

Some of the seed fell among thorns—competing claims to our attention, worldly cares, an excessive desire to make money, forces and influences that choke out the knowledge of God’s way of life (verses 7 and 22). Sad to say, this has happened at times, and some have allowed the seed of the gospel to become unfruitful.

Yet there have always been, and are today, those who receive the seed on good, fertile ground, where it takes root, buds and produces fruit of Christian growth, fruit for eternal life (verses 8 and 23).

Could that be you? As Jesus said, “He who has ears to hear, let him hear!” (verse 9).

Looking for the church behind Life, Hope & Truth? See our “Who We Are” page.

Christ’s call to change

Many who read articles in Discern and on Life, Hope & Truth live in supposedly Christian nations, where the message of do-nothing Christianity is sounded loudly. “Just believe; that’s all you have to do” is the message. The Savior never taught that—nor do those who today teach the same message He taught.

His message was aptly summed up in the first chapter of Mark’s Gospel: “The time is fulfilled, and the kingdom of God is at hand. Repent, and believe in the gospel” (Mark 1:15). To repent means to change, to make an about-face in one’s life and to live a new life of obedience to God.

And Jesus went further. “But why do you call Me ‘Lord, Lord,’ and not do the things which I say?” (Luke 6:46). It’s all too easy to talk the talk, but it can be hard to walk the walk.

It’s time

But you’ve read to the end of this article! And chances are you may have learned a lot more. If you’ve come this far and come to understand, it’s time to follow through. It’s time to act on those convictions. It’s time to begin the Christian life.

So what are you waiting for? What are you doing with what you know? True Christianity requires action. God commands it.

Our booklet Change Your Life! takes a step-by-step approach to the biblical teaching about conversion. We encourage you to study it with your Bible and begin to apply it today.

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