Every generation needs prophetic voices calling individuals to repentance, confession of sin, and a change of behavior. The voice of the prophet who speaks forth the words of truth is seldom welcomed or appreciated and yet, such men of God continue to cry out against the moral corruption and spiritual inconsistencies they witness. The prophet is not superior to other individuals. Even “Elias was a man subject to like passions as we are” (James 5:17). Every prophet is in need of the salvation they call others to. Therefore it must be kept in mind that the message they present is more important than the man. Listen now to the voice of a modern day prophet, 86 years of age, struggling in bodily health, but with a clear mind and memory. His name is Arthur Alexander and for many years he was the pastor of a local church. Today, Brother Alexander continues to plead with the church through a writing ministry, reminding individuals to prepare to meet God. In a recent article he wrote of the need for holiness of life.
The Need for Holiness of Life
THE CHURCH HAS CHANGED
Believe me, beloved, the outward church IS NOT what it once was. It is not what it was not so many years ago. (And you know it is so!) Those of our generation remember when Christians thought it important to separate themselves from the habits and practices of the world. It was a day when separation and godliness (sanctification) was heard from the pulpit. It was a time when sin was named and condemned in very plain words. Today such words and standards are maligned and called “legalism.” As a result, the church is populated with all manner of ungodly practices. Do the following words mean anything?
“And he cried mightily with a strong voice, saying, Babylon the great is fallen, is fallen, and is become the habitation of devils, and the hold of every foul spirit, and a cage of every unclean and hateful bird” (Rev. 18:2).
Sadly, preachers of righteousness not only have to expose the threat of the world, the flesh, and the devil; they now have to expose the carnal church men who pose as preachers of the Gospel, but who in truth are “wolves in sheep’s clothing.” It is not a pretty scene. I ask you, who sets the standards in your life? What about your practices? The places you patronize? What comes in your eye and ear gate? What thoughts come to you in solitary moments? (Moments which are few and far between these days!) Do you honestly believe you can have a “little bit” of the world, and heaven too? If so, you are badly mistaken and deceived. I plead with you to consider these words: “Awake to righteousness, and sin not; for some have not the knowledge of God: I speak this to your shame” (1 Cor. 15:34).”In this the children of God are manifest, and the children of the devil: whosoever doeth not righteousness is not of God, neither he that loveth not his brother” (I John 3:10).
A MOST SERIOUS MISTAKE
A very common and disastrous error frequently found among professing Christians is the lamentable fact that many are not Christians at all. Our Lord made a most revealing comment regarding this issue when He said, “Enter ye in at the strait gate: for wide is the gate, and broad is the way, that leadeth to destruction, and MANY there be which go in thereat” (Matt 7:13); and ” then will I profess unto them, I never knew you: depart from Me, ye that work iniquity” (Matt 7:23).
The practice among “Christians” in the 21st century is shocking, while the institutional church is filled with carnality and hypocrisy. A most worldly mind set is embraced, resulting in mass deception among folks who are led to believe that it matters little what you believe or what your life style is. Nor how you dress. Now this Scripture has come to pass, “But evil men and seducers shall wax worse and worse, deceiving, and being deceived” (2 Tim 3:13).”
IT DOES MATTER
Beloved, it does matter what one believes, and equally important how one lives! Many pulpits fail in this regard, countenancing unseemly conduct in the membership, even among “leaders.” The bewildered soul in the pew hardly knows what to do, and often is overwhelmed by his own sinful disposition, hardly finding any guidance from the church. Is it any wonder that many new-born languish in their old habits, clueless as to how they are to conduct themselves? Instead of bread and fish, they are given stones and serpents! (7:9-10). As our Lord said many will come at the last day, PROFESSING that they are His, and will hear those fateful words, “I tell you, I know you not whence ye are; depart from Me, all ye workers of iniquity!” (Luke 13:27).