Without Christ And God In The World

John A. Keith

Finally, the news came out; the death of Anna Nicole Smith was ruled as an accidental drug overdose, according to CNN. It was staggering to me as I listened to the number of pills, herbs, drugs, and supplements she reportedly had been taking. Much of the nine "medications" she was said to have ingested included "human growth" hormones and, ironically, "longevity drugs." There are so many things wrong with this continuing saga.

Not that it is any surprise, but there was no mention of Christ in this person's life. That has to be the saddest element of this story. She had lost her son and had a new child out of wedlock. This only adds to the heartbreak and is a tragic commentary on much of today's society. I am reminded of the condition of the Gentiles in times past, described in Ephesians 2:12, "That at that time ye were without Christ, being aliens from the commonwealth of Israel, and strangers from the covenants of promise, having no hope, and without God in the world:" A sad condition, indeed!

For many, life is consumed with the tangible things we can gain and the notoriety that often comes with them. A good name is shunned because a "bad" name is more lucrative. The "bad boy" and "bad girl" image is what many seek to achieve. However, Proverbs 22:1 says, "A good name is rather to be chosen than great riches, and loving favor rather than silver and gold." The wealthy, beautiful, and popular seem to be lovingly favored by the masses, but only so far as the wealth and beauty endure. When they wane, so does the popularity. Thus, some always strive for a way to insure they remain wealthy and appealing.

They long to "love life and see good days" (1 Peter 3:10); but their approach is misguided, and their lives are terribly mismanaged. In verse 11 of the above text, Peter says to "eschew (KJV)" or "turn away from (ASV)" evil. "What is evil about wanting to be wealthy and beautiful?" you ask. When anything in one's life has place over Christ, it is evil! Paul wrote, in Colossians 1:18, "And he is the head of the body, the church: who is the beginning, the firstborn from the dead that in all things he might have the preeminence." He, Christ, is to have first place (preeminence) in our lives. We do not need to be wealthy. We do not need to be popular with man. In fact, if we preach and teach the truth, chances are we are not very popular with some men. The "gospel of health, wealth, and prosperity" so prevalent today is damning souls by the thousands. Obviously, a lack of attention to God and His Word, combined with too much attention to self and wants, is taking its toll.

Each one must maintain the attitude of John the Immerser regarding Christ: "He must increase, but I must decrease" (John 3:30). Each one needs to heed the words of Jesus Christ: "But seek ye first the kingdom of God and His righteousness ..." Matthew 6:33. Solomon's wise counsel needs to ring clearer now than perhaps ever before, "Fear (reverence) God, and keep his commandments: for this is the whole duty of man ." Ecclesiastes 12:13. May we value the Godhead and our souls' relationship with Him. -70 Gale Ave., Newport, OH 45768. 740-473-2528 jtakeith@aol.com


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