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1991 Issue 8

Charity has its limits! Benevolence at the expense of a man's own family ceases to be benevolence. It becomes malevolence. I remember as a teenager that my father was very generous to one of my friends. My friend was very poor. His family did not own an automobile, but yet in order to obtain employment he needed to learn how to drive (this was in the days before driver education courses and driver training schools). My father let him use our only family car to learn how to drive, assuming the risk that comes with a novice behind the wheel. My friend eventually obtained his driver's license and we were all happy for him. Shortly thereafter my friend approached my father and asked if he could use our car for a date he had planned with his girlfriend. My father gave him a firm answer of "No". I was surprised that my friend could be so presumptuous in considering such a request. I learned early in life by my father's actions that charity indeed has its limits.

Each month the "Cross-Examination" column presents a summary statement of a Reformed and Reconstructionist conviction in theology or ethics, and then offers brief answers to common questions, objections or confusions which people have about that belief. Send issues or questions you would like addressed by Dr. Bahnsen to the editor.

The Bible teaches us that "there is one God, the Father, by whom are all things ... and one word, Jesus Christ, through whom are all things" (1 Cor. 8:6). Christianity is a monotheistic religion, maintaining that there is but only one, the living and true God. Other religious philosophies hold that there are many gods - one for the country, one for the mountains, one for the sea, one for farming, one for traveling, one for warfare, one for fertility, etc. By contrast, the Bible proclaims that there is one God and Lord over all of creation and over all human activities. "The earth is the Lord's, and the fulness thereof: the world, and they who dwell therein" (Psalm 24:1).

Sermons of Evangelist Rolfe Barnard Vol. 1, 2, 3.

I first came under the ministry of Rolfe Barnard twenty years ago as a seminary student. By this time he had died and was with the Lord. His ministry continued by means of circulation of cassette tapes of his sermons. Now as a result of their faithful transcription by Miss Eulala Bullock three volumes of his messages are in printed format.

Now that we have been excited and challenged with the prospects of God's boundless promises, let us look at those guidelines which will insure us the freedom to pray and expect to receive anything that we ask.

James 4:2 states, "...You do not have, because you do not ask God." Some Christians have the notion that some of their requests are so mundane that it is a waste of God's precious time even to ask of course, this attitude reflects a faulty theological view. The person who doesn't ask doesn't receive; it is as simple as that.

Those Churches that consider themselves to be truly reformed have done an excellent job of preserving the faith, and for this they should be commended. However, when it comes to propagating the faith they have failed miserably, and for this they should be rebuked. We cannot claim to be truly reformed and NOT be engaged in the work of evangelism. We are those who believe in preaching "the whole counsel of God" and that INCLUDES the great commission! We must be faithful to that whole counsel.

My intent is to call us as "conservatives" to repent of former failures and return to future faithfulness in our mission. We shall look at the challenge, the motivation, and the demonstration of reformed evangelism.

We come now upon the first vision received by Zechariah. This is the first of a series of nine visions given on one night, Zech. 1:7,8. This series of visions stretches from Zechariah 1:8 through 6: 15 and is largely concerned with Judah's immediate future history. In a sense, the first vision is an overview of the others, giving the general theme of the whole series. The other visions advance the message contained in this one.

The object of the present vision was to uplift the dejected Jews who, despite their returning to their land from captivity, did not see much hope before them, Zech. 1:13. The burning question in their hearts is asked for them by the angel of the Lord, Zech.1:l2. As we shall see, the point of the vision is the necessity of divine intervention on Judah's behalf.