For our lesson tonight the book of Ecclesiastes chapter 12. We'll take a key verse from there and then we'll use various other references as well. But our key verse is the twelfth chapter of Ecclesiastes, verse 13. And the subject that we want to think about for a little while together tonight is, "The Whole Duty of Man." You know, man today --- most men, just don't even know what the duty of man is. And the bad part is that a lot of men don't want to know what the duty of man is either! But they have little idea and little desire to know what the duty of man is. And here tonight we want to think for a little while about what is the whole duty of man, and how to do the whole duty of man. We can't do it, if we don't know it! And even if we know it, then we've got to wish to do so before we will fulfill this whole duty of man.
Let's read verse 13 here as a starting point. "Let us hear the conclusion of the whole matter. Fear God, and keep his commandments: for this is the whole duty of man." Now he's been discussing in the book of Ecclesiastes up to this point, and we're just the next to the last verse here, of course, that we read tonight, he's been discussing a lot of things about the natural man and about natural life, life here on earth. And then he just says, "Let's just wind it all up and say that the conclusion of the whole matter is this, that man should fear God and keep His commandments because this is the whole duty of man." And that's what we want to think about for a little while tonight.
There are several different ways that we could divide up the whole duty of man. He summed it up here into fear God and keep His commandments. But I've divided it up into five different sections that we want to think about for just a few minutes.
When we start thinking about the duty of man relative to God, there is first the duty to hear the Word of God. Some people don't realize it but it's the duty of man to hear the Word of God. That's one of the duties of man because if you don't hear the Word of God, you couldn't possibly fear God and keep His commandments, could you? It'd be impossible to fear God and keep His commandments as the writer of Ecclesiastes tells us we must, if one did not hear the Word of God. And so the very first step in this list of duties that we could translate into modern terminology would be to hear the duty—to hear the Word of God. The Word of God testifies to us about Christ. And that's the first and most important duty of man is to hear what the Word says about Christ.
In the book of John, chapter 5, verse 39, we have a good verse that fits very well at this point. John 5:39, the Gospel of John, of course. In this place we find that the Word of God testifies about Christ. And remember now for this first little bit of our message tonight, we're thinking about the duty of man to hear the Word of God. Here in this place in John, we're thinking from the viewpoint of the fact that the Word of God testifies about Christ. It says, "Search the scriptures; for in them ye think ye have eternal life: and they are they which testify of me." And, of course, it's the Lord Himself speaking there when this was recorded.
Now another thing that we need to remember when we're thinking about the duty to hear the Word of God, not only does the Word testify to us about Christ but the Word of God is requisite to one having faith. Did you realize that? If you stop and think about it, you would realize it but unless you stopped to think about it, you might not realize that the Word of God is a requirement before one could have faith. That is, you would never come to faith, you would never have a reason for faith, there would never be anything to lead you to faith, unless you had the Word of God in some way bringing you to that point.
Romans chapter 10, verse 17 is a good verse in connection with this thought, the fact that the Word of God is requisite to one having faith. Romans 10:17 says, "So then faith cometh by hearing, and hearing by the word of God." Now there are all kinds of other verses --- and by the way, that verse and the next few I will give you are verses that all of us should memorize. In fact, that one in John 5:39 is also a good one to memorize. The one we had first, "Search the scriptures; for in them ye think ye have eternal life: and they are they which testify of me." Then Romans 10:17: "So then faith cometh by hearing, and hearing by the word of God." Another good one that we all should remember and memorize is Ephesians 2:8 and 9. "For by grace are ye saved through faith; and that not of yourselves: it is the gift of God: Not of works, lest any man should boast." That's Ephesians 2:8-9 which I just quoted to you.
Another one we should all memorize especially in thinking of building this new work here, we should memorize Romans 3:23. Let's turn over there and read that one together. I've memorized all of these but I want to read some of them because in the first place, I might make a mistake on some of them though I've memorized all of this bunch that I'm giving you now myself some time ago. But still you will remember them better if you turn over there and we read them together than if I just quoted them to you. Romans 3:23 says: "For all have sinned, and come short of the glory of God."
Another one we should memorize in connection with this same thought about the fact that the Word of God is requisite to one having faith is Romans 6:23. Romans 3:23 we just quoted to you, and then Romans 6:23 is the next one should memorize. "For the wages of sin is death; but the gift of God is eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord."
Those are key verses in dealing with anyone about salvation. Those that we've just given to you: Romans 10:17, Ephesians 2:8 and 9, Romans 3:23, Romans 6:23, and then we want to add one more. That's John 3:16: "For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life." And I'm so glad that this verse, if we say it the way I just quoted to you in English, or if we say it: "Wadi Nzambi lutidi kuzola bantu banshi, nde wahitika Mwanandi Mosi Kaka, nde konsonani kamkwikila sakafwako, kansi kena ye moyo mvu ya mvu." (Kiyaka, African tribal language) --- I'm so glad that no matter what language you say it in it still means the same thing and it still means that God loved that person to whom you're speaking. And that He sent His Son to die for them as well as for us, not just for we who speak English or Afrikaans or the other "civilized" languages of the world. So there's John 3:16 in English and Kiyaka, that I just quoted to you.
Now as we move on a little further, there's another duty that we want to think about, another division of this whole duty of man. We've first been thinking remember about the duty to hear the Word of God. Now we want to think about the next duty which follows on that one and that is the duty to receive Christ as Savior. That's a logical progression from hearing the Word of God, isn't it? There is a duty on those who hear the Word of God to receive Christ as Savior.
Now I've divided this into three separate subdivisions. One could make endless subdivisions of this thought. But the first one that I noted here is that there is the duty to receive Christ as Savior while the individual is young. That's important, to receive the Lord while the individual is young. Oh, it's wonderful for an ancient man with one foot on a banana peeling and the other foot in the grave, it's wonderful when they get saved. But it's even more wonderful had that man been saved when he was a youngster and then lived the right kind of life and won a thousand others to the Lord during his lifetime. That's even more wonderful, isn't it? So it's important to remember that there is the duty of every man to receive Christ as Savior while he is young.
Ecclesiastes again, chapter 12, verse 1 has a good word on this. Ecclesiastes chapter 12, verse 1. Remember that's the same chapter that we read our—our text verse, our key verse from to begin with. But now we're reading the first verse of that chapter. It says, "Remember now thy Creator in the days of thy youth, while the evil days come not, nor the years draw nigh, when thou shalt say, I have no pleasure in them."
In other words, what He's saying there in so many words is this, "It's wonderful to remember the Lord when you're young, to come to know Him when you're young." Not to wait until, as we said in the—a moment ago, you're old and feeble and no pleasure in further years ahead. If you come to the Lord when you're young, then you might win a hundred others. You might win two hundred others. You might win a thousand others before you go on to meet the Lord. And that's even more wonderful than receiving Him when you're about to die.
And another thing, it's much safer too. Because oftentimes these people who say, "Well, I'm going to come to the Lord before I die," they don't know when they're going to die. There's not one person here from myself down to the youngest child who has any reason to belief or any reason to think or any reason to know that of a certainty we will be alive in ten minutes from now. There's just no way that we can know that. And therefore it's important to receive the Lord while one is young. Not only from the standpoint of serving Him in a long life of service and a happy life of service but also in the fact that then there's less chance of dying without the Lord.
Now still thinking along the view of receiving—the duty to receive Christ as Savior, it is our duty to receive Him as Savior before making decisions about the other issues of life. You say, "Well, what does that matter?" If we receive the Lord before we make the major decisions of life, it can make a big difference in our ability or possibility or capability or position of ability to be able to serve and follow Him properly, can't it? Because, for example, if a man goes out and he refuses the Lord when he's young and he goes out and he becomes a—an unsavory character and possibly he gets married to an unsavory woman, and then later on perhaps by the great grace of God when he's forty-five and this evil woman that he's married to is just an evil woman still, he comes to know the Lord, then he's in a terrible position to try to serve God, isn't he?
Oh, I know perhaps he can win her. Perhaps he can. Perhaps. Perhaps. But even so, it had been much better had both been saved when they were young or had he been saved when he was young, then he never would have married this evil woman. And then his life would have been completely different. He might have been a great preacher, he might have been a great layman in the church, he might have been a great deacon, he might have been a great song leader or musician in the church, he might have been a great teacher in the Sunday school and his wife along with him. And they may have raised up a family of great workers in the church. But yet, due to the fact that he didn't make this decision for Christ before he made the other big decisions of life such as marriage and so forth, it hampers his service to God, even if he does later come to know the Lord. So it's our duty to receive the Lord as Savior before making decisions about the other major issues of life.
Matthew 6:33 is a good verse to think about. It says, "But seek ye first." It doesn't say, "Wait till you've made your pile." It doesn't say, "Wait till you're about to die." It doesn't say anything like that but it says, "Seek ye first the kingdom of God, and his righteousness; and all these things shall be added unto you." Now that's the way it should be. This decision about the Lord should be first. That's Matthew 6:33. "Seek ye first the kingdom of God, and his righteousness; and all these things shall be added unto you." If we come to Him first, and then He'll guide us in the major decisions of our life.
Now sometimes God helps us out and keeps us out of trouble in all these major decisions, even when we don't really put Him first like we should. But oftentimes we get in trouble when we don't put Him first as we should.
Now still thinking along the line of the duty to receive Christ, the third subdivision that I put under that is that the duty to receive Christ is when it's known that He is knocking at the door of one's heart. It's immediately an urgent duty to receive Him then, isn't it? As soon as one knows that He's knocking at your hearts door, then that's the time to receive Him.
Revelation 3:20 says, "Behold, I stand at the door, and knock: if any man hear my voice, and open the door, I will come unto him, and will sup with him, and he with me."
You might say, "Well, what about these people that the Lord never knocks on their heart's door?" Well, there's never been a man like that in the world. There never will be a man like that in the world. There may be men who claim that God has never knocked on their heart's door. But the Scripture plainly teaches that the grace of God that bringeth salvation hath appeared to all men. And so they are without excuse. All men have had that tugging at the heart. Whether they admit it or not, they have had it or will have it before they die. And so that's the duty when it becomes really urgent to receive Him as Christ or to receive Christ as Lord is when it's known, the moment that it's known that He's knocking at the door of one's heart.
Now there's another duty, another section of this duty, a subdivision of it that I've noted in my study for this lesson. And that is the duty to dedicate the life to Christ. Remember we've already talked about the duty to hear the Word of God. That was our first one. Then we talked about the duty to receive Christ as Savior and we've gave you some subdivisions on each of those. Then now we want to think for a minute about the duty to dedicate the life to Christ. It's not just a choice that we make, that is, one that we have a choice on. It's an obligation on our part to dedicate our life to Christ.
You know, a lot of Christians, they don't seem to understand something that's taught in Matthew chapter 6, verse 24 in connection with this duty to dedicate the life to Christ. Matthew 6:24 teaches us very clearly, and we'll read that together in a minute, teaches us very clearly that one should dedicate one's life to the Lord because it's impossible for Christians to serve two masters. We should put Christ first, everything else, second and third and fourth and fifth.
Matthew 6:24 says it very well when it says this, "No man can serve two masters: for either he will hate the one, and love the other; or else he will hold to the one and despise the other. Ye cannot serve God and mammon."
Now "mammon" in case you're wondering about a dictionary definition on that, I checked it in one of our Webster's dictionaries. I didn't check it in my Oxford dictionary but I happened to check this particular word in Webster's but it'll be about the same as the Oxford. And their definition of the word mammon is material wealth or possessions. In other words, you cannot serve God and material wealth or possessions.
Now the Polubits Bible Dictionary, which is I think the best all around Bible dictionary that there is, they give this definition of the meaning of the word mammon. Personification of worldliness, especially wealth. So even that agrees pretty well with the secular dictionary definition of it. Personification of worldliness, especially wealth.
Now some people just don't seem to realize that we can't have as our goal, materialism, and yet have as our goal at the same time to serve God or to dedicate our life to God as we should. It just can't be done. There's no way. It has to be one or the other. It's not a both proposition, it's an either/or proposition that has to be first. That doesn't mean that we've got to go around in sackcloth and starve to death and beg for a living. It doesn't mean that at all. It doesn't teach that anywhere in the Scripture. It teaches that we should earn our living by the sweat of our brow, by the work that we do. And it teaches that about religious workers as well as about lay workers in the church. The religious workers, it teaches, are to be—to earn their living by the preaching and the work of the gospel. And the lay workers are to earn their living by the sweat of their brow also through secular employment.
But yet, we must realize that there's just not any way to fulfill this duty to God of dedicating the life to Christ if we put materialism or material advancement ahead of our dedication to Him and His service.
Christians should dedicate themselves to the Lord with their whole body and spirit. First Corinthians chapter 6, verse 20 speaks of this. First Corinthians chapter 6, verse 20. It says, "For ye are bought with a price: therefore glorify God in your body, and in your spirit, which are God's." That's First Corinthians chapter 6, verse 20. Remembering that we are bought with a price, we should glorify God in our body and in our spirit which both belong to God. Both spirit and body belongs to God.
There's another good verse in connection with this thought over in Romans that I have read to you or quoted to you before in other messages. Romans chapter 12. Verse 1 and 2. "I beseech you therefore, brethren, by the mercies of God, that ye present your bodies a living sacrifice, holy, acceptable unto God, which is your reasonable service. And be not conformed to this world: but be ye transformed by the renewing of your mind, that ye may prove what is that good, and acceptable, and perfect, will of God."
Paul here speaking to the Roman Christians, to the Roman church and to us also through the inspiration of the Spirit, begging, beseeching that we in remembering the mercies of God should present our own bodies a living sacrifice that would be holy and acceptable unto God. And then he stresses this thought by saying, "This is your reasonable service." This is not an unreasonable thing he's asking for. "This is your reasonable service," he says. It's unreasonable for a real Christian not to do this. Because when we think about what God has done for us, when we think about how Jesus left the glory of heaven, when we think about He came down here, took upon Him the form of a man, lived a perfect life, was spit upon, tortured, abused, mocked and finally crucified and died for us, then it's completely unreasonable for us not to be willing to serve Him and dedicate ourselves to Him, isn't it? Completely unreasonable.
And he goes ahead then in verse 2 of that twelfth chapter of Romans telling not—telling us that we should not be conformed to this world. Now what would be the meaning of being conformed to this world? That is being like other people, wouldn't it? Some people, they say, "Well, I don't want to be different." Well, a Christian if he's really a Christian, is different. He's not only different on the inside, but he's going to be different on the outside, too. And there's nothing he can really do about it if he's really a Christian. And the more he follows the Lord, the more different he's going to be from the rest of the world, the less conformed to this world he will be. We need to be transformed as he said here in verse 2 of chapter 12, Romans.
Now as we go on a little further, thinking still along this line of our duty, there's another duty that we might list here, the fourth on my list. And that is the duty to fear God. It's our duty to fear God. Some people don't seem to realize this. But it is our duty to fear God.
You know, some people say, "Well, I don't like to think about God as a great, big bully with a stick that I'm scared of all the time." Well, I never have thought of God like that myself but I do fear God. And anyone that says that, they either have their theology badly mixed up or they just don't have any theology, one or the other. If they try to act like God is a big bully and they don't want to be afraid of Him. They just don't understand the meaning of this expression to fear God. But it is our duty to fear God.
The fear of God is motivated because of His omnipotence, His great power, His unlimited power. Omnipotence, of course, literally means "all power." Omnipotence.
Joshua chapter 4 is a good reference to read in connection with this fear of God being motivated because of His or by His omnipotence, His unlimited power. Joshua chapter 4, verses 23 and 24 tells us this, "For the Lord your God dried up the waters of Jordan from before you, until ye were passed over, as the Lord your God did to the Read sea, which he dried up from before us, until we were gone over. That all the people of the earth might know the hand of the Lord, that it is mighty: that ye might fear the Lord your God for ever."
Now that's sufficient reason to fear God; not in the sense of being afraid of a bully but in the sense of holy reverence and faithfulness to and joy in His great, unlimited power. That's what we're talking about when we say, "Fear God."
Psalms chapter 89 has another good reference about fearing God. In chapter 89 of the Book of Psalms, verse 7. It teaches us in this verse that the fear of God is essential to those who worship Him. So those who pretend to worship Him but yet say they do not fear God, or even if they say they do if they really do not fear God, then they cannot possibly worship Him, can they? Because this verse teaches us that it's a necessity to fear God if we're going to worship Him. Psalm 89:7 says, "God is greatly to be feared in the assembly of the saints, and to be had in reverence of all them that are about him." So we see by this that it's an essential ingredient of worship, the fear of the Lord, isn't it?
Going on a little further, the fear of the Lord is the beginning of wisdom. We're taught that in Psalm chapter 111, verse 10. Without the fear of the Lord, then we don't have any beginning of wisdom. Because it says in Psalms 111, verse 10, "The fear of the Lord is the beginning of wisdom." The fear of the Lord is the beginning of wisdom. It teaches us that very clearly there in Psalms 111, verse 10.
Now there's another duty that we want to mention. And that is the duty to study the Bible. There is a duty to study the Bible. Some people don't seem to accept that as a duty, either. There are people in this area, hundreds of them who claim to be Christians who have not once honestly studied their Bible in the past twelve months. I mean not once honestly sat down in the past twelve months for an hour and just sincerely studied the Bible. Hundreds of people like that all around us here now who claim yet to be Christians. But this is a duty of man to study the Bible. The Bible was written for our instruction. It wasn't just written so that these apostles and the prophets and the men of old of God would have something to do. They had plenty of other things to do like running from Jezebel and calling fire down from heaven and plenty of other things they had to do, didn't they? They didn't just write these books here that later became our Bible, in order for them to have something to do. They were written for our instruction. "All scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for instruction, for reproof," and so forth, as it tells us over there in II Timothy chapter 3, verses 16 and 17. The Bible was written for our instruction.
Romans chapter 15, verse 4 says this—and this one covers about the same material that the reference over in Timothy does. Romans 15:4, "For whatsoever things were written aforetime were written for our learning, that we through patience and comfort of the scriptures might have hope." Now that's a very clear and brief statement of the thought that we've been bringing, isn't it? The fact that the Bible was written for our instruction. "They were written for our learning, that we through patience and comfort of the scriptures might have hope." Without the Scriptures we don't have any hope, do we? Without the Scriptures, if the Scriptures are not true, then we have no hope. All we have is a few brief years of trial and trouble here on earth and then death and annihilation, a cessation of existence. We have no hope. And yet, through the Scriptures we can have this hope and comfort of the Scriptures from studying the Bible.
The Bible furnishes us with spiritual food, First Peter 2:2. First Peter chapter 2, verse 2. It furnishes us with spiritual food. It says in that verse, "As newborn babes, desire the sincere milk of the word, that ye may grow thereby." And you know, that the weak point in nearly all church work, so-called that's being done in the world today is that they fail to accept and emphasize this thought of the need to train baby Christians, to teach them the truth from the Scriptures. But it teaches us here in I Peter that we should desire the sincere milk of the word, that we may grow thereby. Now if this had been followed properly and the church had been active in teaching the Scriptures to people, we wouldn't have these two thousand or three thousand or four thousand different denominations that we have. They'd all be New Testament Baptists. There wouldn't be any other kind around because they'd all be just like John the Baptist and that bunch that he started. And there wouldn't be all these two or three or four or five thousand other denominations around that all claim to be the church. And most of them are as far from the church as the moon is from the earth.
There's another duty for men and that is to be faithful in prayer. This is number six. The duty to be faithful in prayer. There are several different ways that we need to be faithful in prayer. But perhaps the first one we should mention is that we need to be faithful in prayer in behalf of all of God's people. All of God's people. Now that doesn't mean everybody that claims to be God's people. We don't need to pray for people that are—in the sense of praying for blessing on people who are fighting the truth, even if they do claim to be God's people. We need to pray for them that they'll get saved and come to know the truth. But as far as praying for blessings on them, we don't need to pray for them in that sense, except the blessing of coming to know the truth and coming to Christ.
Ephesians 6:18 speaks along this line when it says, "Praying always with all prayer and supplication in the Spirit, and watching thereunto with all perseverance and supplication for all saints." Now who are saints? That tells us who we're supposed to be praying for all the time, doesn't it? It teaches us in other places also that we should pray that men might come to know the truth as well. In other words, that we should pray for sinners. But in this particular case he's telling us to pray for all saints, isn't he? And saints are the saved, aren't they? The truly born again people, that's saints. No one else is a saint except the truly born again. It has nothing to do with these men that have been picked out by the Roman Catholics and named as saints. It doesn't have a thing to do with that, does it? Not a word to do with that.
We need to pray also for those who despitefully use us and persecute us, as it tells us in Matthew chapter 5, verse 44. "But I say unto you, Love your enemies, bless them that curse you, do good to them that hate you, and pray for them which despitefully use you, and persecute you." Now that verse is a perfectly good verse. And I believe every word in it, every letter in it, every punctuation in it. I believe all of it, but it's been badly misapplied and badly abused by modern-day, so-called Christians. That's one of the verses that many of these pacifists today use to try to sustain their idiotic theory that the Bible teaches pacifism.
But the Bible does NOT teach pacifism at all. It does teach that we should love our enemies. It's very plain here in verse 44 of chapter 5, Matthew. But it does not teach that you should stand there and let that mad man go and tear up your little baby. It does not teach that kind of thing and that's what the pacifists say that the Bible teaches. And the Bible does not anywhere teach that kind of thing at all. It does teach that we should love our enemies, that we should pray for them in the sense of praying that God will touch their heart and cause them to come to know the truth and come to the right way. That's the sense in which we should pray for them, not that we should fail to resist evil. Because the Bible clearly teaches repeatedly throughout Scripture that we should resist evil.
Now another thing we should be faithful in prayer and that is in behalf of kings and those in authority. First Timothy chapter 2 speaks of this. First Timothy chapter 2, verses 1 and 2. It says, "I exhort therefore, that, first of all, supplications, prayers, intercessions, and giving of thanks, be made for all men." Then he goes ahead and says, "For kings, and for all that are in authority; that we may lead a quiet and peaceable life in all godliness and honesty." Now that doesn't say a word about going in there and having all kinds of wild demonstrations against the government, does it? It doesn't say a word about that at all.
And that's another place where men have constantly ignored what the Bible teaches and that is our relationship to the government. Everywhere in the Scripture that it mentions such things, it teaches --- and this is not the only place, it mentions it several places in Scripture --- and it always teaches that men should obey those who have the authority over them. Save only in a direct conflict between the clear teaching of the word of God and men forbidding them to worship and obey God. Other than that, you won't find anything in the Scripture where it teaches opposition to the government except in that one matter, where men ought to obey God rather than men! When there is a clear conflict between what God commands, and that which men demand, we ought to obey God and His word, rather than men. (There is a clear statement of this teaching in Acts 5:29, where it says: "Then Peter and the other apostles answered and said, We ought to obey God rather than men.")
Now the last one that we want to give you is the last division of this duty, whole duty of man is number seven. And that is the duty to support the Lord's work. Number seven, the duty to support the Lord's work.
There is the duty on the part of all men to support the Lord's work. First Corinthians chapter 16, verse 2 speaks of that. First Corinthians chapter 16, verse 2. It teaches in this reference that Christians who support the Lord's work should do it regularly. First Corinthians chapter 16, verse 2. "Upon the first day of the week let every one of you lay by him in store, as God hath prospered him, that there be no gatherings when I come." Now he's referring to a religious offering on the part of the church there that they were collecting, when he spoke these words. And, of course, it's applicable to us today as well. So that the Lord's work is to be supported on a regular basis.
Another thing about the duty to support the Lord's work is that Christians should support the Lord's work cheerfully according to the dictates of their own heart. You say, "Oh, but what if my heart only tells me to give fifty cents when my tithe is fifty rand?" Well, if you say that your heart tells you to give fifty cents when your tithe is fifty rand, then my dear brother, you're just lying about it because your heart didn't tell you that. Maybe your human lust told you that but your heart didn't tell you that.
Second Corinthians chapter 9, verse 7 says this, "Every man according as he purposeth in his heart, so let him give; not grudgingly, or of necessity: for God loveth a cheerful giver." If you want to really be blessed of the Lord, if you want to really be happy in your giving for the Lord, do it cheerfully. Give your tithe and your offerings in addition to your tithe, and God will bless you and He'll be happy with you and you'll be happy with Him, too, in knowing that you've given the tithe which belongs to Him to start with and that you've given some offering in addition to that, which is just a love gift to the Lord and to the church when you do that.
The last reference that we want to give you on this duty to support the Lord's work is this, Christians who support the Lord's work have treasure in heaven. Matthew chapter 6 again. We've given several references tonight from Matthew chapter 6. Matthew chapter 6, beginning with verse 19 and reading through verse 21. "Lay not up for yourselves treasures upon earth, where moth and rust doth corrupt, and where thieves break through and steal: But lay up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where neither moth nor rust doth corrupt, and where thieves do not break through nor steal: For where your treasure is, there will your heart be also."
I have been in the Lord's work for quite a few years as some of you know. And I've never seen anyone who gave cheerfully and liberally, I mean by cheerfully and liberally they happily gave their tithe, plus offerings in addition to the Lord and to His work, I've never seen a person like that who was not happy in the Lord's work. I've known thousands of Christians and I've never known one like that who was not happy.
Now I have also known thousands of other Christians who were stingy with the Lord, stingy with His work, stingy with their time, stingy with their money, stingy with their efforts in the Lord's work. You do know that word stingy here, don't you, in South Africa? Let's see -- Cheap might be a better word here in South Africa, meaning grasping or reluctant to give, stingy. And I've never known people like that who were happy in the Lord's work. People who grudgingly gave a little bit when they thought the preacher was looking or people who grudgingly gave a little bit when the Lord was whipping them hard enough are never really happy! I've never known anyone like that who was happy in the Lord's work. But on the contrary, as I said, I've never known people who freely gave of themselves and of their wealth as well in the Lord's service who were not happy in His work.
It's all just part of being happy as it says here in this last verse that I read to you, "Where your treasure is, there will your heart be also." That's an important religious and psychological key to the whole thing, isn't it? Where your treasure is, there will your heart be also. Laying up treasures in heaven where moth nor rust cannot corrupt. And where thieves cannot break through and steal. You don't have to worry about the bank going bankrupt in heaven. You don't have to worry about that treasure you've laid up in heaven being stolen from you or being lost in any manner. If there's an atomic bomb that landed right here on top of us tonight, every bit of our treasure here on earth would be gone. It would be just wiped out. It would be dust floating in the air, radioactive dust at that. And yet, every bit of that treasure that we've laid up in heaven would still be perfectly safe, just as safe as God is. And we'd be there with Him, where our treasure is.
I hope that we will each of us in this new work here in the Pomona area do everything that we possibly can to fulfill every part of the whole duty of man as we serve the Lord here together.