Love of Beauty Without Love of Holiness
John W. Ritenbaugh
Dr. Hoeh stated in a sermon delivered in the Pasadena auditorium, August 15, 1987, “You would be surprised how often the work of God internally mirrors the problems externally. I do not think we realize how often this is true.”
In one sense, it is a shame that this observation could even be made because it means that the people in the church are not much different than the people in the world. Church members believe—at least they say they believe—things that are different from the world, but the attitude and the conduct are not sufficiently changed by those beliefs to make much difference.
Looked at from another perspective, it makes perfect sense because all of us have come from the world and therefore we br
ing what we are into the church. It is inevitable that we should reflect the same problems outside. Taking both of these possibilities together is a concern because the world is Babylon. It is our responsibility to come out of it and be converted from what it is.
In I Corinthians 10:11-13, Paul wrote:
I Corinthians 10:11-13 Now all these things happened unto them for ensamples: and they are written for our admonition, upon whom the ends of the world are come. Wherefore let him that thinks he stands take heed lest he fall. There has no temptation taken you but such as is common to man: but God is faithful, who will not suffer you to be tempted above that you are able; but will with
the temptation also make a way to escape, that you may be able to bear it.
I think that we would all agree that we are living in a unique time. Verse 11 is not translated as well as it could be (at least in one phrase). It says, “They are written for our admonition upon whom the ends of the world are come.” The word “world” is not mistranslated in one sense, but it is really literally mistranslated because it is better understood as “ages”—upon whom the end of the ages. It is, incidentally, plural.
We are between two ages. I think it is generally understood that the Bible is clearly defined by a number of different periods of time (ages)—”dispensations” (the Protestant world usually uses). One clear example of this is that the time before the flood was one age. Then a new age began with the cleansing of the earth by water and it opened up then into a different age. That ended, maybe at the time of the Exodus, and then another age began—the age of the people of Israel.
We come up to Christ and we are living between two ages. The book of I John clearly says that we are in the end-time. He wrote that, most authorities feel, about 95 A.D., and it was already the end of days to the church at that time. But that period of time began with the first coming of Jesus Christ and it continued right on through the church age. The church age will end with the second coming of Jesus Christ and then a new age, called the millennium, will begin. We are living between two ages.
On this basis, every Christian (including those who lived in the first century) lived in crucial times for them. Regardless of what was going on around them, it was crucial for them because this was the time of their judgment and that judgment would end at their death. All Christians, in that sense, are living in crucial times. This is our day of salvation and we should look upon each day that is given to us as a bonus.
Verses 11-13 are loaded with instruction in regard to the theme of this sermon. Verse 13 tells us that “there is no temptation taken you but such as is common to man.”