From time to time all of us receive a lot of what we would describe as "Junk Mail". Occasionally, we receive some that even goes beyond the classification of "Junk". This is often material of a religious nature which we would have to describe as "pure garbage". Such garbage came to us recently and upon opening it, we learned nothing new, but was again startled at the audacity of those who believe they can work for Christ and save sinners. The letter we received began this way: "Do you know of a loved one or friend who celebrates Christmas, but does not know Christ, whose birthday they are celebrating? I think that most of us do know such a person. On December 1, 1987, the Radio Bible Hour will be 52 years old and for these 52 years the one goal has been to spread the gospel of Jesus Christ. For each $44.00 we have spent, we have been able to win one soul to Christ."
Our first, and passing observation of this would be that celebrating Christmas as a religious holiday is a sad mistake for those who are true believers, for without question it is nothing better than a Catholic observance passed on to Protestants and then infiltrated into the Old School. We should view it as only a National holiday, such as July 4th, etc. But that is not the subject we wish to point to at this time. That which attracted our attention, and aroused our animosity, was the rotten statement that for $44.00 they were able to "win a soul to Christ." If you have never seen it before, you see it now in print, that there are those who believe that for fixed sums of money souls can be rescued from Hell, and delivered to Heaven by the mere efforts of money-changing, and labor on the part of the supposed soul saver.
One thing which alarmed us as much as anything else was the high rate of inflation that has even affected soul saving. We had read several years ago from the same state which this letter originated that in that location they could save a soul for approximately $7.00. And now the price has gone up to $44.00! It appears that even religion is not spared the spiraling inflation which has affected everything else. However, on a more serious note - can anything be as pathetic, and sad as to see some poor, deluded, devil-guided, blind individual believe that with money they may snatch a soul from the burnings? If, as has been stated, $44.00 will deliver one soul to Christ, then we feel compelled to make this statement. "If the individuals who believe this rotten doctrine die and leave an estate that exceeds $44.00 in value, they deserve to burn in Hell themselves in the place of those whom they claim they wanted to save." If hanging in their closet was one suit that costs in excess of $44.00, or on their floor a single pair of shoes of similar price, or in their driveway an automobile costing in the thousands, or in their refrigerator an abundance of food, or on their finger a gold ring, or on their wrist a watch, and on, and on, and on, hell should be their lot before the ones they neglected with their sumptuous living. If in any of these cases these "soul savers" have spent money equal to the sum of $44.00 on anything whatever of an earthly nature and not used it to save those souls they believe they can buy with money, they deserve to be doubly damned for allowing those pitifully lost ones to perish without them expending that modest sum to spare them. It is not difficult for those who have eyes to see to discern the folly in this business, and yet it must be said that if one truly believed that money could save then they would be the world's worst hypocrites if they didn't expend every resource and strength they had to make every effort possible to deliver one, or some, or more from that horrible burning of which they profess they can deliver.
The children of the Heavenly King have been blessed, and blessed greatly, to know the Truth, and the Truth will make them free. They have learned such things as Peter expressed in his first Epistle, Chapter 1, Verse 18, "Forasmuch as ye know ye were not redeemed with corruptible things, as silver and gold, (not even $44.00 worth) from your vain conversation received by tradition from your fathers; but with the precious blood of Christ, as of a lamb without blemish and without spot: who verily was foreordained before the foundation of the world, but was manifest in these last times for you." Words cannot be plainer, or more joyous, that our redemption was not with corruptible things. Silver and gold, money, material things, had nothing to do with bringing us into the presence of our Holy, Heavenly Father, but rather that exceeding precious blood of Christ, the Lamb without spot and blemish, who died that we might live. Yes, a price has been paid; and an exceedingly high price it was. It was His life, and it was His death, and He paid it all. When Jesus hung on the tree of the cross and said, "It is finished," He bowed His head and gave up the ghost and we may be sure that the work was finished. The will of the Father had been accomplished, and the price had been paid, but not with silver and gold (or $44.00).
There is an abundance of Scriptures throughout both the Old and the New Testament that would give a lie to such a doctrine as we have cited to you from the letter which we received, but we will desist. Let us simply state that if God has delivered us from such a blasphemy and taught us that our salvation is of the Lord, we are blessed indeed. And though we have no right to throw stones at such foolish people as those who would attempt to buy for Heaven, (or win for Heaven) souls, let us acknowledge that they do deserve to be exposed. We should never cease to point out the error of their way, and stand fast and be set for a defense of the Gospel of Jesus Christ. When the angel spoke to Joseph, the husband of Mary, he said of the Christ Child, "Thou shall call his name Jesus, for he shall save his people from their sins." Need we any other proof? Would anything change that plan which God declared by the angel Gabriel? Is that sufficient for those who believe the Bible, or should we be tempted by the beguiling lie of those who would plead with us that for a mere $44.00 one can be saved to Christ?
It might be interesting to look at one further comment in this individual's letter. He pleaded that seven thousand make a "faith promise" to send him $10.00 a month in support of his ministry. We could not help but think that he derived the number "seven thousand" from the very text that we have used to identify our paper as "The Remnant". "The seven thousand who have not bowed their knee to the image of Baal." We may be sure of this one thing, however, that those whom God has reserved and called out as being the same and one with the seven thousand will never be beguiled by the wiles of Satan to send $10.00 a month to religious hucksters, thieves, and robbers, and dogs, so that they might go out and supposedly save souls for Christ. It is the belief of the seven thousand that the Holy Spirit of God reaches down into the beings of all the vessels of mercy and there quickens, and creates anew within them Christ the Hope of Glory; brings to them a new nature, which previously did not exist; gives them life, hope, liberty, freedom, holiness, and all things necessary that they may stand before the Holy Father in that final day to be received as children of the Heavenly Kingdom, and be numbered among those that Jesus spoke of when He said, "Behold I and the children which thou has given me."
Surely, as time goes on we will all receive more such bogus letters as the one described here, but we may be thankful that God has blessed us to know that this is nothing more than the work of Satan. We well remember a year or so ago receiving in our Post Office Box a letter plainly marked on the outside, "Urgent! A letter from God!" When we opened it, rather than being from God, it was from Jerry Falwell. We expect nothing better from such a one as him, or any other who would appeal for money in such a way as that they might pretend to be winning those for Christ, which Christ has already won. May His Name alone be praised.
January - February 1988