On January 13, 2012, I published the transcript of a sermon Walter White delivered in 1958, on the evils of education. Here is a sermon delivered (during the same church service) by Ernest Nichols, an FOC preacher who was later rejected from the ministry. Does this sermon resonate with the realities of the current church?
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I want to bear testimony to the words brother Rosy (an elder at that time) spoke here tonight and read to us (Revelation 3), and I hope that we don't prove out to be that kind of a people, and we'd lay down the cross of Christ, and in our minds we'd get sufficient and we wouldn't have need of nothing, and be without God … that's awful easy for a people to do … lay down the cross. And then they'd just have a form of godliness like the sects have out here, they worship a God and they don't even know the God they worship. They don't even know how to worship God. And they, being ignorant of God's righteousness, like Paul said the Jews was back there, they just go about to establish their own righteousness. Well, we could be the same way, we could just get ignorant of God's righteousness and we could lay down the cross of Christ and we could just have a form of Godliness working amongst us, and we'd just be a group of people, without God, in the world.
That's the way the church was a-gettin, that brother Rosy read about (in Revelation 3). They'd left the word of God, they'd left the love of God, they'd left their zeal, they'd lost their salt that they had had in themselves and their determination, and they had set their minds and their affections on the things of the Earth, the ways to increase in goods.
We could get the same way today. We could take our minds off Jesus Christ, and set our minds and our affection on things of the Earth, and we can be alienated from the life of God, through the ignorance that's in us. We'd become an alien to him. He won't know us, we won't know him. And when we'd cry to him for help, we'd already left him and were not worshiping the true God.
So brethren, I hope that we can keep all of those things in our minds, and not get ourselves just lukewarm in the Earth, and get too content in our minds, satisfy our minds and deceive our own hearts in the Earth, and displease God. One thing in these last days that we're living in that we're awful short in among the Followers is faith. We lay down the cross.
I was thinking when we was singing that song, The Old Rugged Cross. It said that it was an emblem, it was an emblem of suffering and it was an emblem of shame, and this world despised it.
Well, we're living in a day and an age when it's awful easy to lay down that cross and love the praise of men rather than the praise of God. And we can get sufficient in ourselves, and our sufficiency wouldn't be of God. Then we'd be lukewarm, wouldn't be either hot or cold, we'd just be lukewarm, and he'd spew us out of us mouth. He'd have no pleasure in us.
God has pleasure in His people that worship Him and trust Him, and put their confidence and their faith in Him. That's the kind of people that He set up in the Earth, and brethren let's be that people, and let's anoint our eyes with eyesalve that we could see, and let's have a contrite heart working in us, and fear God. Not fear man, but fear God almighty. Lest the promise being left us, that we'd come short of it, through unbelief.
He has promised us eternal life. Everyone of us that will obey him, he will give us eternal life. If we will just do it. So brethren there's a promise left us, and if we lose out it's because we lose out through unbelief and we don't believe God anymore.
God didn't draw us into the faith to cut us off, He's not willing to let a one of us perish. He's long suffering to us, not willing that anybody perish in the Earth. He wants every man to come to repentance and to acknowledgment of the truth, and to save himself. God has no pleasure in burning anybody up. He's not that kind of a God.
He's a God of love, and He's a God of fire, and he's a jealous God, he's jealous of the human family, He wants them to worship him, and will give them eternal life if they will do it. But if they won't do it, he has prepared a lake of fire, and they can make their choice. They can live in a world without end, where life will never cease, were there will be no pain nor sorrow if they obey Him in this life.
And if they don't want to obey Him in this life, if they don't love the way of righteousness, and they don't want the way that Jesus Christ set up in the earth, he's built a bottomless pit that brother Rosy talked about. And he said the fire is not quenched and where their worm dieth not.
That's why God's people ought to fear him and have to keep his sayings. That's what's essential. And if they will just do that, if they will only just do that he'd give them eternal life. Now that very little that he asks a human being to do.
All he asks him to do is to lead a good, honest, upright, clean life, righteous life in the Earth. Now anybody would love that kind of a life … it's a good life … it's a clean life … it's an honest life … it's a pure life. It's better than any life that the human being in the Earth can choose today. So I don't see where he asked too much out of the human being in the Earth. I don't see where it's so hard to carry the cross and endure it in the Earth. It's the best life that there is. It's a most trustworthy life.
He will care for his people and anything that'll confront them in life. In their sickness he will be with them. When they die, He will be with them. And when the first resurrection comes, He will bring them out of their graves, through obedience. I don't know where people get it into their minds that it's so hard to obey God. Where it's such a mystery and such a problem, and such a burden to obey Jesus Christ. There's nothing hard about it. It's easy, the cross is not hard to bear. It's what people make out of it, they get ashamed of it and they go to despising it and they won't endure the cross, so they throw it off to one side. They don't want the cross around them, they are afraid of what men will say about them because they have the cross of Christ with them. That's what makes it tough on the human being, and there's nothing hard about the cross that he's left on Earth.
He didn't ask anything that's impossible. If He'd asked us to do anything that was just impossible for a human being to do, then we might have something to murmur and complain about. But he never asked a human being to do anything but what He'd done himself and he said it's easy, and His burden is light. No hard deal about it at all. So I don't know why people all over the world wouldn't rather choose a good life. I don't know why they wouldn't want an honest life. I don't know why they wouldn't want a pure life in the Earth. Unless their deeds are so evil that they are afraid to turn to the light. That's the reason people will turn Jesus Christ down. They despise the cross that He has set in the Earth.
It's an emblem in the Earth. It's spoken against in the Earth. If they see somebody trying to live an honest, pure, upright life, they begin to speak against that kind of a life. Well, brethren, that's what God almighty expects people to do of us in the Earth. He don't want us to go around the Earth with men a glorifying us and praising us in the Earth. He says “woe unto you when all men speak well of you.” So, why do we want men of this present evil world to speak well of us in this present life? Life a Godly life in Jesus Christ is what he wants in the Earth. That's the way God wants his people to be in the Earth, and there ain't a thing hard about it in that Bible, not one thing.
There's not a thing a man can't endure. He didn't ask anything impossible. So goodness sakes I don't know why we haven't got the most wonderful life that any human being ever thought of having in the Earth. Why we couldn't be a contented people. Why we couldn't be happy. Why we couldn't rejoice that we'd found the way of life. It's the best way that there is. So, brethren keep that in your minds and don't think of the troubles and how hard it is and how rough the path is that you have to follow.
It's rugged, a coward can't follow Jesus Christ. It's a rugged cross he gives to carry in the Earth. It's contrary to the flesh. It's something the flesh don't enjoy at all. That's what makes it a warfare, it's an old rugged cross we have to carry, and we have to bear, and we have to endure.
Well, let's carry it brethren. Let's resurrect it. Like brother Walter said the other day, he thought the time has come to the church to resurrect the old cross and get it out amongst us and go to bearing it about us in life, and I sure do too. I believe it's time the church begin to do that, get the cross of Christ out amongst us. Go to using it. Go to enduring it. And suffer the shame of it in this present evil world and brethren we'll be happy, we'll be a contented people and we'll have Godliness and with contentment is great gain.
So when we turn out to be the poorest people on the face of the Earth – in a financial way – if we keep the faith, we're the richest. And if we have contentment with it and godliness with it brethren, that's great gain. Goodness sakes, what is a man's life? It's just a vapor, he's just here today and he's gone tomorrow. Well, it depends on how he spend that life while he's here, while it' a vapor, while it just appears a little while. Let's keep that in our minds and be glad and thankful that he had enough mercy to us to show us the way of life. And give us an opportunity to work out our salvation. May God bless you and pray for us.
Remember what brother Rosy read, and let's don't get sufficient in ourselves and have a sufficiency of ourselves. Let's have it of God, and thank him for it, and be fervent, be zealous, and have salt in ourselves. Salt is the savor of the body, the Bible says. We all know what salt is, it's a preserver. But if that salt loses it's saltiness, it ain't good for nothing. It'll just be tossed out and trodden under foot of men. It's not even a good seasoning. So brethren, let's keep the salt in us, and our zeal, and our desire, and our love to obey God and to live again.
And contend for faith. That's what God's people ought to do in life. They ought to do that once in a while as they go through life, so their faith won't fail them, so it'll be increased and they can be strengthened. With might as the Bible says. By the spirit of the inner man, that's what they need to have their strength in, is that inner man to be strengthened and be renewed and have our pure minds stirred up.
That's what the Bible is for and that's what these meetings are for, is to stir up our pure minds. So let's do those things brethren that would be profitable in the Earth and we would be worthy of the new Heaven and the New Earth. Pray for us when it goes well with you and don't think of the cross as some terrible burden to carry, it's a good cross to carry, it's light, it's easy, there's no burden to it. It's not trouble to carry it, so if we'd just take it up and follow it and obey it and be glad we have it, it'll be a lot better for us, a lot easier for us.
May God bless you brethren, my prayer.
Ernest Nichols, 1958