FIRST CITY CHURCH OF CHRIST
"...a church of Christ meeting in Vincennes, Indiana..."
"Bible Be Nots"
Larry R. Ping II
The Bible can be accurately described as a Book of Warnings. One phrase it utilizes to issue such admonitions is “be not.” Have you reflected upon these Bible “Be-Nots” lately?
1) Be Not As The Hypocrites. Jesus oft used this reference. In Matt. 6:15 he admonished “Moreover when ye fast, be not, as the hypocrites, of a sad countenance: for they disfigure their faces, that they may appear unto men to fast. Verily I say unto you, They have their reward.” Jesus defined hypocrites as those who “say, and do not” (Matt. 23:3). The Lord said hypocrites “sound a trumpet” to draw attention to their charitable deeds (Matt. 6:2) and pray to “be seen of men” (Matt. 6:5). Our aim is to be as Jesus who “began both to do and teach” (Acts 1:1).
2) Be Not Afraid Of Them That Kill The Body. In chronicling the life of Jesus, Luke wrote “Be not afraid of them that kill the body, and after that have no more that they can do” (Lk. 12:4). Matthew’s parallel account records “And fear not them which kill the body, but are not able to kill the soul: but rather fear him which is able to destroy both soul and body in hell” (Matt. 10:28). David understood this and wrote “The Lord is on my side; I will not fear: what can man do unto me” (Psa. 118:6)?
3) Be Not Faithless. Thomas, after having doubts about the Lord’s resurrection, was told “Reach hither thy finger, and behold my hands; and reach hither thy hand, and thrust it into my side: and be not faithless, but believing” (Jn. 20:27). Faith is defined as “the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen” (Heb. 11:1). We must have faith for without it “it is impossible to please him” (Heb. 11:6).
4) Be Not Highminded. The Roman Christians were instructed regarding this in Rom. 11:20. To be highminded is to be “wise in your own conceits” (Rom. 12:16). It carries with it the idea of being puffed up, of being prideful. Possessing a proud look is one of the seven things listed which the Lord hates (Prov. 6:17). God will not tolerate those with a “high look and a proud heart” (Psa. 101:5). Remember very well, “There is a way which seemeth right unto a man, but the end thereof are the ways of death” (Prov. 14:12).
5) Be Not Deceived. This phrase appears often in the Bible. When we read this phrase, it must be understood some have already been deceived and it is very possible we, ourselves, can be deceived. Paul warned “be not deceived,” those who practice sin “shall inherit the kingdom of God” (I Cor. 6:9- 10). Later, he cautioned “Be not deceived: evil communications corrupt good manners” (I Cor. 15:33). Paul also informed the Galatian brethren, “Be not deceived; God is not mocked: for whatsoever a man soweth, that shall he also reap” (Gal. 6:7). Friends, think not we are beyond being deceived, for we most certainly are.
6) Be Not Children In Understanding. Paul reminded the Corinthian people “Brethren, be not children in understanding: howbeit in malice be ye children, but in understanding be men” (I Cor. 14:20). To understand as a child is to be “tossed to and fro, and carried about with every wind of doctrine, by the sleight of men, and cunning craftiness, whereby they lie in wait to deceive” (Eph. 4:14). We need to be diligent in our daily study of God’s Word (Acts 17:22; II Tim. 2:15) in order to be “grounded and settled, and be not moved away from the hope of the gospel” (Col. 1:23). May we be described as generations of yesteryear, “Walking Bibles.” What say ye to this?
7) Be Not Entangled Again With The Yoke Of Bondage. The “yoke of bondage” to which Paul refers is the Law of Moses (Gal. 5:1- 4). Even today, there are those who make their plea to the Law of Moses, though it has been nailed “to his cross” (Col. 2:14) and “abolished” (Eph. 2:15-16). “For Christ is the end of the law for righteousness to every one that believeth” (Rom. 10:4).
8) Be Not Weary In Well Doing. This was the apostle’s admonition to the brethren in Thessalonica (II Thess. 3:13). He penned these similar words, “And let us not be weary in well doing: for in due season we shall reap, if we faint not” (Gal. 6:9). It may well be we “suffer for well doing” (I Pet. 3:17), but to him who knows “to do good, and doeth it not, to him it is sin” (Jam. 4:17). Let us never be fatigued in going about “doing good” (Acts 10:38).
9) Be Not Slothful. The Hebrew author warned against slothfulness, but God placed cautions throughout Scripture against laziness. Solomon informed “The way of the slothful man is as an hedge of thorns” (Prov. 15:19). Bible readers are commanded to “Go to the ant, thou sluggard; consider her ways, and be wise: Which having no guide, overseer, or ruler, Provideth her meat in the summer, and gathereth her food in the harvest” (Prov. 6:6-8).
10) Be Not Forgetful To Entertain Strangers. This command is the essence of hospitality, showing care and concern for those who are strangers or guests. Christians are to be “given to hospitality” (Rom. 12:13), and to be so “without grudging” (I Pet. 4:9). A man desiring the office of a bishop is be “a lover of hospitality” (Titus 1:8). Let us strive to give attention to those who need our help and support.