Contending According to the Rules?
TO ATTAIN everlasting life in God’s new world the Christian must follow rules, the rules set forth in God’s holy Word, the Bible. These rules are that a Christian must show works along with his faith by being an active proclaimer of the good news of God’s kingdom. If one is not able and willing to teach others this good news he is not abiding by the rules. Thus Christ’s apostle emphasizes: “The things you heard from me with the support of many witnesses, these things commit to faithful men who in turn will be adequately qualified to teach others. . . . if anyone contends even in the games, he is not crowned unless he has contended according to the rules.”—2 Tim. 2:2, 5, NW.
One cannot be crowned, then, with the prize of everlasting life unless he follows the rules by being a teacher of the good news. Are the great masses of Christendom’s churchgoers contending for the Christian faith according to the rules? The clergy and the churchgoers themselves are doubtful that they are! Said a Lutheran clergyman, as reported in the Chicago Daily News of October 26, 1953: “As the World Council of Churches meeting in Evanston approaches, American Christians should be praying for grace to see themselves as others see them.” “Christians elsewhere,” he said, are disturbed by “our shallow churchmanship,” and “they ask whether our members are truly grounded in the Christian faith.”
Since churchgoers elsewhere are, in substance, asking whether American “Christians” are following the rules, would it not be well to ask it of all of Christendom’s so-called “Christians”? So, then, are they living up to this fundamental rule laid down by the Master himself?—“This good news of the kingdom will be preached in all the inhabited earth for the purpose of a witness to all the nations.”—Matt. 24:14, NW.
Do we see individual churchgoers vigorously declaring the good news of God’s kingdom and teaching others? Why, they seem afraid to bear witness of their faith to others! They are only hearers of the Word, poor hearers at that; for the clergy must entice them into pew-sitting by turning churches into social clubs, where dining, dancing and gambling serve as the drawing power, not God’s Word. Indeed, a close look at the so-called “Christians” reveals that they are sluggish in all Christendom. How apparent it is that Christendom’s “Christians” are not living up to a basic rule laid down by Christ and, therefore, are not “truly grounded in the Christian faith”!
Who, then, contend for the Christian faith according to the rules, by teaching pure Scriptural doctrine, by preaching earth-wide the good news of God’s kingdom? For the answer read the following articles concerning the world-wide activity of Jehovah’s witnesses.