Believe It Or Else By Ripley

A newspaper column featuring unusual phenomena and oddities with the caption Believe It Or Not by Ripley has met with wide acceptance, and has made Mr. Ripley a famous man. His material is presented as truth and is accepted as such. This writer would not attempt to deny the veracity of what he sets forth.

In the Bible God presents His truth, and much of it seems strange to us. Although many refuse to accept what God says, all men should he more willing to listen to Him than to another man. God, however, does not go to great length to prove His truth. He will not force himself upon us.

Let us consider what God has to say about four subjects: Himself, Man, Sin, Salvation. Concerning Himself God simply says that He exists or is. In Genesis 1:1 we read: "In the beginning God . . . " Isaiah wrote concerning Him: "Before me there was no God formed; neither shall there he after me. I, even I, am the Lord; and beside me there is no savior" (Isaiah 43:10, 11).

About us God says in Genesis 1:7: "and the Lord formed man out of the dust of the ground, and breathed into his nostrils the breath of life; and man become a living soul." In short, man was created by a direct act of God rather than by a series of processes.

Genesis chapter three tells us of the story of the fall of man into sin. The apostle Paul comments on this fall in his epistle to the Romans: "Wherefore as by one man (Adam) sin entered into the world and death by sin; and so death passed upon all men, for that all have sinned." We readily see that man by sinning caused physical and spiritual death for himself. Even while living in thc flesh, we are dead in the spirit without Christ, for we read further in Ephesians 2:1 of Christians: "you were dead in trespasses and sin..." In this condition man is not only dead, but is also under the righteous judgment and wrath of a holy God. Paul Writes: "For the wrath of God is revealed from heaven against all ungodliness and unrighteousness of men (Romans 1:18).

Since we are in a lost, dead condition, we are in need of salvation and life. Our efforts to save ourselves are futile. Dead men have never done anything to help themselves. The Bible says: "For by grace are ye saved through faith; and that not of yourselves: it is the gift of God: not of works lest any man should boast" (Ephesians 2:8, 9). "But God commendeth His love toward us, in that, while we were yet sinners Christ died for us" (Romans 5:8). "For He made him (Christ), who knew no sin, to be sin for us; that we might he made the righteousness of God in him" (II Corinthians 5:21). And "He that believeth on the Son (Christ) hath everlasting life; and he that believeth not the Son shall not see life; but the wrath of God abideth on him" (John 3:36).

God's plan and offer of salvation to man is a simple truth, but it is given to man to choose. To believe or not to believe, that is the important question. But oh, the consequences of not believing on Christ are awfuL It is not a matter of believe it or not; it is a niatter of believe it or else ". . . he that believeth not the Son shall not see life; but the wrath of God abideth on him." Won't you believe on Christ as your Savior from sins?

H. K. Ripley