have noticed that people who try to live right and be Christians
have more "bad luck" than those who are selfish and
wicked. Does the Bible give any reason for this?
<ANSWER>--Yes, the Bible does give the reason. On the
principle that a skiff rowed against the stream is twice as
likely to be bumped into by logs and debris as if it were floating
down stream, even so, the man who strives against selfishness
and sin has a harder fight. The natural tendency of the world
is downward. The Christian finds as the Redeemer said, that
"Strait (difficult) is the gate and narrow is the way which
leadeth to life, and few there be that find it." (`Mat.
7:14`.) The Lord permits the Christian to have adverse experiences
that his character may be developed. Willingness to brave opposition
indicates a character pleasing to the Lord. Weak Christians
become discouraged with these experiences, but strong Christians
grow stronger in the Lord and develop strong characters. It
is to the faithful Christian that God has given the promise
of joint-heirship with Jesus in His Kingdom. To such He says,
"We might through much tribulation enter the Kingdom of
God." (`Acts. 14:22`)
is signified by the Scriptural expression, "The Sun of
Righteousness shall arise with healing in its beams?" (`Mal.
<ANSWER>--In the prophetic language of the Scriptures,
the condition of the race of mankind throughout its entire history
in sin and ignorance, suffering and death, is likened to a dark
night time. "Darkness covers the earth and gross darkness
the people" is the Prophet's declaration. Truly it has
been a fearful time of darkness in which mankind has been groping
for the better things which instinctively all realize do not
exist at this time but must come somehow, somewhere. And in
this dreadful night time how many have dreamed fearful dreams,
having the awful nightmare of eternal torment before their minds!
But, thank God, the Scriptures represent that a day is approaching,
"The Day of the Lord," in the dawning of which all
the shadows of ignorance and prejudice shall roll away. The
Psalmist, in poetic expressions, portrays the transition from
the darkness of the night to the glorious radiance of the day.
"Weeping may endure for a night; but joy cometh in the
morning." Yes, it is to be a joyous time for the world
when all shall be enlightened concerning the goodness of the
Creator and when sorrow and sighing; suffering and death shall
be no more. The "Sun of Righteousness" will be formed
of the members of the Church of Christ, as the Lord Jesus declared,
"The righteous shall shine as the sun in the Kingdom of
their Father." (`Mat. 13:43`) It shall arise with "healing
in its beams" in the sense that the Church together with
her Lord will be manifested in power and great glory to all
the world and will illuminate the whole earth with the knowledge
of the glory of the Father which will result in the healing
and blessing of all the families, kindred, and nations of the
earth. It is no wonder that the "whole creation groans
and travails in pain together until now, waiting for the manifestation
of the Sons of God" --this glorious Sun of Righteousness.
it proper to speak of those who have turned from sin to righteousness
as being regenerated or having a regenerated heart?
<ANSWER>--The term "regenerated" is equivalent
to the expression of "being born again." There are
but two places in the Scriptures where the expression "regeneration"
occurs. In `Titus 3:5`, it is used to represent the reforming
and justifying influences of faith in the Redeemer, the Lord
Jesus Christ; and again in `Matthew 19:28`, where it is used
to represent that glorious moral, social, political, religious,
and physical change which will be introduced by the Messiah
who says, "Behold, I make all things new." (`Rev.
21:5`) The process of regeneration is now going on in the experiences
of the members of the Church of Christ--the Christians. These
have been begotten of the Spirit and must grow and develop as
"new creatures," and will be born of the Spirit in
the resurrection when as glorious spirit beings they will be
invisible and powerful and can then go and come as the wind.
(`John 3:8`) In the regeneration of the world, after the Church
has experienced the new birth, the race will be restored to
its primitive conditions of perfection and life as represented
in Adam in the Garden of Eden--"The Times of Restitution
of all things spoken by the mouth of all the holy Prophets."