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The Day of Christ Not the Day of the Lord's Wrath
Day of Christ
Friday, July 20, 2012
Check Address On Envelope Before Believing It Is To You
The Address on the Envelope
"I really don't understand it"
"What's the matter?''
"Well, I've just opened a letter, and l can't make head nor tail of it''.
"Are you sure that it's for you? Is it addressed TO you'?
Have you got the envelope?''
"Oh dear, I've read a letter that was intended for someone
else - I've just looked at the envelope, and find that it
wasn't addressed to ME, although there are references to
me in it''.
I expect we have all had a similar experience, and could give instances where the neglect to read the address on the envelope has not only been amusing, but also has had very tragic consequences.
In our everyday life we attach a great deal of importance to our correspondence, letters received by us from day to day, and not only is confusion caused but also very real harm done through neglecting to make sure that it has been really addressed to US.
There are a great many people who are dealing with the Word of God as we sometimes do with our letters; the Bible, as we know, was written at various times to different companies of people. For instance, instructions were given to the children of Israel, and blessings promised to them. Attempts are often made to follow these instructions and to claim blessings that are not for us at all, although they make very profitable reading because:
"All Scripture is given by inspiration of God (God-breathed) and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness'' (2 Tim. 3:16).
As an example of what is meant by reading the address on the envelope turn to the Epistle of James:
"James, a servant of God, and of the Lord Jesus Christ, to the twelve tribes which
are scattered abroad". (One hears about the ten tribes which were "lost" but here
James sends a greeting to the whole twelve). The Epistle to the Hebrews was addressed to the Hebrews who are said to be "partakers of the heavenly" calling
(Heb. 3:1), unlike the Jewish Nation who have an earthly one.
In one's own experience, and the experience of very many true believers, not only perplexity but also real distress have been caused by applying to themselves warnings which were written to these particular believers at that time; some have even felt that they had committed the unpardonable sin of Hebrews chapter six.
For a further example, open the prophecy of Isaiah ... "The vision of Isaiah which he saw concerning Judah and Jerusalem''. What untold harm has been done, and ridicule and contempt brought upon the Bible all down the years, by not reading the address on the envelope, and applying prophesies addressed to the Jew as a Nation, to the "Church''.
In our ordinary correspondence we also attach much importance, and rightly so, to dates or times. The value of any correspondence depends largely on its dates, vitally important on all legal documents and an absolute necessity if the subject matter refers to coming or going. To this all will agree. Surely then if correct dates are a necessity for the clear understanding of ordinary correspondence, the necessity applies with greater force when we seek to understand what GOD has written concerning matters of spiritual life and destiny.
It has been stated that, before seeking to understand any part of the Bible, four points should first of all be settled.
( l ) By whom the particular prophecy or epistle was written.
(2) To whom it was addressed.
(3) The special circumstances which called for the writing.
(4) The date of the message.
While we cannot always fix a definite or exact DATE for the events of Scripture history, we CAN arrive at the TIMES of such events, and we are told that "God hath spoken at sundry times, and in divers manners (in many ways)'' ( Heb.1:1 ) .