The New Religion:Peace Of Mind

2 Timothy

The New Religion:Peace Of Mind

September 18th, 1955 @ 7:30 PM

2 Timothy 4:1-4

I charge thee therefore before God, and the Lord Jesus Christ, who shall judge the quick and the dead at his appearing and his kingdom; Preach the word; be instant in season, out of season; reprove, rebuke, exhort with all longsuffering and doctrine. For the time will come when they will not endure sound doctrine; but after their own lusts shall they heap to themselves teachers, having itching ears; And they shall turn away their ears from the truth, and shall be turned unto fables.
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THE NEW RELIGION: PEACE OF MIND

Dr. W. A. Criswell

2 Timothy 4:1-4

9-18-55    7:30 p.m.

 

 

Tonight is one of those messages that I mentioned that I had in my heart before we begin again in the first Corinthian letter and the fifth chapter, our place to which we have come in preaching through the Bible.  But before we begin, I said I had some things in my heart that I wanted to speak of, and tonight is one.  We are going to talk tonight about The New Religion: Peace of Mind.  In the fourth chapter of the second letter to Timothy, Paul says to his young son in the ministry:

I charge thee before God, and the Lord Jesus Christ, who shall judge the quick and the dead at His appearing and His kingdom;

Preach the word…

For the time will come when they will not endure sound doctrine; but after their own lust shall they heap to themselves teachers, having itching ears;

And they will turn away their ears from the truth, and shall be turned unto fables

 [2 Timothy 4:1-4]

Now, that’s my text.  After their own desires and likes, listening to the thing they want to listen to, they shall heap to themselves teachers.  They want to hear what they want to hear. And as in every area of life, there is always somebody for a price more than happy to supply what the public wants.

Now this new thing came about like this.  In World War I, our nation was involved in a conflict to make the world safe for democracy.  We were fighting a war to end all wars, and we won that conflict.  We were victorious in that battle.  And we looked forward to that immediate day when the whole world would be one great millennial kingdom.  The preachers preached it, and the people believed it.  We had those “Roaring 20s.”  And the stock market went up and up and up and up.

And upon a day when we were just getting ready for the most luxurious bonanza the world had ever experienced, upon a day, the ticker tape out of the Stock Exchange at New York City said that all of the money the American people had invested in the stock market had been washed out overnight.  Fellow one day was a multi‑millionaire, and the next day he was walking the street trying to sell polished apples or pretty pencils.  That was in 1929.

And then we went through all of those terrible years of the Depression.  And then just as we were coming out of the Depression, Hitler turned his hordes on Poland, then wheeled around and made his passage of death and destruction through the lowlands and into France, and all Europe lay prostrate.  In those days Hitler, almost astride the civilized world, added to his conquest the eastern reaches of the Soviet Union.  And we, magnanimous and greathearted, we came to the rescue of our comrades in Russia.

Marshal Stalin, the great representative and exponent of the people’s democracy, and all of those fine, great, noble communist leaders, our American boys would march shoulder to shoulder by their side.  We took our airplanes, sent them over there to Russia.  We took our ships and gave them to Russia.  We took our gasoline and poured it into those great fighting machines of Russia.  And guns and tanks we sent over there to our comrades in arms.

Nor would we dare to enter the environs of Berlin.  The Russians said they want it.  Why should they not have it?  They are our friend.  And they marched into Bulgaria, and they marched into Poland, and they marched into Czechoslovakia, and they marched into Yugoslavia, and they marched into Romania, and they marched into Greece, our great compatriot, our noble fellow fighters and sharers in this battle, the communists, the Soviet Union.

Bah!  When you look back over those days, you marvel at the gullibility of the leadership of the American government and all of us, I suppose, who were soft brained and…anyway, it was a startling revelation when we awoke to the fact that the leaders of the American government had sold our people down the river; Yalta, and those secret promises that we had made.

And it wasn’t long until our government witnessed the defection of China into the Soviet orbit.  And one-half billion people overnight became our mortal enemy.  And we had given them all of Eastern Europe, and we had given them Berlin, and we had decimated the hope of the German people, who—by the way, we haven’t fought a war over there that we haven’t been on the wrong side—the German people are the finest people in this earth, if you could ever get them to God.  And away from God, they are the most ruthless and cruel.  Oh, if it were just possible that Germany could love God and that Germany and America could be good friends.  But no, we were friends of the Soviet Union.

Well, if you have been like I am and like everybody else, you woke up to a world of frustration and despair.  Here are our friends with whom our men laid down their lives, they are our mortal enemies.  We don’t have any enemies that are as sworn to our death as the Soviet Union.  We don’t have any enemies that more bitterly attack us and propagandize against us—more than Red China in the Pacific.  And we just woke up one day, we just found ourselves one day almost alone in the earth and the entire world around us an armed camp against us.

Then another thing developed.  That atomic bomb didn’t stay just that little thing over there in Hiroshima and Nagasaki.  But the thing was like a baby.  It got bigger and bigger and bigger, and it was like a Frankenstein.  It now scares us to death!  It’s no little old atomic bomb anymore.  It’s an H-bomb.  It’s a U-bomb.  It’s the Lord only knows what kind of a bomb.  And they get more terrible with every passing day.  Every nuclear physicist who studies about it adds something to its horror and its terror.  And it is absolutely possible at this minute for America as we know it to be absolutely destroyed!

They . . . any man can tell you, any general or any leader will tell you that with all of the defenses of America and our radar and however else we may try to defend our nation, if the Soviet Union were to send five hundred long-range bombers over here, we might knock four hundred and ninety of them out of the sky, but the ten that remain, that would get through, how many hydrogen bombs would it take to destroy Dallas?  How many hydrogen bombs would it take to destroy Chicago, New York City, any of these great metropolitan centers?  And they will tell you there is no such thing as knocking all of them out of the sky.  Some of them would certainly get through.  That is possible at this moment.

Now that and a thousand other things that one might name hurriedly tonight plunged our people into despair.  We almost lost heart, having fought one war and then another, and both of them to no end and no effect; all of their fruits of victory taken away.  And our former allies now our bitter enemies, and as far as a man can see down the vista of the years, we must remain like an armed camp—great armaments, tanks, and planes, and soldiers, and conscription—far down as you can, see that lies ahead.  And anything can set it off at any time.  And the more they palaver about peace the more certainly are they working for the destruction of our nation and our people.

Now, I say, against a background like that, our people were harassed and in despair and frustrated, and didn’t know where to turn.  And then like a meteor in the sky, just suddenly, just nobody knows quite where, suddenly there came to the American people a little packet neatly put together.  This was the answer to our problems.  This was the solution to our despair.  And we were like chickens gobbling up corn, grains of corn, when they were just starving to death.

That was the American people, and that thing came to pass in 1946.  There was a Jewish rabbi in Boston by the name of Joshua L. Liebman.  And in the midweek services of his synagogue, he had been talking to his people about the marvelous potentialities when you link Freudian psychology and religion together to relieve modern tensions.  And some publicity hound got the idea that if you could put that in a book, it would be a wonderful seller.  So they whipped the thing together, and in 1946 there came out Joshua Liebman’s Peace of Mind, and he struck oil.

For one hundred seventy-seven consecutive weeks, Peace of Mind was a best seller in all this world.  And say, did we have a deluge thereafter.  You wouldn’t have time to list the titles of books that came out following the Peace of Mind; The Magic of Believing, Peace of Soul, that’s by the Bishop Sheen, The Way to Security, Beyond Anxiety, Man’s Search for Himself, Mind Alive, and a thousand other titles.  The world was swamped with them.

And above all, that noble exponent of the, of the positive and the obvious, the incomparable Norman Vincent Peale, his book, The Power of Positive Thinking, has passed a million volumes already.  His book, A Guide to Confident Living, is still selling at the rate of three thousand a week, beside his book, The Art of Living and his Guideposts, which are very interesting.   And like an editor who publishes a newspaper to give what the people want to read, the pulpits of America have simply been turned over to Peace of Mind religion.  “Brother, where is the psychoanalyst?  I’ve got to see him.”  “Where is the authority on psychosomatic medicine?  I’ve got it in my stomach.  I’ve got it in my legs.  I’ve got it in my joints and my bones.”   “Where is this psychiatrist?  I’ve got to have him.  I’ve got to see him.  I am all awry with myself and the world.”  And these preachers have turned into first-class psychiatrists; they take clinical study, they know all about psychology.  They are trained in those elusive things of the mind, all of those cerebral cerebrations that have to do with our perturbations, and we are all trying to find peace of mind.  And as I say, there’s nobody, there’s nobody that has gone all out for it like the Marble Collegiate Church in New York City where Norman Vincent Peale presides over this staff.

Now you look at this, Billy.  You look at this. This is his church staff; he has four ministers with clinical training.  That is, they have been examining the knots on people’s heads so they know what is the matter with them; four of them, four of them.  He has got one psychiatric social worker.  He has got nine psychiatrics on his staff, nine of them, and he has got four psychologists.  That’s the Marble Collegiate staff in New York City.

Now Norman Vincent Peale’s religion, his preaching—well, let’s looks at it.  These are the first five sermons by which he began this year.  The first one was, “The Key to Self-confidence”; the second message, “How to Feel Alive and Well”; the third one, “Ways to Improve Your Situation”; the fourth one, “Live with Joy and Vitality”; and the fifth one, “Empty Fear from Your Thoughts.”

Now how do you do all that?  Well, he puts out little how‑to cards, and, it’s all packaged, you know, and it’s always in ten easy rules.  So here is one of them:  one of his how‑to cards is how to overcome your interiority complex—no, your inferiority complex.  Well, listen to it.  Now this is the gospel of the Peace of Mind: first, how to overcome your inferiority complex.

First, hold in your mind a picture of yourself succeeding.  Your mind will seek to actualize this image.  Second, when a negative thought comes to mind, deliberately cancel it out with a positive thought. That is right.  Third, do not build obstacles in your imagination.  Four, do not be awestruck by other people or try to copy them.  Sixth, get a competent counselor to help you understand the origin of your inferiority feeling which often begins in childhood.  His eighth one: realistically estimate your ability, then raise the estimate ten percent.  Develop a whole self-respect.  “Brother, look at me.  Here I come, and I am ten percent better than you think I am.”  Now, his last one:  believe that God is with you, for nothing can defeat that partnership.

Well, that is Peace of Mind religion.  That’s it.  What about it?  Pastor of a great historic Protestant church, and he is just one.  There are a thousand and a thousand little Peales just like him all over this nation, all over this nation.  Even the seminaries now are teaching the preachers all kinds of clinical procedures and psychiatrical approaches and psychoanalytical understandings.  That’s the new day. That’s the new religion.

Well, what about it?  I have four or five comments to make.  And the first one is this: it comes perilously, perilously close; it comes dangerously near to being nothing other than a gimmick.  It comes almost near turning religion into magic.  This is the way to get what you want using God.  Well, to make God nothing other than an instrument by which I raise my self-esteem, I conquer my complexes, I rise to great heights of success in the world, that’s not the Bible presentation of God, for the will of God may be something altogether different from what I might want.  For I remember reading in this Book that those Old Testament prophets, sometimes they ended just disastrously.  I also remember reading in this Book that Jesus Christ Himself was nailed to a cross.  Now that may be a success of some kind; it may be an achievement in some category, but it certainly isn’t that kind of an achievement.

You know, people like to hear what pleases them.  We’re just made that way.  I can be—what do you want to be?  I can be beautiful, so I will think myself handsome.  I can be, oh, a scintillating personality, so I will paint myself to be a scintillating personality.  I want to succeed, and I can think myself into success; positive thinking, that will do it; that will do it.  And the way to achieve those successes is to get ahold of God, use God.  Well, there is something that he’s got, I suppose.  But I say it’s like a gimmick to get what you want.  It’s using God for personal purposes and personal reasons.  It’s making God the source of the success that you want to achieve.

But it’s not always what God wills.  What God says is what we want.  And we like the things that please us.  So when the minister says all those things, we go away, oh, somehow lifted up, elevated!  “I can do that.  Why, God will be with me in it.”  And we like that.

I want to take a story out of the Old Testament to illustrate this thing [1 Kings 22:6-38].  Do you remember Ahab who married Jezebel?  He was some king!  He had prophets around him.  He had Norman Vincent Peale on that side of him.  He had Joshua Liebman on that side of him, and he had all of those little copycats all around him.  The Bible says he had four hundred of them around him [1 Kings 22:6].

Now Ahab decided he wanted something.  Over there across the Jordan River, Ramoth-gilead was the city in the hands of Damascus, the king of Syria, and he wanted it.  So the way to get what you want is to use the power of positive thinking.  So Ahab said, “That belongs to me.  Now if I am to get it, I’ve got to have God with me.”  Why, surely you do.  If you’re going to scintillate as a personality, if you’re going to achieve success in business, get God on your side.  That’s what he said.  So Ahab said, “I’ve got to have God on my side.”

Well, he had by his side at that time, he had Jehoshaphat, who was the king of Judah.  Now, he had said, “Jehoshaphat, look here.”  And he called four hundred of those prophets before him, and he said to each one of those four hundred prophets, he said, “Tell me, if I go over there and fight against Ramoth-gilead, will God give Ramoth-gilead into my hands?”  And every one of those four hundred prophets said, “Positive thinking will do it.  All you’ve got to do is go over there and God will be with you, and you will take Ramoth-gilead” [1 Kings 22:6].

Well, Jehoshaphat was a little skeptical.  He was a little cynical.  He was a fly in the ointment.  And Jehoshaphat said to Ahab, he said, “Ahab, is there just one other prophet here that I might ask?” [1 Kings 22:7].

And Ahab said, “Yes, there is one more, but I hate him because he always says something evil and not good.”

“Well,” Jehoshaphat said, “Who is he?”

And Ahab said, “He’s Micaiah.  His name is Micaiah, and he’s a prophet of Jehovah God, but he says bad about me.  He never says anything good.”

“Well,” said Jehoshaphat, “let’s hear him.  Let’s hear him” [1 Kings 22:8].

So they sent for Micaiah, and Micaiah stood before King Ahab, and King Ahab said, “I’m eliminating the negative, and I’m accentuating the positive.  I’m going after Ramoth-gilead.  Is God going to be with me?”

All those four hundred say, “Yes sir, God is with you” [1 Kings 22:9-12].

And Micaiah said, he said, “You go over there to Ramoth-gilead, and you are not going to come back alive because God said He is going to scatter the people over the country, and they are going to be without a leader and without a shepherd.  You are not coming back alive” [1 Kings 22:13-17].

And Ahab turned toward Jehoshaphat and said, “Isn’t that what I told you?  That is exactly what I told you. He does not, he does not prophesy good.  He says God is against me” [1 Kings 22:18].

Zedekiah went over and slapped Micaiah in the face.  And Micaiah said, “When Ahab comes back slain and you crawl into your inner chamber ashamed and abashed, you are going to see the truth of the word of the living God” [1 Kings 22:24-25].

So they put Micaiah in chains and in prison and sent him water of affliction and fed him bread of affliction “until,” Ahab said, “I will come back again in victory and in triumph” [1 Kings 22:26-27].  So they went over there to Ramoth-gilead [1 Kings 22:29].

Now Ahab in order to protect himself dressed like an ordinary soldier.  He took off his kingly garments [1 Kings 22:30].  And the Bible says that in the midst of the battle that one of those Syrian Damascene soldiers drew back a bow at a venture, at a venture and just let the arrow fly [2 Kings 22:34].  He never aimed.  He just let the arrow speed its way.  And the Bible says that arrow found an aperture in the joints of Ahab’s armor, and it entered between the joints of his armor and pierced his heart [1 Kings 22:34-35].

And Ahab fell down in his chariot, and he died there in his chariot, and his blood ran out in the chariot.  And when they took the chariot back to Samaria, they washed it out, and the dogs licked up his blood, according to the word of Elijah the man of God [1 Kings 21:19], and according to the word of Micaiah [1 Kings 22:15-17], the prophet of the Lord [1 Kings 22:37-38].

God doesn’t always speak what we want Him to speak!  And He is not used by us!  And the false prophet is always around us, saying sweet things, prophesying beautiful things, encouraging us in the things we want to do!  But that doesn’t mean that the living God is that way at all!  The judgment of the Lord may be the opposite of what we want!  And the will of God may lead diametrically to something that we are aghast at; the judgment of the Almighty.  Religion is not a gimmick, and it is not a magic by which we get God on our side to do for us the things that we want.  All right, that is one observation.

The second observation is this: according to the religion of the New Testament, according to the religion of the Bible, we are born in sin [Psalm 51:5; Romans 5:12].  We are alienated from the purposes of God [Ephesians 4:18].  And in order to be back again in the kingdom of God, we must experience a personal relationship with Jesus Christ that we call the “new birth.”  We have to be born again [John 3:3, 7].  We have to become Christians.

According to the religion of the Peace of Mind, anybody, anybody can follow these ten rules, and the ten other how‑to rules, and he achieves these successes with no reference to a personal experience with Jesus at all.  And that’s not the religion of the Book.

The religion of the Book is first, I must confess myself to be a sinner [1 John 1:8-10].  The only way my sin can be forgiven is through the redemptive act of Almighty God in Jesus Christ [Colossians 1:14].  And in Christ, I can find a personal Savior and the forgiveness of my sin and guilt [1 John 1:7-9], and I can be adopted into the family of God [Romans 8:15; Galatians 4:4-7].  But all of that is what we call the new birth [John 3:3-6], and this religion makes no reference to it whatsoever.  I can be an infidel, I can be a heathen, I can be a Buddhist, I can be a Confucianist,  I can be nothing and follow all ten of these rules, no reference to Christ at all.

All right, a third thing.  Did you ever notice how much of this Bible is negative, how much of it is negative?  The Ten Commandments, it seems to me, kind of broaches on the negative side once in a while.  Do you remember them?  [Exodus 20:1-17].  Isn’t that a strange thing how God thundered about those things?  “Thou shall not!” negative, negative!

Did you ever notice in the religion of Jesus Christ how it begins?  Not with self- love, not with raising your estimation of yourself ten percent after you have struck it up there as high as egotism will allow.  But the religion of the New Testament begins like this “Depart from me, O God; I am a sinful man” [Luke 5:8].  Or like the prodigal son, “Father, I have sinned against thee and against heaven, and I am no more worthy to be a son.  Make me a hired servant” [Luke 15:18-19, 21].  It begins like this: “Blessed are the poor in spirit:  for theirs is the kingdom of God” [Matthew 5:3].   Self-love is the antithetical attitude of the Christian faith.  It is personal depreciation and humility.  It is coming to God as an abject sinner that opens the door to the great vistas of life in the kingdom and patience of Jesus Christ.

This summer, for the second time, I went to Bedford, walked all around looking at John Bunyan’s statue, looking at the place where he was converted, looking at the place where he was baptized, looking at the place where he preached, looking at the jail in which he wrote that immortal Pilgrim’s Progress.  Do you remember how Pilgrim’s Progress begins?

As he went through the wilderness of this world, he came upon a certain place where was a den, and he laid him down to sleep; And while he laid him down to sleep, he dreamed a dream.  And he looked and behold, there stood before him a man dressed in rags, with a great burden on his back and an open book in his hand.  And as he read the book he wept and being no longer able to contain he cried with a lamentable cry saying, “What shall I do? What shall I do?”

That’s the beginning of Pilgrim’s Progress.

All right, here is the man dressed in rags.  “With his face turned away from the City of Destruction, with an open book in his hand, weeping.   ‘What shall I do?  What shall I do?’”

All right, this is what you do: according to the Coué fad that was sweeping this world when I was a boy, this is what he does.  He is to repeat to himself ten times every hour on the hour, “Every day in every way I am getting better and better.”  That’s what he is to do.

All right, in our day we have got this Peale fad now.  What is he to do?  This is what he is to do: he is to eliminate the negative and to accentuate the positive. He is to raise his estimate of himself ten percent above what he thinks he is. That is what he is to do. That’s the religion of the Peace of Mind.

What does God say the man is to do?  Evangelist found him, showed him a little wicket gate through which he had to kneel to enter in.  Beyond was a hill, and on top of the hill was the cross.  And the evangelist told him how to make his way in humility through that wicket gate, how to kneel at the cross, how to look up in the face of Jesus Christ, how to confess there his need, his lack, his inadequacy, and in humility to plead the mercy and the forgiveness of God.  And there the book says, “His burden rolled away, and Pilgrim, now named Christian, began the journey to the celestial city of God.”  That’s the difference.

Could I briefly say two other things?  This Peace of Mind religion does not take into account the immoral, terrible, impersonal, implacable fabric of society, in which all of our lives are inextricably cast.  “What do you mean by that, preacher?”  This is what I mean.  When we went to the church in Munich Sunday before last, standing out in front of the church, and Germany is ruined, poor.  If anybody has a car in Germany, they are very exceptional, and it is unusual that they would be able to amass enough wealth to own an automobile.  While we were standing out in front of the church, we noticed a fine young couple, a young man right in the prime of his life, fine looking man with his wife, and he had about two little children.  We noticed them drive up in an automobile.  They were very different from all the rest of the people; they were nicely dressed and looked fine and went into service of the church.  But without noticing it, because we took the first seats that we found available, why, we sat down, and we happened to sit down by that couple.

During the service, they did a whole lot of things.  There was a man and his wife, and a man and his wife to whom they gave bouquets, to whom they made speeches, and who made speeches.  And I could not understand anything, so I wrote a note to that man, thinking maybe he could understand English, or better still he could read my writing.  So I wrote him a note and I said, “Tell me what are they are doing?  Are they ordaining deacons, are they ordaining ministers of the gospel; are they taking members into the church?  What are they doing?”

Well, he got his pencil and wrote out in fine English, he said, “They are receiving into the church our young assistant pastor, and are sending out one of our young men to be the pastor of a mission in another nearby city.”  Well, after the service was over, why, I talked to that young fellow.  “Now,” I said, “what are you doing?  What is your business?”

He said, “I am a pharmaceutical chemist.”

“Well,” I said, “in our country that is a druggist.”

“Yes,” he said, “in your country that would be a druggist.”

“Well,” I said, “is that your life profession?”

“No,” he said, “in this last war I was a career air force officer.”  He was trained, he said, to be an air force officer in the Luftwaffe of Nazi Germany, and he helped to guide the destruction of London, and of Coventry, and of England.  “And,” he said, “since the war I have had to find some other means of livelihood.  And,” he said, “I chose to study,” and he is what he calls a pharmaceutical chemist.

Now, I sat by that man in church, in the Baptist church, with his lovely wife and their sweet precious children.  And yet that man was a career officer in the air force that dedicated itself to the destruction of England!  And I looked at him and thought about it.  I  thought, why, in our own membership there are young men, there are young men, and your are here tonight, who were officers in the air force of the American military power, and you had to engineer the destruction of Germany.

What is that this man, what is that you?  This is that: there is an implacable, there is an impersonal bitterness, sin, wrong, agony, horror, death in society that no ten little pieces that make up a formula could ever eradicate!  It belongs in the nature; it is in the warp, in the woof of the social order in which our lives are cast.  That is the reason this Book is realistic when it says, “And I saw the dragon,” that old enemy the serpent, “and I saw the beast,” which represents the political governments of the world, “and I saw the false prophet [Revelation 19:19-20:3] which represents these men who tried to take our eyes and minds away from the awful, awful judgment of God upon sinful men and rivet it upon positive thinking.  And you are heading for a fall when you do; it may be sometime coming, but come it will.  And the judgment for man’s religion that takes that turn is as disastrous in his soul as it is in his physical world.

 I can’t close without one other.  There is an inevitable failure in this life that all of us have to face.  There is an inevitable sorrow in this life that someday shall overwhelm every home and every family.  And ten little easy lessons in positive thinking won’t do, they won’t help.

For example , Friday morning, Friday morning, while one of our mothers looked upon the face of her fifteen year-old boy who had been sick with a flu, with a virus, just sick like all of us—almost all of us are sick frequently, just that sick, not bad, just sick. While that dear mother looked on the face of that fifteen year-old boy Friday, last Friday—while she looked upon his face, with no thought of any serious illness or any approaching sorrow at all, while she looked upon his face, that fifteen year-old boy died; one of our finest, finest boys.  He loved this church, and he loved the Sunday school and he loved the Training Union.  Today is the first day, the first Lord’s Day, we’ve had Sunday school, we’ve had Training Union without that fifteen year-old boy.  And as she looked upon him, he died.

All right, now let’s see, hold in you mind a picture of your success.  What is this?  When a negative thought comes, deliberately cancel it out with a positive thought.  What is this?  Get a competent counselor to help you to understand the origin of your inferiority.  What is this?  Realistically estimate yourself, then raise the estimate ten percent.  What is this? What was this?  Because in the face of life’s inevitable tragedy, it won’t do, it’s husks for the soul.

 “Preacher, what is the gospel?”  Let me read it, then I am done:

Brethren, I make known unto you the gospel, I make known unto you the gospel which I preached unto you, wherein you stand

And whereby you are saved . . .

how that Christ died for our sins according to the Scriptures;

that He was buried, that the third day He rose again according to the Scriptures.

 [1 Corinthians 15:1-4]

“And brethren, flesh and blood cannot inherit the kingdom of God; neither does corruption inherit incorruption” [1 Corinthians 15:50].  We all face that inevitable day in sorrow.

But I show you a mystery, I show you a mystery…we shall all be changed,

In a moment, in the twinkling of an eye, at the last trumpet: for the trumpet of sound… and we shall all be changed.

And when this corruptible shall have put on incorruption, and this [mortal] shall have put on immortality, then shall be brought to pass the saying that is written, Death is swallowed up in victory.

Now Death, where is your sting? Now Grave, where is your victory?

 Thanks be to God, who has given us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ.

Therefore, my beloved brethren, be ye steadfast, unmovable, always abounding in the work of the Lord, forasmuch as you know that it does not fall to the ground once you trust in the Lord.

[1 Corinthians 15: 51-58]

And that will do when the hour of the night overwhelms us, and when the raging seas beat against us.  That gospel will give hope to the soul and give a promise for a better world and a better life that is to come.

All right Billy, let us sing our song.  And while we sing it, while we sing, somebody you, trusting in the Lord, come down and stand by me.  Somebody you, put your life with us in this church, come and give me your hand, “Pastor I have given my heart to God. I give you my hand, and here I am.”  In this balcony around, however the Lord shall make appeal, shall open the door, shall speak to your heart; while we sing this song, you come, you come.   As God shall say the word, you come, while we stand and while we sing.

THE NEW RELIGION:  PEACE OF MIND

Dr. W. A. Criswell

2 Timothy 4:1-4

9-18-55

I.          Introduction

A. These confused, tragic times

1.  World War I, World War II, and Soviet Russia

2. The atomic bomb

B.  Then suddenly there came to the American people a neatly packaged, all-encompassing solution to our problems and despair

1.  In 1946, Jewish rabbi Joshua L. Liebman wrote Peace of Mind, from his series of lectures on uniting Freudian psychology and religion to relieve modern tension

2. Then followed a deluge of books thereafter of similar books

C. Norman Vincent Peale

1.  Has nine psychiatrics and four psychologists on his church staff

2.  His preaching is “how-to”, packaged, ten easy rules

a. “How to Overcome Your Inferiority Complex”

II.         Peace of mind religion

A.  Looks like a gimmick for getting what we want

1. Uses God for our purposes, rather than a yieldedness to the will and purposes of God

a. Ahab and his four hundred prophets(1 Kings 22:6-38)

B.  The Christian faith taught in the Bible says we are sinners and must be born again(Romans 5:12, John 3:3, 7, 1 John 1:7-9)

C.  Emphasizes the positive, but the Bible also includes the negative(Exodus 20:1-17, Luke 5:8, 15:18-19, 21)

1.  Humility the first step toward God and heaven(Matthew 5:3)

2.  Self-love is the antithetical attitude of the Christian faith

3. John Bunyan’s Pilgrim’s Progress

D.  Does not take into account the immoral, impersonal, implacable fabric of society in which all of our lives are cast

1.  Pharmaceutical chemist in church in Germany a former career officer in the air force

2.  The dragon, the beast, the false prophet (Revelation 19:19-20:3)

E. Blinds itself to life’s inevitable sorrows

1. No ten easy rules that will work

2. Only the gospel will do (1 Corinthians 15:1-4, 50-58)