From: "Living Water" <firstname.lastname@example.org>
Sent: Saturday, September 10, 2011 9:19 AM
Subject: More Than a Prank
LIVING WATER (Text Version)
An Outreach Publication of the Church of Christ
Ray Hawk recalls an incident from his college days:
When I was a college student in the late fifties, several of us from
Stratford, OK car-pooled to Ada for classes. We would meet downtown to ride
with whoever was driving that week.
One morning, right after Halloween, I pulled onto the one block stretch of
downtown stores and was surprised to see an outhouse standing in the middle
of the street. I parked, grabbed my camera and took several pictures. When I
had finished, I noticed the town constable walking my way. I greeted him.
His mood became visible very quickly.
"Why are you taking pictures?" he asked. I told him I thought it was an
unusual sight. He asked, "Did you have anything to do with this?" I replied
in the negative. His response was, "It seems strange that you just happened
to have a camera to take pictures of something that you didn't know anything
about until you arrived." I told him that I always carried my camera in the
car with me. Apparently satisfied, he turned and walked away.
Later I found out who had pulled the prank. Several of my college friends
had "borrowed" it and placed it on Main Street as a Halloween prank.
Pranks are often pulled during Halloween... Most are harmless, and people
laugh when their stories are told. Those that damage property or actually
hurt someone do not make their way into our folklore as being amusing.
The word prank is defined as, "A practical joke or prank is a mischievous
trick played on someone, especially one that causes the victim to experience
embarrassment, indignity, or discomfort." So, not everyone thinks they are
funny. Our town constable didn't. Neither did some of the storeowners. Folks
coming into town and finding the street blocked, didn't.
Those who had to move the outhouse probably lost their smiles when it came
to moving it.
Following Hawk's analogy and application, we learn a needed truth: It was
much more than a 'dirty prank'; it was an abominable LIE when the devil told
Eve, "You will not surely die," when she disobeyed the Lord (Genesis 3:4).
This lie has been perpetrated to this day. Sin is serious - deadly serious -
because it SEPARATES us from God (Isaiah 59:1-2), and 'the wages of sin is
DEATH' (Romans 6:23a)."
But the GOOD NEWS is that "the gift of God is eternal LIFE in Christ Jesus
our Lord" (Romans 6:23b). God so loved the world that He gave His Son Jesus
to die on the cross to pay the price of redemption for our sins (John 3:16;
Ephesians 1:7). He died for us so that we might have forgiveness and live
with Him for eternity!
To accept His gift of salvation and life, one must: place His faith and
trust in Jesus (Acts 16:30-31), turn from sins in repentance (Acts
17:30-31), confess Jesus before men (Romans 10:9-10), and be baptized
(immersed) into Christ for the forgiveness of sins (Acts 2:38).
Here's the TRUTH: "For the wages of sin is death, but the gift of God is
eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord" (Romans 6:23).
Won't YOU accept God's gift on His terms?
David A. Sargent