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      Nurturing people in the image of God since 1868.                                                                          POB 397/520 Dry Creek Rd./Smithville, TN


A Church Van and a Beer Truck

A few days ago I was returning to my office after an evening of visitation. At a traffic light two blocks from our building I was second in line. In front of me there was a beer truck. What a contrast-a church van and a beer truck.

THERE IS A DIFFERENCE IN MESSAGE. On the back of the beer truck there was an advertisement for "Miller Beer" and the words "Miller Brewing Company." On the back of the church van there were the words "The churches of Christ greet you" (Rm. 16:16). One is a message leading to damnation, the other a message leading to salvation. The liquor industry cares nothing for the souls of men. Their concern is only for material gain. Churches of Christ care deeply for the souls of men. They desire all to become Christians. A Christian is a person who has died to sin, been buried with Christ in baptism, and arisen to a new life in Christ. "What shall we say then? Shall we continue in sin that grace may abound? Certainly not! How shall we who died to sin live any longer in it? Or do you not know that as many of us as were baptized into Christ Jesus were baptized into His death? Therefore we were buried with Him through baptism into death, that just as Christ was raised from the dead by the glory of the Father, even so we also should walk in newness of life" (Rm. 6:1-4). Christ is "All and in all" to the Christian (Col. 3:11). Which message do you heed? If you have been listening to the damnable message of the liquor industry why not become a Christian and then live faithfully the Christian life?

THERE IS A DIFFERENCE IN OWNERSHIP. The beer truck is the property of the Miller Brewing Company, Milwaukee, Wisconsin or one of its subsidiaries. The church van is property of the Walnut Street Church of Christ, Greenville, Alabama. This means the church van really belongs to the God of the universe. "For every beast of the forest is Mine, and the cattle on a thousand hills" (Psa. 50: 10). One owner cares nothing for man's salvation. The other is totally devoted to the salvation of the lost. God cared so much for mankind that He allowed Jesus to suffer sin's penalty in man's place.

A Church Van and a Beer Truck.

THERE IS A DIFFERENCE IN OWNERSHIP. "Moreover, brethren, I declare to you the gospel which I preached to you, which also you received and in which you stand, by which also you are saved, if you hold fast that word which I preached to you-unless you believed in vain. For I delivered to you first of all that which I also received: that Christ died for our sins according to the Scriptures, and that He was buried, and that He rose again the third day according. to the Scriptures" (I Cor. 15:1-4). The Gospel shows God's devotion to the salvation of the lost.

THERE IS A DIFFERENCE IN PURPOSE. The purpose of the beer truck is to make money at all cost. The damage to society is a matter of no concern to the beer makers. The sole purpose of the beer truck is "the love of money." "For the love of money is a root of all kinds of evil, for which some have strayed from the faith in their greediness, and pierced themselves through with many sorrows" (I Tim. 6: 10). The purpose of the church van is service and salvation. Many personal evangelism visits have been made in that van. People have been brought to the worship assemblies in that van. Some have been brought to the waters of baptism in that van. Many have been carried to doctors. Young people have been blessed and encouraged as they were driven to Christian camps, youth meetings, or gospel meetings in that van. The beer truck has the purpose of money making and soul damnation. The church van has the purpose of serving God and man.

THERE IS A DIFFERENCE IN PRODUCT. The product carried by the beer truck is so destructive that the owner will not allow the driver of their truck to use the product he is delivering while driving their truck! They are aware that he is a much safer driver while not using their product than when using it. They know he represents their company much better sober than after having used their product. On the other hand the owner of the church van insists the driver use His product. He is a better driver, a better representative of God's cause and he makes the world better by the practice of Christianity. The product offered by one makes the driver a better person while the product offered by the other makes their driver a worse person.

THERE IS A DIFFERENCE IN RESULT. Alcohol in action is destructive and damnable. The liquor industry goes "all out" to get money, regardless of the cost in lost jobs, highway deaths, broken homes, murders, rapes, destruction in society and jails filled with "the finished product of the brewers art." Alcohol is America's number one drug problem. After Denver had won their second Super Bowl there was trouble. Some people got out of control. They burned things and threw bricks through windows. The newscasters wonder why? I asked my class in Butler County Jail - why? They said, "You know how a bunch of drunks are!" Alcohol is not some beneficial product misused by a few unthinking people. It is a habit forming depressant drug which destroys brain cells and wreaks havoc in society. The product on the beer truck brings that terrible result. Beer companies do not really make "Bud Weiser" they make "Bud stupider" and society worse! Christianity, the product promoted by the owner of the church van, really does make Bud, and all others who will accept it, wiser. "But the wisdom that is from above is first pure, then peaceable, gentle, willing to yield, full of mercy and good fruits, without partiality and without hypocrisy" (Jas. 3:17). They have salvation in Christ (Eph. 1:7). They have peace and joy here and hope hereafter. Christianity encourages others to hear the Gospel (Rm. 10:17), believe in Jesus (Jn. 20:30-31), repent of sins (Acts 17:30), confess Christ as the Son of God (Rm. 10:10), and be baptized into Christ (Gal. 3:27). A person who is "in Christ" will live "soberly, righteously and godly in this present world" (Tit. 2:12).

Hear again the words of the Bible, "And do not be drunk with wine, in which is dissipation; but be filled with the Spirit, speaking to one another in psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, singing and making melody in your heart to the Lord, giving thanks always for all things to God the Father in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ" (Eph. 5:18-20.) There is just one final thought-I am glad I was driving the church van and not the beer truck!

Charles Box
Glad Tidings of Good Things
Vol. 8/June 19,  2003
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