The Berean Expositor
Volume 38 - Page 137 of 249
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pp. 41 - 60
Supposing the reader is sure that "all Scripture is given by inspiration of God", and
that he is logical enough to believe that inasmuch as the Gospel according to Matthew is
a part of "all Scripture", it is therefore with the rest equally "inspired", we ask the
question would it be wise or right to decide to distribute freely among the unsaved the
Gospel according to Matthew? We can well understand that such a question will be met
in many cases with a most decided token of objection, and we hasten to assure the reader
that no attack is being made on the Scriptures or on the Gospel according to Matthew, but
that a serious objection is being laid against their "indiscriminate" use. Continuing our
supposition, let us say that a copy of this Gospel according to Matthew has been placed in
the hands of an unsaved man with the assurance that this Gospel is indeed and in truth
the Word of God. He discovers that "everlasting life" is found in Matt. 19: 16, 29 and
25: 46, and accordingly, being intensely interested, he reads these passages in the hope
that the way of everlasting life may be made clear. He is somewhat disturbed to read the
"Master, what good thing shall I do, that I may have eternal (everlasting) life?"
and is even more disturbed to read the Lord's answer,
"If thou wilt enter into life KEEP THE COMMANDMENTS,"
and he is not left in doubt concerning what commandments are in view (19: 16-22).
While pondering this legal and unattainable qualification for everlasting life he observes
a second reference in the same chapter, and with some hope of discovering terms within
his powers, reads:
"And every one that hath forsaken houses, or brethren, or sisters, or father, or mother,
or wife, or children, or lands, for My name's sake, shall receive an hundredfold, and shall
inherit everlasting life" (19: 29),
and is hard put to it to decide which of the two sets of conditions are the more difficult or
the more hopeless. In any case he is not at all sure that these passages are "good tidings"
so far as he is concerned. However, he learns that one other pronouncement on this vital
theme is found in chapter twenty-five, and accordingly discovers that those who are
denominated "the righteous", who go into "life eternal" (everlasting), are those of the
nations who have treated the Lord's brethren with kindliness, even though they confessed
that they had no idea at the time that they were doing such acts unto the Lord Himself. In
no instance is faith in exercise or the finished work of Christ in view, but in each case
some element of merit is prominent. He can gain everlasting life by "keeping" the
ten commandments, or by "forsaking" home and land, or by "ministering" to the