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Page 310

How is Revelation 3:17 and 18 applicable to the spiritual lesson illustrated by this story? "Because thou sayest, I am rich, and increased with goods, and have need of nothing; and knowest not that thou art wretched, and miserable, and poor, and blind, and naked: I counsel thee to buy of Me gold tried in the fire, that thou mayest be rich; and white raiment, that thou mayest be clothed, and that the shame of thy nakedness do not appear; and anoint thine eyes with eyesalve, that thou mayest see."


    How is Revelation 3:17 and 18 applicable to the spiritual lesson illustrated by this story?

    "Because thou sayest, I am rich, and increased with goods, and have need of nothing; and knowest not that thou art wretched, and miserable, and poor, and blind, and naked: I counsel thee to buy of Me gold tried in the fire, that thou mayest be rich; and white raiment, that thou mayest be clothed, and that the shame of thy nakedness do not appear; and anoint thine eyes with eyesalve, that thou mayest see."

    Imagine a soldier breaking through the outside wall, cutting through metres (or yards)of barbed wire, and finally, one night, quietly knocking on the window of an old barracks where several of his soldier friends are being held captive as prisoners of war. Excitedly, he tells them of the way of escape that has been opened for them.

    To his dismay, however, he finds that his friends have been so brainwashed that they believe they are living in quite decent surroundings and do not want to leave. He tries every approach possible - showing them the extreme poverty of their food rations, clothing, and living quarters; pointing out to them their slavery; and describing to them the terrible final result of death by remaining where they are. But they are not concerned. "Things could be worse," they respond.

    In desperation he describes to them the excellent way of escape that is available, the beauty of the freedom which awaits them, and the honor that would be theirs in their home country; but they are not interested.

    Finally, they tell him that they will think about that which he has told them, but for now to leave them alone, as they want to sleep yet for a few hours.

    How can this illustration be compared to fallen man's condition and his response to the way of deliverance opened up by Jesus Christ through which sinners may escape from the bondage of sin? Certainly the condition of prisoners of war is pitiful; but that they do not see their misery is even more sorrowful. Why?


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