I have noticed that people who try to live right and be Christians have more “bad luck” than those who are selfish and wicked. Does the Bible give any reason for this?
<ANSWER>–Yes, the Bible does give the reason. On the principle that a skiff rowed against the stream is twice as likely to be bumped into by logs and debris as if it were floating down stream, even so, the man who strives against selfishness and sin has a harder fight. The natural tendency of the world is downward. The Christian finds as the Redeemer said, that “Strait (difficult) is the gate and narrow is the way which leadeth to life, and few there be that find it.” (`Mat. 7:14`.) The Lord permits the Christian to have adverse experiences that his character may be developed. Willingness to brave opposition indicates a character pleasing to the Lord. Weak Christians become discouraged with these experiences, but strong Christians grow stronger in the Lord and develop strong characters. It is to the faithful Christian that God has given the promise of joint-heirship with Jesus in His Kingdom. To such He says, “We might through much tribulation enter the Kingdom of God.” (`Acts. 14:22`)
What is signified by the Scriptural expression, “The Sun of Righteousness shall arise with healing in its beams?” (`Mal. 4:2`) (X.)
<ANSWER>–In the prophetic language of the Scriptures, the condition of the race of mankind throughout its entire history in sin and ignorance, suffering and death, is likened to a dark night time. “Darkness covers the earth and gross darkness the people” is the Prophet’s declaration. Truly it has been a fearful time of darkness in which mankind has been groping for the better things which instinctively all realize do not exist at this time but must come somehow, somewhere. And in this dreadful night time how many have dreamed fearful dreams, having the awful nightmare of eternal torment before their minds! But, thank God, the Scriptures represent that a day is approaching, “The Day of the Lord,” in the dawning of which all the shadows of ignorance and prejudice shall roll away. The Psalmist, in poetic expressions, portrays the transition from the darkness of the night to the glorious radiance of the day. “Weeping may endure for a night; but joy cometh in the morning.” Yes, it is to be a joyous time for the world when all shall be enlightened concerning the goodness of the Creator and when sorrow and sighing; suffering and death shall be no more. The “Sun of Righteousness” will be formed of the members of the Church of Christ, as the Lord Jesus declared, “The righteous shall shine as the sun in the Kingdom of their Father.” (`Mat. 13:43`) It shall arise with “healing in its beams” in the sense that the Church together with her Lord will be manifested in power and great glory to all the world and will illuminate the whole earth with the knowledge of the glory of the Father which will result in the healing and blessing of all the families, kindred, and nations of the earth. It is no wonder that the “whole creation groans and travails in pain together until now, waiting for the manifestation of the Sons of God” –this glorious Sun of Righteousness. (`Rom. 8:22,19`)
Is it proper to speak of those who have turned from sin to righteousness as being regenerated or having a regenerated heart?
<ANSWER>–The term “regenerated” is equivalent to the expression of “being born again.” There are but two places in the Scriptures where the expression “regeneration” occurs. In `Titus 3:5`, it is used to represent the reforming and justifying influences of faith in the Redeemer, the Lord Jesus Christ; and again in `Matthew 19:28`, where it is used to represent that glorious moral, social, political, religious, and physical change which will be introduced by the Messiah who says, “Behold, I make all things new.” (`Rev. 21:5`) The process of regeneration is now going on in the experiences of the members of the Church of Christ–the Christians. These have been begotten of the Spirit and must grow and develop as “new creatures,” and will be born of the Spirit in the resurrection when as glorious spirit beings they will be invisible and powerful and can then go and come as the wind. (`John 3:8`) In the regeneration of the world, after the Church has experienced the new birth, the race will be restored to its primitive conditions of perfection and life as represented in Adam in the Garden of Eden–“The Times of Restitution of all things spoken by the mouth of all the holy Prophets.” (`Acts 3:19-21`)