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May 1984 - Editorial

Asaph was deeply troubled about the apparent ease and prosperity of the wicked, until one day he "went into the sanctuary of God and considered their latter end." The wise attitude of the psalmist is referred to by one of our contributors (page 78) and such far-sighted faith is much in evidence in our pages this month.

Do we sufficiently take into consideration our own latter end? Encouragement towards this is provided by an article on the Judgement-seat of Christ. The profound effect it should have on the Christian disciple's present life is discussed. The apostle John expressed it like this, "... that if He shall be manifested, we may have boldness, and not be ashamed before Him at His coming" (1 John 2:28). If we are faithful to the Lord now we shall not hang our heads in shame when we meet Him!

All those faithful witnesses listed in Hebrews 11 had at least one thing in common; they lived for the eternal future rather than the transient present. Careful observance of that principle will help us to live unselfish Christlike lives and be truly "the salt of the earth" as the article on the Sermon on the Mount encourages us to be.

The apostle James is thinking on similar lines in his letter (chapter 5). Speaking of the greed and oppressive behaviour of the rich compared with the sufferings of the righteous, he counsels patience until the coming of the Lord. "Ye have seen the end of the Lord," he says. He envisages the future miseries of the rich and contrasts them with the blessings of those who endure, for "the Lord is full of pity and merciful." Job, a righteous man, suffered more than most, but afterwards experienced remarkable prosperity from the hand of a righteous God.

Like the pilgrims of Hebrews 11, we don't look for earthly prosperity, but with the apostle Paul we "reckon that the sufferings of this present time are not worthy to be compared with the glory which shall be revealed to us-ward" (Rom. 8:18).