Elder Daily Hite (dec)

From the “Advocate and Messenger” April, 1988

Dear ones, we are able to escape, and do escape some things, and there are some things we are not ale to escape. All humanity lives with a natural body and we cannot escape the consequences of sin and even death itself, “for all have sinned against God's laws and come short of the glory of God."  Man is not able to escape the punishment of God for his disobedience.

To escape is to avoid a punishment; to miss a trial or misfortune; to get away from any evil or act facing one; to avoid a threatened ill or circumstance. I escaped serious injury a short time back in an auto accident, and while the police said, “Saved by the belt,” I felt surely it must have been by the Lord. So there are different sources of power to enable one to escape.

God's word is still true and is plainly stated. “How shall we escape, if we neglect so great salvation...?" Escape what ? The condemnation of God; chastisement for our disobediences in not seriously and earnestly taking heed to the word of God. The word spoken by angels is still steadfast and sure so that every transgression and disobedience receives a just recompense of reward, and we cannot expect to escape such a recompense if we fail to heed God's teachings. So let us not neglect the great salvation the Lord has blessed us with in Zion, the . kingdom that the Lord is graciously watching over in this life. It is so great and above everything else, it is worth our all in all. Jesus has paid the sin debt of His people, and they all shall live with Him in glory, but He has commanded them to walk in obedience here in the church kingdom, that they may eat the good of the land and enjoy sweet union and fellowship as they walk in the light.

The term escape is used many places in God's word, and how important it is that we heed His word on all occasions. He destroyed the cities of Sodom and Gomorrah with fire and brimstone for their great iniquity and grievous sins. Abraham stood before the Lord to intercede on behalf of the few righteous souls that were there, so Lot and his wife and two daughters were led out of the city and told to escape for their lives. "Look not behind thee, neither stay thou in the plains, escape to the mountains lest thou be consumed." Lot pleaded with the Lord to let him flee to a little city nearby, and the Lord told him to haste and escape thither. How many times we need to make haste to do the bidding of the Lord and not listen to man's reasoning! Lot and his family fled to the small city, Zoar, but Lot's wife looked back and became a pillar of salt, for she disobeyed God's command. She escaped the fire and brimstone, but she lost her usefulness in this world. How much we need to be doing as we go forward, not looking back to the elements of the world. We escape so much affliction, both to body and soul, as we obey God. How shall we escape, if we neglect so great salvation?

David declared his trust in the Lord (Psalms 71) and prayed, "Deliver me in thy righteousness, and cause me to escape: incline thine ear unto me, and save me.. . for thou art my rock and my fortress." So he pleaded to escape out of the hand of the wicked, "out of the hand of the unrighteous and cruel man," that he might never be put to confusion. The Lord had held him up and was a strong refuge to him, "For thou art my hope, 0 Lord God: thou art my trust from my youth." Then comes my hope and prayer, to escape the hand of the worldly evil, that the Lord would not cast me off in the time of old age, nor forsake me when my strength faileth (Ver. 9). May the Lord bless all of Zion with this wonderful trust in Him and His way above everything else, that we may escape the wicked of this world and not become a castaway.

The Lord said, "Heaven and earth shall pass away; but my words shall not pass away." So we are able to take heed to ourselves lest at any time our hearts be overcharged with the cares of this life, and the day of the Lord come upon us unawares. We must watch therefore, and pray always, that we may be counted worthy to escape all these things, and to stand before the Son of man. It is the Father who has made us meet to be partakers of the inheritance of the saints in light; so we need to take heed to ourselves, not somebody else, to watch and pray that we may be counted worthy to escape the judgment of Jesus at His commanding. The day of the Lord cometh as a thief in the night, and we need to watch and pray.

There are many temptations and snares to all humanity, for the Lord has said that no temptation overtakes us but such as is common to man. "But God is faithful, who will not suffer you to be tempted above that ye are able, but will with the temptation also make a way to escape, that ye may be able to bear it." Oh! how we need to heed this way of escape, that we might be able to bear all for Jesus' sake. "See that ye refuse not him that speaketh. For if they escaped not who refused him that spake on earth, much more shall not we escape, if we turn away from him that speaketh from heaven." His voice shook the earth and we must not turn from Him and His ways, for we shall not escape the just condemnation of God if we do.

I want to call attention to a precious truth concerning escaping the evils of this life. Peter expressed his desire that through the knowledge of God and of Jesus our Lord grace and peace might be multiplied unto His children; and he goes on and says, "According as his divine power hath given unto us all things that pertain unto life and godliness, through the knowledge of him that hath called us to glory and virtue: whereby are given unto us exceeding great and precious promises: that by these ye might be partakers of the divine nature, having escaped the corruption that is in the world through lust." Precious ones, we have escaped the corruption, therefore let us diligently add to our faith the virtues mentioned in the this same chapter, and walk in newness of life, for in doing these things we shall never fall. This we will escape, but he that lacketh these things is blind, and cannot see afar off, and hath forgotten that he was purged from his old sins.

Lord, enable us to take diligent heed to Thy word and escape the corruption that is in the world through lust: for if after we have escaped the pollutions of the world through the knowledge of our Saviour Jesus Christ we are again entangled therein and overcome, the latter end will be worse with us than the beginning. May we not be entangled again with the yoke of Satan's bondage but enjoy liberty and freedom from such to the glory of God.