Tearing Down the Stop Sign
the road at the intersection, there had always been a stop sign.
Everyone had to stop at it before crossing the road.
sign had been there as long as anyone could remember.
while some people said the old signpost was necessary to protect the
people, others thought it was useless. We would do just as well
without it, they said. Probably better.
fact, many people began ignoring the signpost. Yet as they did, some
noticed that the accident rate increased at that intersection.
when it was suggested that disobeying the sign might be the problem,
that irritated some people.
long, the whole thing blossomed into a full-fledged controversy.
were those who said the sign ought to be obeyed, while others said it
ought to be gotten rid of. A campaign even began, to get enough people
in favor of tearing it down.
there were still many who were puzzled at the whole situation, and
hardly knew what to think.
said all the fault was with the sign. It is a nuisance, they
declared. Get rid of the sign, and then everything will be all right
there were a few thoughtful ones who maintained that the problem was not
the sign--but disobedience to it. That was what was causing the
trouble. And trouble there was.
this, some learned men, who had been trained in the sciences, stepped
forward and tried to settle the matter, once and for all. They declared,
We have completed a research study. The difficulty at the
intersection is not the traffic, but the sign. It is just too hard to
obey. Take down the sign and the problem will be solved.
a few stood up and protested. It is the sign which is saving lives,
not disobedience to it.
two or three university philosophers announced their own profound
findings: The trouble lay deeper than most realized. The problem,
said they, is not the sign itselfbut the rules that such signs
stand for. If we just do away with the rules, everyone will live more
peaceably and be happier.
Surely this must be true,
thought many, since it
comes from the wisest men in the land.
willing to be left out, the leading churchmen picked up the idea, and
amplified on it in several deep theological treatises. When the
preachers read those learned words, fearing to be thought old-fashioned,
they immediately began preaching the good news from their pulpits. They
called it the Good News of Freedom from Law.
Under their influence, large
numbers were gradually being won over to the idea. It is true
that God gave us the Ten Commandments, they said, and those rules
provide mankind with the best moral code it has ever had, but He does
not want us to keep those rules. We can just keep sinning till the end
with messages like this--and coming from even the preachers--many of
the people thought the atheists and liberals surely must be right after
all. Down with rules, they said, for they only hurt us. Freedom
to do as we like; that is what we want!
more people talked about it, the more people liked the idea. Even the
politicians, always anxious to please, climbed onto the bandwagon.
whole thing became a scoffers holiday. Let us get rid of the
regulations requiring obedience. Did not the preachers tell us that even
God no longer has rules governing anyone's conduct? Why should we obey
mans rules either?
it surely looked as if peace and harmony was nearing. At last, the
people felt they had solved the problem of the intersection. Tear down
the sign, and then everyone
will be happier when they go through that busy intersection.
of the atheists, preachers, and liberals, by this time large numbers of
people were totally ignoring the old signpost anyway. Indeed, not only
was the sign disobeyed, but the new teaching brought an end to other
restraints as well. Drunken drivers, reckless speeders, and corrupt
police who could be bribed. Everyone did what he wanted. Ambulances
regularly hauled away the injured and dismembered to the hospital.
this fact only increased the controversy, as a small number kept urging
that people obey the law. While some said it was disobedience to the
sign which caused the accidents,
others theorized the accidents were caused because people were
distracted by the words on the sign as they raced through the
you not see, they cried, it is those rules which cause all
there were still a few who doggedly replied, The very existence of
the busy intersection requires traffic rules and warning signs! If the
people will just obey the signs, the accidents will cease!
this time, those who hated that old wooden marker and the rules behind
it had become so angry--they said the problem was not really just signs
and rules; it was the people urging that the signs and rules be obeyed!
meeting was held, and the leading men of the town led out. All our
troubles, they said, are caused because the rules still exist, and
because of those who tell us to obey them! Then they passed a
resolution, condemning the small company who urged that the laws be
obeyed. They were denounced as legalists and troublemakers.
we can just get rid of the laws--and the troublemakers who demand their
obedience--we can have peace and prosperity again, they cried.
this time, most everyone was rallying to one or the other of the two
sides. One side pled for law and order; the other demanded freedom from
small group declared, We want to do what is right. Self-control and
obedience to law is the only way to really be happy.
the larger number cried, We want to do whatever we please. Freedom
from all the rules is the most satisfying way to live!
My friend, on which side do you stand?
one leads into a broad road, along which is found grief, tragedy, and
eternal loss. The other opens onto a narrow pathway which leads steadily
upward to great reward.
the beginning, God placed mankind under moral law--the Ten
Commandments. Men and women have always been required to control
themselves in order to have true happiness in this life. But God also
offers grace--enabling strength through Jesus Christ--to obey those
their actions, everyone inevitably moves to one side or the other in
people thank God for the empowering help, offered through the life,
death, and mediation of Jesus Christ, and are willing to take hold of
that strength. Thankful that God offers to redeem them, they submit to
His plan and, in His strength, they control themselves and spend their
years trying to help others live happier lives. They are getting ready
for heaven, for they have heaven in their hearts.
there are others who want to live as they please. They care little for
Gods laws or for mans. All that matters is how they can advance
their own selfish interests and pleasures.
On which side will you stand? Christ died so you could live a clean life, in obedience to God and in harmony with the Ten Commandments. Will you choose the high way or the low?
you want the low way, just keep living heedlessly as you have probably
if you hunger for something better for your life, then fall on your
knees right now and plead with God for forgiveness. Confess your sins to
Him and forsake them. Dedicate your life to Him. Give Him everything you
are. He alone can make you into someone good and noble and true. He
alone can lift you up and give you a new life. He is the only One who
can give you a heart willing to obey the Ten Commandments. He is the One
who can give you strength, day by day, to carry it through--as you
study and seek to obey His Inspired Writings.
the reward is great: a happier life down here, and an eternity with
Christ beyond. Really, now, is it not worth it?
it takes is a surrendered, obedient life, which He alone can help you
On which side will you stand?
you stand with those who try to tear down Gods Ten Commandments or
with those who, in His strength, obey them?
There are the youth pastors who instruct the young people that it isnt necessary to stop sinning. God doesn't ask for it, they say, all you need is faith and you will be saved.
are the ministers at camp meeting who instruct the people that they were
saved at the cross, and cannot now be lost--as long as they believe.
are the church leaders, editors, and writers who extol the virtues of
only believe, and warn the flock to beware of trying to obey
Gods law, lest they become legalists.
order to excuse their own sinning, they even declare that Jesus did not
really become a full human being because, if He had, He could not have
resisted sin either! What blasphemy!
all the while, our youth and loved ones sink deeper into corruption,
caused by a theological system which teaches that it is impossible to
control ones self--with or without Christ--and resist temptation in
floodgates of iniquity are opening. And all the devils of hell are
pouring in. Wine drinking, wild music, card playing, pre-marital sex and
adultery, theater watching, worldly books and magazines. Anything goes;
for now, the preacher says it is all right.
it is not all right. There is a God in heaven, and He has given us
Inspired Writings--and they condemn sin. Turn anywhere in them and
read, for the message is clear.
way may seem pleasing and right to the man, but the end thereof is the
way of death.
is no hope for anyone who does not resolutely turn from these worldly
lures and plead with Christ for help, study His Word as though life
depended on it, and obey the plain teachings of Scripture.
not let your pastor fool you. There is only one safe path to heaven. It
is obedience by faith, in Christ, to the Word of God.