Tuesday, July 14, 2015

A Message to Florida Bible College Alumni - from Yankee Arnold

A Message to the Florida Bible College Alumni

Dear Alumni of Florida Bible College, 

In 1975, I was asked by the producers of the "5th Page Momentum" to write what I thought would be a helpful challenge to the students that were presently attending Florida Bible College.
Some alumni attended FBC in Miami, some in Hollywood, some would in Kissimmee, and one day perhaps there will be alumni from Tampa and Orlando. Regardless of the locations, there was overlapping of teachers and students from all locations that bound, and bind, them all together.
Although I gave this charge to the students (now alumni) 40 years ago, I believe it is still pertinent for the alumni today. I found this copy, and pray that it serves again as a reminder of our commitment to the defense of the gospel.

5th page Momentum

Dr. Ralph “Yankee” Arnold 



"SET FOR THE DEFENSE OF THE GOSPEL"

"In all thy getting, get the message and in all thy giving, give the message.”

Dear Students of FBC,

I graduated from FBC in May of 1968. I’m proud to say I am a graduate of the college that is the GREATEST DEFENDER of the GOSPEL the world has ever known. While attending school I gained a lot of things: friends, methods, a wealth of Bible knowledge - all unmatched by what might be gained from any other school, and lots of love and understanding from my teachers.  But the greatest thing in all my getting was the art of presenting the gospel to lost people.

The voice of the greatest orator in the world is useless to the Lord without proclaiming the greatest message in the world. The greatest message in the world will lie dormant without a voice to proclaim it. It has been seven years since I graduated. Many friends have changed, many methods have been tried and discarded, but the message never needs to be altered.

While at school or when you leave, remember in all thy giving to give the gospel. Many preachers today are faithful in giving the invitation but not the gospel; they are faithful in preaching the Bible, and think that makes them a gospel preaching church.

I believe that to defend the gospel means to DEFEND the Gospel:

1) If you do not defend it, you don’t love it;
2) If you’re not ashamed of it, you won’t change it;
3) If you’ve got confidence in it, you will give it.

“The only way to keep the faith is to give it away.”

Students, when you leave school, your biggest battle will be the way in which you defend this message. Keep in mind, it will be Christians and not lost people that will influence you the most.

THINGS TO WATCH FOR: 
 
1) When you leave school you leave with an extra set of eyes, and you will see things others cannot see. If a man is blind and you give him sight, he may look at flowers, sun, trees, or all sorts of beautiful things; or he may look at dirt, garbage, or all things that are wrong in this world. If he points out the dirt, people may say he's being critical, but before he received sight he couldn't tell the difference. You have been given sight as to what is a clear message and what is a muddy message.

DO NOT CONDEMN YOURSELF AS BEING CRITICAL WHEN YOU CAN DETECT ERROR IN A MAN’S MESSAGE, BUT BE THANKFUL YOU HAVE SPIRITUAL DISCERNMENT.

2) Be careful in working with people whose message is not as clear. Be careful in joining hands with a blind man. Muddy water Mixed with a glass of clear water will affect the clear water. Don't make the mistake of saying "he doesn't present the gospel as clear as we do, but .... "
There are three dangers in working with people whose messages are not clear:

        A.    You will be tempted to compromise by not speaking out on terms you know are doctrinally wrong, speakers and programs you know are wrong, literature you know is wrong, and standards that are not according to your convictions.

        B.    You must try to change the people to think the way you do. (This is about as bad as trying to change a person after marriage.)

        C. If you do not compromise, (and you are being trained to not compromise) and if you do not change them, the only alternative result is that eventually you will either split that work, or have to leave.

"If we do not keep fighting for a clear message we will lose it.”  

Remember: The lost man cannot fight for a clear message.
 
3) No method is worth your message. The end does not justify the means. Seek to weigh all methods in reaching people, keeping people, training people and using (but not misusing) people, by the effect it will have on people's attitude toward the gospel.

"Your biggest challenge is to reach the lost world; your biggest potential error would be trying to change the Christian world.”

While you are at school - GET SET!