and Dumber People
“Be not deceived; God is not mocked: for whatsoever a man soweth, that shall he also reap” Galatians 6:7.
In other words, do not fool yourself; the crop comes, the crop comes. He thought it couldn’t happen, but it did. Dr. Oxnard, a celebrated surgeon of New Orleans, says that every man that smokes cigarettes will die of lung cancer unless he dies of something else first. That’s it. And yet, what are men doing? By the millions, they are doing just what this poor fellow did. What do they need? They need more than information, they need power. Thank God, “the gospel, is the power of God unto salvation to everyone that believeth” Romans 1:16.
“Seek ye the Lord while he may be found, call ye upon him while he is near: Let the wicked forsake his way, and the unrighteous man his thoughts: and let him return unto the Lord, and he will have mercy upon him; and to our God, for he will abundantly pardon” Isaiah 55:6-7.
I was thinking also, as I read this experience, something that a doctor friend of mine was telling me, out at the Loma Linda University a few months ago. In an experiment that had been conducted in a great research center, in one of the great universities of the United States, they took some monkeys, and they were studying how the minds of monkeys worked. Some people, you know, think that monkeys and men are closely related, and so they work with monkeys — experiment with them. So in this experiment, they had monkeys in a cage, and they would… shock these monkeys. But they had a red light that went on, and they trained these monkeys, that if they would see that red light go on, and jump for a pole that was in the middle of the cage, they would escape the shock. Every monkey that grabbed the pole escaped the shock. Well, the monkeys caught on quite rapidly. And now watch. Having established this lesson in the monkey’s mind, if you jump when the red light goes on you won’t get shocked, then they gave these monkeys tranquilizers. And interestingly enough, dear friends, the monkeys would jump, but only after they got shocked. That’s right. The red light didn’t move a single tranquilized monkey! Deep in his brain was the message that jumping to the pole means safety. But watch this, don’t miss it friends; watch it right here! Deep in that brain was the lesson: “jumping to the pole means safety.” But the tranquilized monkey felt no need for any more safety than he had with that red light blinking. The red light didn’t bother him. It was the shock that finally moved him to jump.
Ah, friends, do you see where this world is tonight? Tranquilized with alcohol, tranquilized with tobacco, tranquilized with tea and coffee and coca cola, tranquilized with all manner of drugs, tranquilized and hypnotized with many of these TV programs, and theater programs, movies, fiction in the press, on and on. Do you see what I’m getting at, my friends? The minds of people are indeed tranquilized, and as the result, as God’s red blinker blinks, as the warning light flashes, do people respond? Very seldom. Like the man that I just read you about — a scientist of national repute, with his name signed to the report, that lung cancer is, without question, due to cigarette smoking; and that cigarette smoking, without question, leads to fatal illness. Nevertheless, with that red light flashing that he himself has seen flashing and helped to flash across a continent, he goes on smoking four packs a day, until the shock comes and then he jumps for the ‘pole.’
Isn’t it pitiful my friends? In most cases — as Dr. Harmer was just telling me this afternoon as I went over this with him — when the lung cancer is operated on, it’s already too late. It’s just a matter of time till the individual is gone.
Do you hear our text echoing and re-echoing, louder and louder?
“Seek ye the Lord while he may be found, call ye upon him while he is near…” Isaiah 55:6.
While there is time, while life lingers, while health is yours, while your mind can still work, let God have His way. And now did you notice that next verse there in Isaiah 55? Let the wicked, do what? Forsake his way. Ah, can I seek the Lord and still hold on to my way? Can I get help and still hang onto the cigarette? Won’t God heal me while I still go on puffing, puffing, puffing?
From Sermon #0967