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The Church of God, International Offices located in Cleveland, Tennessee, is the worldwide headquarters of The Church of God. Our vision and mission is to keep and guard the truth, to evangelize the whole world with the full Gospel, to gather God's sheep into one Body, and to strive for the perfection of the saints.
This website is the home of The Church of God in the state of Alabama. It is our desire and endeavor to see the gospel of Jesus Christ and the message of His Church grow and flourish throughout our state.
From our State Overseer:
As I was going through some old church items given to me, I found the following sermon that had been clipped from a White Wing Messenger and pasted in a scrapbook. I thought of how this message must have touched the person who did this, to have gone to such lengths to preserve it. My eyes were drawn to the picture of the preacher. For family devotions that evening, we read the message and were encouraged by the writing. In light of all the sickness and hardships around us today, may you also find strength and encouragement in the reprint of this article from the 1960s.
—James R. Horne, State Overseer
“Though He Slay Me”
Sermon of H. H. Long to the 55th General Assembly in 1960
First of all I would like to say greetings to this wonderful Assembly, and express my appreciation for the prayers of each one that has prayed for me. Many have prayed, and because of that I am able to be here tonight. I don’t know exactly how much preaching I will be able to do, because I am very weak in my body, but I feel like I am here through the mercies of God. He has protected me, and His hand has been upon me many times when it looked like I wouldn’t be for this world much longer. I have been in severe pain many times, but I can look back and see that the hand of God has spared my life, and I praise Him for that.
My subject tonight concerns divine trust, and I feel like, “though he slay me, yet will I trust him.” I don’t think you can make a more positive statement than was made by Job. He didn't say, “though I have a test or a trial, or though I go through a hard place, or though I lose my cattle, or my family turns against me I will trust.” He said, “Even though You slay me, yet will I trust in Thee.” I just don’t believe we can go any further than that.
I don’t believe a darker picture could be drawn than the one found in the first chapter of Job. The Sons of God presented themselves before the Lord and, of course, the devil was around to present himself, and he said he had been going to and fro throughout the whole world—bragging that he had things going his way, just exactly like he wanted them.
Then God asked, “Have you considered my servant Job?” God has always, and will always, have someone He can call attention to! I wouldn’t for the world try to compare myself with the great man Job, for his life goes far deeper than the life of an individual. Yet there are many lessons to be garnered and gleaned from that wonderful story.
When comforters would come around and talk to Job, they would say, “If you were the man you ought to be, I don’t see why you would be lying there,” or, “If God cared for you like He says He does, I don’t see why He doesn’t do something for you.”
I have had people say, “I just don’t know what I would do under certain circumstances.” I have never been a person to make any brags about what I would do. I have never said I wouldn’t do so and so to stay here, but I have said that I believe it is Bible to trust God. Up until now, I have done that by the grace of God. It wasn’t me, it was the grace of God working in me. When we run out of grace, that is as far as we go. But God gives grace to the humble, and He resists the proud. Friends, if you want to go all the way with God, stay humble and he will give grace to see you through.
There has never been a time, pardon me for using my sickness, when I have been afraid, because my trust was anchored in God. Many times I felt like within myself it could be the end were it not for the faith that I had that God would heal me eventually. I wasn’t afraid because I knew the God in whom I trust tonight is able to deliver me. I know God can heal my body—He is able to speak and instantly heal—but I feel as Job felt years ago: “God, if you don’t to it, I will still trust You.”
The Hebrew children were placed on trial. The music sounded and they failed to bow down. They devil has lots of things for God’s children to bow down to, but the Hebrew boys said, “We are not careful to answer you.” And that is the way I feel about it tonight. We ought not to be careful about answering in these things. We want to say, “I know my Redeemer liveth, and though worms destroy my body yet in my flesh shall I see God. I know I will stand at the latter day, and I will see Him for myself and not another.”
I am glad that I know in whom I trust. Blessed is the man that trusteth in the Lord. Children, we don’t need to be afraid, for the Bible said that perfect love casteth out fear. It is usually when a child of God is under the influence of fear that he makes a mistake and fails the Lord. He that feareth is not made perfect in love.
Unless we are here when Jesus comes, we will go by way of the grave… After all, death is not a monster, it is an agent that separates the soul from the body. Precious in the sight of the Lord is the death of His saints, but I feel if we are full of the power of the Holy Ghost, if we are close to God, we can stand flat-
I realize we are living in a teaching age, and we shouldn’t be critical of our brothers and sisters when they don’t trust the Lord. That has been a great mistake, and people have even been caused to fail because the received undue criticism at a time when they were weak. But I feel that there is coming a time in the Church of God when we are going to lean on the arm of Him—when God is going to be our God all the way.
The Bible teaches if any sick is among you, let them call for the elders of the Church, let them pray over them, anointing them with oil in the name of the Lord and the prayer of faith shall save the sick, and the Lord shall raise them up. Now this is exactly why I am lying here tonight trusting God—that is the only thing I could find in the Bible. With no undue criticism to anybody, that is all that Brother James gave me. He said if you get sick to call for the elders of the Church. (The Holy Ghost spoke through Brother Long and others in the congregation.)
Who is he that will harm you, if ye be doers of that which is good? Who can fall out with you if you are trusting the Lord? Someone may say, “I believe if thus and so had been done, it would have been a different picture.” But you bring me another verse of Scripture with any other recommendation, and I will apologize… I’m not speaking of sinners who don’t have access to what we have access to, but I am speaking to members of the Church of God… The Church has a different route. James said if you get sick to call for the elders… and the prayer of faith shall save the sick… and if he has committed sins, they shall be forgiven him. One thing about being healed by the power of God, you not only lose the disease, you lose the cause...When we are healed by the power of God, we are doing things the Bible way.
“Though he slay me, yet will I trust Him.” Those words have run through my mind, and I couldn’t have had a subject I would have liked better, because those words have been rolling over and over in my heart… Somebody said the Hebrew boys didn’t know whether they were coming out of the furnace or not, but they said, “The God we serve is able to deliver us… but if not, we won’t serve your gods!”
Tonight there is a deep settled peace within my heart. It comes from knowing I have done what I could… to stay on Bible lines, and to stay were I could get a prayer through… If we are failing God miserably, not doing the things we know we ought to do, we know we can’t get our healing… May the Lord help us to place our trust in Him and even though He sees fit to slay us, let us trust in Him. Let’s don’t bow down. I believe from here to the finish line we are going to all have opportunity to bow down and be sidetracked, but there is not a stand in the world as real as taking a stand for God.
Teachings of the Church are wonderful, and if we put them into operation, we have nothing to fear… Somebody said, “I don’t know what I would do, I’d be afraid to say I would trust the Lord.” And that is what is the matter now! That’s the trouble now! The Bible asked, “If the salt lose its savor wherein shall it be salted?” Church of God, if God can’t call upon us, then who would He call upon? We are epistles, known and read of all men, and we are supposed to show the world the New Testament in action. We are supposed to be the Bible lived in front of the people, and anytime a child of God gets so far from the Lord until they are afraid to say they will stand on Bible lines, they need to pray. I am not speaking of boasting… those kind of people have their day. I am speaking about people who will take a stand for God and say, “If it wasn’t in the Bible, it would be a different situation.”
One day, through tears on my knees, I found out this was the way. And you know Daniel could have avoided the lion’s den. His enemies said, “If we get anything on him, we are just going to have to find fault with the way he serves his God.” They began to scheme… and tricked the king into signing a decree forbidding anyone to pray for a certain period of time. But Daniel kept on when he knew the writing was signed…
I want to say to the vast congregation, don’t ever be afraid to put your trust in God. If the devil can cause fear to come upon God’s children, that is the time he will begin to whisper in your ear… but just say if God sees fit to take me, it will be a short-
I know the devil can’t kill me. I am just as safe as a baby in its mother’s arms, as far as the devil is concerned… When Satan proposed to make Job curse God to His face, the Lord said, “There he is. He is in your hands; only don’t take his life.” Job had boils from the crown of his head to the soles of his feet, his family was gone and he had lost everything, but the Bible said he didn’t sin or charge God foolishly. What a wonderful spirit.
My life is in the hands of Jesus, and until He says it is enough the devil can’t do anything about it. That’s why I’m not afraid to trust the Lord. Somebody said you can trust the Lord for some things, but let’s be reasonable… What kind of a God do you think we are serving? God made us out of the dust, breathed into our nostrils the breath of life… and, friends, God doesn’t need any help! All He needs is a godly life, simple childlike faith… If you want to help God, life right; that is all the help He needs.
Somebody said we ought to do all we can, then go to Him. I have never believed that. God is a jealous God. How would you like for your children to run all over the neighborhood and when they failed to get what they desired, come sneaking in to mamma and daddy? We would not appreciate that, would we? Children, let’s put God first. Makes no difference how big the test, how dark the trial, how dark the way, remember that God said, “Don’t touch his life.”
Pastor H. H. Long has been seriously ill for several months, having been bedfast for most of that time. He was brought to the Assembly in an ambulance in order to deliver this sermon, and the inspiration of his example and his message was a thrilling thing to the thousands who heard him preach from a stretcher on Friday night.
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