the things that
. . .You Suffer
"When you believe in the things
that you don't understand, you
suffer . . . Superstition is the way"
WHEN YOU HEAR the word
"superstition," what comes to mind?
Perhaps you picture the superstitious
person living in constant fear of doing something
that would result in bad luck.
Superstitious beliefs are generally con-
sidered unfounded and irrational. The typical
superstitious person has no idea why or how a
given action, such as spilling salt, results in bad
luck. Superstition is a perfect example of
"believing in the things that you don't
understand." One could even represent
superstition as a "black box."
The "black box" concept . . .
When describing an electronic system, the term
"black box" is sometimes used. A "black box" is
a simplified representation of a complex sys-
tem, wherein the system is conceptualized as
a "box" with an input and an output.
Visualizing a complex system as a "black box"
allows a person to describe the system's overall
operation without having to describe the exact
"inner" details. "How" the system accomplishes
its task is conveniently "hidden" within the box.
For example, whether you realize it or not, you
would probably describe a T.V. sent as a "black
box" to someone who had never heard of
television. You would likely describe the T.V. set
as a device that receives a signal (the input) and
puts out an image (the resulting output). Since
you may not understand actually what takes
place electronically within the T.V., the exact
explanation of how the input is turned into the
output is avoided by conceptualizing the T.V. as
a "black box."
a "Black Box"
Superstition: a "black box" . . .
The "black box" concept can also be applied to
anything involving a cause and effect. Thus, it
can be said that superstitious people are dealing
with a "black box."
For instance, superstitious people typically
assume that a broken mirror results in seven
years of bad luck, without knowing how or why;
the broken mirror is somehow transformed into
bad luck by the "black box" known as
Now, you may be thinking that living a life
influenced by a "black box" is a foolish thing to
do. You might even be saying to yourself,
"Thank God I'm not foolish enough to believe in
something I don't understand."
However, there is one common practice billions
of people throughout the world treat as a "black
box." You may be practicing it without realizing
it. The Bible even refers to this common
practice, equating it with being superstitious.
This practice is called religion . . .
IN ACTS CHAPTER SEVENTEEN, we find the
Apostle Paul doing what God had called him
to do: preach the gospel. On this particular
occasion Paul was in Athens, Greece, which at
the time was an intellectual hot spot. Among
those present at Athens, the Bible mentions the
"Philosophers of the Epicureans, and of the
Stoicks..." Acts 17:18
Many, if not most, of the Athenians viewed
themselves as amateur philosophers, at worst.
They were highly opinionated: "For all the
Athenians and strangers which were there spent
their time in nothing else, but either TO TELL,
OR TO HEAR SOME NEW THING." Acts 17:21
Being "superstitious" is not commonly
associated with intellectualism. And yet, when
Paul stood up to preach that day, he used that
very word to describe them: "Then Paul stood in
the midst of Mars' hill, and said, Ye men of
Athens, I perceive that in all things YE ARE TOO
SUPERSTITIOUS..." Acts 17:22
What did Paul mean by that?
The very next verse provides the answer: "..
.For as I passed by, and beheld your devotions,
I found an altar with this inscription, TO THE
UNKNOWN GOD. Whom therefore ye ignorantly
worship, him declare I unto you." Acts 17:23
Paul was equating being religious with being
superstitious. Perhaps you, being somewhat of
a religious person yourself, find Paul's assertion
strange. However, applying the "black box"
concept to the religious person reveals a similar
mindset as that of the superstitious.
Both the religious and the superstitious tend to
believe in the things that they don't understand.
And as you will learn, both tend to suffer.
Worship without understanding . . .
It is a fact that most, if not all, religious people
don't fully understand most of the rituals
associated with their particular religion. Take
baptism, for instance. Most denominations
falling under the heading of "Christianity"
baptize infants. They erroneously assume infant
baptism makes one a child of God. But does the
average person participating in infant baptism
know HOW and WHY the sprinkling of water
over a baby's forehead results in being a
member of God's family?
To the average church goer, infant baptism is a
"black box." The input is water sprinkled on a
forehead, while the resulting outcome is
supposedly a child of God. But HOW the
supposed transformation takes place is as
unknown as the inner workings of a T.V. set.
And yet, in spite of this mystery, millions will
dare not take their babies in for baptism, for fear
that something tragic may occur. Is it any better
than being superstitious? Is it any better than
anyone else who believes in the things that they
(The fact is, infant baptism DOES NOT make
someone a child of God any more than spilled
salt results in bad luck.)
The Athenians of Paul's day were believing in
the things they did not understand. Paul brought
to their attention, "THE UNKNOWN GOD. Whom
therefore ye ignorantly worship[.]"
The Athenians were worshipping in ignorance.
Their rituals were based on tradition and/or
religious assumptions they had made. Many
today are guilty of the same thing.
Is God, Himself, a "Black box"?
Many are trying to worship a God they don't
truly know or understand. They are basing their
religious lives on erroneous assumptions; they
simply don't know what God truly requires of
them. Their religion and God are "black boxes."
Paul introduced the "UNKNOWN GOD" that the
Athenians were trying to worship. Paul told
them about the "God that made the world and
all things therein, seeing that he is Lord of
heaven and earth, dwelleth not in temples made
with hands; Neither is worshipped with men's
hands, as though he needed any thing, seeing he
"Let him that
glorieth glory in
this, that he
saith the Lord."
giveth to all life, and breath, and all things; And
hath made of one blood all nations of men for to
dwell on all the face of the earth, and hath
determined the times before appointed, and the
bounds of their habitation; That they should
seek the Lord, IF HAPLY THEY MIGHT FEEL
AFTER HIM, AND FIND HIM, though he be not
far from every one of us." Acts 17:24-27
My friend, the end statement
you just read is perhaps the most
profound truth you'll ever hear.
God wants to be found and
understood. He doesn't want us
to believe in some "black box"
when it comes to spiritual
The Bible says: "For this is good
and acceptable in the sight of
God our Saviour; Who will have
all men to be saved, AND TO COME UNTO THE
KNOWLEDGE OF THE TRUTH." 1 Tim. 2:3-4
It begins with salvation . . .
Of all the "black boxes" known to man, the one
that results in the most suffering is the one
pertaining to salvation.
More erroneous assumptions are made
concerning how a person get to Heaven than
with any other subject. One has only to look at
all the different religions to realize that the way
to Heaven winds through many "black boxes."
But when people believe in the things that
they don't understand, they are likely to suffer
an eternity in a devil's Hell.
Thank God that "Whatsoever things were
written aforetime were WRITTEN FOR OUR
LEARNING..." Rom. 15:4
My friend, did you know that the Bible gives us
a clear explanation of how a person is saved,
TRULY becomes a child of God, and goes to
Heaven when they die?
Did you know that salvation has everything
to do with Jesus Christ dying on the cross to
pay for your sins? Note the key words in this
next passage: "But God commendeth his love
toward us, in that, while we were yet sinners,
CHRIST DIED FOR US. Much more then, being
now JUSTIFIED BY HIS BLOOD, we shall be
SAVED FROM WRATH THROUGH HIM. For if,
when we were enemies, we were RECONCILED
TO GOD BY THE DEATH OF HIS SON, much
more, being reconciled, we shall be SAVED BY
HIS LIFE." Rom. 5:8-10
The fact that Jesus Christ had to
die in order to save you and I,
proves that our good works--those
"righteous acts" we are trusting
in--can't save us.
The Bible clearly teaches: "For by
grace are ye saved THROUGH
FAITH; and that NOT OF
YOURSELVES: it is THE GIFT OF
GOD: NOT OF WORKS, lest any
man should boast." (Eph. 2:8-9). This gift is
available, for the asking.
But you must ask through "REPENTANCE
toward God, AND FAITH toward our Lord Jesus
Christ" (Acts 20:21). You must REPENT, change
your mind about your sinful acts and
acknowledge that those acts are the result of
you being a sinner--a lost, Hell deserving sinner,
in desperate need of a Saviour. That Saviour can
only be Jesus Christ, because ONLY HE paid the
accepted price for your sin.
You must put ALL your faith in what Christ has
sacrificially done for you on the cross. Your
faith--YOUR BELIEF--must be based on
understanding that Christ died in order to save
you. When it comes to true salvation, God does
not deal in "black boxes."
He wants you to clearly understand how
and why you get to Heaven.
Please read the back [below] of this pamphlet for a
better understanding. And if you want to
understand more of what the Bible says, write
us for a free, seven-part correspondence course
that you can take in the privacy of your home.
IF you were to die today, are you 100% SURE
you would go to Heaven? The Bible says
YOU CAN BE SURE (1 John 5:13).
BUT FIRST, you must realize that what keeps you
from going to Heaven are your sins, because:
"...your iniquities [sins] have separated
between you and your God," Isaiah 59:2.
In fact, in God's eyes YOU ARE A SINNER: "For
all have sinned, and come short
of the glory of God;" Romans 3:23.
SECONDLY, you must realize that there is
NOTHING you can do to save yourself and earn
Heaven: "For by grace are ye saved through
faith; and that not of yourselves: it is
the gift of God: Not of works, lest any
man should boast." (Eph. 2:8-9) Baptism, good
deeds, church membership, self-righteousness are
all examples of good works that cannot save you,
because, "Not by works of
righteousness which we have done, but
according to his mercy he [Christ] saved
us," Titus 3:5.
THE ONLY WAY you can get saved is through
Jesus Christ. He said: "I am the way, the
truth, and the life: no man cometh unto
the Father, but by me." (John 14:6) THAT'S
WHY: "...while we were yet sinners, Christ
died for us." Romans 5:8-9
THEREFORE: You must REPENT (change your
mind); admit that you are a Hell deserving sinner
and can't save yourself. And call upon Christ, and
Him alone, to save you. "if thou shalt confess
with thy mouth the Lord Jesus [REPENT], and
shalt believe in thine heart [TRUST] that God
hath raised him from the dead, thou shalt be
saved." Romans 10:9
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