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QUESTION: What Does the Saying, “The Race Is Not to the Swift But to Those Who Endure to the End” Mean?

RunnerWhat does the saying mean that the race is not given to the swift but to those who endure to the end?

Many people ask about this “saying.” Most of these ask where to find it in the Bible; you are the first  to ask me about its meaning.

The only problem is that this “saying” is not in the Bible. The first part of your quotation comes from Ecclesiastes 9:11.

I have seen something else under the sun: The race is not to the swift or the battle to the strong, nor does food come to the wise or wealth to the brilliant or favor to the learned; but time and chance happen to them all.

The final part might come from Hebrews 3:14.

We have come to share in Christ if we hold firmly till the end the confidence we had at first.

Many times we conflate two passages of Scripture in our minds – and come up with something that is no where actually said in the Bible.

The idea of enduring until death is found in a number of passages, though that is not what is in mind in Ecclesiastes 9:11. There the wise man is talking about the uncertainty of life. It is not always the best, the strongest, or the fastest who reap rewards in this life.

Holding out in a race is one of the key thoughts of 2 Timothy 4:7.

I have fought the good fight, I have finished the race, I have kept the faith.” Enduring to the end is an important Biblical concept. “Do not be afraid of what you are about to suffer. I tell you, the devil will put some of you in prison to test you, and you will suffer persecution for ten days. Be faithful, even to the point of death, and I will give you the crown of life” (Revelation 2:10).

The idea here is that we do not allow anything, even the threat of death or suffering, deter us from our faithfulness to God.

So, the thought of your quotation is Biblical – though the particular wording is not.

QUESTION: What Does the Bible Teach About Musical Instruments in Worship?

In Church?

In Church?

What does the bible teach about musical instruments in church? The old testament church had them. Is it wrong to have them now?

The short answer is that the Bible says nothing “about musical instruments in church” as we know “church” today.

You are correct in saying the Old Testament “church,” the nation of Israel called by God out of Ur as the descendants of Abraham and out of Egypt where they were enslaved for generations, had musical instruments that both accompanied singing and were instruments by which men praised God even apart from any mention of singing.

The New Testament, however, is silent with respect to musical instruments in church.

What does that silence mean?

Some sincerely believe it means an absolute prohibition of musical instruments in the church. Others, equally sincere, believe it simply means God has said nothing about the matter, either for or against.

For generations, the churches of Christ and other organizations related to the Stone-Campbell 19th century movement to “restore” the New Testament church, have said, “We speak where the Bible Speaks and are silent where the Bible is silent.”

In keeping with that slogan, I can go no farther. I cannot speak as to whether God approves or disapproves something when He has said nothing about it. Traditionally, the churches of Christ have chosen to err on the side of caution and not use instruments as the “safe” course of action. To go beyond that choice to actually condemn those who choose to use them is further than I am prepared to go in the absence of a clear statement from God to that effect.

I am not sure to what you refer when you said, “Ephesians said that it is good.”

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