PARABLE OF THE "NEW SOAP"
Once upon a time in a far-away land far,far away, a young man
named Joshua announced the discovery of a marvelous new kind of soap.
People were skeptical at first, but they soon found that this new soap
made everyone very happy because it got them so clean. Because it
was so powerful, it got rid of dirt and stains that had been around for years.
Because Joshua's soap worked so well, men found that they had
more time to spend with their wives and children. Marriages got
better, people were happier, and everybody admired the young man who
had given them the soap. Joshua refused to charge for the soap and gave
it away to all who asked for it. This bothered some rich people, but
the poor loved it. Not surprisingly, the manufacturers of rival kinds of soap
soon became very angry because their business was being hurt badly.
Before long, Joshua had followers who were traveling around the
country, giving away the new soap to all who asked for it. Of course,
this new soap was an instant success becuase the people of Joshua's
country had been trying for years to make themselves clean with
their own homemade soap. Thousands became great fans of the new
soap, and they formed small groups to spread its use. The other
soap manufacturers became desperate and tried to get Joshua to charge
for his soap, but he refused. He said, "I prefer to give it away,
because no money would be adequate payment for a soap as perfect and
complete as this one is."
When the soap manufacturers found that this strategy wouldn't work,
they started a smear campaign against Joshua and his followers.
They said that the soap made cleaning too easy - that you should have to
work harder to get things clean. They also said that Joshua and his
followers were immoral because they had been seen in the company of
the dirtiest people in the world. Joshua smiled when he heard
these charges, and said, "Although everybody needs soap, it is the
dirty people who need the soap the most!" These slanders didn't work
because the common people realized that Joshua truly loved them and
that is why his soap was free.
Since their other tactics failed, the rival soap manufacturers
plotted to kill the young man. They paid an informer to betray Joshua
and then arrested him. They paid witnesses to perjure themselves in
court, and finally they were able to have Joshua convicted of trumped
up "crimes" and executed. The soap manufacturers were certain that this
would take care of the problem, but to their dismay Joshua's
followers continued to distribute the soap. Persecution of the
followers didn't work either, for Joshua's followers kept spreading to
new areas and kept giving away the soap.
After many years, the rival manufacturers decided to try the
policy of "if you can't beat 'em then join 'em." So they analyzed
Joshua's soap and came up with a very clever substitute, which looked
the same, but, of course, it didn't work. They used the same name for
their soap that Joshua had used and organized a promotion campaign to
corner the market. Because of their organization and slick advertising,
they made great progress and even got many of Joshua's followers to join
them for a while.
Soon, however; these infiltrators started to charge for their
counterfeit soap, and, because their distributors had replaced many
of Joshua's followers, many people had to buy the soap now - and
their substitute didn't really work! However; some people read
Joshua's instructions and those of the early users of the soap and
discovered how they could get it for free! Because of Joshua's written
instructions, down through the centuries there were always groups
who distributed Joshua's real soap for free.
After several centuries the leading soap manufacturers decided
that they needed a publicity gag to stir up interest in their
counterfeit version of the soap, so the started Soap Crusades to go
back to Joshua's homeland and try to recover the original bucket in which
he had first made the soap. Mighty armies were raised because
Joshua's homeland was now in he hands of some people that didn't
believe in Joshua's soap. These Soap Crusades resulted in wars and the
deaths of thousands of people and much destruction and heartache.
Many true followers of Joshua protested against these campaigns,
but were killed for their efforts. Finally the Soap Crusades ceased, but
they did stir up a lot of interest and sold a lot of
the counterfeit soap.
Several centuries later, when soap sales were lagging again,
the manufacturers decided to use force to make people buy their soap.
They started an intricate system of spies to report on people who didn't
use the "right" soap. They also used a group of zealous torturers
who called themselves the 'Investigation' to torture people
suspected of not using the manufacturers soap. Many people
were killed by the Investigation for using Joshua's soap, and yet,
Joshua's soap continued to be passed out to all who asked, for free!
After a few more hundred years, a whole new kind of attack on
Joshua's soap began. This time the charge was made that Joshua's
written instructions were not really reliable. This attack came from two
directions. The first group of attackers said that the instructions
were missing some very important parts that the evil rival
manufacturers had taken out in centuries past. various of the
attackers claimed that Joshua, himself, had come and appeared to
them, giving them special authority to "restore" the lost instructions.
Of course, the attackers all had different versions of the
"restored" instructions and none of them were even close to being in
agreement with each other. In many cases they weren't even in agreement
with Joshua's instructions. Even so; they were able to deceive some
of the users of Joshua's real soap.
The second group of these attackers used a more "intellectual"
attack. They called themselves the "Elevated Critics" who said that
the instructions didn't really mean what they said, and certainly they
weren't the final authority on how to get clean. They told the
people that Joshua was just another good man who had high ideals, but
his wasn't the only soap around. So they took the "mythology" out
of Joshua's instructions and left an empty shell, which couln't clean
anyone, in its place.
Well, about 2000 years have gone by now, and Joshua's true soap
is still available free, and people are still getting clean and being
happy. And there are those who try to peddle a similar but counterfeit
kind of soap for profit or power. Now, there are some who say you,
really, can't get clean, but a little soap is a good thing and
everybody ought to have some, but don't go overboard! Others worship
books about the original soap, and still others have Joshua's true
soap, and have found that only through his power can they become clean.
In our parable, Joshua's soap is the Gospel of Jesus Christ. The
Gospel (which means "GOOD NEWS") could not be stamped out by the
"rival manufacturers" or anyone else, because it was a MESSAGE, not an
earthly system of priesthoods, rite and organizations. The message of
God's provision for the gift of eternal life for sinful men has endured
even to our day and people are still getting "clean" by submission of
their lives to Jesus Christ -ALONE. In spite of many attempts to
destroy the Gospel message by eradication of the believers, or
perversion of the message itself, the GOOD NEWS of what Jesus Christ
did for YOU on His cross remains as viable today as it was on the
Resurrection Morning. If you now see the NEED for the "SOAP" that ONLY
Jesus Christ is capable of providing, a "SOAP" to cleanse you of
your sins "as white as snow", we ask that you pray this prayer:
FATHER, I AM SORRY FOR MY SINS AND MY SIN OF IGNORING YOUR
WORD AND FOLLOWING MEN TO BE THE ONES WHO CAN LEAD TO
I NOW KNOW THIS IS WRONG AND AGAINST YOUR WORD AND
HUMBLY ASK FOR YOUR FORGIVENESS AND MERCY.
I ACKNOWLEDGE THE SACRIFICE OF JESUS AS PAYMENT FOR MY SINS
AND THANK YOU FOR THIS RELEASE.
LORD JESUS, COME INTO MY HEART AND LIVE THERE AND GUIDE
MY STEPS FROM THIS DAY FORWARD.
ALLOW ME TO BE YOUR VESSEL ON EARTH TO CARRY THE TRUE
MESSAGE OF YOUR LOVE TO ALL MEN.
THESE THINGS I NOW PRAY IN THE NAME OF MY TRUE SAVIOR
AND LORD, JESUS CHRIST.
< Author Unknown >
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