Christians – Get Up!

Recently I had an exchange with the person who does the translating work for the Spanish language section of All Will Stand.  In that exchange they made mention of “what more can I do”, the same thing is on my heart regarding the work of the Lord.  Many Believers around the world have the same feeling that the “time is at hand” (Rev. 22:10) and the world doesn’t have much time left.  Truly we can’t know how much time we have left (Matt. 24:36), but we also must not slacken our work that Jesus has called us to do as Christians (Matt. 28:19-20).


A radio show regarding this topic will be up online soon, but the issue really is pressing.  Just how often do we as “citizens of Heaven” (Phil. 3:20), forget just how important the task is that is presented before us.    Not everyone is called to preach, not everyone is called to be a pastor of a church or a Sunday school teacher, etc., but often times just by our communication, we can have an effect on those who are lost and dying. 


“In this regard, they think it strange that you do not run with them in the same overflow of dissipation, blaspheming.  They will give an account to Him who is ready to judge the living and the dead.”  1st Peter 4:4-5


We know that the apostasy (2 Tim. 4:3) that we are seeing was foretold prophetically, we see the evil fruits of this terrible thing throughout the world.  In fact it will not get better, but only worse (2 Tim. 3:13) until Jesus comes to take us out of here, to be with Him (Jn. 14:3).  Knowing that eventually that time will happen, we not only need to be watching and ready (Matt. 25:13), but we should also be diligently doing His work.  Remember that there is a lost world out there, whom are doomed to the Judgment of the Most High, unless they repent and believe the Gospel  (Rev. 20:11-15).  Without Christ as their Savior (Jn. 14:6), they are lost, just as we were before we accepted the free gift of Salvation that God provided to all of mankind (Eph. 2:8-9).  This is serious business, though many are beat down, the world seemingly provides an excuse to sit on the sidelines, as for many it is -too late- in their minds to try to spread the Gospel.  True, it can be exceedingly discouraging to see so little fruit for our endeavors, we must never forget that there is rejoicing in Heaven over one sinner who repents (Lk. 15:7).  We as Christians don’t save people, God does. 


“Do you not know that those who run in a race all run, but one receives the prize? Run in such a way that you may obtain it.  And everyone who competes for the prize controls himself in all things. Now they do it to obtain a perishable crown, but we an imperishable.  Therefore I run in this manner: not with uncertainty. Thus I fight: not as one who beats the air.  But I discipline my body and bring it into subjection, lest, when I have preached to others, I myself should become disqualified.”  1st Corinthians 9:24-27


There should be no ‘notches’ on our belts, but we are the body of Christ (1st Cor. 12:12), the Church, doing as servants to Jesus should be doing.  As Paul says:


“Who then is Paul, and who is Apollos, but ministers through whom you believe, as the Lord gave to each one?  I planted, Apollos watered, but God made it grow.  So then neither he who plants is anything, nor he who waters, but God who causes growth.  Now he who plants and he who waters are one, and each one will receive his own reward according to his own labor.  For we are God’s fellow workers; you are God’s field, God’s building.”  1st Corinthians 3:5-9


Walking in the Spirit (Gal. 5:16) and doing His will should be the goal for all Christians.  Understand that we must listen to what God speaks to our heart.  Perhaps you haven’t been called to the ministry, but consider if you will an analogy. 


A homeless man sits on the side of a gas station building, complete with a bottle of liquor.  You feel that the Holy Spirit has laid it upon your heart to purchase the man a sandwich, some chips and a bottle of water from inside the gas station, to simply drop it off next to him and walk away.  While it might not seem that a seed would be sowed for such an action, how do we know what God knows? 


Perhaps the man had been sitting there drinking alcohol, yet cursing God in his heart, telling him that he behaves in this manner because he never provides anything for him and if God was truly there, he would provide a meal for him.  Just then as you pull into the gas station and soon thereafter set a meal aside the man, who clearly isn’t in the right mind to hear the Gospel anyway, yet walking away, that man would know, he would know, though you might never be none the wiser.  Sometimes the things that God has us doing as Christians might seem to have no fruits, but God knows the heart (Jer. 17:10).


Yet another example, same sort of thing.  I remember walking through an East Side undeveloped area of Chicago and seeing a bunch of street kids hiding out there.  Imagine if God laid it upon your heart to talk to these people, yet you couldn’t think to actually do such a thing, but nonetheless you were obedient.  Walking up to the group of kids you tell them about the Gospel.  Sure, maybe they through a drink in your face and curse at you.  Perhaps then you walk away thinking how dumb that was and how you are not even sure if the Lord really spoke to your heart regarding talking to them.  After all a lot of people find it hard to do such things.  A few minutes later, after cleaning your self up in the restroom, you go to get in your car and see you the kids crossing the street illegally.  Suddenly out of nowhere one of the cars refuses to stop (as I have seen first hand how often times kids will just walk where they want, irregardless of traffic flow) and one of the kids is struck down – dead. 


Now this analogy could be looked at two different ways.  One, if you hadn’t been obedient to the “small voice” (1st Kings 19:12) you would be cut to the heart regarding having seen afterwards the purpose that God had in mind.  On the other hand, by being obedient, you would have known that God had foreseen what would happen and had given them an opportunity to repent and believe into Jesus Christ as their Savior, yet their heart was against their Creator (Jer. 17:9)


So should we worry about what results doing the Lord’s work brings?  No, rather we should be diligent as Christians to do the work of the Lord, not worrying about results, but knowing that we are doing as good servants should be doing. 


“And we know that all things work together for good to those who love God, to those who are the called according to His purpose.”  Romans 8:28


A personal example regarding myself and All Will Stand.  A month ago God spoke to my heart regarding helping Believers in Venezuela.  My first thought was ‘me?’.  I searched out some independent fundamental Baptist churches in Venezuela and decided to email three separate churches down there, giving them a brief that I was looking to help, but also I presented a simple question, “How can one be Saved?”.  One of the emails bounced back that I had found on some obscure list.  I waited.


Three weeks went by and I began to ponder if I was correct in the Lord calling me to help out in Venezuela.  I remained faithful in assuming so, but the lack of response did make me question my position.  Finally I received an email from a pastor in Venezuela.  A reply was sent, presumably the work of more than one Believer, regarding my question about Salvation and was spot on.  God had indeed connected me to a true Church thousands and thousands of miles away.  Project Venezuela was created and though I don’t know what the fullness of such a thing will be, I do know it will be according to His will, that is all that matters. 


We must not give up and get discouraged, going to the sidelines.  We might have been beat down by the world, but we must get back up, we must continue on. 


“The Lord is not slow concerning His promise, as some count slowness, but is longsuffering toward us, not purposing that any should perish but that all should come to repentance.  But the day of the Lord will come as a thief in the night, in which the heavens will pass away with a loud noise, and the elements will be dissolved with intense burning; both the earth and the works that are in it will be burned up.  Therefore, since all these things will be dissolved, of what sort ought you to be in holy behavior and godliness, looking for and earnestly hastening unto the coming of the Day of God, through which the heavens will be dissolved, being set on fire, and the elements will melt with intense burning?”  2nd Peter 3:9-12


Let us never forget that doing the Lord’s work is a great honor and privilege.  Whether it simply helping an elderly neighbor by taking out the trash, giving a homeless person a meal, speaking to someone about Christ or simply living our lives holy and spotless (Phil. 2:15), we are a light to the world.  What did Jesus say about such a light?


“You are the light of the world. A city that is set on a hill cannot be hidden.  Nor do they light a lamp and put it under a grain measure, but on a lampstand, and it shines for all who are in the house.  Let your light so shine before men, so that they may see your good works and glorify your Father in Heaven.”  Matthew 5:14-16


There is still work to be done and I know many pastors know those who are true Christians in their churches sitting on the sidelines.  We must encourage them, build them up (1 Thes. 5:11), but we also ourselves must be examples, as we must always remember the greatness of what Christ did for us by dying on the Cross, paying the penalty for our sins, of which we are not worthy.


“Therefore, having been justified by faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ, through whom also we have access by faith into this grace in which we stand, and rejoice on the hope of the glory of God.  And not only that, but we also exult in afflictions, knowing that affliction produces perseverance; and perseverance, proven character; and proven character, hope.  And hope does not make ashamed, because the love of God has been poured out in our hearts through the Holy Spirit who was given to us.  For when we were yet without strength, in due time Christ died for the ungodly.  For scarcely for a righteous man will one die; yet perhaps for a good man some would even be bold enough to die.  But God demonstrates His own love toward us, in that while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us.”  Romans 5:1-8