Saturday, August 13, 2011
~ "I have a friend who wants to know..."
And I heard a voice from heaven saying unto me, Write, Blessed are the dead which die in the Lord from henceforth: Yea, saith the Spirit, that they may rest from their labours; and their works do follow them. (Rev 14:13)
Preaching the Gospel shakes the foundation of the enemy and hastens his downfall. Those who align themselves with him should be prepared for a long and miserable eternity. Those who trust in the Lord, who believe and have faith in Jesus Christ, will finally rest and be free from sin, temptation, sorrow and persecution. Their works will follow them as a testimony to their faith, they will be the proof of having lived and died in the Lord.
This is why we are to share the Gospel of Jesus! His gift of salvation needs to be offered to all. I disagree with the belief that everyone knows who God is, who Jesus is. Many may know of them, but they do not know about them. There are many people who do not read, who have no access to the world outside of their community or have been raised by atheists or non-believers. They do not know the Lord, nor do they know of Him. We have our work cut out for us.
Not all who preach are enlightened by God. Not all who preach follow the plan His has laid out for them. Accepting God's will in all things is important for leading and teaching others about His promises. We have the opportunity every day to share a little of those promises with others. Those who preach have a greater obligation to those whose spiritual well being in placed in their care. They cannot afford to "blow off" any of God's faithful followers for any reason. No matter how needy, no matter how ridiculous and no matter how over bearing some people may be, they are children of God and those in leadership who fail to minister to all who seek to be ministered to will be called to account for it. No, they are not expected to be perfect, but they cannot pick and choose which of God's children they will make time for and which ones they will ignore and make excuses to for not providing guidance to those who come to them. It's not about building a bigger chuch, a louder choir or increasing the number of congregants in the pews. It's about serving and ministering to the ones that are already there.
Don't make the mistake of many servants of God. Take the time to acknowledge all who seek to know Him, or ask your assistance in helping others come to know Him. We are not all as persuasive as those educated in the Word of God, we are not all trained to quickly answer the questions of the lost. There is a reason why they were chosen to lead - when they do not, their apathy leaves a very bad taste in the mouths of those seeking to understand the word and those who sent them there in the first place.
We are all in the customer service business for God. Some of us answer the phones and direct the callers to those better equipt to handle their needs. Some of us can take care of the minor issues, but there are times when someone more knowledgeable, more experienced, is needed to take care of the situation. We cannot afford to be like the big monopoly businesses...where a few lost customers is no big deal - every lost customer in God's business is a lost soul. One less soul to enter the kingdom and rejoice in the promises of God. The leaders of the church that are willing to take that loss, who walk away, don't return a call, don't truly have the best interest of all those of Jesus' flock whose care has been entrusted to them, are not leaders that I'd want to be listening to. Those called to that ministry need to have and use all the tools - not just the ones that are easy, glamourous or endearing. God's work is not easy, it is not glamourous and it is a 365 day, 24 hours a day assignment. There are no vacation days.
So when someone asks you to explain something, when someone wants to know the Lord better, take the time to guide them. If their questions or their needs fall beyond the scope of your understanding, be sure that whomever you send them to will be willing to hear them, willing to help them and willing to take the time to love them. The Kingdom of God is at hand, those who are reaching out for it need to be met with love and compassion and not ignored and pushed aside for a bigger, or better "save". Remember, Christ told us to "let the dead bury their own" - worry more about the living and proclaim the Good News of Jesus to all who want to hear it!
(phot by Dan Weir)