“A Letter To The Brethren”
Over the past several weeks we have been challenged by the teachings of the gospel to work hard for our Lord. Our King commissioned us, His royal priesthood (1 Pet. 2:9) and kingdom citizens (Phil. 3:20), to carry out the greatest work we will ever be engaged in – the salvation of lost souls (Mt. 28:18-20). When He returns He desires to find His people awake, engaged and laboring faithfully in His name (Mt. 25). We are saved to save, served to serve, won to win and taught to teach. Please consider these thoughts over the coming weeks:
SOME WILL REFUSE TO WORK
We all understand the tremendous need for our neighbors to hear the good news of the kingdom. Sadly, there are only a few who will actually carry the gospel to their neighbors. Jesus said, “The harvest is plentiful, but the laborers are few. Therefore pray earnestly to the Lord of the harvest to send out laborers into his harvest.” (Lk. 10:2) Most people will seek to justify their complacent attitude and choose not to engage in this work. They will convince themselves that this work is for someone else, anyone else, other than themselves. They will suffer the consequences for their error if they do not repent (Mt. 25:29-30). But please, brethren, do not allow the faithlessness of others to discourage you from following the Lord into the fields of service. Choose to be an example of faith.
THE VALUE OF ONE SOUL
The global population is almost up to 7.5 billion. The US population alone was over 325 million last year. A very small fraction have put their faith in the Lord. That is 325,000,000 souls that need to hear the gospel! Over 151,000 people die each day. Over 6,000 people die each hour. Over 100 people die each minute. More than 1 person dies every second. Tragically, most people are not prepared to meet their God in death. Brethren, we cannot afford to sit idly by and call ourselves Christians while not sharing the gospel with our neighbors and friends.
We must have compassion on these precious souls. Consider the value of just one soul to the Lord: “Just so, I tell you, there will be more joy in heaven over one sinner who repents than over ninety-nine righteous persons who need no repentance.” (Lk. 15:7) In some places, there is more joy over one new church building than ninety souls that repent. This is because the faith of some does not extend beyond the walls of their church building. Christianity, to some, consists of a few hours per week. Brethren, let us not forget the value of the human soul to God, “… the precious blood of Christ...” (1 Pet. 1:18-19)
JESUS SAID “GO”
Jesus commanded His disciples to “Go into all the world and proclaim the gospel to the whole creation,” (Mk. 16:15) but most have not even gone next door. Some Christians go their entire life never bringing another soul to Christ. This is inexcusable. Look around you! Surely, there is one person, a neighbor, a friend, a coworker, a loved one whom you can share the gift of eternal life with. Inviting your neighbors to the public worship assembly is good but we cannot substitute “Come” for “Go”. Jesus commanded us to intentionally “go” and follow His example to “seek and save the lost.” (Lk. 19:10)
CHRIST IS WITH YOU
Jesus commissioned His disciples to go and make disciples, “baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, teaching them to observe all that I have commanded you. And behold, I am with you always, to the end of the age.” (Mt. 28:19-20) Sometimes we forget that last bit. Jesus promised that if we are busy carrying our His work, He will be with us “always, to the end of the age.”
God says you and I are the right people for the job of saving souls (Mt. 28:19-20; Acts 2:41-42; 8:1, 4). God has thoroughly equipped us and made us adequate for this task (2 Tim. 3:16-17; Eph. 2:10; 2 Cor. 3:4-6). God knows our limitations but can still work mightily within us (Eph. 3:20; Col. 1:29). God’s word will accomplish its purpose (Lk. 8:11-15; Isa. 55:10-11), we just have to share it.
I don’t know about you but the news that the Brongers, the Smiths and the Currys will be moving shook me pretty hard. Their contribution to the spiritual health and growth of this congregation cannot be overstated. But when we stop and think about the reasons for their moving we should rejoice. They will be encouraging and helping other Christians grow and making new disciples where they are headed. When God’s blessing spreads to others we should be joyful. (Phil. 4:4-9)
More than that, their absence will provide new opportunities for other members to step up and serve in their place. This is already happening! We should rejoice in Julian Skinner taking hold of eternal salvation in Christ. We should praise God for the appointment of Nick Petre as a deacon to serve this church. We should be encouraged by Todd Hall’s willingness to serve as an elder. Space and time does not permit the many others at Danville who are growing and maturing in so many different and wonderful ways. God has the power to take any situation and cause it to work out for His glory and our ultimate good if we have faith in Him. (Rom. 8:28) Let us stay focused on our mission to seek and save the lost!