2010-12-24 - The Question and Answer for Our Times
Part 3 ~ Originally Preached 2004-07-14
Jeremiahs times dont seem much different from ours. Just as the situation was the same the question he asked Israel still remains for us to answer.
"What will ye do in the end thereof?"
What are you going to do? Will you keep going the way you are now to its evil conclusion or will you return to your first love? As I've heard simply put before, will you turn or burn?
Let me tell you what I believe we need to do. We need to get revived; we need to wake up. I know I need it. We need to get busy in His kingdom. Sure theres a happily ever after but theres also a here and now. His kingdom is as much here and now as it is hereafter. If eternity doesn't start today then when?
We need revival a resuscitation. We need these dry old bones to be raised up and restored like in Ezekiel 37 where in verse 14 it says, "And [I] shall put my spirit in you, and ye shall live, and I shall place you in your own land: then shall ye know that I the LORD have spoken it, and performed it, saith the LORD." (Ezekiel 37:14 KJV)
We need a revival - not a week long service but a life long heart replacement. We need to be awakened and stirred from slumbering on the pews. Church, it's time we wake up, rise up, and stand up for God! Show his love. Over in the gospels Jesus talks about us not knowing when he will come. Some are in the field and others sleeping. When he returns will we be the one snatched from the bed or the field? I hope I'm laboring in his fields when he returns.
As the song said, "we need to get back to the basics of life". For the church all true believers we have five basics. In no particular order let me tell you what these five basics are. First ,there is ministry - aiding others. Love your neighbor just as the Good Samaritan did. Look at the early church in Acts. They were helping the widows. Second is fellowship. Get together, encourage and build up one another. Forsake not the assembling. Encourage one another. Third is worship. Worship is simply communing with God. Sing a song to him. Pray to him. Worship is simply giving yourself in some way to him. Fourth is discipleship, the building up of other Christians and yourself. God gave us ten commandments in the Old Testament and added one to it in the New. Love one another. How? Love one another as I have loved you. (John 13:34) Love one another completely, sacrificially, and unconditionally. The fifth basic purpose is evangelism - telling others. His final direct command to his followers, His parting thought was this: go and tell. And he said unto them, Go ye into all the world, and preach the gospel to every creature. (Mark 16:15 ) A balanced church, a balanced Christian, does it all but most churches and most Christians including us only do some. We are good at doing one or two things but we don't do them all. All five are the perfect center. Some but not all is not centered. I want to be centered in Christ.
Now I'm going to ask some very pointed questions ...
Have you told a single person about Jesus this week? OK so maybe you talked with another Christian about Jesus but have you shared your faith with someone you don't know to be a committed believer? Have you invited a single person to church?
Unless you can say yes to those questions why should God let you live on this earth anymore? You are just wasting space and using up oxygen and other resources that His laborers could be using. Fine, so you gave $100 to church. Whoopee! The great commission is not come and give. It's not come and sit. It's not come at all, it is go - go and tell. The servant was instructed, "Go out into the highways and hedges, and compel them to come in, that my house may be filled."(Luke 14:23 ) Did the servant put a sign out front and wait for people to show up? No he went out just as the master said. You're either part of that plan or part of the problem.
I am so guilty of wimping out at times when it comes to evangelism. Just the other day I was sitting in Chick-Fil-A®. I felt the Holy Spirit urging me to go to this one man sitting watching his daughter play. A simple invitation to come to church or for his daughter who was playing with Jordan to come to VBS would have been an opener but I sat there and simply chickened out. Men through the ages have given their life for their faith and I sit in a Chick-Fil-A® as a coward. Preacher Moody kids about me being left behind at times. If Preacher's right and Tommy and I were here after the rapture, I think I'd succumb to pressure and take the mark. I'm a coward. Luckily, Ill never have that test to go through.
I need God's strength. Without it I'm a useless guy sitting in Chick-Fil-A® but with him I can be the guy talking about God to strangers at yard sales, giving tracts to waiters and waitresses, or sharing the gospel with co-workers and neighbors.
We all need his strength; we need a refreshing. We need a revival. Not from without but within - Christ within us reviving, rejuvenating as only the spring of eternal life and love can. I can remember when I got saved; I couldn't wait to share my story with people. I still do some but at other times I don't when I could, when I should.
Let me tell you right now, you don't retire from God's work none of us do. You don't leave it to the young people. If you're not doing His work you're out of his plan and you are out of His perfect will. He's not through with any of us. If he was, we'd be with Him or in hell. Plain and simple people - we stay here until we have finished what he wants us to do. And to do the specifics he wants we have to do the basics.
The question is still, "What will you do?" What is your answer?
All verses are from the King James Version unless otherwise specified.