“And as he sat upon the mount of Olives, the disciples came unto him privately, saying, Tell us, when shall these things be? and what [shall be] the sign of thy coming, and of the end of the world? And Jesus answered and said unto them, Take heed that no man deceive you. For many shall come in my name, saying, I am Christ; and shall deceive many. And ye shall hear of wars and rumours of wars: see that ye be not troubled: for all these things must come to pass, but the end is not yet.
In 1 Corinthians 3:9, we read, “We are laborers together with God.” We are commanded by God to be His witnesses (Acts 1:8).
But where are we called to be witnesses? One of the apostle Paul’s areas of ministry was “house to house” (Acts 20:19, 20). We should start at home, in the church and in the community on a person to person level from house to house. Then we can reach out to other geographic areas.
Blessings are seen through spiritual eyes. A Christian’s perspective is totally different from an unbeliever’s. What a Christian views as a blessing, the unbeliever may view as a curse. In order to see the blessing of outreach, we must see it from the proper perspective. To help us understand this, we will consider the response of an unbeliever versus that of a Christian if he were called to visit a dying man who does not know Christ.
Where is everybody going? This seems a timely question in these days of increased running. Everybody is hurrying somewhere. The surge of headlights approaching and the stream of taillights leaving a traffic light remind us of Daniel 12:4b, “Many shall run to and fro, and knowledge shall be increased.” We are also reminded of Matthew 7:13, where Jesus tells us of the two ways and the need to enter the strait gate because the broad way leads to destruction.
It was an interesting message for a Sunday evening. The title of the sermon was “Communicating a Burden for the Lost.” The visiting minister had provided a solid scriptural basis for his admonition and had shared a number of interesting illustrations. At the conclusion of the message, the speaker likely sat down feeling that he had covered the subject and things had gone well. After the message, the deacon stood and asked if anyone would like to share a testimony. I confess that I really cannot recall who said what in the first several testimonies.
More than twenty years ago, I received an unsettling phone call. The caller was a Mennonite minister that I had met earlier during some church meetings. He shared that he had just concluded a conversation with a group of church brethren in which he had mentioned that a non-Mennonite couple in Pennsylvania had just been baptized into a conservative Mennonite church.
“Ye are the salt of the earth: but if the salt have lost his savour, wherewith shall it be salted? it is thenceforth good for nothing, but to be cast out, and to be trodden under foot of men. Ye are the light of the world. A city that is set on an hill cannot be hid. Neither do men light a candle, and put it under a bushel, but on a candlestick; and it giveth light unto all that are in the house. Let your light so shine before men, that they may see your good works, and glorify your Father which is in heaven” (Matt 5:13–16).
The benefits of revival meetings are realized now, and will extend into eternity. Some of the special benefits that are derived from such meetings are due to the concentration of group efforts, such as special prayer times, invitations being given to neighbors and friends to attend, and a group concern for all of the church to be revived. The night after night use of the Gospel Hammer that breaks the stony hearts as Jeremiah tells us, will be effective, along with the use of the Word through which the Holy Ghost comforts and strengthens the believers.
We indisputably live in the last days. In fact, as you read these lines, you are living on the oldest day in the history of this earth; for you see, today is older than any other day.
For generations the church of Jesus Christ has awaited the consummation of the church age. No human being knows when the last day of this age will occur; however, with each succeeding day that comes and then goes, we can confidently state, “Today we are one day nearer to the end than we were yesterday!”
Does it really matter what my neighbors think of me? If I have a right relationship with God and the church, should I be concerned with the perceptions of someone who I hardly know. What is my responsibility? Christ admonished his disciples to “Go ye therefore and teach all nations…” (Matt 28:19a). regardless of where we find ourselves geographically; we are commanded to teach the Good News of the Gospel to a world dwelling in the darkness of sin. The testimony we have in the eyes of our neighbor will certainly have an influence on the effectiveness of our teaching.