Daily Devotional for Wednesday January 8, 2014
The Ministry of Jesus
***ASK BILL: Pastor Bill, a young man has been struggling with the issue that all the people in the world who are not raised in a "Christian" environment would be sent to hell by a loving God. My best answer is that we all deserve hell, but in His mercy, He saves those who have faith in Jesus. Please help me.
ANSWER: In Romans Chapter 3 we are told ALL have sinned and come short of the glory of God. God sens NO PERSON to hell. The fact is, He created a plan of salvation that is available to ALL in executing their free will choice to come to Jesus by faith. The ONLY way for a person to end up in hell for eternity is if they CHOOSE to, by rejecting faith in Jesus!
One of the things I love about reading the accounts of the ministry of Jesus was the fact He never lost sight of what He had come to do. He came to preach the Good News to the lost and hurting of the world.
His ministry was NOT in the church of His day, but was to those outside of the church. Jesus took His message of hope into the streets to those who were living without God in their life, telling them that there was a better way to live. JESUS HAD SPIRITUAL GUTS!
Today, more than ever, we need men and women of God with those same spiritual guts. The church has become institutionalized and satisfied with the status quo. Forty years ago, it was simply a matter of opening the front door and the people would come.
That is not true in 2014. We have a large percentage of 2 full generations now that do not attend church. Children that grew up in homes void of God are now having their own children, which of course, will also grow up in homes void of God. The world that we live in continues each day to boldly present a message that is in direct opposition to the Truth of God's Word.
Sadly, rather than going out and challenging that ungodly message, the church has decided to withdraw from the world and isolate itself. Rather than being the salt and light God has called us to be, we have found it more "comfortable" to simply withdraw and stay to ourselves.
We feel safe in our churches since we are with "our own kind." We have our OWN TV stations. We have our OWN radio stations. We have our OWN books and magazines. We have our OWN music. We have our OWN schools. Rather than using these great resources to reach the lost, we have found it is much easier (and more profitable) to simply "preach to the choir" and isolate ourselves from the rest of the world.
This message today is a wake up call to men and women who love the Lord. God did not call us to isolate ourselves from this world, but to go out into the world and share the hope and love of Jesus Christ. I have never seen so many people that are afraid of the world that we live in. Did you not read in the Bible in 1 John 4:4 that tells you, "greater is He that is in you, than he that is in the world?"
Did you not read in the Bible that we are "more than conquerors?" Did you not read in the Bible that we are called to go out into the "highways" and invite the lost to know Christ? God did not call us to hide our light under a bushel, but to share that light with this dark world we live in! God is looking for men and women with "spiritual guts" to take His message to the lost and hurting of this world.
I love you and care about you so much. There is a world outside of the four walls of the church that is lost, hurting, and looking for answers. They won't come to church, watch Christian TV, listen to Christian radio and music, read Christian books and magazines, or go to Christian schools.
To reach these people, we have to do what Jesus did and GO TO THEM. Understand that when you take Christ into the world, they will not always be nice. They have lived their life rejecting God so most likely will not be open to your message. But never forget that your labor for the Lord is not in vain.
Even those who reject what you are saying have at least had a seed planted in their life. God will allow you to minister to people that are at a place in their life where they realize there has to be a better way. They WILL be open to accepting Christ as their Savior and changing their life. Jesus told us that the harvest is plentiful, but the laborers are few.
The church has forgotten the most important part of being a Christian, and that is we are here to serve, NOT be served. We are like Eli, sitting in our grand palaces, getting so fat that we can't even move. God has called us to rise up and take His message of Christ's love to the lost and hurting of this world we live in. That my friend, takes spiritual guts!!!
In His love and service, Your friend and brother in Christ,