Friday, January 16th, 2009 | Author:

I don’t know the rapture is coming next month, of course. Then again, I don’t know that it’s not. Without doubt, we are living in the end times, so let’s pretend that it is. Let’s pretend that on February 16th, Jesus is coming back as He said He would:

For the coming of the Son of Man will be just like the days of Noah. For as in those days before the flood they were eating and drinking, marrying and giving in marriage, until the day that Noah entered the ark, and they did not understand until the flood came and took them all away; so will the coming of the Son of Man be. Then there will be two men in the field; one will be taken and one will be left. Two women will be grinding at the mill; one will be taken and one will be left. Therefore be on the alert, for you do not know which day your Lord is coming. (Matthew 24:37-42)

So what are you going to do until then? Knowing you only have thirty days left on this earth, knowing you have just one month more to serve the Lord, how are you going to spend your time?

Anton Bosch addressed the purpose of the church in a sermon last year:

The last few instructions Jesus left his followers had to do with being witnesses and preaching the gospel to the whole world. (Matthew 28:18-20, Acts 1:8) …

… The church is still in the world for only one reason and that is to preach the gospel and to win the lost to Christ. Worship, fellowship, prayer, Bible study and any other aspect of the life of the church can be done better in heaven than here on earth. If church life was only about fellowship with each other and with God then surely God would just rapture us all. But there is one thing that cannot be done in heaven and that is to reach the lost (because there are none there) …

… Some Christians are so focused on their own comfort, position and selves that they cannot bear to see new people come into the church because that may upset their cozy little existence. Not only do such people not have a heart for the lost, but they actually work against those who do evangelize. But worse, not only do they not obey God’s direct command, they obstruct God when He does work. Can you imagine what He will do to such who choose to work with the Devil rather than with God?

If the purpose of the church is to seek and save the lost, how are we doing? Not well, I think. There’s an old hymn that has haunted me for several years. (words by Ensign Edwin Young, music by Harry E. Storrs)

I wonder, have I done my best for Jesus,
Who died upon the cruel tree?
To think of His great sacrifice at Calv’ry!
I know my Lord expects the best from me.

How many are the lost that I have lifted?
How many are the chained I’ve helped to free?

I wonder, have I done my best for Jesus,
When He has done so much for me?
The hours that I have wasted are so many,

The hours I’ve spent for Christ so few;
Because of all my lack of love for Jesus,
I wonder if His heart is breaking too.

How many are the lost that I have lifted?
How many are the chained I’ve helped to free?

I wonder, have I done my best for Jesus,
When He has done so much for me?
I wonder, have I cared enough for others,

Or have I let them die alone?
I might have helped a wand’rer to the Savior,
The seed of precious Life I might have sown

How many are the lost that I have lifted?
How many are the chained I’ve helped to free?

I wonder, have I done my best for Jesus,
When He has done so much for me?
No longer will I stay within the valley,

I’ll climb to mountain heights above;
The world is dying now for want of someone,
To tell them of the Savior’s matchless love.

How many are the lost that I have lifted?
How many are the chained I’ve helped to free?

I wonder, have I done my best for Jesus,
When He has done so much for me?

Oh, I know we’re all busy. We all have a hundred things pulling us in different directions. It’s one of satan’s most effective tactics here in America. There’s an old saying that goes like this: “It’s hard to remember you went into the water to drain the swamp, when you’re up to your butt in alligators.” That’s true, of course. But if our lives are ruled by alligators, we’re never going to drain the swamp.

But He said to him, “A man was giving a big dinner, and he invited many; and at the dinner hour he sent his slave to say to those who had been invited, ‘Come; for everything is ready now.’ “But they all alike began to make excuses. The first one said to him, ‘I have bought a piece of land and I need to go out and look at it; please consider me excused.’ “Another one said, ‘I have bought five yoke of oxen, and I am going to try them out; please consider me excused.’ “Another one said, ‘I have married a wife, and for that reason I cannot come.’ “And the slave came back and reported this to his master. Then the head of the household became angry and said to his slave, ‘Go out at once into the streets and lanes of the city and bring in here the poor and crippled and blind and lame.’ “And the slave said, ‘Master, what you commanded has been done, and still there is room.’ “And the master said to the slave, ‘Go out into the highways and along the hedges, and compel them to come in, so that my house may be filled. ‘For I tell you, none of those men who were invited shall taste of my dinner.’” (Luke 14:16-24)

We need to stop making excuses, because there’s a world full of people on the road to hell, including some of your family, co-workers, and even fellow church members. If you have no heart for their salvation, I would suggest you test your own faith. If you do care about the lost, then ask the Lord how you can best serve Him in these last days. Be willing to set aside the ways you would prefer to serve Him, the ways that are more comfortable to you.

We need to say “NO!” to all the things that distract us from our true purpose. We need to say “YES!” to Jesus, no matter the cost. We need to live as though the rapture is scheduled for next month.

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6 Responses
  1. Peter P says:

    Great post!

    I’m going to syndicate part of it tomorrow and point people here to read the rest…. if that’s OK.

  2. akaGaGa says:

    Aw, thanks, Peter. By all means, send away! Thanks!

  3. Hercules Mulligan says:

    Thanks Jean. This is an exhortation and an encouragement. I think that we need things like these to help us keep our priorities straight.

    Thanks for sharing that great hymn. :)

  4. akaGaGa says:

    Thanks, Herky! The hymn’s even better with music. :)

  5. ThomasCSlater says:

    Jean I love it! Great post.

  6. akaGaGa says:

    Thanks, Thomas!