In these modern times preachers and elders are often asked, "What programs do you have for my family and me?" One is sometimes tempted to give the answer that these folks desire by saying, "For the wife we have a 'hop till you drop' weight loss program, and for the children we provide a youth minister that is programmed by the kids, and for the man of the house we have a 12 minute special class on how to be successful without spending too much time with the Bible."
It is tragic that many are motivated only by their "felt needs," and it is downright deplorable that so- called elders and preachers do all within their power to provide these folks satisfaction. The "what do you have to offer me" disease has eaten away at the Lord's church like a dreaded cancer. Instead of treating this spiritual malady with a strong Biblical injection, many leaders have allowed the "tares" (Matthew 13:35) to be fertilized!
Peter reminds us that we should seek to follow in the steps of Christ (1 Peter 2:21). It is recorded that Christ "came not to be ministered unto, but to minister, and to give his life a ransom for many" (Matthew 28:20). The Lord possessed a servant spirit. He came into this world asking not what could be done for Him but seeking what He could do for others.
How unlike the spirit of Christ is the spirit that is manifested today by so many who profess to be Christians! Instead of seeking to glorify God for all He has done in their behalf, these seekers of "self" demand to be served and catered to at every turn. The honor that belongs to Christ is given to men.
What if Christ could visit in every home today and ask each of us, "What will you do for me?" It is a simple question that Christians may ignore now but not in the hereafter. Some aren't doing much of anything for the Lord! They want the blessings that come from the Lord, but they are content to let others work in the vineyard. They want to go to Heaven while serving the devil. They want the care and concern of others while they remain unconcerned and carefree.
What if Christ were to ask, "Why did you learn about everything important to you and fail to learn of My Word?" Could it be that the Lord and His church are not as important to some as they would have you to believe? We find time to do those things we desire to do. Don't kid yourself into believing that you are putting the Lord first (Matthew 6:33) when you open your Bible during the week only if you attend a Bible class. But then some do not open their Bible in Bible class because they have no Bible to open!
What if Christ were to ask, "Why did you never invite anyone to the services of the church?" You have invited folks over for lunch, to social gatherings, and to recreational outings. Are you more interested in the pleasures of this life than Heaven? Have the "cares of the world" choked out spiritual matters? (Luke 8:14). Is the Lord's church really important to you? If someone you invited were to attend regularly for several weeks would he see you at each of the services? Do we really care about lost souls?
What if Christ were to ask, "Why did you sit for years and let others do all the teaching?" Some people will not prepare themselves to teach. The Hebrews writer admonishes, "For when by reason of the time ye ought to be teachers, ye have need again that some one teach you the rudiments of the first principles of the oracles of God; and are become such as have need of milk, and not of solid food" (5:12). There are grade levels from toddlers to adults that need to be taught. Someone must teach!
It has always amazed me that so many are competent and capable in the secular world but absolutely void of talent in the spiritual realm. Such a double standard will not bode well for one in the Day of Judgment.
What if Christ were to ask, "Why were you not willing to be faithful in assembling with the saints?" We live in a society where many are willing to work long, hard hours to be a success in secular endeavors. Some pay "lip service" to the soul being more important than anything else, but then they are too busy being successful to be regular in attendance. For these folks, neither Hebrews 10:25 nor Matthew 6:33 take priority over laying up earthly treasures! Jesus said, "Lay not up for yourselves treasures upon the earth, where moth and rust consume, and where thieves break through and steal: but lay up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where neither moth nor rust doth consume, and where thieves do not break through nor steal: for where thy treasure is, there will thy heart be also" (Matt. 6:19-21).
Our actions demonstrate our faith and trust in Christ and His church. James cuts to the heart of the matter in saying, "Yea, a man will say, Thou hast faith, and I have works: show me thy faith apart from thy works, and I by my works will show thee my faith" (2:18). What will you do for Christ? It will matter - one day!
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The Old Testament speaks of presumptuous sin. David wrote, “Keep back thy servant also from presumptuous sins; let them not have dominion over me: then shall I be upright, and I shall be innocent from the great transgression” (Ps. 19:13). Of the word presumptuous th......
The fourth article from Ted J. Clarke on the subject The Role of Women in the Lord's Church is now available online. Having previously discussed The Genesis Connection, he proceeds in this article to discuss First Corinthians 11:2-16 with regard to the Role of Women in the Lord's Church.
In the contest with evil we must remember that, while we oppose men who serve Satan, our real foe is Satan: “For our wrestling is not against flesh and blood, …but against the spiritual hosts of wickedness …” (Ephesians 6:12). We are in a spiritual struggle for th......