As many associated with Bible Baptist Church knows, I’m a bi-vocational pastor. For those unfamiliar with the term, it simply means that in addition to serving as the pastor, I also work a full-time job to support myself and my family. Today at work in a brief discussion with a fellow co-worker, I mentioned that “the most important thing,” is to know where you will spend eternity when you die. He kind of agreed, then promptly changed the subject!
Whether newspaper, television, internet, radio or any other medium, the news seems to be all about COVID-19, the recent disputed national election and not much else. I don’t intend to get into my personal thoughts on either subject, but I would like to point out a couple, maybe a few things that I think the church as a whole, certainly including Bible Baptist Church, needs to focus on more and more as the day for our Lord’s return draws nearer.
Let me just put the bottom line up front, as I may use the phrase in the military, where I still use it. Everyone will die someday, it does not matter the mechanism of death, whether illness, injury, accident, violence or any other way. Death is absolutely certain. The bottom line is, “when you die, where will you spend eternity?” You can KNOW, not just “think” or “hope” that you will be in heaven with our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ.
"And this is the record, that God hath given to us eternal life, and this life is in his Son. He that hath the Son hath life; and he that hath not the Son of God hath not life. These things have I written unto you that believe on the name of the Son of God; that ye may KNOW that ye have eternal life, and that ye may believe on the name of the Son of God." ~ 1 John 5:11-13
Without a doubt, KNOWING where you will spend eternity, and more importantly, KNOWING that you will spend eternity in heaven with Jesus Christ is the most important decision anyone will ever make. If you do not truly know, or if you know that you won’t go to heaven when you die, please call, text, write, e-mail or contact me in some way. I would love to show you what you need to know about this most important decision.
There are other things that should be important to believers (who make up the church) that should be more important than COVID-19, job concerns, the uncertain outcome of any election, or other things we allow to take priority. One major issue I have seen, long before becoming a pastor is the sad state of biblical illiteracy among people who claim to be believers, whether they attend church or not. I challenge ALL believers of all denominations to READ YOUR BIBLE! Only by knowing what God says can you have any true hope or hope to overcome in the evil day when it will be necessary to take a stand or submit (potentially to some type of persecution).
Another thing that too many Christians (yes, even me) have been lacking for many years is the necessity to stand up and speak up when necessary. There are two very easy and very powerful ways to do this. The easiest is to share your personal testimony. YOUR story. If you are a believer, there was a time when you accepted the gift of salvation. Only you know YOUR story the way that YOU do! Ask your friends, family, co-workers, neighbors, even strangers, “Can I share with you what Jesus Christ did for me?” Then tell your story. It’s really that easy. For some of us, there are parts of our past that we’re ashamed of, but we can and should praise God that we have been forgiven.
"Know ye not that the unrighteous shall not inherit the kingdom of God? Be not deceived: neither fornicators, nor idolaters, nor adulterers, nor effeminate, nor abusers of themselves with mankind, Nor thieves, nor covetous, nor drunkards, nor revilers, nor extortioners, shall inherit the kingdom of God. And such WERE some of you: but ye are washed, but ye are sanctified, but ye are justified in the name of the Lord Jesus, and by the Spirit of our God." 1 Corinthians 6:9-11 "If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins, and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness." ~ 1 John 1:9
The other thing that believers can and SHOULD do is to proclaim God’s word, especially in countering the sin in our society today. All we have to do is to read, write or quote God’s word, because it is powerful. When people (institutions, etc.) balk at God’s word, we should understand that the opposition is to God and His Word, we’re simply the messengers.
"For the word of God is quick, and powerful, and sharper than any two-edged sword, piercing even to the dividing asunder of soul and spirit, and of the joints and marrow, and is a discerner of the thoughts and intents of the heart." ~ Hebrews 4:12 "So shall my word be that goeth forth out of my mouth: it shall not return unto me void, but it shall accomplish that which I please, and it shall prosper in the thing whereto I sent it." ~ Isaiah 55:11
I’m checking back in to realize that I never posted this to the website. I sincerely apologize for that. The discussion took place some time ago, but nothing really has changed. It is true that the most important thing is to KNOW where you will spend eternity. It’s also important for believers to KNOW their Bible and to stand up and speak up boldly when they know they should. Probably most of us (including me) need to work on our boldness. Too often our excuses are that we’re concerned about what people will think or say, trouble at school, on the job, in the neighborhood or family. Can I challenge you (please return the challenge to me) to speak up in love (Ephesians 4:15; Colossians 4:6) because that is what we are called to do.