The Church And Our Community
Someone in your town or community will soon die without the Lord. Those who die without God also die without hope. (Ephesians 2:12) Please remember these are people who are precious to you. We must do our best not to allow people to die without the Lord. These beloved lost ones do not have to perish. (2 Peter 3:9) Christ Jesus gave His life to redeem the lost from sin. Jesus lived a life without sin and then died on a cross to save sinners. (Hebrews 2:9) If it were not for the death of Jesus God would have no choice but to punish men for their own sins. (Hebrews 2:2) But, Jesus died as our sin substitute. Paul wrote, "For he hath made him to be sin for us, who knew no sin; that we might be made the righteousness of God in him." (2 Corinthians 5:21)
Are you putting forth an honest effort to win the souls of others? The gospel is God's power to save. (Romans 1:16) We must share this salvation message with as many as we can. Our love, prayers, concern and effort may lead them to the "Lamb of God" so their sins can be forgiven. John said, "Behold! The Lamb of God who takes away the sin of the world!" (John 1:29)
Do you want to face God in eternity having done any less than your best in reaching the lost? Do you want to sit by and allow people you love, people who are precious to you, people you work with or even strangers to die without God and without hope? Do you want to look into the cold, lifeless face of a fellow human being and be left with the awful thought that you might have done something to have saved them if only you had tried. Will it do any good to deliver God's message to our world? The word of God will accomplish that for which God sent it. "So shall My word be that goes forth from My mouth; it shall not return to Me void, but it shall accomplish what I please, and it shall prosper in the thing for which I sent it." (Isaiah 55:11) Let us ring forth the word of God loud and clear! How foolish we have been in thinking it will do no good to get out into our community with the word of God.
Because the word of God is the word which brings salvation; God commanded that it be preached to every creature. "And he said unto them, Go ye into all the world, and preach the gospel to every creature. He that believeth and is baptized shall be saved; but he that believeth not shall be damned.” (Mark 16:15-16) The world will change only through the preaching of God’s word! Faith comes by hearing the word of God. (Romans 10:17) "Without faith it is impossible to please God." (Hebrews 11:6) It is time to use the word of God to clean up our world. Let us get into our community with the gospel and the church will grow! Jesus was able to reach others because He was out in His community. We should follow the steps of Jesus and His steps will lead us out into our community. (1 Peter 2:21) As Jesus moved about in the community, He was able to find Zacchaeus (Luke 19); He found Nicodemus (John 3) and He likewise found the woman at the well. (John 4) He also taught many others as He was out in His community.
Twenty-first century Christians must be out in our community leading men to Christ. Door to door evangelism still works today! (Matthew 28:18) God must be disappointed that we have largely limited Christianity to being a "church building" religion. It is time that we stop making excuses and get out into our world with the gospel of Christ. When the early church was scattered these Christians went everywhere preaching the word. (Acts 8:3-4) We should go everywhere preaching also. Let us go to the hospital and nursing and evangelize among patients and staff. The jails are filled with people we can evangelize. Teach both the inmates and the officers. Get involved with community youth and teach them the gospel. Radio, television and the printed page gets us into the community with the gospel. The church should have a strong benevolent program and we should use those opportunities to teach the gospel. Share Christ with the people at the bank and at the service station. Those we work with provide wonderful opportunities for evangelism. Share the gospel with those you have contact with through your children's activities. May God write these words upon every heart, "Every branch in me that beareth not fruit he taketh away: and every branch that beareth fruit, he purgeth it, that it may bring forth more fruit." (John 15:2) If souls are to be won, specific action must be taken. Do not give up. Be persistent in things you can do to bring these lost ones to Jesus.
"Those who sow in tears shall reap in joy. He who continually goes forth weeping, Bearing seed for sowing, Shall doubtless come again with rejoicing, Bringing his sheaves with him." (Psalms 126:5-6) To become a Christian you must hear the gospel (Romans 10:17), believe in Jesus as the Christ (Mark 16:16), repent of all sins (Acts 17:30), confess Christ as Lord (Acts 8:36) and be baptized for remission of sins. (Acts 2:38) After baptism, remain faithful to God. (Revelation 2:10) May God help each of us to remember who we are, what we can do and how we can serve God and bless others.
By Charles Box, Walnut Street Church of Christ, 306 Walnut Street,
Greenville, Alabama 36037 USA