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Thursday, November 24, 2011

Which Is Most Important?

People often come to our church and remark on the atmosphere within the building. They talk of the people they meet rather than how our building looks. The sanctuary is still beautiful but it needs serious upgrading.  The halls are narrow, the restrooms are inadequate and there are always lots of repairs. Our church's greatest impact is in the attitude of the people. There is something very different about them.

This does not appeal to many. They want a church that looks like a Taj Mahal and do not care if the people are cold. They like to rub shoulders with the well-to-do rather than those who may not know what they will do tomorrow. They come and make the decision to walk out before they meet a single person.

It has been said that a "best seller" is a book that everyone wants to own but no one wants to read. It is important that you have it and can tell others that you do. It does not matter what's on the inside as long as it is on display at the owner's house.

This is the same issue people face when coming to church. Many fail to see which is more important. Their relationship with their Lord is about how it looks and how it performs rather than the relationship that is born within them when they believe. They are not so fascinated that souls are won to Christ as that they walk into huge opulent buildings. They want their church to be known so that people will admire them for attending there even if they don't attend very much.

Putting it frankly, it is more important that people come to know Christ than they walk into great buildings. The work of Christ to save a soul is more powerful than building a building. It is more important that your soul is saved than what you have or can do for the Lord.

Not everyone at our church is saved. Many come without a knowledge of Christ. They come like a blank page which can have salvation or damnation written on it. They watch and learn as the Holy Spirit draws them closer. They are not attracted to our buildings for they are nothing to be attracted to. They see those within the church who are struggling with the same issues in life as they struggle. They know there is something different about these people but they don't know what it is.

There is nothing more important than having your name written in the Lamb's Book of Life. There is nothing more important than your eternity made secure by trusting in Christ as your savior. It is more important than anything that you can do for the Lord. You may be instrumental in building a huge building for your church or you may even confront a demon and rebuke him in the name of Christ but it will not be more important than your salvation.

So, don't rejoice so much in what you have done for the Lord but rejoice in what He has done for you. He has given His life so that you can have eternal life with Him. This is most important.

Luke 10:17-20 (NIV)
17 The seventy-two returned with joy and said, "Lord, even the demons submit to us in your name."

18 He replied, "I saw Satan fall like lightning from heaven. 19 I have given you authority to trample on snakes and scorpions and to overcome all the power of the enemy; nothing will harm you. 20 However, do not rejoice that the spirits submit to you, but rejoice that your names are written in heaven." 

1 comment:

Anthony Chia said...

It has been said that a "best seller" is a book that everyone wants to own but no one wants to read. It is important that you have it and can tell others that you do. It does not matter what's on the inside as long as it is on display at the owner's house.

1 Tim 6:12 said to fight the good fight of faith and to lay hold on the eternal life. How does one lay hold on a life? Are we doing the same with eternal life or zōē life as we do a best-seller? Just so long as we can tell others we have it; whatever that life comprises does NOT matter, so long as we are known as Christians. Is right living that unimportant as some overly grace preachers making it out to be?

Concerning the central importance of soul-saving, indeed soul-saving has to be our chief concern, for that is the Great Commission of the Lord, and is central and dear in the heart of God; it is God's desire that all men be saved. On my part, I try to remember, as often as I can, that even as I minister healing prayer for people, what is of greater importance is the people's salvation, for physical healing only adds tens of years to a life, at the most, but salvation grants life forevermore.

In the beautiful Psalm of Protection, Ps 91, it is even clear there, in v15, that men would face troubles in life. The difference between one who loves and obeys God (NOT mere Christian) and one who does NOT (which includes non-believers), is how we handle the troubles of life. The one who loves and obeys God, God said He would be with him in his troubles; and He would deliver him and honor him; and so, facing his troubles, in faith, a God loving and obeying believer is able to be courageous and abide in His rest. Never tell a non-believer that he should accept Jesus, and he will be trouble-free; God did NOT promise that! At times, we, believers created false images and expectations for the non-believers. It is so attractive to say such things as you will be trouble-free if you have Jesus or God, or God MUST and WILL heal; neither of them is a truth.

Indeed, we should never forget that we were once already condemned, nothing we could do to merit the eternal life that we are possessing now as a Christian, and so, it was all by the grace of God that we have entered into salvation, which we must be thankful, and always remember. Then, we are to recognise that we are NOT saved for nothing; we are saved to please God, to glorify God, to worship Him, to serve Him, and it is an honor and privilege to serve God in no matter how small a matter; imagine what John the Baptist said of Jesus, “… the thongs of whose sandals I am not worthy to stoop down and untie.” (Mark 1:7). Whatever great or small thing that we do for the Lord or God, it is God’s honoring and His willing it be done by us.