Are Mighty Towers Hindering Me?

The sharp sound of hammers hitting chisels hitting stone permeated the air in ancient Shinar, as a crowd of builders have come together to build a tower. Now, this was no ordinary building, this tower was going to be tall enough to reach Heaven itself. The workers caught the attention of God, when He went down to inspect the work of the men, the Lord was not pleased with what He saw. So God decided to hinder the building project forever.
Instantaneously, confusion turned the construction site of the tower of Babel into turmoil. The Divine caused the men to speak different languages. The men, unable to communicate with one another, went their separate ways, and the once potentially magnificent tower of Babel was left to corrode into the beginning pages of the Pentateuch.
Found in Genesis 11.1-9, the Tower of Babel explains how all of the languages in the world came to be, it has become a staple in Sunday School Classes around the world. Like any great story, the Tower of Babel has a moral. If you are like me, you have been told the moral of the Tower of Babel is: prideful man shouldn’t think that they can build a tower to see God (or something along those lines). While it is true that pride is a horrible and sinful character trait; that is not what the Tower of Babel is teaching. To see what the moral is, and why God caused men to speak different languages, we have to look at Genesis 9.1: “So God blessed Noah and his sons, and said to them: “‘Be fruitful and multiply, and fill the earth.’” 
After the genealogy of Noah given in Genesis 10, we see the Biblical narrative of early man continue in Genesis 11.1-2, “Now the whole earth had one language and one speech. And it came to pass, as they journeyed from the east, that they found a plain in the land of Shinar, and they dwelt there.”  The descendants of Noah were keeping the first part of God’s command by being fruitful and multiplying, but were neglecting the second half of God’s command to “fill the earth. When we read of the Tower of Babel, the entire human race was in one location working together to build a tower to the “heavens” (Gn. 11.4).
The Jewish people had three heavens: the sky, outer-space, and Heaven (where God dwells). The Hebrew word for heavens found in Genesis 11.4 is the same word used to describe the atmosphere around earth (the firmament) in Genesis 1.9. That means that the builders of the Tower of Babel were not trying to build a tower to God or the Heaven; they were simply trying to build a tall and impressive building, one that reached the sky (think ancient skyscraper). They wanted to build the tower to make a great city and a name for themselves “…lest we be scattered abroad over the face of the earth (Gn. 11.4).”
It was not pride that caused God to confuse the people building the Babel’s Tower, but a refusal to obey. They were comfortable staying together neglecting the command to spread out and fill the earth. God forced them to obey making it impossible for them to work with one another. That is the true story of the Tower of Babel, and the true moral of the story is: don’t allow your personal preferences or comfort stop you from following the commands of God. Take a lesson from the Tower of Babel. Get out of your comfort zone and go out and do His Will, “…’And He said to them, “Go into all the world and preach the gospel to every creature’ (Mk. 16.15).”
– Zachary Guiler

Return to Sender

Over the Christmas holiday we had sent several cards through the mail to wish family and friends a Merry Christmas as we do each year.  There were a great deal of many changes that have happened over the course of the year.  Many friends changed jobs, changed phone numbers, some had children and some had a relative pass on.

Of all the cards that were sent we did receive a few of them back.  A handful of friends had moved over the course of the year.  We either neglected to change the address or had forgotten about the move.  Consequently those friends never received a card to wish them a Merry Christmas from our family.  Now comes the worry.  Will they be angry at me the next we see each other?  Will they not send me a card the following year?

Yesterday a young gentleman, who obviously has had a difficult life, came up to me as we were serving at a soup kitchen. He wanted to know how to become closer to God.  We some time talking about scripture and how the Bible lays out how one becomes and Christian and the gravity of such a decision.  We prayed together and he went on his way. Someone then asked, “You think we will ever see him again?”

For a millisecond i began to doubt…then I was reminded of a verse.  “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)  We may never know who will be impacted by God’s word.  It is not our place to judge who should be allowed to hear the Gospel of Christ and who should not.

Jesus said, “I have come to seek and to save the lost” (Luke 19:10).  Peter stated that God is “not willing that any should perish but that all should come to repentance” (2 Peter 3:9).  For the whole world, God sent Jesus (cf. John 3:16).

The Christmas cards that were returned, have come back void.  No one read them but the sender.  When we send out the Gospel message in any form, it makes a difference.  When we share our story of salvation, it makes a difference.  When we share scriptures, it makes a difference.  When we pray, it makes a difference.

The mission given to us by Christ, “to go into all the world and make disciples” (Matthew 28:19) is a universal and serious issue.  Without hearing the Gospel to believe the Gospel one cannot obey the Gospel.  Without obedience to Christ there is no salvation. (cf. Acts 4:12; John 14:21; Matthew 7:21)

It is our Christian duty to plant the seed of God’s word and to water it…however, it is God who provides the increase.  (cf. 1 Corinthians 3:6-7)

~David S. Deagel

Spreading the Gospel of Christ

What a wonderful blog site to share the Gospel of Christ with others who are seeking him. As an Elder in the church I have struggled with the proper and most effective way to share the Gospel of Christ. Past practices of door knocking and correspondence courses, and fair booths don’t seem to be getting the word of Christ’s salvation out there.

I have searched the scriptures over and over seeking the way Christ would have us spread his word. Then it hit me! I had been too concerned about adding to the number in attendance in our church building as a measure of success. Close attention to the Gospel shows that our charge is to spread the Gospel to anyone who will listen. That’s it. On the day of Pentecost and at other gatherings many heard the good news, but not all responded to the call.

We cannot measure our success of spreading the good news on the number of those who respond. We can not know a person’s heart nor make one believe, that is on you. All we can do is spread the word. Matthew 16:15 says, “go into all the world and preach the gospel to the whole creation” And Mark 16:16 states that “and he who believes and is baptized will be saved.”

So you see, we can only spread the good news, but it is up to the person to hear the word, and allow it to prick their heart and believe. I will no longer worry about the numbers in the seats of the congregation, but rather the continued effort to spread the word and hope and salvation of His promise.

~Tom Flickinger