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
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.