Ecclesiastes 9:10 “Whatsoever thy hand findeth to do, do it with thy might; for there is no work, nor device, nor knowledge, nor wisdom, in the grave, whither thou goest.”
I’ve often thought the book of Acts (fifth book of the Bible’s New Testament) should have been named the Book of Actions of the Apostles. Because of their actions, the Gospel of Christ was spread throughout Europe and consequently, their known world. To act, movement is required.
Had it not been for the Apostle Paul, who wrote 13books of the New Testament (and possibly Hebrews), the good news of our Jesus would have ceased in Jerusalem. Paul was a promoter of the salvation gospel and prayer, 1 Thessalonians 5:17 “Pray without ceasing.” Paul knew prayer would keep us moving forward.
Prayer should be the motivator of enthusiasm which must be a call to action. We often pray for things and then sit back and wait for God to act. I recently heard the statement made, “It’s like leaning on a shovel and praying for a hole.” We must act, He gave us feet, hands and a mouth with which to work and see results.
Acts 1: 8 has been considered the missionaries call to action. “But ye shall receive power, after that the Holy Ghost is come upon you: and ye shall be witnesses unto me both in Jerusalem, and in all Judaea, and in Samaria, and unto the uttermost part of the earth.” In order to serve Him, we must regard this verse as a declarative statement and not a suggestion.
Action on the part of Christians is required. We send out missionaries, ordain preachers and evangelists and even read a few articles or books by Christian writers. Are we simply consuming and digesting the information, or are we putting our bodies and voices into action?
We hear many quotes of philosophers, clergymen and sometimes even sports or entertainment personalities. Of the many I have heard and used, one really captured my attention and I am sure I will remember it to my grave.
The Irish philosopher, statesman and political theorist, Edmund Burke said, “When good men do nothing, evil triumphs.” Has there ever been a time in history when this statement has been more accurate?
The inaction we are witnessing is devastating to our country, our faith and our entire way of life. The U.S. constitution, our freedoms and the American dream are under attack and there apparently is no one to counter the assault.
We are seeing situations in our churches and country in which “good men” are sitting back and letting the chips fall where they may. I’ve stated before, these circumstances may be God’s will. The church and the country may be under a state of God’s divine wrath.
Another possibility is that this is God’s plan coming together according to the events of end-time prophesy, leading up to the second coming of our Savior and then the tribulation. We can only speculate on these cause and effect developments. Evidence for most any argument is in existence and there are many unanswerable questions.
We have reached a stalement of opposing forces. Connotations of right and wrong are no longer determinable by consensus. Citizens keeping up with current events in America fully well realize this standoff is no closer to settlement than it was 10 years ago. Actually, the sides are becoming more polarized by the day.
Many believe a second civil war in America is the solution. This would result in literally millions of deaths to Americans. To call this a reasonable solution is out-of-bounds in a civilized society; assuming we are still civilized. Considering the vulnerable state on the world stage in which the U.S. would find itself, this is not a viable solution at all. The enemies of America, both foreign and domestic, would love to see such a war.
Of even greater concern to many of us is the division we are seeing in the church. I’ve often wondered if denominations were initiated by God to keep us discussing and thinking, or invented by Satan to divide us.
If you’ve followed the Bible Connections column or watched the Youtube videos (Sunday morning with Bro Van), I’m sure you know I preach the fundamental of the Gospel, the death and resurrection of our Jesus.
To pick nits as denominations are infamous for doing, simply divides the Church. There is only one church and that is the Church of our Jesus. Matthew 16: 18, “And I say also unto thee, that thou art Peter, and upon this rock I will build my church; and the gates of hell shall not prevail against it.”
Perhaps Jesus should have added, “And the gates of denominationalism shall not prevail against it.” On second thought, those two may be the same. We often hear the words, “It’s all about Jesus,” but in reality, is it? Perception is reality in the human mind and our priorities define our reality.
The saying, “We can’t see the forest for the trees,” has never been more appropriate. Many would say we are blinded by Satan but I would say we are blinded by our own priorities and values originating from being in this world. A Christian may be a spiritual being but we still live here. This may be a “six of one and half a dozen of the other,” statement but the point is, we’ve missed the target.
When Jesus stated in Matthew 16: 18 to Peter, He did not have in mind what the church has become. Social clubs, sports complexes and entertainment centers were not His intent. Many churches are using those venues to reach out to non-Christians but caution must be taken not to let the event overshadow the evangelism.
The purpose of the church was then and is now to reach non-Christians with the gospel (good news) of our Jesus. The fundamental of the gospel is summarized in John 3: 16. The key words are “whosoever” and “believe.” Believe what? Christ Jesus was crucified for the remission of sin and resurrected.
In the church, the Bible is the one and only guide for actions. In America the constitution is such a guide for this country and was (as I understand it) designed and penned to protect the people from the government.
When churches or governments are controlled by people with domineering attitudes, intent on having their way no matter what it takes, a recipe for misuse is being written. There is only one head of the church and that is the Lord Jesus.
1 Chronicles 22:19 “Now set your heart and your soul to seek the Lord your God; arise therefore, and build ye the sanctuary of the LORD God, to bring the ark of the covenant of the Lord, and the holy vessels of God, into the house that is to be built to the name of the Lord.”
We often hear the words, “God doesn’t want our ability, He wants our availability.” Edmund Burke was attempting to inspire actions of “good men.” In order to do the work God wants done, we must be available and willing to take action. Laziness is not a characteristic God is looking for.
The only reasonable solution is to do as the apostles did and that requires action.