Wednesday, November 18, 2009

Let's Go Get Them

I think Bro Tom Wallace wrote this, it was in my "Topic File" and I know he gave me a lot of the things in that file. But when I read it I got convicted and thought I would put it here. Maybe it will help some of you like it has me.

Jesus gave the Great Commission to His disciples saying,

"Go ye therefore, and teach all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost: Teaching them to observe all things whatsoever I have commanded you: and, lo, I am with you alway, even unto the end of the world. Amen.'' Matt. 28:19,20.

He also said,

"Go out quickly into the streets and lanes of the city, and bring in hither the poor, and the maimed, and the halt, and the blind.'' Luke 14:21.

Then He said again,

"Go out into the highways and hedges, and compel them to come in, that my house may be filled.'' --Luke 14:23.

Getting people ready for Heaven was His main business; it ought to be ours, also. Many are going out into eternity to meet God every day, most being unprepared. It certainly behooves all Christians to put forth an all-out effort to bring people to a saving knowledge of Jesus Christ.

We must remember that over 160,000 people die every day, over 68 million every year. Surely the main business is soul winning and aggressive, evangelistic outreach. So "Let's Go Get Them!''

Churches are usually born in time of revival and evangelism when a few who get right with God band together for prayer, Bible preaching and soul-winning efforts. This red-hot evangelism approach usually draws a crowd. Too often when the buildings get full, instead of launching into building programs and solving the space problems, we settle into complacency.

One preacher being urged to participate in an outreach campaign made the statement, "I have more sheep now than I can say grace over.'' It is sad when so many do not care about the burden of carrying the Gospel to needy souls.

I heard about a football game being played on the home field. The home team was being smeared by the visiting squad. Someone on the sidelines kept yelling, "Give the ball to Calhoun! Give the ball to Calhoun!'' They tried another play, and again the home team was smashed to the ground, losing valuable yardage. Again came the cry, "Give the ball to Calhoun!'' After this happened two or three times more, the familiar cry rang out again, "Give the ball to Calhoun!'' A tall man raised up from the pile of human bodies on the field after the next play and responded, "Calhoun don't want the ball!''

I am afraid this is true of many preachers and Christian leaders. They do not want to carry the ball of evangelism. When the church settles down after a work of revival and evangelism, the members slip into a dead, orthodox teaching position and begin to work with the saints, excusing themselves from the Great Commission. They soon drift into liberalism, compromise and softening up on issues.

Modernism is the next step down on the cycle. Logic and reasoning then begin to replace scriptural teaching and doctrinal exhortation. That usually results in the uprise of radical theology. Everyone seems to feel God must have died.

That is followed by riot and revolution. The burning of cities, shooting policemen, smashing store windows, and marching in mobs down the streets usually shakes up the remaining remnant of Christians who go back to the prayer closet and seek God's face for help. That in turn brings back evangelism and revival. We have completed
a cycle and are ready to go again.

The big question now is: shall we work with the saints or continue to carry out the Great Commission and gather up sinners? Dr. Walter Hughes said, "God did not call us to cuddle the saints but to collar sinners.'' Ray Sadler used to say, "Are we to be fishers of men or keepers of the aquarium?''

Dr. Jack Hyles gives a famous illustration about a fire company being organized. He asked the question, "Is the purpose of the fire company to put out fires, or to keep the fire truck shiny and the fireman's uniform neat?'' There is surely a need for both. There must be a balance between reaching souls and caring for the saints, but to forsake one for the other must be displeasing to the Lord.

The question now before us is: Shall we build large, aggressive, soul-winning churches, using buses, Christian day schools, Bible colleges, Internet, radio outreach, TV, printing presses, camps, book stores, newspapers, etc., etc.? Some are saying we should not neglect the members and the saints.

It seems the early church in Jerusalem had that same problem. It cried out that the widows were being neglected in the daily ministration. This problem was solved by the appointing of deacons who cared for those needs, while the men of God continued to carry on a program of aggressive outreach and the Great Commission.