Have you been a Christian for a long time? If so, like me, you may admit that often there is a tendency to lose sight of the essential mission God desires of us. It is easy to settle into a routine of study, work, married life, family life, leisure and routine church attendance and conclude that because you are committed to a set of Christian values in the way you live, that’s it. Our recent sermons and Small Group (SG) studies in the epistle of Romans tell us this is not so. Although Paul writes this letter to the Christians in Rome more than two decades after his encounter with Jesus on his journey to Damascus, he still highlights the essential of sharing the gospel of Jesus Christ with the unsaved. He starts by introducing himself as a servant of Jesus Christ, called to be an apostle and set apart for the gospel of God (1:1). He reminds his readers that both he and they have, through God’s grace received the role of apostles, to share the good news with the Gentiles (1:5). He affirms that he serves with his whole heart in preaching the gospel (1:9). And he tells them how eager he is to go to Rome to preach the gospel there (1:15).
That week, a sister in my Small Group (SG) shared in our group chat her conviction after reading an article about the Rapture (see 1 Thess 4:16-18). She pondered the fact that she would probably be leaving behind loved ones, friends and neighbours who had never trusted Jesus for the forgiveness of their sins. She was moved to prepare a “left behind letter” which would explain to them where she had gone and how to seize the last opportunity to repent and turn to Christ before His second coming after which it would be too late.
It was a wake-up call to me that I had not been doing enough to share the saving message of Jesus Christ with loved ones and friends as a matter of first priority. I confessed my failings to my Small Group and purpose that with God’s help I would redouble my efforts.
Will you join me to heed the urgings of Paul, other bible writers, as well as Christians of the past who admonished us to preach the message “in season and out of season”? Yes, there will be instances when we will not “look cool”, we may be dropped from favoured company, or worse, face ridicule or persecution – but as my SG member reminded – will it not all be worthwhile if that dear one is saved and spared the terror of being “left behind”?
May our Lord strengthen us as He is not willing that any should perish. (2 Peter 3:9)
By Daniel John, Elder (YCKC Bulletin 18&19 February 2017)