We have had some great Saturday nights with our one minute bible studies. I had the chance to do the 10 rules of dating with a group of boys having a water balloon fight, and then the car full of girls from the church came by and did one with all of the girls hanging around watching the action. That was a night of 30 bible studies. Our running total is around 385. I have been gone to conference for 12 days. We will get back on track. I am still waiting to turn that corner personally when doing the bible studies is just part of everyday life for me. Onward and upward.
While sitting in a conference that had me listening to every word preached; I was thinking about what I would preach Sunday night in Wickenburg. I had a sermon ready for Sunday morning, so I was just circulating thoughts with God throughout the week. I had some ideas of incorporating an article about American energy future into the sermon. I ended up using that article as a springboard for America’s future. A future that depended upon America’s past. I threw out some points about the founding fathers, and I was moving to a place of introducing one minute bible studies to the congregation.
At conference I was once again reminded that our success as a fellowship had nothing to do with programs or personality; but was the result of one pastor, Pastor Mitchell, flowing with what God was doing with young people in the early 70’s. So how do you bring God and His values to a town (Sparta) or to a nation (U.S.)? I had this thought worked out in my mind. We have all heard an evangelism sermon in which the unsaved are described as heading down the highway and the bridge is washed out and it is up to you to warn them. If you are an evangelistic christian, think of your neighbor, who could die tomorrow. What are you doing to warn him? If you said nothing or acknowledged your soft witness of being a good neighbor, welcome to reality.
I remember the story of a committed communist who was presented the gospel story. He took pride in his faithful dedication to communism, seeing it as the true source of happiness for mankind. After hearing the gospel story, he declared that he could never live with himself and be a Christian. When pressed, he said how could any Christian live a normal life knowing that most of the people around him were going to an eternity in hell. He would exhaust himself in warning them if he truly believed that.
So there is the dilemma. We have not exhausted ourselves warning people. The problem is that people don’t believe that they will go to hell and me warning them of a consequence that they do not believe is possible comes across as foolishness (as the bible says). This leads into the discussion of salvation: is it the work of God, or is it the work of man or are we partnering with God to bring salvation to mankind? “The will of God is that none should perish”. “One plants another waters, but it is the Lord who brings the increase”. And nothing changes the fact that I and every other Christian is not living a life where our efforts are all that stands between hell and our unsaved loved ones as well as everyone else living around us who is not already saved.
So I stand firm in my belief in “the day of visitation”. My warnings probably will not impact many people. But a person who is wrestling with God, trying to figure things out, studying the bible might actually give me an opportunity to speak into their life the things of God. Thus, one minute bible studies. The sowing of the word. The spreading of the word. An action in which we try to bring God’s word back into circulation. Make people think again about the things of God. Onward and upward!