Galatians 6:9 "And let us not be weary in well doing: for in due season we shall reap, if we faint not."
2 Thessalonians 3:13 "But ye, brethren, be not weary in well doing."
Each and every person in this room tonight has one thing in common: we are all workers for our Lord Jesus Christ. If you were not a worker for Jesus you wouldn't be here. The Fall Conference is not for the casual Church goer, the Sunday morning only Christian. Each person who attended tonight realizes in his or her heart how important our cooperative efforts are. We are concerned for the lost, and desperately want to hear our Lord Jesus say "Well done, my good and faithful servant" when we meet Him in the sweet bye and bye.
Yet, dear believers, if we would be honest with ourselves we will admit that there are times when we become tired. Many a preacher has fallen under the burden of the ministry, and many a Christian worker has become disillusioned and has wandered away from working for Jesus. As we look at the task set before us, the task Jesus gave us to spread the Gospel of salvation in Him, the Lord would have you consider the example of the beloved Apostle Paul. If there was ever a man who should have been weary in well doing, it was Paul the Apostle. Paul was plagued with, I am told, poor eyesight, so much so that he had to dictate his letters to a secretary. Early on in his calling to the ministry Paul was opposed from every direction:
Luke 22:41-44 ".. He ... prayed, Saying, Father, if thou be willing, remove this cup from me: nevertheless not my will, but thine, be done. And there appeared an angel unto him from heaven, strengthening him. And being in an agony he prayed more earnestly: and his sweat was as it were great drops of blood falling down to the ground."
Galatians 6:9 "And let us not be weary in well doing ... "
Who can forget our precious Jesus, perfect and pure, kneeling in the Garden for each and every one of us. Jesus was weary in His humanity. For three years He had preached the Gospel message, for three years He had shown Himself to be God in the flesh, Emmanuel, our Savior - and at the end He kneeled in the Garden by Himself and faced the greatest trial of history. As He knelt and prayed He was confronted with two options: to let the cup of God, the cup of agony pass, or to take and drink deeply of that cup for you and for me.
As Jesus knelt and prayed His sweat, as it were "great drops of blood", fell to the ground. He prayed so earnestly and powerfully that an angel had to come to His precious side to strengthen Him, to encourage Him. What was in Jesus' mind as He prayed? I know that He confronted the terror of the Cross, the terror of having the sins of the entire world rained down on His soul. But what else? Did He perhaps see, as He prayed, your face in His mind's eye? Did He see my face, lost and undone, if He refused to pay the penalty for me?
If Jesus had been apathetic to our need of salvation He would have rejected the cup, and we would yet be lost in our sins. If Jesus, seeing the end of the finish line had said, "No, I can't go on", then we would be certain to go to eternal damnation. But Jesus looked not at Himself. No, rather than accept the comfortable way out Jesus focused on us, focused on our welfare, our eternal state. He accepted the Cup for us. Jesus looked beyond His own weariness and refused to give up, for He was focused on the goal, not on the moment.
What is our goal as an Association and as individual local Churches? Some might say, "To build bigger and better buildings" or "to have a fantastic Youth Program" or "to have a well run bus ministry". Now these things are fine, and I hope you are blessed with some or all of these things. However, our true goal as Christians is to tell others about Him who took the Cup for me, to tell others about Jesus Christ our Lord. To focus on Jesus because He focused on us. Or, as John said:
All things that we do as Churches and as an Association need to emphasize first and foremost that our Lord Jesus is the only Way, the only Truth, the only Life - and that no man, woman, or child can ever come to the Father but through Him.
When Paul considered giving up and throwing in the towel he always thought about our Lord Jesus, kneeling and bleeding in the Garden, hanging and bleeding on the Cross. Jesus refused to stop until the goal was reached, until our salvation was attained.
Galatians 6:9 "And let us not be weary in well doing ... "
Often we as Baptists and Christians become weary in well doing because it seems like we are so alone. We make a statement, quite innocently, that we are "targeting" an area for evangelism, and that we are planning on bringing a "crusade" to a certain city. As soon as these statements are made we find ourselves persecuted in the media for using inappropriate language, for using bad terminology, for not being politically correct in our speech. Yet, dear believers, the Cross of Christ is an offense:
Romans 9:33 "As it is written, Behold, I lay in Zion a stumbling stone and rock of offense: and whosoever believeth on him shall not be ashamed."
The Cross offends all who see it while in their sins. The Cross is an offense to the self-righteous moral person, for the Cross reminds him that he cannot work his way to Heaven. The Cross is an offense to the religious man for it reminds him that his religion falls far short of that which can save. The Cross is an offense to the atheist and the evolutionist for it points out their way is a lie, and God's way in Jesus is the only truth. Brothers and sisters, in the midst of the attacks the world levies against us, "let us not be weary in well doing". Remember that we are not alone, but that the Great Commission was given to us by Almighty God Jesus Christ our Lord. This same Jesus sent the Comforter, the Holy Spirit, to guide us as we fulfill the mission He has set before us. The work we do, we do not in our own power but in the power and will of God. We do what we do not to be politically correct, but we witness the Cross for the time is short, and today is the day of salvation. Jesus told His disciples (that's us) that if we go into a city and that city refuse to receive the Word of the Gospel, then:
Mark 6:11-12 ".. when ye depart thence, shake off the dust under your feet for a testimony against them. Verily I say unto you, It shall be more tolerable for Sodom and Gomorra in the day of judgment, than for that city. "
Did you get that? We are to shake off the dust from our feet as "a testimony against them". Believers, God is watching our efforts at evangelism. He sees what we do, and sees what we don't do. Our mission is not to be well liked, popular, or to compromise the message of salvation. Our mission is to tell others the Gospel truth that Jesus saves. We will not be weary when we realize we're not alone, but are in partnership with the Creator of all.
Galatians 6:9 "... in due season we shall reap"
Romans 8:28 "And we know that all things work together for good to them that love God, to them who are the called according to his purpose."
Sometimes we are wearied because we forget, not who
we are, but who's we are. We who have accepted Jesus Christ
as our Savior are the children of the Most High God. Our God is Sovereign,
and controls all things. Because He is Sovereign, because He has given
us the task of telling the world about Jesus, we know that we shall
reap if we faithfully do as He has commanded.
|John Paton was a missionary in the New Hebrides Islands. One night hostile natives surrounded the mission station, intent on burning out the Patons and killing them. Paton and his wife prayed during that terror filled night that God would deliver them. When daylight came they were amazed to see their attackers leave. A year later, the chief of the tribe was converted to Christ. Remembering what had happened, Paton asked the chief what had kept him from burning down the house and killing them. The chief replied in surprise, "Who were all those men with you there?" Paton knew no men were present--but the chief said he was afraid to attack because he had seen hundreds of big men in shining garments with drawn swords circling the mission station. Today in the Word MBI, October, 1991, p. 18|
The Apostle Paul, imprisoned in Rome, wrote letter to the Churches never knowing for certain that they would even reach their destination. Yet he wrote, and ministered, faithfully tending to the things of God knowing that the Lord would complete the work for him. Paul never lived to see the Church grow to be as widespread as it is today. In fact, the writings of Paul were not even collected as Scripture and bound together until 30 or 40 years after his death. Paul refused to faint in the face of adversity, refused to let Satan win the victory, and trusted to the sovereignty of our God. Our God is sovereign, over all, and in control.
Galatians 6:9 "... we shall reap, if we faint not."
William Booth, the founder of the Salvation Army, said that there was a time when he had a "vision of the lost", where he saw something that puzzled him:
"But what puzzled me most was the fact that though all of them had been rescued at one time or another from the ocean, nearly everyone seemed to have forgotten all about it. Anyway, it seemed the memory of its darkness and danger no longer troubled them at all. And what seemed equally strange and perplexing to me was that these people did not even seem to have any care- that is any agonizing care- about the poor perishing ones who were struggling and drowning right before their very eyes... many of whom were their own husbands and wives, brothers and sisters and even their own children.
Now this astonishing unconcern could not have been the result of ignorance or lack of knowledge, because they lived right there in full sight of it all and even talked about it sometimes. Many even went regularly to hear lectures and sermons in which the awful state of these poor drowning creatures was described."
We as believers need to pray that God will give us a vision of the lost, a realization of what will literally happen to those loved ones and acquaintances around us who do not accept Jesus Christ as Savior. We are all on the raft of time, and this raft is being drawn along its streams surely, absolutely. Each person we meet is born dying, and each day we are all one day closer to the Judgment of God.
In our day and age the preacher and worker who, like John the Baptist cries out, "Repent, for the Kingdom of God is at hand" is looked at like an oddity. Yet, dear believer, if we were on a raft headed toward an unseen waterfall and certain destruction, we would praise the person who shouted at us from the safety of shore to warn us. The world may not appreciate the fact that we warn of eternal damnation for all who reject Christ. The world may consider us intolerant, or small minded, or narrow thinkers. But think of that latter day when a man stands in front of Jesus and is asked, "Why should I allow you in my Kingdom?" If that man answers, "Because I accepted you as Savior", then do you think he will hold it against you that you warned him in time? But if the man answers, "By my good works", and is cast into hellfire for eternity, do you not think that that man will not curse you as he enters the terrible flames?
William Booth endured cursing in this life because he had a vision of the lost. He would rather have endured cursing in this lifetime than one soul enter eternity without being told about Jesus. The Apostle Paul endured cursing and derision in this life because he had a vision of the lost. He would have rather endured this present cursing, than to have had a life of comfort while souls departed this life into eternal damnation.
God, give each of our Churches a vision of the lost. Help us to realize that each of our Church bodies have a mission where they are planted, and a mission beyond their local area. Help us, dear Lord, be effective in carrying out the Great Commission You have given us. In Jesus' name, Amen!