END TIMES, Fishers of men, light, love, Love of God, Salt, The Church, Troubled Times
What is God’s plan for His Church in These Troubled Times?
- First, God’s Church is defined as all who call on the name of Jesus to be saved from their sinfulness by Jesus’ sacrifice and resurrection. Denominations, local assemblies, or groups (including the Roman Catholic church) are each PART of the whole. In addition, there are millions of believers who no longer go to a local fellowship, but rather they gather together randomly at local restaurants, parks, or private living rooms. ROMANS 10: 1-13 NASB
- Second, we (God’s Church) are to grow up into the likeness and image of Christ by letting the Holy Spirit teach us God’s ways and God’s nature and equip us to be Salt and Light to a world in darkness thirsting to be free. Like our physical muscles need exercise to grow strong, so our spiritual muscles require exercise to grow and develop into useful gifts and skills. It is our responsibility (and joy) to be equipped via the Holy Spirit residing within us, and prepared for whatever path God leads us to follow. Ephesians 4:11-16 NASB
- Finally, our day to day life is to reflect the love of God we have received, even as a mirror reflects the image of the one gazing into it. God has stamped each believer with His own image, and that image is what draws the lost, from the farthest corners of the globe, to Jesus. Obviously, we cannot do this in our on design, our own intelligence, our own wisdom, or our own compassion. We just can’t, because it isn’t our intelligence, our wisdom, our plans, or our compassion that can open the understanding of one still blinded by sin. Only God’s love can rent that veil. We carry that love, if in fact, we have received it, and that allows us – empowers us to reflect it, to let it flow through us out toward the lonely, the broken, those in despair, lost in the darkness. Every place we go … to work, to shop, to play … we carry the Love of God. It is not given to us to hold, but to share, and that requires courage and faith! 2 Corinthians 3: 15-18 AMP
As the days grow darker, Light will become more needed, but it will also become more visible (or it should!) We must allow God to continue to cleanse and purify our hearts and minds so the Light will be clear and bright. God, by His Holy Spirit, does the work. All we must do is let Him!
My experience tells me most local congregations spend more time, talent, and money on their own “aquarium,” rather than on training and equipping “Fishers of men!” Jesus said that the way the world would recognize His people (and thereby HIM) was by the way we LOVE one another. Is that not our Primary Mission? To draw all men (and women) to God? John 12: 31-32 NASB; John 15: 9-17 NKJV
34 I give you a new commandment: that you should love one another. Just as I have loved you, so you too should love one another.
35 By this shall all [men] know that you are My disciples,
if you love one another [if you keep on showing love among yourselves].
John 13:34-35 AMP
THIS, then, is God’s plan for His Church, to LOVE … to Love one another and appreciate our differences, to love the lost, to love sinners (like us!), to love them FROM the darkness INTO the Light!
“But you are a chosen race, a royal priesthood, a holy nation,
a people for God’s own possession”
“so that you may proclaim the excellencies of Him
who has called you out of darkness into His marvelous light;
1 Peter 2:9 NKJV
No finger pointing, no condemnation, no name-calling, no back-biting, no slandering, no judgement!!! THAT is God’s job, and He judges via mercy. LOVE is the Mission of the CHURCH. Not soft, sentimental, mushy love, but strong, decisive, empowering, freeing, UNCONDITIONAL love that ONLY flows from God the Father of all mankind! Nope, not easy. Only way we can do it is by the LOVE of God flowing THROUGH us … If we run out, we know it wasn’t God’s love, but our own. Come on, CHURCH … LOVE!!!!! The lost are waiting … Let’s get fishing!!!