Preacher recommits to evangelism, takes ‘risks in relationships’

Willow Ave. preacher Jeremiah Tatum

Willow Ave. preacher Jeremiah Tatum

COOKEVILLE, Tenn. (BNc) by Jeremiah Tatum — Please do not think I believe that I know more than other people just because I have been out of the country. Please do not think I am prejudiced against any person in this part of the country. Please understand that this is being written out of a pure heart and sincere love for God and his people. With these things in mind, I would like to address some problems that exist in the minds and hearts of many Christians.

1. Unfortunately, many Christians do not have a global view of the church. They may not even have a respect for the needs to establish the church on a national level. Sometimes we limit our focus to the local congregation. Although God has organized the local church and has commanded us to be a part of it, we are supposed to have the best interest of the souls of all people in every country in the world in our hearts.

I have heard many Christians over the last few years asking why we are still going into other countries with the gospel. The reason is simple: Jesus said, “Go into all the world and preach the gospel to every creature” Mk 16:15-16. He also said, “Go there and make disciples of all the nations” Mt 28:19. The great commission has not changed. The entire world will always be in desperate need of the good news of Jesus Christ.

2. Unfortunately, many Christians would be uncomfortable in the true church just because it might be in a different setting. While recently across the world, I was blessed to worship with people of different nationality, different skin color, different language, and different culture. Their social customs were not always easy to adjust to. The buildings they met in were not as comfortable. But I want to tell you that I was spiritually blessed beyond measure.

To see the Bible being obeyed in the same manner by a group of individuals across the world is a reminder of the power of God and the truth of his Word. The building, the pews, the temperature, and all of the physical blessings are absolutely nothing more than facilitators. The core of the matter is the truth of the doctrine and the humility of the hearts that have assembled to obey it. If you have never worshiped with brethren across the globe—oh, what you have missed!

3. Unfortunately, many Christians are not concerned enough about the lost to say anything. If a truck were bearing down on you, about to run you over, at some point I would be forced to jump in and push you out of the way. To do nothing, I would have to hate you a great deal.

The road to hell is wide. But we don’t want to offend anyone, so we are willing to let people who have been created in God’s image travel on it. We ought to have the mind of Christ, who left the comfort of heaven and emptied himself to die on the cross, Pp 2:5-8. I have recently determined in my own life a recommitment to evangelism. I am going to take some risks in my relationships, because I love people too much to be popular with everyone by remaining silent.

People need the Lord. I am one of them. Whether in our community or across the world, without the blood of Jesus not a person on this earth will enter heaven. So for those who live next door and for those who see a different set of stars than I do, I am going to do my part.

“And He commanded us to preach to the people, and to testify that it is He who was ordained by God to be Judge of the living and the dead” Ac 10:42.

Jeremiah works with the Willow Avenue congregation in Cookeville, Tenn. His article was published Nov. 6 in the church bulletin, “The Proclaimer.”

Randal and his wife Vicki have lived and worked in Brazil since Nov. 1984. They have three children, two daughters-in-law, and four grandchildren. He likes to read novels in his back-porch hammock. http://randal.us

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7 Comments

  1. AMEN Brother!

  2. jim gammon

    By using this column one would be forced to claim the Direct Inspiration of the Spirit. ……. If we are going to say we are “correctly teaching the lost” then we must handle the Word correctly.

  3. I think that’s what most of us are afraid of — of losing relationships and therefore risking what we perceive as our good influence. I’m anxious to learn the results of your new commitment to evangelism.

    I’m in total agreement with your assessment of the value of worshiping in other cultures. Although our similar experiences are in foreign countries, they wouldn’t have to be — we might gain the same value from worshiping with Black or Hispanic churches — or in any culture that’s different from what we’re used to. I think it would reduce a lot of petty debates.

  4. Sam Craft

    Personal and congregational evangelism is the only way to save souls and this country

  5. ancil Jenkins

    We will never be very concerned about the lost until we realize the very real possibility of ourselves being lost.

  6. Billie D. Cartwright

    I agree with you my brother in Christ we should be committed to spreading the gospel at home and in every country we can, but that being said I have two questions that need to be answered by the church and those that teach and preach. How many did Paul Baptize? What did Paul spend the majority of his time doing in his visits and his letters? Jesus Christ told his Apostles to teach their disciplines how to live. The biblical need for our invitation is found in the two scriptures James 5:16 “Confess your faults one to another and pray for one another that ye may be healed.” 1John 1:8-10 “If we say that we have no sin we deceive ourselves, and the truth is not in us. If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness. If we say that we have not sinned, we make him a liar and his word is not in us.” If all have sinned and fallen short of the glory of God and if by confessing our sins we are cleansed of all unrighteousness and with the absences of unrighteousness you become righteous and your righteousness is no longer as filthy rags as the Church Leaders the Pharisee’s. This my friend as in John 15: 13-15 is one of the reasons Our Sovereign God has turned his face from us and our country. May God bless each of us as we continue our search for the Truth! Bill

  7. Jo Byrd Huddleston Lively

    Brother, you stated this truth so well! I wish you could speak to every congregation in America! Some countries, like Montenegro have been totally neglected! 5 of us taught this year in June, and our students were so thankful. There are only 3 members of the Lord’s church in the whole country; all in one family (teen daughter was one of my online WEI students who was baptized after studying 6 months. It’s going to take more teachers who can stay longer than 2 weeks to bring more to Christ, and a Christian family to move there as missionaries! Again Brother, thanks and God bless your efforts!

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