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 five grandchildren. He likes to read novels in his back-porch hammock. http://randal.us