It seems that I am always pondering our purpose as witnesses of the salvation that only Christ can bring, I frequently grieve at the utter insufficiency of my efforts. I am daily reminded that witnessing for Christ is not witnessing for my 'church,' or my 'denomination, or my 'bible study club.' We are not seeking converts to ourselves, but striving to add others to the Kingdom of God. Not only is there an overwhelming sense of utter inadequacy toward my efforts at being holy and faithful to this end, but there is also a welling up of gratitude for the sheer privilege to participate in the great commission. (Matthew 17:17-21)
As those who have witnessed the resurrection power of Jesus Christ in our own lives, we should be compelled to labor for that which is imperishable (1 Corinthians 9:23-27). Storing treasure up for ourselves in heaven is not shopping at some spiritual Walmart, or making pretty little arrangements to hang on our heavenly mansion walls (Matthew 6:19-21). NO! It is a desperation that presses us toward the work of heavenly joy, earning crowns to cast at His feet (Revelation 4:10-11).
Praise God! He gives us not only the Spirit to war against the wiles of the enemy (Romans 8:15, 2 Corinthians 7:1, 2 Timothy 1:7), but He gives us the commission, the work certificate, the denarius for a day's labor, His shed blood as payment toward the remission of sins. This is as good a reason to go into the field and labor as any! He grants us the tools that we need to sow, scatter, and water the seed of the gospel (Ephesians 1:1-23). By this, there is only hope to bless His name by remaining obedient to the call. We cannot reject our commission, it is imperative and inherent, to our discipleship (Matthew 19:19-20).
Peter and John were ordered by the Pharisees to silence their proclamation of the name of Jesus Christ. They could not remain silent because they had seen and experienced the living Christ. More so, they had been blessed with power from on high to go into all the world. They could not stop their mouths from 'speaking of that which they had seen and heard.' This is not a foreign, unrealistic experience reserved for only the apostolic ministry. This is your obligation. If you have been redeemed, you have been set apart, and if you have been set apart, you have seen and heard the salvation of the Lord. Witnessing the resurrection of the dead is a firsthand experience you and I both observe when we meet with other believers, those who have been bought with a price bear witness to the dead-raising, life-giving power of the indwelling Holy Spirit (Acts 4:19-21).
Bless God that we can store up treasure in heaven. Understanding the value of the life that is to come simplifies the acceptance we must have with the the present life we live. Judging the ascetic appearance of the two reveals they have so little in comparison. What we value, is what we love. If we value anything greater than Christ, we have bowed to an idol. In the word's of Leonard Ravenhill, "We have not lost our first love, it says we have left our first love."
Please take a moment to listen to watch/listen to the video in the right column featuring an excerpt from a sermon Leonard Ravenhill preached concerning 'The Judgment Seat of Christ." It comes from the former "BraveheartedThots" website. Now known as "Ellerslie Short Films."
You can download the full-sermon at Sermonindex here.