Published January 20, 2015

Paul's Epistle...
"Still Here? Why?"

Have you ever wondered why, after you became a Christian, God didn't just say, "OK, great – you've made your choice. Now (poof) come on up to heaven with Me!"

Why does He leave us here? Why do we have to go through all this "stuff" that we have to go through?

Why? Because we have work to do. It is, in fact, work that God has given us to do.

It's summed up succinctly in the Great Commission of Christ: "Go into all the world and preach the Gospel..." (Mark 16:15). And, just before His ascension, He said, "you shall be witnesses to the ends of the earth" (Acts 1:8).

The Lord's disciples took that command very seriously — so seriously, in fact, that today, some two thousand years later, we have the Word of God through their efforts and have accepted it as true. Because they took it seriously, we who have accepted Christ are Christians today. If they didn't, we would be clueless – and eternally lost.

But it's important to note that the Great Commission wasn't just a command for the first century disciples who heard Jesus with their own ears. He was talking to us, too – all of us who consider ourselves followers of Christ.

But there isn't a sports league out there who would want a team with the kind of record Christians have when it comes to witnessing. A Gallup poll a few years ago found that out of all evangelical believers in the USA, "only two percent had introduced another person to Christ."  Two percent!  To say it the other way around, some 98 percent of professing Christians have not followed Christ's directive to personally spread the Gospel. The late Howard G. Hendricks of Dallas Theological Seminary once said, "In the midst of a generation screaming for answers, Christians are stuttering."

So, do you think you and I have some work to do?

The answer, of course, is yes — yes we do have work to do — a lot of it. But obviously it doesn't come easy. We just don't feel like it's our job. It's the preacher's job. It's the televangelist's job. Or it's, um, somebody else's job.

No, no, no – it's our job. Yours. And mine. And that of every other Christian, too.

And it's not just for Sunday morning, either. Jesus met people where they were. Someone studied the Lord's interactions with people recorded in the Bible and found out that only about eight percent of them were in houses of worship. Most were elsewhere – not in "church," so to speak. Our job, too, is "out there" – where you and I spend most of our time, other than a few hours on Sunday morning. At work. At school. At the mall. On the streets. With friends and neighbors.

Listen, if something exciting happened to you over the weekend, when you got back to work or school on Monday morning, what would be the first thing you'd do? You'd tell somebody all about it! You'd want them to know what happened (assuming they don't get your Twitter feed)! You'd want to share the excitement with them!

But don't you remember the most fundamentally exciting thing that ever happened to you – the thing that determined where you will spend all of eternity? That is, of course, the time when you accepted Christ! Weren't you excited about that then? Aren't you still excited about that now?

Years ago, the Kingsmen recorded a Jeff Gibson song, that said,

     Go and tell somebody what He's done for you
     Go and tell somebody what the Lord can do;
     How He gave you victory, how He brought you through;
     Go and tell somebody what He's done for you.

Consider this carefully:   Each of you, I'm quite sure, has, in the past, had a friend, or at least a good acquaintance, who died without making a commitment to Christ. Maybe it was a family member, or perhaps someone you knew at work or at school. Maybe a neighbor.

Do you ever think about that?  How do you feel about that?

Now consider this:   Each one of you, I'm quite sure, has a friend, or at least a good acquaintance, who – even today – has not yet made a commitment to Christ.

Do you ever think about that?  How do you feel about that?

Have you been witnessing to that individual (or those people)? If not, what's stopping you? You know first-hand what the Lord's done for you. You know that the Lord wants you to share the Gospel with others. You know you have the very best news on planet earth! Tell them!

Right now – before you do anything else – think of someone you can tell about Christ this week. Even today! Pray about it. And then do it.

- Paul

Comments on this?
(To ensure that we get your comments, please use that address and do not simply hit "reply" on your email program.)

Note:  You can listen to Paul's expanded sermon, from which the column above is extracted, by clicking on this link:

Copyright 2015 Heil Enterprises. All rights reserved.

Return to the Archives Index page for more recent columns.