What does it take to be an enemy of Christ?
Do you have to hold a rally with signs that say, “I hate Jesus”? Must you burn the Bible in public? Would you need to publish articles that belittle and ridicule Jesus’ words or deny the historicity of Jesus?
Those would be rather obvious ways to let others know that you were an enemy Jesus Christ. I don’t suppose any of us reading this article would dare to do such things.
If you have the ability to read and understand this right now, then by the time your life is over you are going to be a person who has the ability to make no less than a million choices. That’s right; I mean what I say!
Have you ever thought about how many choices you make a day? From the time you chose to get up this morning to the time that you will choose to go to bed tonight and everywhere in between you’re making choices.
Fifty years ago, congregations of the Lord’s people were booming in metro Detroit. Large buildings, with capacities of up to 1,000, were regularly built, and filled.
As we sat at lunch with some brethren from one metro-area congregation, they mentioned that their building, built in 1968, had a capacity of 700. Current attendance is 60-65. They have twenty classrooms. None are in use. Most members sit in the front for worship, and visitors sit aloof in the back. The disheartening scene!
We can’t control circumstances. We can’t control the weather, traffic, prices etc. We also can’t control other people’s actions, words, and thoughts. It appears that we have no control over anything. If you have good actions, words, and thoughts, who makes you do these things?
It is not true that we have no control. You and only you have control of you. You control your actions, words, and thoughts.
Peppermint Patty says to Charlie Brown, “Guess what, Chuck? The first day of school, and I got sent to the principal’s office. It was your fault, Chuck.”
Charlie Brown responds, “My fault? How could it be my fault? Why do you say everything is my fault?”
Peppermint Patty replies, “You’re my friend, aren’t you, Chuck? You should have been a better influence on me.”
Having been raised in the church from infancy, and having been a located gospel preacher for 15 years, I have learned that there is a place where visitors and sometimes even members go to die.
I was less than 10 years old the first time I ever went door-knocking, and about that same age the first time I participated in a weekly visitation program. I was afraid. I was weak. I was imperfect. I am still all of these things. The point is that there is really no excuse for not reaching out to people who need the Lord and His church.
There is a place where visitors go to die right in our church buildings. If you wanted to do a study on it in your local congregation, you would locate the spot. Visitors sit there, and nobody speaks to them. They got unlucky.
I recently listened to a lecture of G. K. Wallace, recorded in the 1980s. He said he was in Paragould, Ark., holding a gospel meeting. Walking down the sidewalk one day, he heard footsteps approaching from behind, and a man tapped him on the shoulder. The man asked, “Are you saved?” Wallace said, “Yes I am. I am preaching the gospel down the street here, and I hope that you can come and hear me.” “Well, I’m sorry to bother you,” the man replied. “But the Holy Ghost told me to ask you that.” Wallace said, “That’s odd. The Holy Ghost KNOWS I’m saved. Some kind of ghost has got hold of you, friend, but it isn’t the HOLY Ghost!”
We have more than we need. The average home today is just under 2,400 square feet. The average home size in 1950: 983 square feet. During the same period the average household size has dropped, from 3.37 persons (1950) to 2.6 (2009). Smaller home, more people, go figure. One income, hand-me-downs, and one or two presents at Christmas — and lived to tell about it!
In my second year of teaching, I stopped by the office of gospel preacher Dorice E. Mitchell, my father-in-law, to share my exciting news. “Father-in-law, I refused my teaching contract today for next year. I’m going into full-time preaching!”
He looked me straight in the eye and said, “Really. Do you have a place in mind to preach?”
“Not a clue,” I said.