before the sun goes down

"Be of good courage, and let us behave ourselves valiantly for our people, and for the cities of our God: and let the LORD do that which is good in His sight" (I Chronicles 19:13).

Saturday, March 2, 2013

A Clarion Call for Earnest Zeal

Recently, tragedy struck Kansas City.  



On the 19th of February, a restaurant/bar on the Plaza, called JJ's, exploded into flames.  One person died and over a dozen went to the hospital with injuries.  The cause for the explosion was a gas leak.  The strong smell of gas had been present for hours.  It was so bad that at least one individual in the restaurant wore a cloth over her nose and mouth, and others fought the impulse to retch.

Eventually, members of the gas company went specifically into the restaurant, carrying a meter to measure the percentage of gas in the air.  When the meter signaled that the level of gas was approaching dangerous levels, the gas personnel informed those in the restaurant that it was best that they leave the premises.

I have heard informal testimony from some of those who were there at that time.  The witnesses state that the gas company personnel did not communicate the importance of leaving NOW.  There was no urgency in their voices or manner.  They basically told the people to finish, pay their bills, and leave.  Some left.  Others stayed.  What was the rush?  

Minutes later came the explosion and fire, wreaking havoc and damage to life, limb, and property.

What could have greatly lessened the amount of injury?  

What could have saved the life of that one which was lost?    

If those who had read the meter had been more insistent, more urgent, more emphatic, quite possibly the customers and employees would have acted more swiftly and have been spared.

But let us consider something of greater import.  This world is full of men and women who are sitting and enjoying the pleasures of sin for a season.  Scriptures state"There is not a just man upon the earth, that doeth good and sinneth not" (Ecclesiastes 7:20).  All mankind have transgressed the holy law of God.  The earth is cursed by sin, reeking with the stench of our abominations. "For we know that the whole creation groaneth and travaileth in pain together until now" (Romans 8:22).  And yet, we find people persist in their rebellion against the Creatorholding their noses, pretending that nothing is wrong.

As Christians, we have been redeemed and we hold in our hands a meter, a StandardThe word of God.  It declares that this world and all the lost in it are in danger of judgment. It is sure and imminent!  "But the heavens and the earth, which are now, by the same word are kept in store, reserved unto fire against the day of judgment and perdition of ungodly men" (II Peter 3:7).  God has been longsuffering, but judgment IS coming.  It will come in due time. "But the day of the Lord will come as a thief in the night; in the which the heavens shall pass away with a great noise, and the elements shall melt with fervent heat, the earth also and the works that are therein shall be burned up" (II Peter 3:10). 

In the same passage we find that the Lord is "not willing that any should perish, but that all should come to repentance" (II Peter 3:9).  That is God's heartbeat on the subject. 

What should we do with this knowledge?  Should we stand by and keep quiet?  Is it right to  think, later is a better time to warn of the danger to come.  Even while opening their mouths to speak of salvation, many Christians seem to communicate the sense that there is no hurry.  But God says, "...Now is the accepted time; behold now is the day of salvation" (II Corinthians 6:2).  We do not know how long any person has left.

 We must warn the lost to "flee from the wrath to come?"  "Knowing therefore the terror of the Lord" we must "persuade men"!   Is it not our commission to preach the Gospel that men may repent and be saved?  We must let them know that this is a matter of LIFE and DEATH?  

Hear the words of Paul: "Now then we are ambassadors for Christ, as though God did beseech you by us: we pray you in God's stead, be ye reconciled to God" (II Corinthians 5:20).

The word beseech does not denote any sense of being nonchalant.  We are to passionately and earnestly implore, zealously preach the way of salvation!  People need to realize that there is an urgency, fervency, and emergency nature in their situation!  

So, believers, let us hear the word of God"Thus saith the LORD of hosts; consider your ways" (Haggai 1:7).  And hearken to the exhortation"Is it nothing to you, all ye that pass by?"  Are you content to be silent, or passive, or half-hearted while family, friends, neighbors, and strangers around you are on the way to hell fire?  Does it not move you that there are "Multitudes, multitudes in the valley of decision" who need to be warned of their danger and hear the Gospel?  Who will go to this corrupted planet and cry, "Earth, earth, earth, hear the word of the LORD"?  The LORD told His servant Isaiah, "Cry aloud, spare not, lift up thy voice like a trumpet..." (Isaiah 58:1).  

Do you desire to be that fervent for the Lord and for the lost?  Spend much time in the Scriptures.  Get in the Bible!  Get IT into you!  Meditate on the seriousness of sin, the terrors of Hell, and the wondrous magnifical way of escape through faith in the Saviour, Jesus Christ!   Standing in the Holy Presence of God will magnify the stench of sin, awaken us to the reality of eternal brimstone, and cause us to yearn for others' escape.  "Earnestly contend for the faith...pulling them out of the fire" (Jude 3, 23).  In doing so you will most definitely find the fire of zeal and will say with

David "I delight to do thy will O my God: yea, thy law is within my heart" (Psalm 40:8). 

Jeremiah "Then I said, I will not make mention of him, nor speak any more in his name. But his word was in mine heart as a burning fire in my bones, and I was weary with forbearing, and I could not stay" (Jeremiah 20:9).

Peter and John "For we cannot but speak the things which we have seen and heard" (Acts 4:20).

You will join in with many others!

I know my own feeble flesh and personally must remember this admonition.  We know not how long we have to do this service ere we are called home.  What a shame is on us if we waste the life He grants us!  "Awake to righteousness, and sin not; for some have not the knowledge of God: I speak this to your shame." (I Corinthians 15:34).  

Let us implore the Lord our Father to cause us to be fervent emissaries, obedient to His call with our whole hearts.  May many souls hear the Gospel and turn to Christ!  May our Lord be magnified in how we befit ourselves as His servants!

"Be of good courage, and let us behave ourselves valiantly for our people, and for the cities of our God: and let the LORD do that which is good in his sight" (I Chronicles 19:13).

Be valiant!  Be zealous!  "Preach the word; be instant in season, out of season"!  Be about your "Father's business"!  Sound the alarm to those in danger of everlasting flames!  

There is still time to win a battle before the sun goes down.

1 comment:

  1. Certainly apathy is the "activity" of today's church. The leaders and lovers of the first century church were not afraid to lay their lives on the line to warn the lost of the day. Their goal was not to aggravate nor to acclimate but to advocate for the Lord Who gave His life that we might have life! Continue your work boldly Bro. Kevan, you are an inspiration to both the old and the young!!

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