They Don’t Understand
The following bulletin article was written in the immediate aftermath of the Cleveland congregation’s most recent “Bring A Friend” Sunday effort, and placed in the next week’s bulletin for follow-up… May its contents bless other congregations when it comes to realizing why we must never stop evangelizing…
It is a bright and beautiful, warm and sunny Monday as I set to compose the article that you are about to read… but my thoughts are anything but sunny, and my heart is sad and heavy… this, in the aftermath of yesterday’s big “Bring A Friend” Sunday event…
Oh it’s not because of anything you did. In fact, as I said in last Sunday evening’s sermon after reading Philippians 1:1-11, I am so grateful to so many of you hard-working and faithful saints for your fellowship and partnership in the gospel, who distributed so many (approximately 80) invitations to your friends and family the week before, inviting them to come and join us for worship and bible study – may God bless you profusely one and all who so diligently did that! And I am also grateful for “the few” who took your invitation to heart and showed up to seek the Lord and see what He is all about.
But my heart is broken for “the many” who chose not to respond and attend – many of them assuring many of you that they would, and then calling or texting to cancel at the very last minute. I am so very sorry for them because they just simply don’t understand – and apparently won’t until it is too late, when they have all eternity to lament their decision…
They don’t understand how much God loves them and wants them to turn, repent, and accept and return His love in return (II Ptr. 3:9; Jn. 14:15, 21-23; Acts 2:38-42).
They don’t understand that although God loves everyone, it is only “a few” that will lovingly accept His word, loyally submit to His Lordship, and thereby return His love and thus be saved, while “the many” who do not, surely will not (Matt. 7:13-27; Lk. 6:46-49)!
They don’t understand that one must seek the Lord with all their heart, mind, and soul while He may be found in order to find Him, and that those who don’t thus seek Him, won’t thus ever find Him (II Chron.15:1-2; Isa. 55:6-7; Matt. 7:7).
They don’t understand that, although they may have a zeal for God, if it is not based and built, on and in, accordance with His knowledge as revealed only in His word, it is pointless and profits nothing insofar as salvation is concerned (Rom. 10:1-3; Matt. 7:21-23).
They don’t understand that one absolutely must worship in spirit and truth in order for their worship to be acceptable to God; and that if they give their love, devotion, loyalty and allegiance to worshipping in accordance with uninspired men’s teachings in some man-made denomination never found, seen or heard from in the Holy Scriptures, instead of worshipping in accordance with God’s timeless commandments in Christ’s one blood-bought body or church, their “worship” is vain, pointless, and unacceptable to and by almighty God (Jn. 4:23-24; Mk. 7:6-13; Acts 20:28; Ro. 16:16; I Cor. 14:33-37; etc).
They don’t understand that the one true path to lasting peace, comfort, and blessed assurance in this storm-tossed and troubled earthly existence is found exclusively and only in the Lord Jesus Christ Himself (Jn. 10:10, 14:6, 27, 16:33; Phil. 4:4-13).
They don’t understand, as they offer up every excuse in the book to continually avoid accepting our invitations to come and seek the Lord and His love in the one true light of His holy and eternal word, such truths as revealed in that word in places like II Cor. 4:3-4: “But even if our gospel is veiled, it is veiled to those who are perishing, whose minds the god of this age has blinded, who do not believe, lest the light of the gospel of the glory of Christ, who is the image of God should shine on them.”
But as we see their broken lives and families, so damaged, ravaged, and devastated by sin and Satan, we not only understand the earthly implications, but the eternal ones as well. And that is why we – like Noah as he was building the ark sought to warn people to get into it for the sake of their own safety (II Ptr. 2:5); or like the farmer who saw the dying birds outside of his farmhouse that were perishing due to lack of food and shelter during a harsh and devastating winter snowstorm and sought to usher them into the warmth and safety of his barn – seek to usher, implore, beg and plead with those we love to get into Christ (Ro. 8) and “be saved from this perverse generation” (Acts 2:40-41).
We are like a physician that has this one miraculous cure for a very fatal disease (sin) that will slowly but surely devastate, decimate, and eventually kill every person in the world. We therefore seek to give this cure away completely free because we can see the death and devastation the disease is constantly causing – how it breaks hearts, robs hopes, and separates souls from God (Isa. 59:1-2). But our greatest agony lies in the fact that those who need it most whom we love so much, continually refuse to come and get it, even though we are willing to give it away completely free as did He… and so they die… a very slow, very painful, very sin-wracked and utterly needless death (Jn. 8:24), without the free gift of eternal life as offered by the Lord when He offered up Himself (Rom. 6:23). What a horrible, terrible, awful, and needless waste! Let us in our crying, never stop trying, to prevent their frying (Mk 9:43-49).