On October 3, 2012 millions watched the first of the scheduled Presidential Debates; by most accounts, the verbal sparring was spirited as the candidates jostled to gain ground with voters. People can become passionate about ‘their candidate’ and his position on the issues. This passion can take the form of ‘shouting down’ anyone who takes an opposing view.
More passion: recently it was announced that after several embarrassingly bad calls made by stand-in referees, the NFL and the referees' association are hammering out an agreement to resolve a longstanding labor dispute – much to the relief of many. The players, owners, viewers and an assortment of others insisted something had to be done. After all, millions of dollars are at stake and frankly all of that bungling is bad for business. It seems when people become passionate things change.
When it comes to serving the Kingdom of God, do we display a similar passion? Are we willing to go into the “hedges and highways” to seek those who are lost, or do we assume this is someone else’s responsibility? If we are willing to scream ourselves hoarse over sporting event, shouldn’t we also be willing to share our faith? If we can engage in ‘verbal judo’ with those who fail to accept our political views, can’t we also share a message of hope with those who are perishing?
Before Christ ascended into heaven, He gave His Disciple what is called the Great Commission:
“Therefore go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit…”*
The Commission is not limited to the people of that day and age. As followers of Christ we are also responsible for disciple- making, not by reciting scripture verbatim or browbeating people to attend church, but by sharing our faith and living lives that reflect and honor Christ. Our Commission begins the day we accept Christ as our Lord and Savior and ends the day we meet Him face-to-face. This is our true vocation – bringing others to Christ. The notion that we can divest of our responsibilities because it’s hard or we don’t “feel like it” is unwise; worse, it is a trap devised by the Enemy to keep our passion and commitment focused elsewhere.
Christ’s pursuit of humanity is relentless; not even death could keep Him from His goal – our redemption. If He is our Lord and Savior, then must commit ourselves to the work He has given us to do. It is not enough for us ‘church folk’ to be saved, we must seek out those don’t know the Way and show them – just as we were. If we neglect to do the work given us, we will suffer the same fate as that of the Church at Laodicea:
"I know your deeds, that you are neither cold nor hot. I wish you were either one or the other!So, because you are lukewarm--neither hot nor cold--I am about to spit you out of my mouth.”**
God has entrusted us with His word and sends us forth to share the gospel message with those who are lost or don’t know Him. We need not be the most articulate of speakers or the most knowledgeable, but I am persuaded that our passion for the things of God can transcend human barriers and enable us and others to be the people we were created and called to be.
Amen and amen.
*Matthew 28:19 - NIV
**Revelation 3:15-16 - NIV