Is Heaven in Your Plans?
This is a question that ought to be of interest to every soul, especially those of the household of faith. Such is not always the case even with the people Of God, for some have not built their hope on things eternal and have not held to God's unchanging hand. The times of anxiety and doubt are upon us. There is technological advance on every hand, and thus, dynamic distribution of this world's goods. Prosperity and plenty have filled the land to such degree that the "now and here" of this life is identified as the "better life." This affluent society has taken its toll on the kingdom of God like a stroke of paralysis, and in medical terms has resulted in the "abolition of function, complete or partial; esp., the loss of the power of voluntary motion or sensation." Truly, these are the times that try men's souls.
Consider this problem as it affects local congregations and Christians in particular. We work less hours per week than ever before in the history of our nation, yet we have "no time." We are too busy! We find ourselves in a spiritual paradox. Often times we are found sacrificing to get a house of worship and when we get it we make no effort to use it. Some local congregations have "died on the vine" because of the complacency displayed by far too many Christians. We are taught to "go." Nowhere are we told to "sit and wait." Ours must be the "action habit" for when we go, they come. It is not enough to just sit back and sing "I am bound For The Promised Land." Heaven must really be in our plans, for we will not arrive there by accident. Yet, the indifference displayed by hundreds of members of the church of Christ this world over indicates that "playing church" is one of the first principles of the fundamentals of the faith. Being a "member of the church" has become the criteria and the norm rather than an all consuming commitment to the Christ. My friend is heaven really in your plans?
If not, then it should be, for a saved soul is worth more than all the world. Christian friend, don't become indifferent to the responsibilities of your citizenship on His kingdom. If a night of Bible study has been announced, then find your place and meet. If a special training class has been started, then find your seat there. If special efforts are being put forth in a gospel meeting, then do your job. No one can make you and no one can keep you from it. The difference between success and failure in a gospel meeting many times is indifference, whether on the part of the preacher, the elders, the deacons, or Christians in general.
The Bible says, "So then because thou art lukewarm, and neither cold nor hot, I will spew thee out of my mouth" (Rev. 3:16).
In contrast to this is the Christian with the "action habit." He says, "I can do all things through Christ which strengtheneth me" (Phil. 4: 13). This sort of attitude generates enthusiasm. Enthusiasm is contagious and will rub off on others. So let us join with Jesus and say, "I must work the works of him that sent me, while it is day: the night cometh, when no man can work" (Jno. 9:4). If we only "sit and sing" that grand hymn, "We'll Work Till Jesus Comes," we will be lost. We must do more than just "keep house" for the Lord if heaven is in our plans.
TRUTH MAGAZINE XIV: 5, p. 2
December 4, 1969