By C.W Scott
This question was forcibly and searchingly placed by the apostle Paul upon the hearts of the Hebrew Christians. Hebrews 2:1-3 is equally a challenge to Twentieth Century Christians. Early disciples of Christ either faithfully discharged their responsibilities or they neglected to teach or preach the gospel of Christ to others. We thank God for those who were active and faithful but with every generation there comes the need for more and more faithful brethren in the work of enlightening of others concerning that which provides salvation from sin and the hope of eternal life.
Many Christians and knowledgeable persons in the Lord’s church today face a fearful judgment because of a neglect in obeying the Lord’s last commands and commission for his followers to go into all the world preach, teach the gospel, baptize and in continuation oi the beginning works: “Teaching them to observe all things whatsoever I “(Christ)” “have commanded” (Matt. 28:20). There is really no need of our trying to apologize for or hide our negligence of this all-important charge and duty. Surely, too many religious professors of our day have been too interested in secular matters, worldly pleasures and entertainments to permit the degree of concern that would insure the meeting of the Christian’s obligation of getting the saving gospel of Christ to those who so badly need it. I am afraid that we have made a very poor effort to get the truth to the poeple, our neighbors, our associates and even our own kin of brothers, sisters, mothers and fathers, husbands and wives. Comparatively few people adjacent to the homes of Christians and places of worship have ever heard of the New Testament church’s life, work and worship.
The church of the Lord is identified by the Holy Spirit as being, “The pillar and support of the truth” (1 Tim. 3:15). The Lord cannot possibly be satisfied with our failure to support and uphold the church and its work of getting the gospel unto a sinful world. Seriously, can you, my brother or sister in Christ, point to or name someone that you were instrumental in leading to the truth of Christ? Is there someone that became a Christian as a result of your revealing unto them the .gospel during the past year? Or, the last three years? Or, the last ten? Really, have you ever led anyone from a life of sin to that of a life of righteousness? If you have not, how do you expect to be saved? “Oh,” you may say, “Brother Scott, I always thought that such gospel activity was the work of preachers.” Now, it is true that a gospel preacher is to do such work but no one should overlook the fact that it is not his responsibility alone. Individuals can reach and convert those that the preacher can not reach with his sermons. If we refuse to carry the gospel to others we are refusing to heed the Lord’s very last command. To reject His charge and fail to aid others in becoming obedient to the gospel we are inviting the Saviour’s rejection of us.
In Romans 10 the inspired apostle Paul declared, “Whosoever shall call upon the name of the Lord shall be saved. How then shall they call upon him whom they have not believed? and how shall they hear without a preacher? And how shall they preach, except they be sent? As it is written, How beautiful are the feet of them that preach the gospel of peace, and bring glad tidings of good things!” In Ephesians 3:9-11, we are instructed that the plan of God is for the manifold wisdom of God to be made known through the church.
Sinners are lost and must hear the gospel. “For it” (the gospel) “is the power of God unto salvation, to everyone that believeth” (Rom. 1:16). Every person knowing the truth and enjoying ills blessings and privileges are, without question, obligated to tell others of the sweet story of the Cross of Christ personally and will also welcome the opportunity to support others morally and financially that give their life completely to the ministry of the word of God. One, however, is not exempt from doing his duty, endeavoring to teach others simply because they can truthfully claim they supported a gospel preacher in his regular support. It is the business of every child of God to study diligently the Bible and be able to point others to the “lamb of God that taketh away the sins of the world.”
Faithful Christians are teaching others the way of Jesus at every opportunity but there are others that are making little or no effort to convert the lost. Paul wrote Timothy (2 Tim. 2:24), “The servant of the Lord must not strive; but be gentle unto all men, apt to teach” (read that again), “patient, In meekness instructing those that oppose themselves; if God peradventure will give them repentance to the acknowledging of the truth.” In the second verse of the same chapter we have these words, “The things that thou has heard of me among many witnesses, the same commit thou to faithful men, who shall be able to teach others also.” Again, I question, what are you, what am I doing to reach others with the gospel of Christ? Have you or have I been careless and indifferent in the matter of teaching others? Has there been a serious default or neglect regarding the necessary support of those who have dedicated their lives to this great work? Let us awaken from the sleep of indifference and let us heed the instruction of the Lord who knew the world’s need in the First Century as well as the Twentieth Century. Jesus charged, “Lift up your eyes, and look on the fields; for they are white already to harvest” (Jn. 4:35).
Truth Magazine XX: 41, p. 646
October 14, 1976