By Connie W. Adams
The Lord’s church has been given the greatest task in the world. It has been charged with the awesome duty of preaching the gospel to all mankind. The design of that message is to turn people from darkness to light, to “rescue the perishing.”
Jesus said the gospel was to be preached to the whole creation (Mark 16:15-16). Paul said the church is the “pillar and ground of the truth” (1 Tim. 3:15). As such, it is expected to stand under and support the truth in the world. The church at Thessalonica was commended because from it had “sounded out the word of the Lord” (1 Thess. 1:8-10). The seven churches of Asia were described as candlesticks (lampstands) (Rev. 1:20).
They were to be bearers of the light of the gospel.
The greatest task in the world has been ordered by the greatest Being in existence, God himself. This task can only be accomplished by following the wisdom of the God who ordered it. “The foolishness of God is wiser than men” (1 Cor. 1:25). God said, “My thoughts are not your thoughts and my ways are not your ways” (Isa. 55:8-9). The human mind would have required the massing of troops and the concentration of power to carry out this task. The mind of God ordained that there be no more complex arrangement than that of a local church doing what it can to the limit of its power, and the consecrated efforts of individual disciples whose hearts burn with a love for the souls of the lost.
The great worldwide spread of the gospel did not take place in the New Testament era until the concentration of thousands of members was scattered abroad (Acts 8:1-4). The scattering of the troops was contrary to anything the wisdom of men would have fashioned, but the wisdom and providence of God were behind it and it resulted in permeating the Roman Empire with the gospel.
The trend toward huge projects, mass meetings, great demonstrations of “our” numbers and “our” great men, and the concentration of power and resources in the hands of a few elderships in large congregations is but a symptom of a loss of respect for the wisdom of God and an over- estimation of the wisdom of men.
With each congregation sounding out the word of the Lord under its own elders, using its own resources and answerable to no board or conclave known to man, and with each disciple personally doing all he can to teach the truth wherever his influence extends, then the task can and will be accomplished in harmony with the wisdom of the Being who ordered it. Let us be content to work according to his will. But let us not be content until we have done exactly that. Let’s get on with God’s work in God’s way.