Lunes, Mayo 11, 2015



HOW FAR WOULD you go for the things that matter?  Consider these scenarios:  people who helped total strangers during devastating disasters; employees who agreed to cut their working hours rather than see co-workers lose their jobs; teachers and medical practitioners who chose to go to far-flung areas to aid the poor and the downtrodden; and philanthropists who donated millions of dollars to improve global health and education.

     Indeed, varied are the ways to share one’s wealth or possessions, time, experience, aspiration, talent or expertise with someone else. Yet, there is another kind of sharing that is more profound and noble, for it enables others to attain eternal life and salvation on our Lord Jesus Christ’s return—sharing the Good News of salvation.

     Thus, members of the Church of Christ make it a point to help in sharing their faith to all.  Such endeavor matters much;  it is never in vain in the sight of our Lord god.

     Moreover, it does not only manifest our concern and compassion for our fellowmen but it also allows us to fulfill our spiritual obligation.

In His pronouncement, our Lord Jesus Christ likens the members of His Church to the branches of the vine.  He expects every branch to bear fruit; thus, he warns that the branches that do not bear fruit will be taken away (John 15:16, 2).  And so, we, members of the Church of Christ in these last days, should fulfill the sacred purpose of our calling:  to bear fruit.  One way of bearing fruit is to share our faith to others and to win them over to become members of the Church.

     Moreover, to illustrate our mission to convert people into the Church, Christ likens us to lights of the world that should shine brightly in the dark (Matt. 5:14-15).  Hence, members of the Church who do not fulfill their mission to bear fruit are likened to lamps that are put under a basket, unable to shine or give light.

     In another illustration, we are compared to the salt of the earth (Matt. 5:13).  Among other purposes, salt is used as a preservative; it is used to prevent decay.  And because people of the world suffer from decay—that is, moral and spiritual decay—due to widespread wickedness, our task as the “salt of the earth” is to preserve people to a life of righteousness by convincing them to join the true Church.  Not accomplishing such duty is tantamount to the salt losing its flavor, so to speak, thus Christ declared:  “… it is then good for nothing but to be thrown out and trampled underfoot by men” (Matt. 5:13, New King James Version).

     Clearly, Christ does not count worthy any member of His Church who dodges his responsibility to share his faith.  Therefore, we should take seriously our role as God’s instruments in presenting or making known the message of salvation to the world.  And it is God himself who wants all men to be saved:

    “For this is good and acceptable in the sight of God our Savior,  who desires all men to be saved and to come to the knowledge of the truth. (I Tim. 2:3-4, Ibid.)

Fulfilling our mission to win people over the Church is no ordinary undertaking because in so doing, we are saving souls, pulling them out of the fire:

     “But others save with fear, pulling them out of the fire,[a] hating even the garment defiled by the flesh. (Jude 1:23, Ibid.)

     Hence, by taking part in the mission to spread the gospel of salvation, we manifest our love and concern for our fellowmen.  However, Apostle Paul clarified that not everyone has the authority to preach the gospel, for it is the ministers and evangelical workers who are given the gift to preach (Rom. 12:5-6; II Tim. 4:1-2).  Even so, as “lights of the world,” we should illuminate others who are still in the dark on the true knowledge that leads to salvation (Matt. 5:14, 16).  We should make good use of every opportunity to win many people over to the true Church.

     We all know that judgment Day is swiftly drawing near because the signs about this appointed day given by our Lord Jesus Christ have been fulfilled (Matt. 24:3, 33, 6-8.)  And because on that day “the heavens and the earth … are reserved for the fire until the day of judgment and perdition of ungodly men” and “both the earth and the works that are in it will be burned up” (II Pet. 3:7, 10, NKJV), the task of snatching or rescuing as many souls as possible from the fire on Judgment Day is made more urgent and immediate.  Time is really of the essence.  Thus, before time runs out we should do everything we can to accomplish this great missions of ours.  Indeed, what we do will surely help people turn from God’s wrath to His mercy.

During our Lord Jesus Christ’s earthly ministry, He showed His compassion to a possessed man—healing him and telling him to go home to his friends and to make known to them the great things that the Lord had done for him (Mark 5:18-19).

     As members of the Church of Christ, didn’t we also receive God’s compassion?  Apostle Paul explains:

     “But God demonstrates His own love toward us, in that while we were still sinners, Christ died for us.  Much more then, having now been justified by His blood, we shall be saved from wrath through Him. (Rom. 5:8-9, NKJV)

     While we were still sinners, Christ died for us.  But His death benefited His Church only; and “Christ is himself the Savior of the Church, his body” (Eph. 5:25, 23, Today’s English Version).  And so, we were justified through the blood of Christ when God called us to become parts of Christ’s body or members of the Church of Christ—the Church which He redeemed with His blood:

     “Take heed therefore to yourselves and to all the flock over which the Holy Spirit has appointed you overseers, to feed the church of Christ which he has purchased with his blood. (Acts 20:28, Lamsa Translation)

     Thus, God delivered us from condemnation and brought us to salvation.  Because of this, we will be saved from His wrath.  Because we have been redeemed, we should proclaim it to others.  Truly, a gift as precious as salvation is worth sharing.  We should proclaim the Good News of God’s salvation to all, more so to our friends and loved-ones who belong to other religions.  Such a great and wonderful blessing should not be kept to ourselves:

“I have proclaimed the good news of righteousness
In the great assembly;
Indeed, I do not restrain my lips,
O Lord, You Yourself know.
I have not hidden Your righteousness within my heart;
I have declared Your faithfulness and Your salvation;
I have not concealed Your lovingkindness and Your truth
From the great assembly.” (Ps. 40:9-10, NKJV)

We can utilize the various ways that the bible teaches in winning souls over to the Church.  Indeed, these are opportunities to show our care and concern to our fellowmen.

     We can invite people to listen to Christ’s teachings as what the Samaritan woman did.  Upon meeting Christ and knowing whom she was talking to, she went back to her town and invited the people to listen to what our Lord Jesus Christ had to say.  The Samaritan woman’s efforts proved to be fruitful as many of them believed in Jesus (John 4:28-30, 39, TEV).

     Also, we can fulfill our obligation to share our faith with others not only through the spoken word but also through the written word (Acts 17:11-12; I Pet. 5:12)

     Therefore, let us invite people to listen to the words of God, which are taught during our instructions in biblical doctrines, grand evangelical missions (GEMs), and congregational worship services.  We can also use the mass media in order to communicate God’s words to all and sundry.  Let us take part in the distribution of our pamphlets, religious tracts, and magazine, Pasugo:  God’s Message.  Let us encourage nonmembers to watch and listen to our religious programs on TV and radio.  Needless to say, since there are various means by which we can spread our faith, everyone of us can take part in sharing God’s message of salvation to all people.

The time and efforts that faithful members of the Church of Christ sacrifice and share for the service of God—one of which is our mission of winning souls back to God—will never be wasted:

     “… Keep busy always in your work for the Lord, since you know that nothing you do in the Lord’s service is ever useless.” (I Cor. 15:58, TEV)

     Each one of us who diligently takes part in the spreading of our faith is truly fortunate.  In fact, by actively sharing our faith, we “will have a full understanding of every good thing we have in Christ” (Philem. 1:6, New International Version); hence we would understand that in sharing our faith, the reward is well worth the struggle and sacrifice.  Apostle Paul guaranteed that we will attain salvation for the names of those who help in our missionary works are recorded in the Book of Life:

     “And I urge you also, true companion, help these women who labored with me in the gospel, with Clement also, and the rest of my fellow workers, whose names are in the Book of Life.(Phil. 4:3, NKJV)  *

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