The great blessing of eternal life is not something that we can take for granted. Alongside the promise of eternal life, there is the warning against losing out on this great blessing -
Bring 'the first fruits of your harvest' (Leviticus 23:9): 'What can I give Him? - my heart.'
Pentecost - the outpouring of the Holy Spirit - has ushered in the time of Harvest - the saved are being gathered in as men and women are being won for Christ. During this time of harvest, we ‘blow the trumpets’ of worship, rejoicing in the Lord (Numbers 29:1), and ‘alarm’, calling on men and women to pay attention to the Word of the Lord (Joel 2:1). By blowing the trumpets for God, we prepare the way for the final trumpet, ‘the trumpet of God’ (1 Corinthians 15:52; 1 Thessalonians 4:16). We must get ready, and we must encourage others to get ready, for Christ’s Return.
Why is it so important that we ‘make disciples’ (Matthew 28:19)? There is a devil, and he is doing his utmost to hinder the progress of God’s truth. He spreads lies about Christ - ‘to this day’ he is still sowing seeds of unbelief (Matthew 28:11-15). We must combat the enemy of Christ - with words of truth, with the believing declaration, ‘He has risen’ (Matthew 28:6-7). Satan failed to halt the progress of the Gospel. Christ’s disciples rose to the challenge, and so must we: ‘Rise up, you champions of God... We’ll reach this generation... Go forth! Jesus loves them. Go forth! Take the Gospel. Go forth! The time is now. The harvest is ripening; Go forth! Feel now the burden of the Lord. Feel how He longs to save them. Feel now for those who never heard... Now is the time’ (Songs of Fellowship, 486). ‘All authority... has been given to Me... I am with you always' (Matthew 28:18-20).
‘Wisdom is better than weapons of war’ (Ecclesiastes 9:18). We are to seek the better way, the way of wisdom, the way of peace: ‘The wisdom that comes from heaven is... peace-loving... Peacemakers who sow in peace raise a harvest of righteousness’ (James 3:18). We look back over the history of our world. We wish there had been more peace and less war. We pray for a better future - more peace, less war. We pray to ‘the God of peace’. We pray for ‘the peace of God’. We pray that God will fulfill His promise: ‘The God of peace will soon crush Satan under your feet’ (Philippians 4:9,7; Romans 15:33; 16:20). Let us look to ‘the Cross of Jesus’. Let us trust in ‘Christ, the Royal Master’. He leads us in His victory: ‘At the Name of Jesus, Satan’s legions flee; On then, Christian soldiers, On to victory!’
‘Wise people are put to shame, confused, trapped. They have rejected the Word of the Lord. They don’t really have any wisdom’ (Jeremiah 8:9). Some people think they’re smart. They’re wise in their own eyes. They ‘know it all’ - so they think! They’ve an answer for everything - except the most important question, the question of salvation: ‘What must I do to be saved?’. They know so much - yet they know so little that really matters! ‘The harvest is past, the summer is ended, and we are not saved’ (Jeremiah 8:20) - Some people think they’re smart. They’re getting on in the world. They’ve no time for God. They’re too busy enjoying all the pleasures of this world. When this world is ‘past’ and its pleasures have ‘ended’, where will we be? - ‘What good will it do you if you gain the whole world - and lose eternal life?’ (Matthew 16:22).
As we speak to men and women of the eternal consequences of the the choices they make here-and-now, let us always remember the words of Paul in Galatians 6:1 - "set him right ... in a gentle way" (Galatians 6:1).
In all that we do, we must keep our eyes firmly fixed on Jesus Christ who is "full of grace and truth" (John 1:14). Always looking to our Lord and Saviour, Jesus Christ, we are to "speak the truth in love" (Ephesians 4:15).
‘I am not ashamed of the Gospel: it is the power of God for salvation to every one who has faith’ (Romans 1:16). Do you think it was easy for Paul to maintain such commitment to Christ, such confidence in Christ? What kind of world did he live in? - A world of ‘ungodliness and wickedness’ (Romans 1:18-31). Many times, Paul could have given up in despair - ‘There is too much ungodliness and wickedness all around me. How can I go on?’. When you feel like giving up, when everything seems to be so difficult, remember Paul. Remember his longing to ‘impart some spiritual gift’, his desire to ‘reap some harvest’ his eagerness to ‘preach the gospel’ (Romans 1:12-15). Let us say, with Paul, ‘God forbid that I should glory save in the cross of our Lord Jesus Christ’ (Galatians 6:14). Let us be ‘set apart for the gospel of God’ (Romans 1:1).