Monday, 8 June 2009

"My Sheep know My voice and they will not follow another"

Hi Everyone,
~Thank you all for your prayers and virtual contacts. It is a tremendous help to have some of the technology we have, when used for His glory. My primary work or occupation at this time is "immersion". Spending time with my thai friends and associates as I listen and talk to them. The challenges facing the Gospel here in Thailand are old and well established...but they are no less conquerable than when Jesus first came unto His own. Remaining faithful in the work and remembering the words of Christ when He made the apostles aware of the fact that they were entering into the labors of many saints who proceeded them. There is definitely an aspect to God's labors that include immediate fruit and there are labors that do not reach harvest for centuries. Not many in any generation are privileged to witness the kind of mass harvest of souls that the apostles saw...but are we to be any less faithful? any less diligent? We know all too well what happened to that foolish servant who went and buried His Master's talent in the ground. Since we do not know the sovereign decrees of God, we must do as the Holy Spirit directs us to do in Ecclesiastes 11:4-6...we read, "He who observes the wind will now sow, and he who regards the clouds will not reap. As you do not know the way the spirit comes to the bones in the womb of a woman with child, so you do not know the work of God who makes everything. In the morning sow your seed, and at evening do not withhold your hand, for you do not know which will prosper, this or that, or rather both alike will be good."
~We are told that "the natural man cannot understand the things of the Spirit, they are foolishness to him, neither can he know them because they are spiritually appraised." Those of us who are born again do understand, and when our Master in heaven speaks, we know His voice and we follow it. It is the Holy Spirit whom He has made to dwell inside of us that leads us into all truth and it is by His power alone that we do the works of God, after all, "unless the Lord builds the house, they labor in vain who build it". Do any of us want to be counted among those who proclaim at their end, "Lord, in your name have we not done many marvelous works!" What are the operative words in that dreadful account? They are the words: "have we not done". Friends, we must be careful how we build upon that cherished Cornerstone...it is better to do our trembling now as we build, than to find ourselves indicted as "workers of iniquity" and trembling then!
~I was telling a friend today how that God graciously gave us the Lord and the Apostles as examples in evangelism, soul building, church planting, sound teaching...and so often we are found out of the way employing weak and beggarly elements to accomplish the work of the High and Mighty God. The weapons and instruments of our warfare are divinely powerful! There are no strongholds that can prevail against them. As strong as the gates of Hell are, not even they can prevail against His Church...His true Church that is. We ought to exhort one another to return to the ancient boundaries which were established by God and are blessed by God.
~We ought to follow the example Jesus left us, like little children, obediently keeping our Lords charge till He returns. The Gospel of Jesus is sweet to those who are being saved! It cannot be made any sweeter! In scripture it is likened to the fragrance of life, totally unique in the world and without compare! It's only when the "workers of iniquity" decry the assertion of Jesus when He declared so long ago "He will put His sheep on His right hand and the goats on His left". They busy themselves re-asserting the old lie that God is a little off on this, and that new research has shown He actually does desire to save the goats (except during the flood and a few other minor exceptions). God has soured the milk unto them...and are we to make it sweet!? that we might win the more!?? Here is where the deep trouble starts...because you cannot save the goats unless you change the Gospel; you see, the biblical Gospel works perfect if all you ever hope to reach are His sheep, but alas, there are some who privately hope to reach the goats too! It's a scary place to find oneself...secretly desiring the salvation of the goats. What do you suppose the Master will do to that servant who deliberately "takes from the children and gives it to the dogs"?
~Men do not stop to consider the grotesque alterations which must be made to the Gospel if they secretly plan to accommodate all mankind. They are grieved by the design of the biblical gate! They protest, It is too "narrow" and too "difficult"...they simply will not all make it through! It must be made wider and more conforming for those who are having difficulties. "Workers of iniquity" see the biblical Gospel as a restrictive, antiquated and bothersome obstacle to real church growth. When the "workers of iniquity" go fishing for goats to fill the pews of their "many wonderful works" and they are not having any luck...they simple change lures. The "workers of iniquity" have concluded that Jesus is simply not attractive enough on His own to catch all mankind and therefore they do not hesitate to use other bait. Good workmen on the other hand, see the biblical Gospel as a God ordained miracle of unfathomable grace, while at the same time an indelible shield of protection against the tares of the world. They would never lean on their own understanding when it comes to designing & building an effective Gospel gate, they leave those affairs the One who is all wise. Never-the-less, the Great Seal of the Church stands firm..."Jesus Christ knows those that are His, and let everyone who names the name of Christ depart from evil". Just as a reminder, in case we ever do get turned around, the steps to Heaven always lead up!
In His Majesty's Service,
Mark