Today, we are encouraged to study the word of God to show ourselves approved. This we do by going to institutions and seminars. The motive by many of us is to get the qualification and in the end we bear no fruits and love for souls but just our display of knowledge to attract people to our opinions. Having said that, we have no problem with Christian institutions teaching the word of God, some mean well, while others do it for the money and personal power. The point we make and encourage our learned Christian brethren is to stop hiding behind your qualification and humble yourself and obey God’s command and witness.
Another observation, your calling does not come from man but God. Too often our calling into the ministry is defined by our leaders. As leaders, they have a strong influence in our lives so we value their opinions of us and follow their advice. We then enter the ministry and follow our leader’s vision. When the incumbent realises his true calling and breaks away, the division is blamed on him for refusing to submit to authority. No servant of God should feel threatened when someone who served under them received his call from God and choose to submit to that call. If the move and break away was by faith and directly from God, and not as a result of malice, we should be able to judge the success of the calling two ways: The first thing, are we bearing fruit (of the Holy Spirit) and in terms of obedience to Christ? (John 15:2-6). If the word of Christ remains in us, we will obey Him in everything and this is fruit bearing. Often, we show more obedience to the man who ordained us to enter the ministry than exercising our faith based on actual commands from the Bible.
The distinguishing mark of a great Christian leader is His love for the Lord and for souls, as opposed to personal enrichment, self-elevation and commanding respect from man. The second point, are we continuously engaged in witnessing as a life-style even though we have the official title (Acts 28:30-31)? This ensures ministry success because we are continuously warning people, correcting them and encouraging them in the right WAY.
You may say, but I do that in my church, yes but you are doing it to the same people who ought to have been in your position of ministry. Are you witnessing to ‘strangers ‘or people you never met before? Or just to the already believing! Believing Christians are easy to minister to; because they agree with your message and they only need encouragement.
In contrast, witnessing to the unsaved is much harder, and this comes at the cost of putting our comfortable feelings aside in exchange for rejections and its associated feelings. No person likes this, but the Lord endured all the unpleasantness for us. Brethren, as followers of Christ Jesus, our call is not easy, and we do not serve God in this present age to make our lives easy as the prosperity teachers wants us to believe. Let me clarify this point, there is peace for the believer as Christ promised (John 14:27), however, on the outside there is no peace but conflict. As it is, our struggle against our sinful desires (1 Peter 2:11) and the war of the Holy Spirit against our sinful nature, (Galatians 5:17) indicates that our salvation is progressive and an active conscience response. The Lord promised us His rest and rest from our work (Hebrews 4:9). In the meantime, “we must go through many hardships to enter the Kingdom of God” (Acts 14:22 NIV).
The apostle Paul had no official pulpit but he uses every opportunity anywhere to preach Christ. He showed us that the gospel is a universal message of hope for all peoples everywhere. Many define success in the ministry on the size of the church they have and how many members they have. This is from the outside, and it is deceiving. We have more unfruitful members and non-witnessing Christians within the body of Christ. I came across a lot of born-again believers who are ashamed of the gospel, and they are afraid to profess their faith. These believers are not free, but in bondage to fear of persecutions. The cross brings persecutions, and your message is that of the cross.
Vision of Christians Backsliding
For the past two years, and since the Lord has been speaking to Charis, she has been shown the same vision four times a week. Admittedly, I ignored this important vision until recently when the Lord alerted me about its importance. This is not just to encourage Christians to witness, but to encourage you to remain faithful to your faith and salvation.
Below is the vision of the huge black and white figures as explained by Charis:
“Every second night, the Lord shows me (without saying anything to me) a huge black figure (I am made aware in the vision that this is the devil) made out of smoke or steam in the shape of a man standing on the other side of a shiny golden street, and a huge White light emitting figure on the other side of the golden street. These figures have people standing behind them that reflect their colour or texture. In the vision, I see after about every 15 minutes or so three (3) to four (4) people and then one (1) person leaving the White figure (I know this is the Lord) and go to the side of the black figure. The moment they leave the White figure and go to the other side of the street, they become black from their feet up and go stand behind the black figure. This black figure would lift up his head and laugh; while I am not able to see their faces, I do see the long yellow teeth of this laughing black figure. This is how I know he is laughing.
On the other side, I am able to feel that the white figure is not happy but sad when people leave and cross to the other side. After a long time, I would see just one person leaving the black figure and coming over to the white figure. This causes me to experience and feel the joy and excitement of the White figure. But after a short while this one joined the White figure, again 3 to 4 people would leave the White figure and go over to the laughing black figure. Although the Lord is saying nothing, I know in my heart, and in this vision that He is showing me how people are turning away from Him and go back to the world and the devil.”
In conclusion, I beseech you brethren, remain faithful to the Lord, and persevere in obedience every moment of time. Hold on to your salvation it is worth eternal life. While waiting for the Lord to appear, labour in His harvest field to accumulate Heavenly wealth (Matthew 24:45-47).