There are those that feel that their only job is to believe and participate in worship. They believe that it is up to others to carry the Gospel message to unbelievers. These folks live their life with very little Bible study and are quite content to carry on with their lives. Giving when they can and helping if it is not too much trouble. These believers are indifferent.
Then there are those that really feel that it is their duty to not only carry the Gospel, but agonize over every unbeliever. These believers participate in serious Bible study and enter into serious thought as to God’s will for their life. They never forget past sins and regret that they did not believe sooner. They live in constant expectation of doing a great work for the Lord, but generally accomplishing little. These believers are caring.
It is my contention that neither of these two examples of believers is Biblical. Both in their own way neutralize their faith…one with no burden and one with too big a burden. The Apostle Paul said that he was the least worthy Apostle. He also stated that he once was the worst persecutor of the Church. Then he stated that no matter how hard he tried he still continued to sin. Yet Paul did not let his past sins neutralize his present work. He did not wait for a great work; he just continued to evangelize sometimes winning only a few converts out of whole cities after long and dangerous journeys.
Paul believed Jesus when Jesus said that he was forgiven. Paul believed Jesus when he said that some would reap and some would sow. After he had carried the Gospel, the unbeliever was without excuse and he moved on. Paul believed Jesus when Jesus said that many would be lost. Paul also believed Jesus when Jesus said that this was a fallen world and things would happen, even to believers. Paul had a thorn in the flesh in which Jesus said Paul you get to keep the thorn, it is my will, and Satan will be in charge of the thorn.
Caring and indifference can be equally neutralizing. Paul was a doer. He did agonize over his Jewish brethren and his Gentile Churches, but he kept doing what he could do. Forgiveness covered his sins and prayer covered his efforts. Paul’s focused his faith on others, not his past sins or his present situation.
Published on Monday, February 11, 2013 @ 4:26 AM CDT