Paying the Price of Restoration
As a sophomore in high school, I had a small part in the sophomore play. Back in the days of President Kennedy, I played the role of the sheriff in the production; I had practiced shooting a blank revolver towards the ceiling of the set’s living room and asking what the trouble was there. The gun had always fired on schedule during practice, but the first night of the play I entered the living room trying to calm a pretend family fight. I was supposed to point the gun at the ceiling and squeeze off three rounds and shout, “What seems to be the problem here?” My only problem was that the gun never fired any of the three blank shots it was supposed to. I stared like a deer in the headlights at the audience and finally came up with an innovative (not) way to continue the act. I simply said, “Bang, bang, bang,” and then delivered my dialogue: “What seems to be the problem here?” The problem there was that I had turned a very serious play into a roaring comedy! I felt totally humiliated and was sorry I ever went out for the production. The weapon I had in hand had lost one critical piece and was totally ineffective.
It seems like most of the people I talk with who have come to God follow Him because of today’s equivalent of the loaves and fishes. They focus on what is God going to do for them and how can they benefit from continuing to soak in the blessings of God. It rarely is about what are they doing for God and with God. Jesus even seemed to have the same problem in Gethsemane when He prayed, “If possible let this cup (a mix of sin bearing, crucifixion, etc), pass from me.” But He did add, “Nevertheless, not my will but yours be done.” Unlike Christians in other eras, a lot of Christians know nothing about seeking to do those things which please the Father.
One of those things is that we are willing to join with other Christians in service to the Master and often these others are Christians who do not think as we think, talk as we talk, or teach as we teach. The best we can ever hope for is as Paul says, “That we all speak the same thing.” How is that possible? I once attended the English speaking church in Haiti where the most spoken language is either French or Creole. All they did was read a section of scripture in English and sang a song or hymn that exemplified that teaching. It was one of the best churches I have ever been to because, as one evangelist says, you can’t be wrong if you’re speaking the word of God. They prayed and received answers from the Holy Spirit about what to speak on each occasion and everyone was blessed greatly.
1Samuel 3:19 says, And Samuel grew, and the Lord was with him and did let none of his words fall to the ground.” God will do the same for every prophet that keeps his eyes on the target.
The other day I heard one of these men say, “You need every part of the Gospel of Christ to make the gospel work like it is supposed to.” There are many human made obstacles to accomplishing such unity. Do not think that God is going to let this issue go away. There’s one book in the Bible that you may not know the location of called Zephaniah. In Chapter 3:8-9 it says, “Therefore wait ye upon me, saith the Lord, until the day that I rise up to the prey: for my determination is to gather the nations, that I may assemble the kingdoms, to pour upon them mine indignation, even all my fierce anger: for all the earth shall be devoured with the fire of my jealousy. For then will I turn to the people a pure language that they may all call upon the name of the Lord, to serve him with one consent.” There is a price to pay if we are going to restore the earth, deliver every creature, and revitalize entire civilizations: we must suffer and sacrifice to attain these objectives!
We need the people who emphasize grace and we need those who admonish us to obey the New Testament doctrines. We need people who will pray in unknown tongues for Christ’s many membered body and those who will be Christ’s hands and feet until He returns. We need those who take the gospel to the uttermost parts of the earth and those who remind them that the release of every creature from injury, death and destruction, is a part of God’s Holy Scripture. There are only two things that will bring Christ back to the earth and one of them is the preaching of the Kingdom of Heaven and that includes all of the original formation, another way of saying every creature. We are not here to create another division in Christ’s one body.
We are here to share this truth with all the members who have overlooked it or even closed their hearts to it! Without this vision we will have to experience our unity with the other members through the calamity and resulting corrective action that will make you want to pray, “Father if possible let this cup pass from me also.” But it has been spoken of in various ways by all of His prophets and God will never let any of those words fall to the ground but rather, He will cause them to be embraced. The time is at hand. God has spoken: “In times past, I winked at man’s ignorance, but now I command all men everywhere to repent!”
People are hungering for the gospel of the Kingdom. Is it any surprise why this is so? The church doesn’t even know the significant scriptures that prove God’s intention, which includes all the animals, yet the animals are waiting for the end of this tortuous age to manifest. Jesus said in Luke 4:43, “I must preach the Kingdom of God to other cities also: for therefore am I sent.” The religious leaders shut up the Kingdom of Heaven and it is no different today. Matthew 23:13 says, “But woe unto you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! For you shut up the Kingdom of Heaven against men: for you neither go in yourselves, neither speedily direct ye them that are entering to go in.”
You cannot hand somebody a spark plug and call it an automobile. A spark plug is only a single component of a motor vehicle and not the vehicle itself. Jesus said in Matthew 24:14, “And this gospel of the Kingdom shall be preached in all the world for a witness unto all nations; and then shall the end come.” It may soon feel like it has come but the end of the age is not coming any time soon because there is very little preaching of the gospel of the Kingdom of Heaven. The end of the age won’t come until we begin to preach the entire gospel, not one that eliminates countless species and many millions of family pets. Would we rather have our favorite little religion which will never change civilization if you can call if that? Would we not rather have the entire Kingdom of Heaven spread as is the Father’s will?
Preaching the limited perspective of divisions and little human empires will never bring about the transformation which is necessary and clearly delineated in the scriptures. It isn’t good seed. A broken piece of seed will never germinate or restore the once flourishing life to the planet. The gospel of the Kingdom will do exactly that. If you know these things, blessed are you if you, “Preach it, brother!”