The Test Luke 12:8-9
In our lives we brush shoulders with the world almost every day—a world that is lost. A world that, in almost every aspect of its culture and existence, defies God, and works against His holy will. This “spirit” of the world is not only consistently doing this to Him, but also seeks to distract, divert, and ultimately destroy the Christian.
Many articles have been written about keeping ourselves free from the influences of the world; with this one, that is not the essence of this paper and ink. We are told by direct command from our Lord, and also by implication elsewhere in the Scriptures, that we are to be not only defensive against the world, but also OFFENSIVE. Jesus said, “… upon this Rock I will build my church; and the gates of hell shall not prevail against it” (Matthew 16:18b). Remember, a gate is not an offensive weapon—it is defensive. As Christians, we are to build our lives on the Lord Jesus Christ and, as we do that, we will be conquering the confines of Hell, taking what is rightfully Christ’s in His name by the Holy Spirit.
So, what is this offensive measure to be? What is it—that thing that we must do that Jesus said the gates of Hell would not prevail against? It is very clear to me that the thing which we must do is this: to live a life that is so saturated with God, being in love with the Lord Jesus so much, that we cannot help ourselves, but MUST do His will; because Jesus is the consuming passion of our lives (Mark 12:30, John 14:15).
Many things comprise “His will,” but I want to focus on one part that is being particularly attacked by the enemy in this, our American culture of compromise and ease: the preaching and living out of the Gospel.
We are told in God’s Word to be instant in season and out of season—ready to give the answer, as you know the verse talks about. In our daily lives, as I mentioned before, we are often in contact with the world; and, as I mentioned before, it is a lost, rebellious world. Seeing that Christ died for this undeserving world and deserves what He bought through His suffering and atonement, we should, as true Christians be preaching the Gospel as we go.
Though it is good to have our theology correct and all our “doctrines in a row,” I would like to bring it down to the practical and meaningful in our way of life—this command of preaching as we go. Let’s touch on some situations that we come upon in one place or another in our daily walk. Take a look at a gas station: Unless you drive a horse and buggy, I think that most of us find ourselves almost daily at the gas station to fuel up. This is a prime opportunity for one-on-one conversations with people! Instead of using your cash card or credit card outside at the pump, go inside to pay for it (keeping your eyes and heart shielded from the evils that are in there!) and give the cashier a good Gospel tract. The rising gas prices are a great starting point to talk to someone about the “end of all things” being “at hand,” and whether or not they are prepared to meet God and stand before the Judge of all mankind, Jesus Christ. You could do this while waiting for the gas to finish, and talk to the person across from you.
How about at a rest area along the interstate or turnpike? Often when we are traveling, we don’t want to take time to stop, and so we don’t think to slip a tract onto the counter, or feed a few into the toilet paper dispenser. Or, when you are washing your hands, you could preach a “10 second sermon” (as I have heard it described as before) to the person next to you.
Really, Brothers and Sisters, we need to get right down and practical with the work of God. It is a serious issue. We cannot be “playing at religion” here. We are for real on this earth to preach God’s Word to a lost and wicked world for whom Christ died. I’m afraid that we often look at it through fictional glasses, rather than reality. Lord, give us God-breathed reality, Holy Ghost heaven-sent unction, and some holy grit to work it out practically! We need to pray that. Lord, we need to know You, and thereby know how to live real, in a real world, with real people, for a real Saviour and King. God, give us reality in our hearts.
There are some situations where there is more sacrifice involved than just having someone you don’t know turn you off. I’m thinking particularly of GED classes. It is an issue that many of us young people may face. As many of us are home-schooled, and need to go through the GED tests in order to graduate, we are given a choice in the realm of education—to openly confess Christ, or to deny Him by being silent during those classes and tests. Yes, I know, you might fail your class because of it. I went through my GED classes this last year, and was blessed to have a teacher that was a “pastor” of a local church, and was sympathetic to my witnessing; though we differed on doctrine in a few areas. But I have heard about a young person who almost failed because she witnessed for Christ. Even so, if you have a Christian teacher, there is still the final test scoring that is done by someone you don’t know. They may be sympathetic, or may not be. So, if you will allow me this worldly terminology, you “take a gamble” on your final tests. Since most of the tests are done in the multiple-choice-answer format, you don’t really have any opportunity to witness there. But one test does have much potential for witnessing: that being the essay. In the essay, you can freely share about the Lord, so long as you keep it in the context of the subject you are assigned!
In the essay that they had me do, the subject given me was: “Tell about one way you have found to relax.”
That was perfect.
I shared how that, in this world there is much unrest and that the need to relax is great. Then, I shared about the many things I tried out in order to acquire true peace. You can probably guess what I headed up to—how, finding myself as a sinner in danger of everlasting judgment, I turned to Christ and gave Him my all, and was born again, thus getting that perfect peace. After some filler sentences, I then asked if the person reading had that kind of peace, and what they would do about it.
I did end up passing the test, but I was nervous about it. The enemy was tempting me throughout the whole thing not to share, for fear of failing the test. But God ministered to my heart, saying, “It doesn’t matter about the test. What are you living for, Nathan? Me, or your reputation? Me or this world? Will you confess me before men, and thereby I confess you before my Father, and the angels?” Bless God, His grace prevailed.
So, what will we do with the opportunities God gives us in our youth, young people (Ecclesiastics 12:1)? We have so many opportunities to share about Jesus, so let’s take them for the glory of God!
Finally, I want to explain that my point in writing this article is not simply to get you to do something for something’s sake. It’s not to get you to pass out more tracts. It is not to get you to say a few weak words of truth to someone. No, there is enough weak preaching being done in our day. It is my heart’s desire that God would ignite the flame of love and devotion in your hearts so that you will search for ANY way to tell others about your precious Lord. And, if your voice is weak, may at least your heart be aflame with Christ’s love for the lost: not weak preaching, but powerful, Spirit-filled words. If we can get hold of that kind of love, Brothers and Sisters, God will be able to get some glory—the kind He is worthy of. That is what this life is all about anyway, isn’t it? Yes, it is. It indeed and definitely is. Let’s give ourselves for His love, His work, and His purposes. May we give ourselves to know Him who died for us, and rose again. Amen. Please read Philippians 3:7-12, asking God to illuminate it to your heart, that you may live it.
God bless you. Live by Him.
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