450 Grandview Drive
Cookeville, TN 38506
"And he said unto them, Go ye into all the world,
and preach the gospel to every creature" (Mark 16:15).
Have our convictions wavered? Have they become unsteady or unreliable? Have we become undecided between two opinions or courses of action? (I Kings 18:21).
How would the average member of the church answer these questions?
1) Do you believe that every accountable person who has not obeyed the gospel of Christ is lost? (II Thess. 1:7-9; I John 2:3-4)
2) Do you believe that every responsible person in the world must be a member of the church of Christ to be saved? (Matt. 16:18; Acts 2:47)
3) Do you believe that God has only one church; and we are that church? (Eph. 1:22-23, 4:4)
4) Do you believe that the gospel is the only power of God to save all mankind, or do we need something in addition to it? (Rom. 1:16)
5) Do you believe that sin and its consequence are attached so that without the guilt of sin being removed, the sinner must inevitably suffer the consequences? (II Cor. 5:10)
6) Do you believe that there is a real heaven to be gained and a real hell to be avoided? (Matt. 25:46)
7) Do you believe that the church has a singular mission, and that singular mission is the salvation of lost souls? (II Tim. 4:1-4, 2:1-2)
8) Do you believe that the most important thing in the world is the salvation of the souls of ourselves and others? (Matt. 16:26)
A sincere and honest answer to these questions will reveal, perhaps as nothing else, the reason why we are not evangelizing the world. I am convinced that many members of the church would answer these questions differently than they would have in the 1950s. Our convictions, at best, if we are not careful, will be shallow, diluted, and shaky.
However, if you can find men and women who have their feet planted solidly on the rock of God’s word and without hesitation, believe the truth concerning these questions, then you will find folks who cannot rest unless they are making a distinct contribution to the salvation of the lost. This can be done through his/her personal involvement or though monetary encouragement.
Where are our convictions? If we do not stand for something, we will fall for anything. Believing anything and following everything, and advocating nothing, will always hold back our efforts to save the lost.
Brethren, let each one of us “grow in the grace and in the knowledge of our Lord Jesus Christ” (II Pet. 3:18). Souls depend on it!
Paul M. Wilmoth
Church of Christ