“Think on These Things” is a column by retired Creston pastor Ian Cotton.
In Christ’s command to go, He sets forth the work of all His followers. The human race comprises their congregation. The Lord desires that His invitation is given to all.
Christ ministered by personal labor. He had a faithful regard for the one-soul audience. Through that one soul the message often reached thousands.
The invitation was first given to the Jewish people, the people in whose hands were the prophetic scrolls foretelling Christ’s advent. Had priests and people heeded the call, they would have given the gospel invitation to the world. When they refused the call, it was sent to the poor, the maimed, the halt, and the blind. Publicans and sinners received the invitation.
Everyone is invited. Poor or wealthy. All need to recognize the authority of true goodness, which says, “Come unto Me, all ye that labour and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest. Take My yoke upon you, and learn of Me; for I am meek and lowly in heart, and ye shall find rest unto your souls; for My yoke is easy, and My burden is light.” Matthew 11:28-30.
None should be neglected because of their apparent devotion to worldly things. Many are sick of vanity. They are longing for a peace which they have not. Everywhere are those who are hungering and thirsting for salvation. Many would respond if approached personally, with a heart made tender by the love of Christ.
The success of the gospel message does not depend upon learned speeches, eloquent testimonies, or deep arguments. It depends upon the simplicity of the message and its adaptation to the souls that are hungering for the bread of life. “What shall I do to be saved?”—this is the want of the soul.
Thousands can be reached in the most simple and humble way. The most intellectual, those who are looked upon as the world’s most gifted men and women, are often refreshed by the simple words of one who loves God, and who can speak of that love as naturally as the worldling speaks of the things that interest him most deeply.
The true, honest testimony of a son or daughter of God, spoken in natural simplicity, has power to unbolt the door to hearts that have long been closed against Christ and His love.
Let Christians remember that they are not to labor in their own strength. Lay hold of the throne of God with faith in His power to save. Wrestle with God in prayer, and then minister with all the God given faculties you have. The Holy Spirit is provided as his efficiency. Ministering angels will be by his side to impress hearts.
If the leaders and teachers at Jerusalem had received the truth Christ brought, what a missionary center their city would have been! And how rapidly they could have carried the gospel to all parts of the world.
So today, if men of influence and large capacity for usefulness could be won for Christ, then through them what a work could be accomplished in lifting up the fallen, gathering in the outcasts, and spreading far and wide the tidings of salvation. The invitation would be speedily given, and the guests be gathered for the Lord’s table.