The InvisiblesFebruary 16, 2008
Matthew 19:21-22 “Jesus said unto him If thou wilt be perfect, ‘go and sell what thou hast, and give to the poor, and thou shalt have treasure in heaven: and come and follow me. But when the young man heard that saying, he went away sorrowful: for he had great possessions.”
A recent letter from Faith Mission of Elkhart Indiana begins as follows:
“Our shelter is overflowing. When the temperatures drop to freezing, we put mats on the floor to accomodate as many people as possible. More people means more meals and more services. Having the mission filled wall-to-wall increases our need to provide food and clothing.”
A few years ago, Faith Mission moved into a very large, relatively new building on Benham Ave. (I was involved with insalling the HVAC systems back in 1991 when the building was being constructed for other purposes) One cannot imagine how many people it would take to fill this building “wall to wall.” Each soul, priceless in the eyes of God and each one having a custom set of circumstances which have led to the loss of nearly everything in this world. Many are single mothers with children. Many are veterens for whom the battles of the past are still producing fruit. Each eternal soul under constant assault by the devil and his minions as they seek to destroy those for whom Jesus came to redeem.
This post has been in the back of my mind for months, but until now I have been unable to place into words. Many of us go about our increasingly complicated “daily routine” and fail to grasp the scope of the need that’s all around us. (I’m talking to myself here as well) Families torn asunder by a myriad of forces, lives in total disarray, depression of epidemic proportions, children bounced from one house to another with no role models or stability and the list goes on for miles. Jesus stated that the downtrodden would be with us always. Those who, for whatever reason, have slipped through the cracks, unseen and unheard by many who are in a position to stand in the gap. Whether it be from self-destructive practices or situations completely outside of their control, they are amongst us 24/7. They are precious in the eyes of the Father and our response to them is being recorded in heaven.
While many professing christians are making a name for themselves with earthly kingdoms, millions of souls are sinking into despair and ultimately, an eternity apart from the living God who is not willing for any to perish. Recently there was an article in the newspaper about a certain church in the Detroit area which built a house for their pastor worth three million dollars. To put this in perspective, Detroit has a high school dropout rate of 75% and the highest rate of foreclosures in the nation. The social problems that have destroyed the lives of so many in that city are well documented. Yet instead of doing everything possible to reach these lost souls, many of us are praising God with our lips while satisfying lusts of the flesh.
Matthew 25:31-33 “When the Son of man shall come in his glory, and all the holy angels with him, then shall he sit upon the throne of his glory: And before him shall be gathered all nations: and he shall separate them one from another, as a shepherd divideth his sheep from the goats:”
Although I haven’t heard it in years, this passage always reminds me of a Keith Green song which focused on these verses. I can only remember the final line of the song which went something like “And the only difference between the sheep and the goats was what they did and didn”t do.” This is not to suggest that our works will save us, but rather, they reveal what’s in the heart. Our treasure and conversation will always announce to the world the contents of our heart. As the old saying goes, “You can’t hide what’s inside.”
Matthew 25:34:36 “Then shall the King say unto them on his right hand, Come, ye blessed of my Father, inherit the kingdom prepared for you from the foundation of the world: For I was an hungered, and ye gave me meat: I was thirsty, and ye gave me drink: I was a stranger, and ye took me in: Naked, and ye clothed me: I was sick, and ye visited me: I was in prison, and ye came unto me.”
Jesus goes on to explain how we are ministering unto him whenever we address the needs of those around us. Jesus came to seek and to save that which was lost and those who love him will be like-minded. His compassion for sinners placed him at odds with a religious establishment that had grown cold and legalistic. In the following verse, he turns his attention to the goats.
Matthew 25:41 “Then shall he say also unto them on the left hand, Depart from me, ye cursed, into everlasting fire, prepared for the devil and his angels:
(If Jesus were in the world today in a body of flesh, I wonder how many churches would invite him to come and preach the words of life.)
Matthew 25:42-45 “For I was an hungered, and ye gave me no meat; I was thirsty, and ye gave me no drink: I was a stranger and ye took me not in: naked, and ye clothed me not: sick, and in prison, and ye visited me not. Then shall they also answer him, Lord, when saw we thee an hungered, or athirst, or a stranger, or naked, or sick, or in prison, and did not minister unto thee? Then shall he answer them, saying, Verily I say unto you, Inasmuch as ye did it not to one of the least of these, ye did it not unto me.
This falls in line with loving our neighbor as ourselves and possessing a natural affection for those who are lacking in basic necessities. When we turn a blind eye to such, it reveals a heart that’s in serious need of repentance. Today, it’s fashionable to proclaim that gain is godliness and to fund multi-million dollar ministries for the express purpose of getting blessed in return. (This post may not be up long) Lust of the flesh, lust of the eyes, and the pride of life have a safe haven in many congregations these days while Faith Mission and other like-places are filled to capacity and beyond with souls in disarray. There is judgment in the land and everything which is done in secret shall be manifest.
Well, I need to go for now. I didn’t intend for this post to have such a hard edge to it and if anything is amiss, I would appreciate being alerted to it. This has been on my heart for months. Until next time, I wish to all a blessed weekend in Jesus.
I Timothy 6:10-11 “For the love of money is the root of all evil: which while some coveted after, they have erred from the faith, and pierced themselves through with many sorrows. But thou, O man of God, flee these things; and follow after righteousness, godliness, faith, love, patience, meekness.”
Please lift up “Mike West” in prayer. He’s a guy from work who has battled alcohol for years. It has resulted in a situation where he may have a lengthy stay in prison. He needs a deliverance and Jesus can deliver him.