Return to Our Foundation

Dear Brethren,

Is the Gospel going to all the world?  When most of us were called by God into His Church it seemed that many were responding and coming to the knowledge of the Truth.  God once blessed our efforts greatly – but lately we see the various churches stumbling about and not much fruit being produced.  Was that once great work a onetime deal, or will God once again call great numbers of converts?  Perhaps God is only calling a very few in the last hour.  There must come a time when God cuts His work short.  What of those who are called at the very end – will their reward be small?  The parable of the laborers tells us that the latecomers will receive the same reward as those who have labored for many years, and that is they will be in the first resurrection in the Kingdom of God.

“The kingdom of heaven is like unto a man that is an householder, which went out early in the morning to hire laborers into his vineyard.

Some laborers were hired very late – near the end of the day, and yet got paid in full.

“And when they came that were hired about the eleventh hour, they received every man a full day's wage.

Some men who did not understand the importance of finishing the harvest, complained of the unfairness.

“Saying, These last have wrought but one hour, and thou hast made them equal unto us, which have borne the burden and heat of the day.”  (Matthew 20:1-16)

Brethren, have we forgotten that we have a responsibility to finish the harvest?  You might ask what you could possibly do to make a difference in preaching the Gospel to the world.  The answer to that question is that the Gospel is preached personally by the way we live our lives.  Even our personal efforts at generating unity and oneness among the brethren can substantially impact the world.  Jesus said:

“That they all may be one; as thou, Father, art in me, and I in thee, that they also may be one in us: that the world may believe that thou hast sent me.”  (John 17:21)

And then it is important for us to get back to the basics.  As you know, we are compelled to return to the truth of our Christianity.

“Beloved, when I gave all diligence to write unto you of the common salvation, it was needful for me to write unto you, and exhort you that ye should earnestly contend for the faith which was once delivered unto the saints.”  (Jude 1:3)

In Matthew 7:21 Jesus says, “Not everyone who says to Me, ‘Lord, Lord,’ shall enter the kingdom of heaven, but he who does the will of My Father in heaven.”  He made it clear that merely acknowledging Jesus Christ as Lord and Master, saying “Lord, Lord,” is not sufficient.  To inherit the Kingdom we must do the will of the Father, as He clearly stated.

What is God’s will for us today?  There is an old saying:  "Right is right even when no one is doing it and wrong is wrong even when everyone is doing it."  From time to time it behooves us to review what we believe and stand for.  History has shown us so many times how easy it is to go off course when following the majority who have lost their moorings and direction.  We must turn to the Scriptures and make sure that we are not getting caught up in ungodly trends.  We seek a Biblical reason for all we do!  Isn't that the one thing that distinguishes us as the Church of God?  Jesus said:

“If you want to be my follower you must love me more than your own father and mother, wife and children, brothers and sisters—yes, more than your own life.  Otherwise, you cannot be my disciple.  And you cannot be my disciple if you do not carry your own cross and follow me.” (Luke 14:26-27)

Our love for and commitment to Jesus Christ and God the Father must be more important to us than any other relationship.  Each of us must be willing to bear his “cross,” to faithfully follow Jesus even through life’s most difficult challenges.  We are warned to consider carefully that accepting the gift of eternal life comes at the highest cost we can imagine.

“So likewise, whosoever he be of you that forsakes not all that he has, he cannot be my disciple.”  (Luke 14:33)

How thankful we are that we have this truththat God has revealed to us His divine purposethat our congregations are not social clubsour purpose not to get but to givewe do not have congregations just to enjoy ourselves and be ministered to, but to serve.  And out of our small groups, we are able to make a difference in these last days.  As we work together let us not forget the work we are a part of.  We have set our hand to the plow.

“Jesus said, No man, having put his hand to the plow, and looking back, is fit for the Kingdom of God.”  (Luke 9:62)

Sermon:  "Return to Our Foundation"