Everywhere we turn there are people who are in need of the Savior—Jesus Christ. For certain, there are people who have rejected Him completely. People like Stephen Hawkings who completely denied the existence of God. However, that is not the average condition of the people we pass day after day. In fact, atheists only make up about 3% +/- of the American population. More than 96% of the unchurched have admitted that they would attend church if they were invited. The overwhelming majority of people are simply wandering aimlessly through life oblivious to the severity of their need. In reality, they are simply blind. They do not see their own sinfulness. They do not see the pending judgement that is only a breath away. They do not see their need for Jesus even though they will dutifully go to church to celebrate His birth and resurrection. They are blind!
2 Corinthians 4:4 In whom the god of this world hath blinded the minds of them which believe not, lest the light of the glorious gospel of Christ, who is the image of God, should shine unto them.
Christ commissioned us to be lights to those who walk in darkness around us. We live to illuminate Jesus for those whom the devil desires to keep in darkness. He does not want them to see their need. He does not want them to see that they are dangerously close to an eternity of fiery consequence for their sin against a holy God.
I find that many believers are very content to be assured of their own salvation from hell, but paralyzed in fear to witness of it to others. Even more, I find that believers can produce only a few names that they are regularly praying for to be saved. One thing is sure, those who neglect to pray for the lost are not likely to witness to the lost.
I have a WHAT IF question for you today. A question that came crashing into my mind and caused me to think. What if God only saved the people that are on your prayer list and for whom you are praying daily? How many people would be in heaven with you?
May God enlarge our vision for the lost all around us.
Read Acts 18:1-18
Acts 18:9-10 “Then spake the Lord to Paul in the night by a vision, Be not afraid, but speak, and hold not thy peace: For I am with thee, and no man shall set on thee to hurt thee: for I have much people in this city.“
Paul had just arrived in Corinth and met Aquila and Priscilla who just moved into town from Italy (Rome). He was led by the Spirit to preach the Good New of Jesus Christ to the Jew at their synagogue but they vehemently opposed the message. This did not stop Paul, he just looked for the next divine appointment. He went next door to Justus’ house, who was a worshipper of God, and he saw Crispus, the chief ruler of the synagogue, come to Christ for salvation along with his family and many Corinthians. What a great work of God!
Yet Paul must have sense the rising anger among the Jews from what had happened that day because the Lord gave him encouragement during the night (18:9-10). Praise God! He always encourages those who are doing His will. Notice how the Lord encourages Paul. He first commands him not to be afraid to continue to preach the Good News. Why? Because the Lord would be with him. That alone would be enough. No matter what comes, if the Lord is with us, we will be just fine. Then the Lord gives further encouragement in these words, “…for I have much people in this city.” Now if your calling was to be a preacher of the Good News of Jesus Christ (and it is, see Matthew 28:19-20), those words would lift your heart and give a divine expectation of the harvest to come. Though opposition would yet come, Paul could be confident that the Lord would raise up a Church in the city of Corinth based on His Word.
I believe that no matter the location in which we serve the Lord, we can be encouraged with this divine encouragement. After all, God did put it in the Bible for us. We can be assured that God will be with us no matter what and He has much people in our city who will accept that Good News as we give it. Notice that Paul did not quit, he stayed in Corinth a year and six months. Don’t quit with a little opposition, be encouraged that in our city there are people like Crispus and his family and many Ketterenians that will receive the Good News and be saved.
John 4:35 “…I say unto you, Lift up your eyes, and look on the fields; for they are white already to harvest.”