Previous Challenge Entry (Level 3 - Advanced)
Topic: GATHERING (07/14/16)
- TITLE: Are We Heavenly Dust Collectors?
By Louise Fugate
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Jesus is a gatherer. In the New Testament, we read about Him gathering men to become His disciples, gathering crowds of people to speak to and to perform miracles for, gathering small amounts of fish and bread to miraculously feed thousands of people, and gathering His human sheep to Himself, to name a few. Everything He did was to draw all men to Him so that they could be forgiven of their sins and live with Him forever. Even in His death, there was a gathering of people around Him. Some came as skeptics, some came as judges, some came as mockers, some came to torture, and some came grieving and weeping over the loss of their Savior and friend. History and science document that Jesus didn’t stay in the grave. Angels came and rolled away the stone, and the Spirit of God raised Jesus from the dead. After He walked among the living for forty days, He commanded His disciples to remain in Jerusalem until they would receive the Holy Spirit. Then He ascended into heaven in a cloud.
This death and resurrection of Jesus had been planned and prophesied in the Scrolls of the Old Testament times. When God was ready, He sent Jesus down from heaven to fulfill those prophesies and to gather a following of people who would preach His good news of salvation until He returns again in the same way that He left.
Jesus is coming back in a cloud, and there will be a magnificent gathering of those who love Jesus. “For the Lord himself shall descend from heaven with a shout, with the voice of the archangel, and with the trump of God: and the dead in Christ shall rise; Then we which are alive and remain shall be caught up together with them in the clouds, to meet the Lord in the air: and so shall we ever be with the Lord” (1 Thessalonians 4:16-17, KJV). This great event is what we call the “rapture.”
While we are living in this time of grace, this time of freedom in Christ, we need to be gathering people into the kingdom of God. Hell, a horrible place of torment, awaits those who die in their sins without Christ’s forgiveness—those who have rejected Him and what He has done for them. As believers in Christ, we have been given great power and love through the Holy Spirit, and we need to reach out and show others that Christ loves them so they, too, will be included in the great “rapture” gathering. This was the great command that Jesus gave: “Go ye into all the world, and preach the gospel to every creature. He that believeth and is baptized shall be saved; but he that believeth not shall be damned” (Mark 16:15-16, KJV).
Jesus measures our love for Him by what we do: “He that hath my commandments, and keepeth them, he it is that loveth me … ” (John 14:21, KJV).
The question we need to ask ourselves then is this: Do we love Jesus enough to be gathering souls for Him, or are we content to sit on a shelf collecting saintly dust?
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