Summary: This is no time for any man of God or serious Christian to be shy, hesitant, compromising, or half-hearted in our commission from the Lord Jesus Christ to go out into the world and preach His gospel. Today is the day to be bold for the kingdom of God.
Fellow preachers and servants in Christ, I must admit that it seems as if we are proclaiming the truth of the Gospel to stone walls these days. I have never seen such indifference and apathy in people concerning the state of their souls as I do now. We see and hear of so-called "believers" walking away from the faith they had claimed to possess and defend. Due to the "pandemic" and its aftermath, churches are either being threatened to shut down, face arrest or be forced to pay ridiculous fines that the government does not seem to place on bars, strip joints, stores, and other public places. Even the best and boldest of us are wearing thin in our work for the kingdom of God and just as the Bible states, we are being wearied by the continual onslaught of the world's evil and maliciousness that comes from all directions. The hatred towards the Lord Jesus and us is growing every minute here in America and around the world. I have been watching pastors and concerned believers talk about the certainty of meeting in secret from now on due to rising government and local persecution and harassment. Those of us who are awaiting the "Blessed Hope" (1 Thessalonians 4:13-18) are being bullied and berated by some brethren who get almost apoplectic when you mention the word "rapture". They are ready to verbally go to war with you if you even so much as want to discuss the event, let alone being prepared for that inevitable day (Romans 10:9-10) or the day when you quit breathing and assume room temperature (Hebrews 9:27).
Let us put differences of prophetic interpretation aside for a moment and reevaluate where we have come from, what is happening now, and what needs to be done in spite of the rampant evil that is swallowing the world. Go back to the beginning and remember who you were before the Lord Jesus saved you. What were you like? A literal hell-raiser, or a quiet skeptic, or a garden variety pagan who believed that you were "good enough" to enter the portals of heaven when you died? Think what would have happened to you if someone had been too lazy or afraid to tell you about Jesus. Think on what would have happened if you had not gone with that friend or family member to the church service, youth group meeting, revival, home Bible study, or even the incident that got you to consider what would happen to you after you died and were not ready (Luke 12:13-21). Look back on the way that the LORD graciously called you to come to Him for true peace and rest (Matthew 11:28-30; John 10:28-30). Have you forgotten the joy, amazement, gratitude, or maybe the tears of repentance and relief you shed when you knew that your sins were wiped away, never to be remembered by God ever again (Psalm 103:8-12). Has the work of the LORD taken you away from the LORD of the work, like the church at Ephesus (Revelation 2:1-7)?
We are fallible, imperfect, and limited in our strengths and abilities, brethren. Why do we feel we have to put a superhero suit on every day and do a million things in the name of "ministry", when the most important thing we should ever do as men of God is to spend time with the Author of the Word, studying and meditating upon it? We need to recapture the wonder and awe of being in the presence of the Holy, Sovereign, King of Kings, and not worry about the meetings or other considerations. Get back in touch with the wife and children who love you and stick with you in spite of it all. Approach the King (Hebrews 4:14-16) today, ask Him to forgive you of becoming indifferent, angry, apathetic, and unfocused on your true calling, and that is to win souls for the kingdom. Giving the blessing over the green bean casseroles at the monthly senior luncheon can be done by someone else. You need to get back with God and His infallible, all-sufficient Word (2 Timothy 2:15, 3:16-17) and your family.
By the way, ministry can be defined in a variety of ways, and that reality had to hit me like a ton of bricks, along with the insight of the love of my life for nearly forty years. She told me that my talent lay in teaching and writing, and I am glad that I finally got around to seeing her point of view and wisdom after all these years. I kick myself mentally for not listening to the LORD as I ought to have at times, but I cannot redo the past, and neither can you (Philippians 3:12-14). Now, I do like to stand before a congregation or classroom and present the truth of God's Word and the salvation provided in Christ, and the churches I have served in the past, save for one, I loved and did my best to serve them as a loving pastor should, but it was not what was intended for me, and I dragged my poor family along for the journey, oblivious at times to their feelings and concerns. So, what I have written here is from a life of both graciousness and grief, and I thank the LORD that He saw fit to use me when I behaved like a mule that needed to learn not to kick against a goad (Acts 9:5). My health plays a role in what I do for the LORD from now on, and it seems that with writing and the occasional opportunity to teach the Word, I have found my niche.