Purpose is a powerful weapon against fear. What gave thousands of young men the courage to storm the beaches of Normandy on June 6, 1944, also known as D-Day? They were fortified by purpose – to confront and conquer a great evil. In our lives we will find the same truth. When we are living with great purpose, we are filled with courage. If we can remember that time is short and, as Christians, we have been entrusted with a heavenly assignment – to storm the gates of Hell, to win the lost and to set the captives free – this purpose will fill us with courage.
“Little children, it is the last hour” (1 John 2:18). I know it seems that this hour has lasted for a very long time. John wrote those words over nineteen centuries ago. Do not let that observation confuse you. We can be certain of one thing; if it was the last hour then, it most certainly is now! If John were writing today, he probably would write, “Little children, it is the last second of the last minute of the last hour.”
Most people live as if this life were a permanent arrangement. Often, it is only in the face of a crisis or a calamity that they are awakened to the fact that their days are numbered. “A person’s days are determined; you have decreed the number of his months and have set limits he cannot exceed” (Job 14:5).
Our days are numbered. There is actually only time for the important things. I am thinking about the church of Jesus Christ in particular. People often point out that life consists of a thousand details, but the minor must not outweigh the major. The church is to concern itself with one aim; to live on fire for Jesus and campaign for souls. When Scripture proclaims, “It is the last hour,” it truly is. For the message of the Gospel, it is always the last hour. This unique, special doctrine of Scripture is called “imminence.”
Many sit back and relax, thinking that there are still four months to the harvest (John 4:35). If you want to know how a single individual like Paul did so much, read his open letter to the Corinthians. He lived as if the end of all things was at hand, as if the final curtain was always imminent. “But this I say, brethren, the time is short, so that from now on even those who have wives should be as though they had none, those who weep, as though they did not weep, those who rejoice as though they did not rejoice, those who buy as though they did not possess, and those who use this world, as not misusing it. For the form of this world is passing away” (1 Corinthians 7:29-31).
The Gospel is eternal, but we do not have eternity to preach it. It seems as though we have that long when we view the leisurely operations of the church on the gospel front. We have only as long as we live to reach those who live as long as we live. Today, over seven billion souls are alive on this planet. They are not in a future age that will need to be evangelized, but present and living now on earth. It is the last hour.
Luke 21:11 says, “There will be great earthquakes, and in various places famines and pestilences. And there will be terrors and great signs from heaven.” So, what then will we do as the clock races towards the end and chaos, terror, famines and plagues increase in the earth? We can busy ourselves with the fear that the media sells us, focusing inward on frantically preserving our lives and our interests; OR we can busy ourselves with the great commission, focusing outward, forsaking our lives and our interests for the sake of the gospel being preached throughout the earth! We can choose to be paralyzed in fear, or be about the Father’s business, faithfully advancing His kingdom in whichever ways we are able.
Right now, you may not see yourself in a position to do much for the Lord. But that is exactly what the enemy of your soul wants you to believe! Satan would love for the church to believe that the proclamation of the Gospel and the ministry of Jesus Christ is on hold for as long as the Coronavirus is on the move. But that couldn’t be further from the truth! Jesus is always two steps ahead of Satan and three on Sunday. In fact, the advancement of the kingdom of God is only picking up pace!
We have so much more connection right now to our families and loved ones through the modern technologies we have today. Not to mention, many are finding that their schedules have freed up during this period, to allow more time for interpersonal communication and reflection on what matters most to us and to the Lord: people. The field is ripe for harvest! I encourage you to ask the Lord how you can be on active duty in the gospel brigade today. There may be someone sitting under your own roof that needs to know the love of Jesus. There may be a friend or a relative that you haven’t had time to catch up with previously, because of your busy schedules; now is the time for that phone call! Today is the day of salvation!
There are multiple ministries proclaiming the gospel through television and social media and other various connections online, that you can support financially. We here at CfaN need your support! When you give, you reap the same reward as the sower because you enable the seed to be spread, and spread much further than it could ever go without your support. And finally, but most certainly not the least important, you can pray! What a wonderful opportunity to lock yourself away with the Lord for a window of time to seek His face! You can pray for the harvest… “Therefore pray earnestly to the Lord of the harvest to send out laborers into his harvest” (Matthew 9:38). I’m encouraged by the Holy Spirit of this fact; nothing of importance to heaven has ever been put on the back burner. May we be found faithful, not fearful, and may the lamb receive the reward for His suffering.
Source: (adapted from Evangelism by Fire. Pg. 33-36)