Pastor’s Corner
THE CHURCH: TROOP CARRIER OR LUXURY LINER?
15In the late 1940s the Navy commissioned the building of an 80 million dollar troop carrier. The ship was designed to carry 15,000 troops traveling over 50 mph, easily outrunning any military ships in the world, yet able to go 10,000 miles before refueling. It was completed in 1952 and christened the SS United States. It never carried troops. It was on standby for years.
 
In the 1960s and for the next 17 years it became a luxury liner for presidents, heads of state and wealthy patrons. It was remodeled to carry 2,000 passengers. It carried patrons who expected to be served instead of soldiers who expected to sacrifice. It catered to every desire of the passengers with 695 staterooms, four restaurants, two theaters, five acres of open decks around heated swimming pools and the comfort of the worlds’ first fully air-conditioned passenger ship.
 
The SS United States was designed to transport and prepare troops to engage in battle for the liberty of others. The church was designed to transport people into battle, to engage them in Christ’s mission to save people from the bondage of sin. Sadly, the church has often been turned into a luxury liner instead of a troop carrier, with its focus on the comforts of Christians rather than the battle for souls.
 
Jesus has called us to battle. He tells us not to fear losing our lives in testifying of Him and encourages us by telling us that dying for Him is actually gain (Matt 10:28- 31,37-38). How can a church keep from turning into a luxury liner. The early church prayed desperately for the Lord to enable them to carry out His mission in telling others about Him. He answered their pray- ers. He used them greatly in personal evangelism and in sending out missionar- ies to spread the gospel (Acts 4:26-31; 13:1-4.)
 
We must pray desperately and daily for God to deliver us from a passenger mentality, to use us to tell others about Christ. Ask Him to work through the sermons from Acts in the next two months to stir our hearts to His mission. Ask His forgiveness for self-focused living, evidenced by waiting for our desires to be met before we serve Christ. Ask God to save people, not just satisfy us. Dive into the battle for souls by getting involved in reaching chil- dren, youth, and adults in the various min- istries at Grace. Pray for God’s heart to save sinners and a willingness to tell them anywhere, anytime.
 
“The Lord looked with compassion on the crowds. . . then He said to His disciples, ‘The harvest is plentiful, but the workers are few. Therefore beseech the Lord of the harvest to send out workers into His harvest.” We have an eternity of comfort awaiting us, while the lost have an eternity of misery! May God move us to use our brief time on earth to make Christ known to them. Jesus WILL use us, if we pray and obey.
 
Your fellow passenger . . . NO! I mean soldier,
Pastor John