Saturday, June 22, 2024
Saturday, June 22, 2024
HomeAll The NewsSTAND FIRM: Overcoming Because of Purpose

STAND FIRM: Overcoming Because of Purpose

One of the main things I have spoken on and written about since launching Stand Firm is that we need to be spiritually prepared for the challenges of the faith now and in the future. Usually when I have written that or said that the intention was to encourage the reader or the audience to be prepared so they would not waver in their faith — they wouldn’t be overtaken in the collapse of things to come. We all do need to lean into that warning, but there’s another component of the admonishment to be ready.

I recently learned how to articulate it from a friend who served in Operation Enduring Freedom. He told me that while serving in Afghanistan, he had to be ready all the time in case a firefight broke out. Initially, I would think so he could survive to shoot out, but it was the opposite. He told me the firefights typically only lasted a few minutes, so if anyone was not ready, they missed the action. If they weren’t near their gun or station, they missed being able to help their fellow soldiers. They missed carrying out their mission.

Hearing this put a whole new spin on the idea of being spiritually prepared for me. As believers, we want to share what we have with others. We want them to come to know Jesus like we do and to follow Him. Statistically, believers don’t follow through with this much, but I believe every true believer should desire that.

Sharing the gospel and making disciples isn’t easy at any time, but God often uses difficult situations to bring people to trust in Him. So, the everyday collapses in people’s lives and eventually the last days collapses aren’t just pivotal forks in the road of one’s faith, they’re opportunities for the believer to get in the action. It is an opportunity to carry out their mission. It is an opportunity to share the gospel with a higher potential that someone would come to Christ.

So, as everyday “collapses” come and as those of the last days loom for that generation, not only are these difficulties we must overcome, but they’re opportunities to help others come to Christ. One of the most effective ministries of the Southern Baptist Convention has been their Disaster Relief ministry. They are “ready” when disaster strikes, and they are there to not only physically help those facing those trials but also to share the gospel with them. Our churches rose to the occasion recently, meeting the needs of those impacted by the Little Rock tornado. 

I’ve heard from missionaries that they find that it isn’t until someone they have built a relationship faces a trial, that the person is receptive to the gospel. I’m learning this myself as we try to use foreign mission principles in our church plant in Pea Ridge. Though we may work for months to share with someone, when a hard time comes, they often then come to us and ask why we’re able to walk through such trials. It is in the smoke and rubble of that life collapse that they’re finally open to hearing the gospel.

Being spiritually prepared isn’t just about “surviving with our faith intact.” It is an opportunity to carry out that mission?

Author, Joel Richardson, has a book, The Mystery of Castrophe, that is incredible in understanding this principle. He writes with a missionary from the Balkans who was there during the civil war in the 1990s. This war created a huge refugee crisis. It was a collapse, but the missionary team that was “spiritually prepared” was able to rise to the occasion and minister to those in need.

As scary as some of the details of the last days is for the generation that will face them, on the other side there will also be the greatest opportunity to share the gospel. The greatest challenge for believers will, in return, be the potential for the greatest heroics of the church.

That is the same for any “collapse.” If we face a crisis in our nation, it will be difficult, but it will also be an incredible opportunity to share Christ. This possibility should transform our thinking in regard to tragedy.

Maybe we need to start thinking about my veteran friend who wasn’t afraid of the firefight but was afraid of missing out on the action. Using that same illustration, my friend couldn’t be ready to carry out his mission if he hadn’t already been preparing. In peace time, he prepared to be a soldier that could carry out that mission. We must do the same thing. When a crisis comes isn’t the time we begin to learn how to remain faithful in difficulty or begin to learn to share our faith. If we do, we will miss out; but if we prepare now and make those things a habit now, we then can rise to the opportunity when it comes.

I’ve mentioned a conference I’m a part of called, “The Collapse of Everything Conference” the past couple of articles. We’re doing these around the country and we’re encouraging people by sharing the purpose behind the events of the last days and leading up to that time. A big part of that purpose is what I just shared. It is an opportunity for more to be saved. Our next stop is in Springdale, and I’d love for you to join us in Springdale at the Jones Center on July 29. You get 25% off on registration with the code #IKNOWJAKE and the first 15 pastors are free with the code #BMAPASTOR. To register, go to lastdaysovercomer.org/events.

— Jake is the newest state missionary and would love to share about the work in Northwest Arkansas and encourage your church to stand firm. (standfirmministries.com)

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