For the Son of Man came to seek and to save the lost.
Luke 19:10

Wednesday, March 3, 2010

Sick or Healthy?

Ross Vanstone, is a commended worker from Portage, Manitoba. He wouldn't tell you this - but he is one of the founding fathers, if not the founder, of Seed Sowers International. He has been active in blazing new Gospel trails in places like Nicaragua and Panama. Currently he is spreading the good seed from city to city in Texas. His stirring article below has been published as a tract by the American Tract Society.


Things have changed since John the Baptist had his head severed for being faithful and the Christians were fed to lions; since Martin Luther nailed his thesis to the wall and Adoniram Judson watched his wife die onboard the ship before throwing her overboard to the sharks. The downward spiral has continued since Hudson Taylor buried his three preteen children and two wives in Chinese soil and since the years David Livingstone walked and paddled his 20,000 kilometers on the African Continent. Still, after Jim Elliot and his four comrades felt the points of the South American spears, western Christianity (1) has continued it’s facelift. I shudder to write more. This one hurts. Since the night the Man of Calvary won my heart and I pledged allegiance to the King, this virus has wormed it’s way into me too. Sadly, there is no longer much left to change! We have hit bottom. The Father is disappointed and the Son feels betrayed. The Devil and his team are gleeful! Saints die with regret and sinners awaken in fire.

The Diagnosis?
Ephesus Influenza has left most with a chill. The healthy “first love” of many believers has been stricken with Demas Syndrome. Laodicean Disease has taken a high toll on others. 

We appear in church but rarely in the Holy of Holies. 
We say prayers but seldom talk to God. 
We have fun at church yet agonize over markets. 
We buy pews to comfort the Christians
and disdain preaching that challenges the conscience. 
We judge what we see in others
yet are blind to our own failures. 
We insist on costly apparel and yet run naked before God. 
We surf the worldwide web for hours
but only glance at the Book that spans the ages. 
We no longer look for a city whose Builder and Maker is God.
We stack the “dikes” to preserve the ones we are in. 
The glories of this world’s passing kingdoms
outshine that of the kingdom that has no end. 
The value of silver has trumped the value of a soul. 
The Christian’s ease, even just for a season, 
is an acceptable tradeoff for the eternal torment of the lost.
Instead of “What, Lord?” it’s “Not me, Lord!” 
In fact, we seldom need to respond
because we don’t hear Him call.
The Symptoms? (2)
There is a remedy! God’s grace is as amazing now as when the Alpha and Omega walked among the churches. His love for this world is as passionate as ever. His desire to pluck brands from the burnings is as hot as the day a thief heard, “Today”! His Spirit convicts like He always has. He still gives eternal life to those who believe. He continues to convert Saul’s to Paul’s. He remains exactly the same today as yesterday. And He still runs and hugs! The servant is still at the basin to wipe the muck from the prodigal’s feet. The ring of acceptance still blinds with brightness. The freshly cooked veal has never smelled better! The band still plays! (3)

Yes, there is still joy in the presence of the angels of God over one sinner that repents!
Or one saint!

Aren’t you glad that it wasn’t God that changed?

(1) This was written with the awareness that some are still dying for the name of Christ.
(2)  If you think the symptoms are over exaggerated you might have all three disease. Consult the Great Physician today.
(3) If you don’t appreciate the band it’s maybe because you have never heard it play.

Submitted by Ross Vanstone as requested.

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