The Church Jesus Is Building – Part Seventeen

In the history of the Church we see churches that are birthed believing that saving the lost is the key. Telling others the Gospel of the Kingdom is part of the DNA of the church as it begins, grows, multiplies, and occupies until Jesus returns (xxxx). People are born again, discipled, trained and equipped. They are released and begin to minister to the world in which they live. We see true disciples of Jesus making disciples (Matthew 28:19). It is simply amazing and biblical. 

However, it does not take more than a generation before the zeal for the lost and the call upon every believer to “go into al the world and make disciples” slowly ebbs and eventually disappears. Then we see a church without purpose or passion. 

Eventually, some of the members of the church catch the spark and decide to obey what the Scriptures state and Jesus commands. However, these few who are passionate and even zealous about reaching the lost, the least, and the last are not understood and are not welcomed by the majority in the local church. The majority are comfortable, safe, and secure and do not want to be disturbed mentally, spiritually, physically, or relationally. In their minds things are good and don’t need to be changed.

So, the few who have decided to follow the Lord as His disciples and want to go fishing for men (Mark 4:19) simply move out from the local church and start another one…

Here’s the story…

THE LIGHTHOUSE …

On a dangerous seacoast where shipwrecks often occur there was once a crude little lifesaving station.  The building was just a hut, and there was only one boat, but the few devoted members kept a constant watch over the sea, and with no thought for themselves went out day and night tirelessly searching for the lost.  Many lives were saved by this wonderful little station, so that it became famous.  Some of those who were saved, and various others in the surrounding area, wanted to become associated with the station and give of their time and money and effort for the support of its work.  New boats were bought and new crews trained.  The little lifesaving station grew.

Some of the members of the lifesaving station were unhappy that the build­ing was so crude and poorly equipped.  They felt that a more comfortable place should be provided as the first refuge of those saved from the sea.  So they re­placed the emergency cots with beds and put better furniture in the en­larged building.  Now the lifesaving station became a popular gathering place for its members, and they decorated it beautifully and furnished it exquisitely, because they used it as a sort of club.  Fewer members were now interested in going to sea on lifesaving missions, so they hired lifeboat crews to do this work.  The lifesaving motif still prevailed in this club’s decoration, and there was a liturgical lifeboat in the room where the club initiations were held.  About this time a large ship was wrecked off the coast, and the hired crews brought in boatloads of cold, wet, and half-drowned people.  They were dirty and sick, and some of them had black skin and some had yellow skin.  The beautiful new club was in chaos.  So the property committee immediately had a shower at house built outside the club where victims of shipwreck could be cleaned up before coming inside.

At the next meeting, there was a split in the club membership.  Most of the members wanted to stop the club’s lifesaving activities as being unpleasant and a hindrance to the normal social life of the club.  Some members insisted upon lifesaving as their primary purpose and pointed out that they were still called a lifesaving station.  But they were finally voted down and told that if they wanted to save the lives of all the various kinds of people who were shipwrecked in those waters, they could begin their own lifesaving station down the coast. They did.

As the years went by, the new station experienced the same changes that had occurred in the old.  It evolved into a club, and yet another lifesaving station was founded.  History  continued to repeat itself, and if you visit that sea coast today, you will find a number of exclusive clubs along that shore.  Shipwrecks are frequent in those waters, but most of the people drown!