Everything and everyone currently seems to be on “urgent.” It is urgent that we keep 2 meters distance between us. It is urgent that we self-isolate to slow down the spread of Covid-19. It is urgent not to be in groups bigger than 50 or 5 or 2 depending where you live. Because of the impending death toll from this virus everything – even the small details of daily life – have taken on an urgent edge.
It is interesting to me that this sense of urgency has not existed within the Church. It does now. After all, our church finances are taking a hit if we cannot come together as a family. So, it is urgent that we get our Sunday message up on line on Facebook Live or one of the many other ways to have an on-line presence. It is urgent we stay visible because otherwise it is “out of sight and out of mind” and we will have an urgent financial crisis.
But, may I ask, where is the urgency when it comes to getting the message of the Gospel of the Kingdom out there so that it is heard. If we expect the death rate from this Coronavirus to keep climbing should we not have a sense of urgency to get our message out there. Even without the impending doom of high fatalities due to Covid-19 should we not have a sense of urgency that compelling us to share the Gospel.
Paul, Peter, James, John, and even Jude all use urgent language to help us understand how vital and pressing our mission before God is:
JESUS: “We must work the works of him who sent me while it is day; night is coming, when no one can work” (John 9:4)
PAUL: “This is what I mean, brothers: the appointed time has grown very short. From now on, let those who have wives live as though they had none …and those who deal with the world as though they had no dealings with it. For the present form of this world is passing away.” (2 Corinthians 7:29, 31)
JAMES: “So whoever knows the right thing to do and fails to do it, for him it is sin” (James 4:17)
PETER: “You ought to live holy and godly lives as you look forward to the day of God and speed it’s coming” (2 Peter 3:11b-12a)
JOHN: “By this we know love, that he laid down his life for us, and we ought to lay down our lives for the brothers. Little children, let us not love in word or talk but in deed and in truth” (1 John 3:16, 18)
JUDE: “Beloved, although I was very eager to write to you about our common salvation, I found it necessary to write appealing to you to contend for the faith that was once for all delivered to the saints” (Jude 3)
If you are in Christ, you aren’t just saved; you are enlisted. You have been called into a tremendously important work – an urgent work – and there’s no time to lose.
A football player doesn’t worry about mowing his lawn the morning of the Super Bowl
A bride doesn’t blow off her wedding to watch a sitcom
A fireman doesn’t finish his sandwich when a building blows up
They all have more urgent things to do
That’s the attitude we need in the Kingdom of God. What every believer is doing is crucially important. Because our message is so precious, because the Holy Spirit within us is so powerful, and because the work of building God’s Kingdom is so necessary, we don’t have time to waste.
Jesus told His disciples, “As the Father has sent me, I am sending you” (John 20:21). The classic Christian writer Andrew Murray wrote: “The Lord gave Himself entirely and undecidedly over to accomplish His work; He lived for it alone … As with Jesus, so with us. Christ’s mission is the only reason for our being on earth …When I believe this, and like my Lord in His mission consecrate myself undecidedly to it, shall I indeed live well-pleasing to Him.”
Too many think our salvation is all about us – personal peace, assurance, happiness, and security. One of the greater needs in the church today is more workers. Not just believers. Not just church attenders. Not even tithers. It is workers, those who believe that to be saved isn’t to wait for heaven but to get busy bringing heaven’s presence and authority to this present earth as ambassadors for Christ.