As Christians, we are all called. Some of us are or may one day be called to be a doctor, preacher, do some voluntary work in a foreign land. But as Christians we all have a calling in common:
ye shall receive power, after that the Holy Ghost is come upon you: and ye shall be witnesses unto me both in Jerusalem, and in all Judaea, and in Samaria, and unto the uttermost part of the earth.
At first I was only planning to focus on this verse in Acts but I love how the next verse says:
And when he had spoken these things, while they beheld, he was taken up; and a cloud received him out of their sight. [Acts 1:9]
It gives me the imagery that Jesus is chilling in Heaven hoping that His servants are obeying His last command. Okay, I’m sure He already knows who his faithful ones are.
I also loved this is because that verse immediately reminded me of a parable Jesus gave in Mathew 25:1-13:
Then shall the kingdom of heaven be likened unto ten virgins, which took their lamps, and went forth to meet the bridegroom.
2And five of them were wise, and fivewerefoolish.
3They thatwerefoolish took their lamps, and took no oil with them:
4But the wise took oil in their vessels with their lamps.
5While the bridegroom tarried, they all slumbered and slept.
6And at midnight there was a cry made, Behold, the bridegroom cometh; go ye out to meet him.
7Then all those virgins arose, and trimmed their lamps.
8And the foolish said unto the wise, Give us of your oil; for our lamps are gone out.
9But the wise answered, saying,Not so;lest there be not enough for us and you: but go ye rather to them that sell, and buy for yourselves.
10And while they went to buy, the bridegroom came; and they that were ready went in with him to the marriage: and the door was shut.
11Afterward came also the other virgins, saying, Lord, Lord, open to us.
12But he answered and said, Verily I say unto you, I know you not.
13Watch therefore, for ye know neither the day nor the hour wherein the Son of man cometh.
It may have seemed a little selfish that the wise refuse to share their oils. But this parable illustrates; personal faith, repentance, personal holiness, personal service and preparedness.
If you use Thayer’s Greek Definitions when using the lexicons, the word ‘watch’ on verse 13 [G1127] metaphorically means: Give strict attention, be cautious and active.
We should be like the wise virgins being active and prepared for our bridegroom.
A couple of years ago I read another passage which really hit me. I always remembered it, just couldn’t remember where I read it. But I just happen to have found it last night. It’s Ezekiel 3:17-21:
17 Son of man, I have made thee a watchman unto the house of Israel: therefore hear the word at my mouth, and give them warning from me.
18 When I say unto the wicked, Thou shalt surely die; and thou givest him not warning, nor speakest to warn the wicked from his wicked way, to save his life; the same wicked man shall die in his iniquity; but his blood will I require at thine hand.
19 Yet if thou warn the wicked, and he turn not from his wickedness, nor from his wicked way, he shall die in his iniquity; but thou hast delivered thy soul.
20 Again, When a righteous man doth turn from his righteousness, and commit iniquity, and I lay a stumblingblock before him, he shall die: because thou hast not given him warning, he shall die in his sin, and his righteousness which he hath done shall not be remembered; but his blood will I require at thine hand.
21 Nevertheless if thou warn the righteous man, that the righteous sin not, and he doth not sin, he shall surely live, because he is warned; also thou hast delivered thy soul.
Doesn’t this passage worry you at all? If we simply choose not to evangelise, and not talk to a person who’s living in darkness knows not about the forgiveness of all our iniquities through Jesus Christ, when they die, the blood is in our hands! OUCH! TOUCHÉ!
Even as I was preparing this, I realised that verse 20 means that even Christians today need to warn each other if they fall back into sin! It is so easy to fall back into what seems like a ‘petty sin’ for us and think that God won’t think much of it because we repented from the ‘larger sins’ that society does.
Let us look at Isaiah quickly before he stands before God’s holiness: Isaiah 3-5
Isa 3:9 Woe unto their soul! For they have rewarded evil unto themselves.
Isa 3:11 Woe unto the wicked
Isa 5:8 Woe unto them that join house to house
Isa 5:11 Woe unto them that rise up early in the morning, that they may follow strong drink
Isa 5:18 Woe unto them that draw iniquity with cords of vanity
Isa 5:20 Woe unto them that call evil good, and good evil;
Isa 5:21 Woe unto them that are wise in their own eyes
Isa 5:22 Woe unto them that are mighty to drink wine
Then Isaiah sees the Lord sitting in his throne when a seraphim cries, “Holy, holy, holy, is the LORD of Hosts”. [Isa 6:1-3] At which point Isaiah realises: “Woe is me!” [Isa 6:5]
It’s so easy to see ourselves as Holy when comparing ourselves to the rest that know not the LORD, and turn a blind eye on the unrighteousness that we commit.
Back to Ezekiel’s passage, we better get to work.
Let’s finish with a Proverb:
Proverbs 11:30 (KJV)
The fruit of the righteous is a tree of life; and he that winneth souls is wise.
Hope you enjoyed this short Bible Study and God Bless you all.