“The gospel is only good news if it gets there in time.”
― Carl F. H. Henry
We have been privileged and blessed as a church fellowship this weekend to have Simon Guillebaud come and speak to us for our Kingdom Weekend when we focus on missions both near and far.
Simon has been a missionary in Burundi and shared his story of how God took him to that African nation and the incredible way that God has used him and his fellow believers in that country to show the love of God and salvation through faith in Jesus.
Simon came with the purpose of stirring our faith and exhorting us as believers in Christ to share the Good News that we have received wherever God has called and appointed us to be His witnesses. He warned against the dangers of apathy and other distractions of life which can interfere with our sense of urgency to share the Good News.
Simon’s teaching this morning was from the passage in Romans 10 verses 9-15
“If you declare with your mouth, “Jesus is Lord,” and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead, you will be saved. 10 For it is with your heart that you believe and are justified, and it is with your mouth that you profess your faith and are saved. 11 As Scripture says, “Anyone who believes in him will never be put to shame.” 12 For there is no difference between Jew and Gentile—the same Lord is Lord of all and richly blesses all who call on him, 13 for, “Everyone who calls on the name of the Lord will be saved.”
14 How, then, can they call on the one they have not believed in? And how can they believe in the one of whom they have not heard? And how can they hear without someone preaching to them? 15 And how can anyone preach unless they are sent? As it is written: “How beautiful are the feet of those who bring good news!”
So fellow believers in Christ how wonderful it is that we are the bearers of Good News but as Simon reminded us today as Carl F.H. Henry said: “The gospel is only good news if it gets there in time.“
I have an encouraging testimony to share with you about how the Lord answered our prayer for the Good News to be given in time for someone. My friend’s son was diagnosed with terminal cancer just before Christmas last year. He has undergone much chemotherapy and is now on his second course but the Consultants have told him that it is terminal and he does not have much time left. We have prayed for him that he will hear and receive the Good News of salvation before it is too late. My friend has shared the gospel with her son but sometimes with family they won’t really “hear” what you say to them. I am sure if you have family who are not saved then you can identify with that.
We had been praying that the Lord would put someone else across his path. He lives hundreds of miles away from us. Last week the Lord answered those prayers. During a visit to the hospital a man (a complete stranger) asked my friend’s son if he had faith and then proceeded to share Jesus with him and why he needed salvation. Wow – thank the Lord that this man who we do not know was faithful and obedient to share the good news and that the message “got there in time“. My friend’s son called his Mum to tell her about this and we now pray that he will respond – our responsibility is to be obedient to share our faith but it is for the person who hears to respond. We cannot do that part for them but we continue to pray that the Holy Spirit will convict him, his heart will be softened and he will call on the Lord and be saved.
Lord today I pray that those who need to hear the message of salvation, the Good News will hear it and receive it in time. Stir our hearts with a sense of urgency our dear Lord and Father to share the good news when we have opportunity to do so. Thank you Jesus for the privilege of being co-workers for your Kingdom. Amen