With each new person we meet, we must first determine one thing, are they saved, are they one of our brothers and sisters in Christ, or are they still under the wrath of God. We cannot save anyone, we can only show them the truths of the Scriptures, we can only lead them to the cross, from there the decision is entirely theirs, but we must not shirk our responsibilities in this area, for we are ambassadors to the kingdom. We may be cleverly disguised as plumbers, seamstresses, police officers, and housewives, but we are first and foremost sent out ones, all else is secondary.
The main reason that we are to study to show ourselves approved is so that we can give an account, (1 Peter 3:15) our personal growth in Christ is received by us only as He wills us to grow, we are not computer hardware drives that software systems are simply added into and then all knowledge of those systems are now easily accessed. “Wherefore, my beloved, as ye have always obeyed, not as in my presence only, but now much more in my absence, work out your own salvation with fear and trembling.” (Phil. 2:12) “In your patience possess ye your souls.” (Luke 21:19) This means homework, something the vast majority of believers seem to have forgotten, and instead seek for growth in the grace, mercy, and knowledge of the Lord in their one hour a week Sunday morning obligation.
I firmly believe that our Lord uses those who truly want to be used, those who truly follow along with what He said to David and David’s response. “When thou saidst, Seek ye my face; my heart said unto thee, Thy face, LORD, will I seek.” (Psalm 27:8) There is an epic adventure waiting for all who will but seek Him, truly seek the Lord, those who seek with every fiber of their being nothing more than Christ, those who understand that “For of him, and through him, and to him, are all things: to whom be glory for ever. Amen.” (Romans 11:36) And so only in Him we can find the fullness of all that is.
When a man slowly begins to be blessed by the Lord to be on this journey, he soon finds that nothing of this world, not even the desires and passions of his own self hold any more value, all is in Christ and all is for Christ, for in Christ are all things. The world, even his closest friends, dare I say even his spouse will begin to see this man as someone else, as a person who is rock constant yet ever changing, ever growing, less of the world and even self, the man is crucified with Christ. It is the reason they become adamant, and it is the reason that the lost, and even many that have known him for years, even in the church setting, will begin to view him as contentious, for this man now says, “Thus saith the Lord.”
Those who have no desire for this path will begin to view him as an outsider, as too strict to the Scriptures, they will not see reproof as love, they will not call his wounds faithful, (Prov. 27:6) he will be ostracized. My friends, if you are called by Christ to set your face like a flint, (Isaiah 50:7) to go apart from the crowd with Jesus and with Him alone, you will begin an adventure that will last far beyond this life, you will know the fellowship of His sufferings, (Phil. 3:10) perhaps not in the flesh, though that may be His will, but most definitely in your spirit. The old man (Romans 6:6) inside will continuously call for your return, you will, at many times be torn apart.
Here is the wisdom of the saints, here is where we are shown that not only were men of God set for an example in the past, but where we can, and will, be used as an example for others. “Then I said, I will not make mention of him, nor speak any more in his name. But his word was in mine heart as a burning fire shut up in my bones, and I was weary with forbearing, and I could not stay.” (Jer. 20:9) This is the reason for the opening statement of this letter to you, this is why at times, if the Lord so desires to bless you, you will meet these men, they are adamant, they are driven, and sadly, many of you will hate them, for they will show you the truth. (Amos 5:10)
When we first meet a person, we must determine only one of two things, do they know Jesus Christ as Lord, or are they still lost. Their place and position in the world, their family ties, even their emotional context for the moment is immaterial, if they do not know Christ as Lord, none of that will matter, the temporary can be dealt with after the eternal is first addressed. If the Lord did not have something to say to them they would not be standing in front of you, you are the only Bible some people will ever read, you are an ambassador of the kingdom of heaven, you have been sent here for a purpose, and that purpose goes far beyond your own personal walk with Christ.
Set your face like a flint, asked to be used, prepare to serve fully, do not be one of the billions upon billions of souls that will one day say, “I wish I would have.”