Borrowed Truths

Are You Sure

Picture of Borrowed Truths

Are You Sure

Henry was a great guy, a good man. He had lived and worked in the same small town for many decades, attending the same church his parents and his wife’s parents had gone to. He had worked for the same company since his departure from the Armed Forces, and, after a well-attended retirement party with many friends and co-workers, he enjoyed a leisurely life. The two part-time jobs he accepted in his elderly years were more for the enjoyment of people and their company than the money, helping out at the local hardware store a couple of days a week, even being a sort of doorman-sympathizer at the funeral home.

Henry always dressed well, his hair was properly combed even when taking out the garbage or mowing the yard. Since he had attended the same church for so long, he was voted in as an elder, and, though on very rare occasions, even lead the men’s weekly evening bible study.

A member of the local Legion club, Henry could be found on every fourth of July and flag day helping to put the flags out at the courthouse, marching in the small towns local parade with his well worn uniform on, and on Easter morning, after the church’s morning service, watching the small children find the colored eggs that he had helped place there the evening before. Henry was a good man.

The eulogy for this man’s funeral took the normal amount of time and was well attended. There were tears, fond greetings of friends long not seen, then the small sandwiches and farewells, with promises to keep in touch came to an end and everyone went their separate ways.

But what new home did Henry arrive at three days earlier, just moments after his soul left his earthly temple and he opened his eyes again. Henry was a good man in the eyes of the world, so why was there an almost twilight darkness awaiting him when he first looked through his new eyes, eyes that no longer needed glasses, what where these distant screams and sorrowful wailings, and why was it so hot.

As an elder in the long-attended church, Henry knew what his responsibilities were, they were quite clear in 1st and 2nd Timothy and the book of Titus, yet he had always felt that that was the pastor’s place. He believed that making sure the chairs were placed properly, that the cookies were ready for the occasional after sermon fellowship and being on the finance committee were just as important. It was the pastor’s job to lead, console, and be the spiritual head of the church, and, after all, he had made sure to say hello to almost everyone on Sunday morning and even shake their hands. Asking people at church about what they thought about the current weather was easier than asking how he could pray for them, and, in Henry’s mind, a lot less ‘pushy’.

Some of the folks at Henry’s funeral that had known and worked with him, in small groups and very discreetly, spoke of the times over the many years that they had brought up in normal conversation the Scriptures, how God was working in their lives, but they could not recall any time that Henry had initiated any of these talks. In fact, when they had spoke about the wonderful mercy and grace of God, Henry would politely excuse himself, or just quietly stand there amongst them.

Henry had, he thought, a personal relationship with God, and he had always kept it just that, personal. It was not his place to shove Jesus down people’s throat, thinking always that the way he dressed, his demeaner and his example were enough. If people spoke at all to him on the matters of the Word of God, he would simply invite them to church.

He had never sought out the unsaved for the Glory of God, his spirit had never been brought to tears over the lost that were heading for the same place he now was. He had not edified anyone that he could remember in the body of Christ, had never corrected or re-proved a brother in Christ in love, helping them to repent and seek the face of God again. He had never given tough truth’s in deep love, had not lifted up the name of Jesus to the lost, had never truly cried in his spirit to be an obedient servant.

Henry was a good man. 

You know Henry, you have met him, or her, you may even be this person. I cannot, nor will I attempt to, judge anyone in this area, it is God that judge’s a man’s heart. (Rom. 2:1-11) The word of God speaks quite clearly on these matters: “No man when he hath lighted a candle, puts it in a secret place…”(Luke 11:33)  “For though I preach the Gospel, I have nothing to glory of; for necessity is laid upon me; yea, woe is unto me if I preach not the Gospel.” (1st Cor. 9:16) “But sanctify the Lord God in your hearts; and be ready always to give an answer to every man that asks you a reason of the hope that is in you with meekness and fear.” (1st Peter 3:15) “And He said unto them, Go ye into all the world, and preach the Gospel to every creature.” (Mark 16:15-16) “On that day many will say to Me…” (Matt. 7:22)

There are many, many places in the Scriptures that command us to be not only examples, but to open our mouths and speak the truth of God’s word as the Holy Spirit leads us. “For I am not ashamed of the Gospel of Christ…” (Rom. 1:16) Do not be ashamed, do not be afraid, do not seek the praise of men, do not be Henry.

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