"When He saw the multitudes, He was moved with compassion on them, because they fainted, and were scattered abroad, as sheep having no shepherd" (Matt. 9:36). And so, our Lord appointed messengers, and sent them to the people with news of a Shepherd and Savior.
He told them, "When they persecute you in this city, flee ye into another: for verily I say unto you, ye shall not have gone over the cities of Israel, till the Son of Man be come" (Matt. 10:23). There was URGENCY in this commission. So much so that when "he said unto another, Follow Me. But he said, 'Lord, suffer me first to go and bury my father.' Jesus said unto him, 'Let the dead bury their dead: but go thou and preach the kingdom of God'" (Lk. 9:59,60). That's URGENCY!
Yes, I know that Jesus foresaw His death, and fought against this deadline. But the death itself was an important part of His sacrifice for mankind. He died because of the great NEED of mankind for a Savior; and I am persuaded this was the factor that gave such importance to all He said.
He tells us to WATCH: He says that MANY shall follow the way of destruction. Paul says, "Knowing the time, that now it is high time to awake out of sleep: for now is our salvation nearer than when we first believed" (Rom. 13).
We lack URGENCY: We live with a "don't rock the boat' spirit so far as religion is concerned. In fact, if one becomes very much concerned he is likely to be regarded as some sort of nut. It's all right to get worked up over Vietnam, Civil Rights, or even "the great" Clay (not Henry); but millions may march toward Hell, God's church may be ridiculed, His plan for its operation ignored, and we are supposed to "keep calm" and "don't get excited." God's saints LACK URGENCY!
Let me suggest WHY we LACK URGENCY: (1) We do not know the truth. Many are unconcerned over the lost because they do no recognize the lost. Papa surely will go to heaven, My friends are good people - they are not lost. And so we excuse these and those until there are not many going to Hell. We do not know the Savior, as He is revealed in the Word. We do not know His gospel must be obeyed. We do not know of judgment, or of Heaven, or Hell. I mean it is not real, actual, and meaningful to us.
But you say, "O Yes, brother Turner, we know all these things" Then I say (2) we do not believe them. How can we claim to truly believe the Word of God, and remain so lacking in URGENCY? By URGENCY I do not mean wild irresponsibility, running off half-cocked. But I do mean deep concern, that will make each moment important, planning that says NOW is the time.
And if you contend that we do not
believe God's Word, then I will insist (3) we fail to recognize the value, the
fleeting nature of life. James says it is a "vapor, that appeareth for
a little time, and then vanisheth away" (Jas. 4:14). If we really believe
the Word we know we must be ready at all times for the Lord's coming. The faithful
Christian is impelled by a feeling of URGENCY!!
By Robert F. Turner, via, The Jackson Drive News & Notes, No. 23, June 5, 2005.
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