July 31, 2009

by Shawn Brasseaux

The other day, my mom and I visited some of her Christian friends that she has known for decades. The last time I saw these three women was many years ago, when I was just a small boy. (By the way, one of these women led my parents to the Lord nearly 30 years ago). At that time, we all attended the same local church. As you might recall from previous articles, I mentioned there was a huge church split, and many of the congregants were hurt by it. My family was also hurt, as was these ladies’ families, so that made it awkward to visit them all those years. Still, all these years later, it is sad because these dear friends and saints are growing elderly, closer to be with the Lord.

All three of these Christians were uplifted by our visit—mom and I were also thrilled to see them and fellowship with them. All three sisters in Christ have their own struggles. One of these ladies has to endure being an outcast of her self-righteous family. The second Christian sister is very frail and handicapped and must use a walker to get around. Sadly, the last Christian woman has a son whose dishonorable lifestyle is causing her much heartache. How it is very difficult to see these Christian brethren in such troubling circumstances. All we can do is pray for them, but how we wish we could do more. Certainly, the Lord’s heart is deeply moved to see them suffering, but “His grace is sufficient for us” (2 Corinthians 12:9,10). I kept telling these dear saints that God’s grace is sufficient.

The Lord Jesus Christ never grew to be an old man. He died at age 33! However, the Lord knows how our elderly world feels. We grow old and die because of the curse (Romans 8:18-23; 2 Corinthians 4:16-18). Recently, I was discussing with an older Christian in the Lord, how death is working in us from the day we are born. The instant a child is conceived in the womb, he or she already has death in his or her “members.” King David wrote in Psalm 51:5 KJV: “Behold, I was shapen in iniquity; and in sin did my mother conceive me.”

The Apostle Paul wrote to the Corinthians believers: “For which cause we faint not; but though our outward man perish, yet the inward man is renewed day by day” (2 Corinthians 4:16 KJV). Our “outward man” is dying as we speak; our bodies are gradually growing older. It sounds depressing, but take another look at the last portion of the verse. Remember the “inner man” that we discussed some months back, and how God is more concerned with our inner man (soul and spirit) than our outer man (physical body)? According to Romans 8:18-25, 1 Corinthians 15:51-55, Ephesians 4:30, and Philippians 3:20,21, God will one day resurrect and redeem these corrupted physical bodies, and give us Christians new glorified bodies that will last forever! Right now, God wants to deal with those parts of us that He has already redeemed—our soul and spirit, our inner man. These physical bodies are not meant to last forever; our spiritual bodies are!

Look at 2 Corinthians 5:1 KJV: “For we know that if our earthly house of this tabernacle were dissolved, we have a building of God, an house not made with hands, eternal in the heavens.” Our old temporary physical body (the “tabernacle”) will die if the Lord tarries, but we as believers in Jesus Christ we will have eternal resurrected body one day!

Our concern now is to serve the Lord Jesus Christ in this present moment. The dear souls who need to hear the Gospel of Grace will not be here forever, and we will not be here forever either. Thus, the Bible says that we need to “redeem the time” (Ephesians 5:15-17; Colossians 4:5). We need to buy up the time for God’s glory… while we still have time to buy up the time!

This is why we need to take advantage of the strength and agility that we have now as able-bodied people. Some Christians wait until they are well into their years to do anything—instead they become unable to move due to old age. They cannot get out of the house and witness. They are confined to nursing homes; some of them, sadly, develop Alzheimer’s disease and cannot remember the Scriptures anymore. Some older Christians seem to give up at the end, with the opinion that “I am too old for the Lord to use!” Nope, beloved, the Lord can still work mightily in us, whether we are 10 years old or 110 years old.

My purpose is not to discourage you with this information. If you are a Christian young man or woman, or any able-bodied Christian for that matter, wake up! Get involved with the Lord’s work while you still have time and while you have all that energy! Do not wait until your latter years to decide to serve the Lord, because you will regret that (older Christians have told me that is exactly how they feel). While your mind is still quick and able to process information quickly, you need to learn as much sound Bible doctrine as you can. That way, you can have a lot of Bible information when someone asks for it.

Study God’s Word, the King James Bible, rightly divided, and be willing to share God’s Word with those with whom you come into contact. You do not necessarily have to preach on street corners—just take advantage of opportunities to witness during everyday living. Learn as much Scripture as you can, so you can be ready when the person approached you with a question. Take advantage of your agility!