He was, He is and He always shall be. The Trinity, the Triune God was, is and ever shall be. They were, They are and They always shall be. They existed before time as we know it, They are alive today and They always shall be. Two are in heaven, One abides in us. Together, They planned what was, what is and what is to come. God’s spoken and written words are infallible, inerrant and immutable. Their plans are unchangeable. They are the Author and the Finisher of our faith. As it is written, so it was, so it is and so it will be. What we believe does not and cannot change what was, what is and what will be. What we believe will only determine our part in it and where we spend our eternity. They are immovable and unstoppable. They are coming back and nothing or no one can stop them. Our part is to believe Their story, tell Their story and live rejoicing every day because of Their story. We, as Christians, have the one and the only true story and true hope. History has confirmed the truth of Their story over and over. 8 “I am the Alpha and the Omega—the beginning and the end,” says the Lord God. “I am the one who is, who always was, and who is still to come—the Almighty One.” – –The Revelation of Jesus Christ to John the Baptist 1:8 NLT
“The Gospel has come to you because it’s on its way to someone else.” – Anonymous
28 They replied, “We want to perform God’s works, too. What should we do?” 29 Jesus told them, “This is the only work God wants from you: Believe in the one he has sent.” – John 6:28-29 NLT
In its simplest form, the “work” that Jesus came to do was to save the world. He could have done that by going straight to the cross, dying and being resurrected. But there were many things that God wanted Him to do while He was here. This work included miracles to draw people to God. It also included living a sinless life as an example for us to follow. Just as the work that Jesus did included more than death and resurrection, “the only work God wants from you” is to “believe the One He has sent” includes more than just believing. But believing is the first step and if you don’t believe and receive the Holy Spirit, you will not be able to do the rest of the work. 36 When he saw the crowds, he had compassion on them because they were confused and helpless, like sheep without a shepherd. 37 He said to his disciples, “The harvest is great, but the workers are few. 38 So pray to the Lord who is in charge of the harvest; ask him to send more workers into his fields.”—Matthew 9:36-38 (NLT)
“The Gospel has come to you because it’s on its way to someone else.” -Anonymous
12 I plead with you, brothers and sisters, become like me, for I became like you. You did me no wrong. 13 As you know, it was because of an illness that I first preached the gospel to you, 14 and even though my illness was a trial to you, you did not treat me with contempt or scorn. Instead, you welcomed me as if I were an angel of God, as if I were Christ Jesus himself. 15 Where, then, is your blessing of me now? I can testify that, if you could have done so, you would have torn out your eyes and given them to me. 16 Have I now become your enemy by telling you the truth?–Gal. 4:12-16 (NIV)
In this letter to the Galatians, Paul reminds them that he became as much like them as possible without violating his conscience. In our words today, we would probably say that he spent time making friends and building a bridge of confidence so that they would be more willing to listen to him. As the saying goes “people have to know you care before they care what you know”. As it turns out, Paul got to spend quite a bit of time in southern Galatia because of his sickness that he developed. This may have been the beginning of what Paul later referred to as “a thorn in the flesh”. It was very possibly a severe eye disease causing some amount of pain and facial dis-figuration. Paul implies that it might have made some of the people treat him badly and others would have plucked out their own eye and given it to him. But Paul pushes on and asks them the same questions we must ask ourselves and others today. Does our telling you the truth make us your enemy? Or once you know and understand the truth, does it make any sense to turn away from it? Just as Paul did, we have to get the people to understand that our witnessing to them is not because we feel that we are better or more holy than they are. It is because Jesus died for all of us simply because He loved us enough to do that for us. And His love for us requires us to show that same love to others.