The Epistles of Gerald

Except a Seed Die

Jesus explained to the apostles why he had to die. It is in the nature of things spiritual and physical. "The hour is come, that the Son of man should be glorified." That is an unusual definition of the cross, when he "should be glorified." Emphasizing his next statement, Jesus began with: "Verily, verily, I say unto you, Except a grain of wheat fell into the earth and die, it abides by itself alone; but if it die, it bears much fruit" (John 12:23-24). So, why must he die?

Baptism for the Dead

In God's scheme of redemption Satan will have no ultimate victory over fallen humanity. God's providence and grace have made arrangements for the redemption of the total man. "And the God of peace himself sanctify you wholly; and may your SPIRIT AND SOUL  AND BODY be preserved entire, without blame at the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ" (1 Thes.5:23). The words "wholly" and "entire" both come from the same root word in Greek: "oloteleis." It implies totality, completeness, nothing lacking, integral with all its essential parts.

Christ as Lord - Ourselves as Servants

"For we preach not ourselves, but Christ Jesus as Lord, and ourselves as your servants, for Jesus sake" (11 Corinthians 4:5).

Choosing the Proper Man

I am honored that the thirty member graduating class asked me to speak at their "last supper." Do not fear seniors, I do not plan to "dip the cup" with any of you tonight. There are a number of problems associated with this assignment. The first derives from the fact that Ed has already taught you all you need to know. Then tomorrow morning you will receive your certificate of graduation proving that your educational process is now complete. So what can I teach you tonight that will help as you enter your field of ministry?

An Aspiring, But Frustrated Missionary

Never did the Lord intended that his mission assignment to the church be placed in some kind of holding pattern. It must be carried out "diligently" (or speedily, as the Greek insists in Titus 3:13). Jesus certainly never meant that the commission be ignored. He has not rescinded his mandate and does not want it placed on a "back burner" by those charged with its execution!

But it would be easy for today's aspiring missionary candidate to get an opposite impression. For in his quest for financial backing to send and sustain him on the field, he faces some of the most disheartening reasons for ignoring his plea. And those reasons are coming from the church that should eagerly grasp the opportunity to encourage and support him in his zeal for the lost. Not only do churches seem deaf to his plea, but also more often than not he is not even afforded the opportunity to present his plea! "And they all with one consent began to make excuse." (Luke 14:18). We know how the Lord reacted to the excuses offered in the context just cited: "I say unto you, that none of those men that were bidden shall taste of my supper." (vs.24). But what of our excuses with which we dismiss the missionary without any evident grimace of pain or expression of sorrow? The man is not unauthorized in his quest; his mission bears the force of heaven's laws. The one with the "nail-scarred hands" sent him to ask for your help. So please do not treat him as an unwelcomed intruder at the doors of the church treasury!

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