16 “And as He walked by the Sea of Galilee, He saw Simon and Andrew his brother casting a net into the sea; for they were fishermen.” This is evangelism.
19 “When He had gone a little farther from there, He saw James the son of Zebedee, and John his brother, who also were in the boat mending their nets.” This is building the Body through growth in grace.
Evangelism is the lifeblood of the organized church. Soul-winning is required of all believers. The wise ones don’t joke with it. However, it is not unsaved sinners that need to be brought into the kingdom to complete the number that is delaying the return of Jesus. Otherwise, the timing of His return would have been left to the discretion of sinful man.
The total number of redeemed people on earth and in heaven will be determined by the number of mini-Gods given to Jesus before the foundation of the earth. Jesus has unlimited power to choose earthen vessels for their habitation without obstruction by human volition. In fact, a large percentage of earth dwellers will emerge during the millennium.
What Jesus is doing now is to build the Priesthood as a replacement for lost angelic host. The priesthood consists of mature Christians, the ‘fathers’ in faith. The slow pace and regrettably lack of growth in grace has the potential of delaying the return of Jesus Christ and generating serious repercussions especially for the Christian community worldwide. Almighty God the omniscient One anticipated that and made adequate provision to counter lukewarmness in the end-time church. The Body of Christ must be complete at all ranking levels. The organized church has a choice.
In this end-time period when the return of the Lord is drawing near emphasis should shift from evangelism to building the Body without neglecting the former. Some two thousand years ago when Apostle Peter delivered the first message of grace on the Day of Pentecost those who gladly received the message of salvation were baptized and added to the assembly of the righteous “and they continued steadfastly in the apostles’ doctrine and fellowship, in the breaking of bread, and in prayers.” It is incumbent upon us today to teach the doctrines of Christ and imitate the Apostles’ style of fellowship.
God expects the church to do the needful to ignite revival in this critical period. In anticipation of refusal or neglect in doing so, God Himself will unleash a ‘great tribulation’ on the world for the sake of the lukewarm church. Read Rev 2:18-29. The church needs reformation. Believers cannot be revived without it.
The way out is to reorganize the church system now that there is still time. The first step is to separate the sheep from the goats. Feed each group with the food that is appropriate to their status. The gospel of the redemptive power of the blood of Jesus shed on the cross of Calvary is for the lost whereas the doctrine of Christ and of the Apostles is for the saved. Mixing the two doctrines is counterproductive. Believers are tired of hearing ‘if you want to give your life to Christ lift up your right hand … come to the altar.’
Known ‘churches’ that operate with the spirit of Jezebel must be dealt with to reduce the dissonance they cause relentlessly to the unsaved community. Mammonism and sexual immorality in the assemblies must be confronted head-on to save unstable, fickle-minded and weak believers from perdition. The task is enormous but the church must be seen to be serious about end-time revival.