There is work involved in everything that is worthwhile. The fact is that work is required to get anything done. This is true in the work world, and especially true in the work of the church. As the old saying goes, talk is cheap. There have been a thousand great ideas discussed in elders' meetings and church business meetings that, if applied, would have borne fruit. But sometimes between the planning and the application brethren stop working and the plan fails. Many will blame the plan and use that failure to speak negatively against the next idea that someone wants to try. The plan often times is not the problem, the people are. The work was not done to put the plan into action.
The Old Testament gives an account of God's people who had a big job. The Jews returned from Babylonian captivity and found Jerusalem in shambles. Little had been done since Nebuchadnezzer had destroyed it and taken the Jews back to Babylon. A group of Jews had returned and had rebuilt the temple, trusting in God to help them. With God's blessings, they finished the temple. But twelve years had passed since the completion of the temple. The walls of the city had not been finished. This left Jerusalem at the mercy of bandits and raiders. Nehemiah, the cupbearer for King Artaxerxes felt a burning desire to see that the walls of Jerusalem would be rebuilt. Soon he was on his way to Jerusalem to oversee the rebuilding of the city.
There were all kinds of obstacles in their way, not the least being an enemy who had no desire for Jerusalem to be strong. What was their secret? It is found in Nehemiah 4:6 - "So we built the wall, and the entire wall was joined together up to half its height, for the people had a mind to work." They had a mind to work! They were willing to work to build the wall regardless of the danger or hardships.
What was the result of their willingness to work? It is found in Nehemiah 6:15 - So the wall was finished on the twenty-fifth day of Elul, in fifty-two days. They overcame all obstacles because, the people had a mind to work.
Look at those denominations which are growing. There is no doubt that they teach a great deal of error, but such churches as the Mormons, and Charismatics are growing because they are putting this principle into action. The Mormons have sent thousands of young missionaries into the field. The Charismatics are working hard to spread their teachings. And these groups are growing.
If we expect to grow as the church, we must have a willingness to work. Why shouldn't we who believe that we have restored pure New Testament Christianity not be willing to work hard to tell others the good news of the gospel. Ten times in the NKJV New Testament the inspired writers use the term 'fellow worker' or 'fellow workers.'
Paul tells us that, 'I planted, Apollos watered, but God gave the increase' (1 Corinthians 3:6). This not only shows that God plays a part in the salvation of sinners, but also that we must work together in the taking of the gospel to the lost. We are further told that God will not forget our work for Him and 93labor or love94 (Hebrews 6:10).
All of us want the church to grow. However, just wishing for growth will not suffice. It will take the concentrated efforts of every Christian in our congregation to get the job done. If we work together, with God's blessings, we can do great things.
Therefore, my beloved brethren, be steadfast, immovable, always abounding
in the work of the Lord, knowing that your labor is not in vain in the
Lord (1 Corinthians 15:58).
Copyright 2000 by Grady Scott may be reproducted for non-commercial purposes at no cost to others.