"The Word became flesh and made His dwelling among us." (John 1:14)
"In the same way let your light shine before men that they may see your good deeds and praise your Father in Heaven." (Matthew 5:16)
"Each should use whatever gift he has received to serve others, faithfully administering God's grace..."
(1 Peter 4:10)
“What’s the big deal?”
Thankfully I haven’t heard that question asked me (yet), but I can be certain
some people are asking themselves – and maybe others.
“What’s the big deal about being ‘Street Saints’?”
Let me be very frank (even downright blunt), as once was our now Emeritus
Presiding Bishop / Synodical President, The Reverend Dr. Jerry Kieschnick:
“Time is short and hell is hot!”
Jesus was very clear in Matthew 24 and Matthew 25. These two chapters of
the Bible are almost 100% the words of Jesus Himself speaking about the
end of the world, the importance of being ready, the importance of using what has been given
us by God Himself, and the consequences for those who do not know Jesus as Lord and Savior. The Word Who “became flesh and made His dwelling among us” (John 1:14) could not have been more clear!
The world has been pretty successful convincing even the people of God – and many pastors also, by the way – that these words of Jesus should not be taken seriously, that there are many ways to obtain eternal life in Heaven and that Jesus is certainly not “The Way, The Truth, and The Life,” apart from Whom no one can come to the Father (John 14:1-6).
If you have fallen prey to that mindset, I do have to ask “What, then, in the Bible IS true?” Does God really so love the world (John 3:16)? Was Jesus really born in Bethlehem as the Image of the invisible God (Luke 2; Colossians 1:15)? Did Jesus really rise from the dead (Matthew 28)? Did Jesus really ascend into Heaven (Luke 24:50-53)? To doubt Matthew 24 and Matthew 25 is to throw doubt onto everything we hold dear.
St Paul wrote, “If only for this life we have hope in Christ, we are to be pitied more than all men” (1 Corinthians 15:19).
Jesus said. “Whoever believes and is baptized will be saved, but whoever does not believe will be condemned” (Mark 16:16).
Harsh words. Blunt words. But words that lead us to ramp up the outpouring of the Holy Spirit in our daily lives (being “Street Saints”), as predicted by the Prophet Joel: “In the last days, God says, I will pour out My Spirit on all people ... everyone who calls on the Name of the Lord will be saved” (Joel 2:28-32; Acts 2:14-39).
Personally I am glad that we have a loving God Who has done everything necessary for us – and all people – to be saved (Ephesians 2:8-9). There are way too many people who don’t believe that. There’s much that “Street Saints” can do about that!
Personally I am glad I know with confidence that I will live in the presence of Jesus forever (Job 19:25; John 14:1-6). There are way too many people who don’t have that confidence. There’s much that “Street Saints” can do about that!
Personally I am glad that God has called me – not as a pastor, but as one of His dearly loved children – to use the gifts He has given me to do whatever is necessary to ensure that not even one person needs to ever hear from Jesus, “Away from me; I never knew you” (Matthew 25:41-46). There’s much that “Street Saints” can do about that!
You and I – living as “Street Saints” – might be the only difference in whether or not someone believes in Jesus and whether or not someone will spend eternity in the loving Arms of Jesus.
That’s the big deal!
Pastor Christopher Schaar