Page 134 - Church of God Publications

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124 THE INCREDIBLE HUMAN POTENTIAL
nor the apostles embarked on any "soul-saving crusade," which is
a modern Protestant practice. The apostles, as Jesus had done,
proclaimed the gospel - the GOOD NEWS of a coming BETTER
WORLD.
lt
was notan emotional pleading, "Won't you give your
heart to the Lord?"
True, because unbelieving Jews did not accept Jesus as their
promised Messiah, the apostles, at first, put special emphasis on
the fact they were eye-witnesses to Jesus' Messiahship and resur–
rection. They had been with Him 3'h years before He was cruci–
fied, and forty days after He rose from the dead.
But they did proclaim the same Message Jesus had taught
them - the coming Kingdom of God. 1t was not a begging for
"souls." " ... the Lord
added
to the church such as should be
saved" (Acts 2:47).
When the apostles met with fierce persecution, imprisonment
and threat, the laity of the Church ENCOURAGED them, prayed
heartrendingly for them, supported them financially.
So, let the truth be clarified once for all, the PURPOSE of the
Church was NOT to "get the world saved Now!"
God's PURPOSE in raising up His Church in a world otherwise
CUT OFF from God, was dual:
1) To provide a united body of Spirit-led believers to back up
the apostles (and evangelists) who had been specially trained to
GO FORTH into all the world with Christ's Gospel Message. All
this, as
their part
in THE GREAT COMMISSION. Theirs was a WORK
OF
GIVING-
giving of their prayers- their encouragement, and
financia! support of the ORGANIZED Gospel WORK. And this
as
GOD's means of, and the training groundfor,
2) the overcoming of Satan, and the constant development of
that holy, righteous CHARACTER - thus qualifying them to sit with
Christ on the throne of earth-wide GOVERNMENT.
Goo's WAY of developing His holy character was THE
GIV–
ING
WAY. Goo's way oflife is the GIVING way ofoutgoing LOVE.
Satan's way is INcoming self-advantage - hostility to God's way
and to His Church.
Those who allow an attitude of hostility and rebeIlion against
God's Church - and God's GOVERNMENT within His Church - to
cause them to leave, and "go it alone," or follow a MAN, are seek-