HH, Sir Godfrey Gregg D.Div
SERVE IN THE POSITION YOU ARE IN (17-28)
Some people say that Paul was so convinced that the Second coming was right around the corner that he was telling the people to be like so many of the cults of today who are waiting for the Lord, or a spaceship, or something else. They believe he was saying that there is no reason to get married because the second coming is imminent, and they are so wrong. The word clearly states that no man knows the hour the Lord will return and that includes Paul. So to say that Paul thought the second coming was around the corner was further from the truth.
Paul certainly believed the return of Christ could be at any time (as we believe today). He also believed that persecution would soon come upon the church (and it did). But I don’t think that was the primary message he was trying to convey. Paul was telling us that we do not need to make some dramatic change in our life before we can serve the Lord. We can (and should) serve Him right now where we are.
It is a common tendency among those who come to faith to feel that now that they have become a follower of Christ they must do something dramatic in order to follow the Lord. Many become believers and immediately determine that they should become a Bishop (that is the hot topic today and why?), Pastor, Missionary, lecturer or recording artist. These are noble and well-meaning thoughts. People want to do something great for God. However, they all have the same problem: they believe truly serving the Lord requires some kind of change in the circumstances of their life. They believe they will be able to serve the Lord when they make the necessary changes. I believe Paul wants the people to see that they should be serving the Lord right now!
It should be obvious that if a believer is in an occupation or profession that is inherently immoral or illegal, they need to change their circumstance. A person who is a thief must give up the robberies; a person who is a prostitute should stop selling his or her body; the person who is involved with drugs should stop dealing or using. Everything sinful is to be forsaken. However, most people are already planted into their mission field.
Paul says that what matters is not our social status, our place of employment, our marital status, race, age, nationality or gender. He says, “keeping God’s commands is what counts”. What matters is not whether or not you are circumcised, or married, or a slave or a freeman, what matters is that you follow the Lord right where you are. What is important is not your position but your willingness to obey God and be used right where you are.
If we will serve the Lord with the heart of Christ we will find that God can use us right now in the places where we have been planted. God desires to use us in the workplace, in the classroom, on the athletic field, in the business world, in the home, the restaurants, the bank, the hospital, and the repair shop. What God desires is that we serve and obey Him in what we are doing right now.
TO BE CONTINUED TOMORROW ….