I have always enjoyed reading. While attending elementary school, I could tell you about most of the books in the surprisingly well-stocked library of the two-classroom schoolhouse I attended.
When I was nine years old, one book, in particular, caught my attention. It was a story about a young girl escaping the Soviet Union during the Communist regime with just the clothes on her back—and her baby doll. But what the guards didn’t know was, hidden in the water of her doll’s bottle were five little diamonds to be used for bartering in her travels.
As I read this, I thought about the time of trouble right before Jesus’ Second Coming. Could this concept help me when I needed to possibly hide and escape? So, I took out my crafting material and designed and made my own doll—with a secret compartment. I could hide items of worth inside my doll by raising the bangs of her hair. I was now prepared!
Since then, I have heard hundreds of sermons on the second coming of Jesus. It is thrilling, almost unbelievable, that one day I will be with my Savior! But before this happens, there is work to be done and a time to go through. There is a reason God has given us so much information concerning last-day events—He wants us to be prepared.
Take the three angels’ messages, for instance. They contain judgment, sexual immorality, beasts, torment—scary stuff. Yet, Revelation 14:12 says, “Here is the perseverance of the saints who keep the commandments of God and their faith in Jesus.”1 Where do boots-on-the-ground perseverance, obedience, and faith come from?
Romans 10:14 states, “How then are they to call on Him in whom they have not believed? How are they to believe in Him whom they have not heard? And how are they to hear without a preacher?” We have all heard the old adage: knowledge is power. The crop in your pews needs knowledge first, but then those seeds must be well planted in their hearts. You know the parable of the seeds; take it to heart. You must be sure that the seed germinates with deep roots so that when the scary stuff (judgment, sexual immorality, etc.) aggressively confronts them, they know how to unfalteringly persevere, obey, and keep their faith in the One who says not to fear.
What are you doing about it? Psalm 119:11 provides practical advice: “I have treasured Your word in my heart, so that I may not sin against You.” How deep are the roots of your crop, gardener?
Different people learn in different ways, so you cannot use just one way to ensure that seed is buried deep. There are visual learners, auditory learners, pen-to-paper learners, and kinesthetic (hands-on) learners. Put a team together and come up with at least one way per learning style to bury that seed deep within. For visual learners, a group that dissects sections of Scripture and maps or diagrams them out may be in order. For auditory learners, start a Scripture memorization club or share great Scripture songs that they can sing and memorize.2 For pen-to-paper learners, an engaging book club with journaling or a poetry writing class may be key. For hands-on learners, start a drama group that enacts the topic of your sermon.
Although a little worse for the wear, I still have my secret-compartment doll, but my “Prepare” list is different. It now comprises making sure the roots of Bible study, prayer, Scripture memorization, and a close relationship with Jesus grow deeply in my heart. What is buried in your crop’s heart to help prepare your church for the last days?
- Scripture is from the New American Standard Bible.
- For Scripture songs on CD or digital download, visit http://www.trilogyscripturesongs.com. To join a Scripture memorization club, visit http://www.CapitolMemory.com.