CAN YOU CATCH THE FIRE?
For much of the church, throughout its history, there has not been cushy pews, air conditioned or heated sanctuaries, Lear Jet planes or travel coaches in the form of sleek lined buses or personal train cars. No. Many of the men who set the pattern for us to follow, were merely obedient to the calling with which Christ Jesus had called them. They served the Lord not to attain personal honor, glory or recognition. They had received a higher calling being set apart wholly for His divine purpose and pleasure. Their means of transportation were humble. Their places in which they assembled people to hear the Gospel were simplistic and oft times there was no roof over their heads.
Paul, the apostle, was such a man. Perhaps, many of us, cannot relate to the great difficulties that he continually experienced.
He had been imprisoned in Philippi (Acts 16); chased out of Thessalonica (Acts 17); smuggled out of Berea (Acts 17); laughed at in Athens (Acts 17); regarded as a fool in Corinth (1 Corinthians 1); and stoned in Galatia (Acts 14). But through all this and more, Paul had his heart set on preaching the Gospel in Rome, the very seat of political power and pagan religion.
There was nothing that could hinder the boldness he possessed in preaching and teaching the gospel. Ridicule, physical beatings, stonings, shipwrecks, or criticism could not deter the fire that he possessed to live out his faith in the One who had died for his sins.
He had written to the church in Rome that he was not ashamed of the gospel of Christ, for it is the power of God to salvation for everyone who believes, for the Jew first and also for the Greek. (Romans 1:16)
Oh, if we today could catch just a spark from this fire, how many would be saved from that which is to come?