What would have happened if Noah had sat down and dreamed of a better world during the 120 years after God had warned him of the flood? What would have happened if the Israelites had reasoned, “God is able to give Jericho to us, there’s no need to march around the walls every day.?” Or what would have happened to the early church if the apostles and other disciples had built a building and sat down and waited for the people to come in? The answers to these questions are obvious. Noah and his family would have drowned; the walls of Jericho would have stood until they crumbled with age, and the New Testament church would have grown so slowly that it would still be unknown. There simply is no substitute for work!
In the church of Christ, we teach this principle. We tell our religious friends that faith alone is not sufficient, but it seems that some of our members have not really learned that truth yet. There is work to be done. There are multitudes of people who are yet lost, and time is swiftly passing. There are weak church members who need encouragement, maybe even rebuking. Shall we let them drift completely back into the world before we do anything about them? It is a little late if we do nothing for such a long time that we finally mark their names off the roll and forget about them. Perhaps not all of them could be strengthened, but we cannot be justified if we do not try. Then, there are the sick and shut-ins who would appreciate a visit so very much. Talking about them will not help very much—we need to talk to them. We sing the song “We’ll work till Jesus Comes” but there is not much noticeable change; we just sing and then go merrily on our way. We pray, “Lord, give those who are out of Christ time to learn and obey the gospel.” But are we teaching them? “How shall they believe in him of whom they have not heard?” (Rom.10:14). And how shall they hear except someone teach them? Wouldn’t it be sad on the Day of Judgment to have a friend or neighbor ask, “Why didn’t you tell me I was lost?” You might offend one by telling him this, but he might lose his soul if you do not!
Let us all heed the admonition of the apostle Paul in 1 Cor.15:58, “Therefore, my beloved brethren, be ye steadfast, unmovable, always abounding in the work of the Lord, forasmuch as ye know that your labor is not in vain in the Lord.”