urgencyby J. Randal Matheny, editor

Over on BrotherhoodNews.com, we noted some efforts by Oklahoma City area churches to help victims of today’s tornado. Many other efforts are being made right now, both by individuals and congregations. Many of us can pray and send help. Others will travel to the area to aid in the rescue efforts and clean-up. Much needs to be done already and many will lend a hand. What a blessing is the body of Christ!

That blessing is even greater when we consider that the greatest help the family of God provides is not physical, but spiritual. In both cases, God’s people must reserve this work for themselves, as the Almighty has determined, and not let anyone steal it from them.

• Our time last night and most of the day today was spent with Christian friends. The mother of a sister in Christ died yesterday morning and, according to the 24-hour rule, was buried this morning, about an hour away from us. This sister is one of the most faithful, dedicated, and hard-working saints we know. She will certainly have many a star in her crown. We work together with her and her husband in many efforts.

This sister was afflicted by the thought that her mother was not a Christian. Six years ago, she buried her father, whom we helped teach the gospel and who obeyed at 80 years of age. But her mother showed no interest. She heard the gospel but chose not to follow the Lord Jesus.

This sister, another sister of hers who is also in Christ, and a brother of theirs who is also a Christian had all hoped that there would be one more opportunity to urge their mother to obey the Lord, after she left the hospital. They had already done so much, but they looked for every opportunity to continue their attempts to save their mother. But it was not to be, for she passed away unexpectedly, at the age of 82.

• Urgency is a quality of faith. “Look! There’s some water! Why can’t I be baptized?” (Acts 8.36 NLT). Urgency says do it now, because Christ might return at any moment, or we might leave this life at any moment, and all choices will be sealed for eternity. There is also the destiny of our loved ones to think about. The longer we put off obedience to God, the greater the chance that they will enter eternity in a lost state.

Remember that first gospel sermon? Even after the listeners asked what they ought to do to be saved, Peter still encouraged them at length. “With many other words he testified and exhorted them saying, ‘Save yourselves from this perverse generation!'” (Acts 2:40). That very day three thousand were baptized.

When someone is trapped in a building, rescuers make every effort to dig them out. The response to the tornado in Oklahoma is typical. Help is needed immediately. First responders are quick to act, tireless in their efforts to save lives. In the same way, God’s people move quickly, speak incessantly, urge constantly, so that people will feel the urgency of their need and repent of their sins.

There is nothing more important, more urgent, more blessed than saving souls and going to heaven together as God’s family.

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