Handshaking, Baby Kissing, And Mudslinging

John A. Keith

Election time has come again. Hand shaking, baby kissing, and mud- slinging have been in full swing. I am always glad when it's over. For just a moment, imagine if we had to run for re-election to maintain our church membership. Did we do what was required to make our calling and election sure (2 Pet. 1:10)?

All levels of our political system do a roll call of officers and delegates and keep track of such. These records can be used for or against one running for re-election. God does His own record keeping (Philippians 1:8). How is our attendance record regarding Lord's Day Bible study and worship (am & pm), mid-week Bible study, Gospel meetings and lecture series, etc.? Hebrews 10:24-25 lets us be quite certain that forsaking the assembly of the saints shows inadequate love for God and Christ, not to mention the brethren.

Would our financial records be an embarrassment to us and to the church? Suppose your expense records were to be made public. Did you purchase things that Christian people never should (Alcohol/drugs, gambling, pornography, etc.)? Did you waste the Lord's money on frivolous or riotous things (Lk. 15: 13) that could have been better used? Did you withhold funding from where obvious needs were present? "Withhold not good from them to whom it is due, when it is in the power of thine hand to do it." Proverbs 3:27. Are there expenses you cannot account for because of unfaithful stewardship? (1 Cor. 4:1-2) Suppose a public comparison were made between your annual income and your annual offering to the Lord's church. Did you willingly give as you prospered (1 Cor. 16:2; 2 Cor. 9:6-8)?

How much time did we contribute (not counting time at meeting)? How much time was spent in private study (2 Tim. 2:15), meditation (O how love I thy law! it is my meditation all the day. Psalms 119), fasting and prayer (1 Cor. 7:5)? Did we take time to visit the sick, elderly, and wayward members (James 1:27)? How much time was spent teaching others the gospel plan of salvation?

How did we do in the field of public relations and with our constituents (our brethren)? Romans 12:18 says, "If it be possible, as much as lieth in you, live peaceably with all men." Likewise, 14:19 says, "Let us therefore follow after the things which make for peace and things wherewith one may edify." Did we exhort (encourage) our brethren? "Remember ... them which suffer adversity, as being yourselves also in the body." Heb. 13:3. Did we show interest in others? Philippians 2:4 says, "Look not every man on his own things, but every man also on the things of others." "Bear ye one another's burdens, and so fulfill the law of Christ." Galatians 6:2.

How about our efforts in foreign relations (alien sinners)? You know, Jesus went to the home of Zachaeus and taught. Lk. 19:1-10. Paul taught publicly and from house to house. Acts 20:20. Aquila and Priscilla loved the truth and Apollos enough to take him aside and teach him regarding his error. Acts 18:24-26. Peter, Andrew, James, John, and Matthew were on the job when Jesus invited them to partake in a greater work. We must be like Jeremiah: "But His word was in my heart like a burning fire Shut up in my bones; I was weary of holding it back, And I could not." Jer. 20:9.

Did we display loyalty to our party (God, Christ, the faith)? Did we proclaim Christ much in any way the same as did Paul in 1 Corinthians 15:1-4? Did we, like Phillip, open our mouths regarding Christ? (Acts 8:35). Our brethren in the first century ... [D]aily in the temple and in every house ceased not to teach and preach Jesus Christ (Acts 5:42). And again, brother Paul said, in 1 Corinthians 1:23, "But we preach Christ crucified, unto the Jews a stumbling block, and unto the Greeks foolishness."

If we want to be of the elect in that better country (Hebrews 11:16), we need to make our calling and election sure now! (2 Pet. 1:10). -70 Gale Ave., Newport, OH 45768 (740) 473-2528. jtakeith@aol.com


Return to West Virginia Christian