Daily we are swamped with news or what passes as news. It’s a like continuous tropical deluge. There’s something to suit every taste. A weekend newspaper or a single news website can keep you occupied for hours. It is very easy to be a passive follower of the news, by letting it wash over you day by day. News is important but how do we separate the good from the bad, the useful from the useless? Furthermore, what good is all that news which pours forth like the Niagara Falls when you can realistically handle only a bucketful or two a day?
More importantly, for what kind of “news” does God want your attention? The Bible often and strongly counsels us to behold the works of God. Job 37:14 says “Stand still and consider the wondrous works of God.” Psalm 46:8 counsels “Come, behold the works of the LORD” and Psalm 111:2 “The works of the LORD are great, studied by all who have pleasure in them.”
One of the central works of Jesus Christ is gathering, defending and preserving His church. How does Jesus Christ do this? Revelation 6 says that the Gospel, represented by a white horse, is sent by Jesus Christ throughout the world to gather the church and claim the kingdom.
On the mission fields we can observe His work. Week by week new Christians are instructed in the Reformed faith; young people in mission congregations are preparing to make their public profession of faith; students at Bible Colleges are poring over their work so they can become office bearers and preachers. The Gospel is preached; the Three Forms of Unity and Free Reformed books and publications being distributed in different languages, and in places we’ve never heard of before. Many people have rejected their idolatrous past and are worshiping the Lord of Lords. Closer to home there are many activities in our own churches and schools. This is the Lord at work! And through it His return is coming closer. Now that is exciting! Are you watching closely?
The work comes with much struggle and cost. Many people reject the Gospel; just look around. Furthermore there is fanatical, even demonic, opposition. Satan and his cohorts stir up powers against Jesus Christ’s work. Satan does not easily release those under his rule. Through governments, terrorists, soldiers and police he launches powerful attacks upon the church and mission work. Churches are destroyed; believers persecuted; congregations shattered; missionaries driven out. Satan also uses clever people to spread heresies in His churches causing much unfaithfulness. It’s full on war.
In this great antithetical struggle Jesus Christ takes counter measures. He sends out the red, black and pale horses (Revelation 6). He generates and guides world events to accomplish His purposes. The elect are found by the Gospel and come to faith. Satan gets defeated time and again as people are wrenched from his clutches and submit to God. It’s a great struggle, but Jesus Christ is triumphant. Despite the opposition the church continues to grow and, when necessary, reform. Events surrounding the gathering, defence and preservation of the church and its preaching and teaching are central to world events. These events, past and present, are very exciting to follow and study; in them we see Jesus Christ at work.
Jesus Christ’s work is not just ignored by most of the media; it is often opposed or ridiculed. The media prefers to feed us with bread, games and trivia, while sniping at true religion. Consequently Jesus Christ’s work is hidden from so many people whose minds are swamped with the said bread, games and trivia. However, we are very blessed to have so much information about Christ’s busy work schedule. It should inspire us to be eager students of His work as it unfolds before our very eyes, step by step. Let’s be enthusiastic to search it out, praise the Lord for it and talk about it. It beats talking about the footy or the latest scandal.
Don’t be a passive follower of the news; Jesus Christ calls us to be pro-active.
“Let us lay aside every weight” (Heb 12:1) and focus our attention on news about the work of Jesus Christ, such as mission and church developments. Be a student of church history. Be eager to learn about and pray for Jesus Christ’s labours. Every bride vitally interested in the bridegroom! She watches all his moves. So let’s “stand still and consider the wondrous works of God.” To help you in this we pass on some information, in the next article, about the struggle of the churches in China.