“Up till now My Father has been working, and now I work.” John 5:17
As I flew into Dallas/Fort Worth this morning and was coming around on the tram, I was meditating on this verse. And the more I think about it, the more powerful it becomes to me.
“Up till now” means that up to this point the Father has been working. From the very moment of the fall of Adam and Eve in the Garden to this very moment God the Father has been working in secret behind the scenes to redeem the souls of men.
Everything He has been doing and will continue to do is for one reason only, and one reason alone…to redeem man back unto Himself. For 6,000 years now God has one thing on His mind, and that is to weave His Son into the fabric of men’s lives, hearts, and minds so that they might believe and be saved before it’s too late.
As I think about what God has done for me in giving me a family, food, mental acuity, and all the other blessings of this life…I find it deeply moving. During my times of backsliding, He kept me alive so that I would not die in my sins and miss out on it all. He kept Ezekiel 33:13,18 from becoming my lot: “When I say to the righteous, that he shall surely live; if he trusts in his righteousness, and commits iniquity, none of his righteous deeds shall be remembered; but in his iniquity that he has committed, therein shall he die. When the righteous turns from his righteousness, and commits iniquity, he shall die in his sins.”
God has been working!! He’s a working Man. He never rests. It does not say anywhere in scripture that He has rested one time since the creation. He has commanded man to rest, but it does not say anywhere that God has been resting.
Try and imagine this…working 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, 365 days a year for 6,000 years, without a moment’s rest. That comes to approximately two million one hundred ninety thousand days (2,190,000). We have no record of Jesus ever taking a day of rest during His entire three-year ministry. The only hint of it is found when He rested in the boat on the Sea of Tiberius on His way to cast out the legion of devils from the man in Gadara. We see Him working every Sabbath. The four gospels plainly bare out over 25 times that Jesus worked on the Sabbath. But notice what the Lord called “working” on the Sabbath…healing the sick, casting out devils, rebuking the storms, preaching the gospel, and loving on people, etc.
Billions of sheep have fallen into a pit (Matthew 12:11) and Jesus has been trying to get them all out. It’s a huge undertaking. It is something of epic proportions. Think of it for just a moment if you can. One day your father asks you to go out in the field and get the 56 BILLION sheep that has fallen into a pit. Yes…56 BILLION people have lived on the earth since just the times of Christ. In case you don’t know, that’s one person for every 1.16 seconds that have gone by since Jesus died.
And before He came God the Father was working non-stop to reach over 50 BILLION people that lived from the time of Adam till the Lord Jesus came. Who has time for rest when right now today (according to the CIA Factbook) 155,000 people die every day. And according to what our Lord said…most of them have gone to hell.
Hell is a spiritual place and the bible says in Isaiah 5:14 that hell has enlarged herself to receive souls. There could well be over 100 BILLION souls in hell right now!!! Think of it!!! And all the while, God has been working non-stop, without one single moment of rest. The bible says that God never sleeps. He is constantly doing everything within His power, His wisdom, and His grasp to reach every soul on the planet. This alone should show His love and concern towards His creation.
So then after 4,000 years God sends His only begotten Son to come to this wicked planet infested with sin, satan, and rebellion to continue the Father’s work.
You see, it’s a family affair. It’s a family business…like Father – like Son. The fruit doesn’t fall too far from the tree. Jesus wanted to help His Father. Jesus wanted to carry on in the family business so-to-speak. And their business is the most important business to ever be conducted on the planet since the beginning of time. What do you say to someone who asks you, “What do you do for a living?”…“I seek out the souls of men every second of every day of every year with no rest, no time off, and with no vacation…how about you?”
When I think of the love that’s drives this family business, I am overwhelmed with emotion. Because now it has become very personal to me. Because His Word says in 1 Corinthians 3:9 that He has made me a co-laborer with Christ. I am now working in the family business. I am a part of the family business.
God has two things going on at any given time. He has His business affairs, and He has His personal affairs. He has the field, and He has the vineyard. His business affairs are destroying the works of the devil (1 John 3:9b); and His personal affairs deal with all His children and their welfare. The field is the world where His business affairs are played out; and the vineyard is the Church that they are cleansing, and equipping, so that they may help in the family business.
He has asked us to help Him in His work of reaching the lost sheep of the earth that have fallen into a pit…and if they are not helped out of the shallow pit they have fallen into, then they will fall even further into another pit where no one can reach them. Oh, the Lord’s heart is aching over this…eternally aching. Jesus wept at the natural death of Lazarus. Imagine the sheer agony of what the Godhead feels at the spiritual deaths of their own creations that they have loved with an everlasting and longing love.
Will you help Them (the Godhead)? Can Their (the Godhead) burden become your burden. Men are so lost. If you saw your child from across the room pick up a can of poison and begin to put it to their mouth to drink it, would you stand idly by and say nothing? No you wouldn’t. You would scream at them with all the urgency your heart and mind could muster. You would run towards them with the speed of a Cheetah. Desperation would fill your mind. The very thought of losing your child because of their own mistake (a mistake done in ignorance) is horrifying for any parent. But it happens every day to parents all over the world. Why, I myself ate d-CON rat poison as a toddler and almost died.
And yet here we have “children,” so-to-speak, all over the world drinking poison, killing themselves due to ignorance, and we just sit idly by and actually watch them do it without so much as a word.
Ephesians 4:18 says that they are “alienated from the life of God through the ignorance that is in them.” Paul the apostle said in 1 Timothy 1:18 that the things he did, he did them because of ignorance and unbelief.
Even within the Church, many are being led away into many errors and excesses. I was thinking about this problem last week and a few things came to mind. Romans 10:17 says that “faith comes by hearing, and hearing by the Word of God.” Ok, now remember that verse for a second. It says in 1 Timothy 4:1, “that in the latter days some shall depart from the faith, giving heed to seducing spirits and doctrines of devils.” So then, notice from this verse that they are departing from the faith. But just how are they departing from the faith? By leaving the Word of God. Do you see that? If faith comes by hearing God’s Word, and they are departing from the faith…then it all starts with leaving God’s Word.
All error begins right here. People leave the truth and the light of God’s Word and begin to believe lies and walk in darkness. There are several references in the bible about leaving God’s Word. People turn away from it because they are drawn into other things that make the gospel an easier gospel to swallow. I have news for you today, if you’re following an easy gospel that requires nothing of you, then you have been deceived and are following a lie. Jesus said in Matthew 7:14 that the gate is narrow and the way is difficult. So if the way does not seem narrow nor difficult to you, then you are probably on the wrong road. And no wonder, for the Lord said in Luke 13 that many are actually at the very gate (the right gate) and are attempting to get in and they will not be able to.
A deep soberness has settled upon me. Every moment of every day the lost condition of men’s souls weighs heavily upon me. The error that believers are falling into also weighs heavily upon me, because if not dealt with, they will ultimately veer way off course and miss the harbor. They will sail right on past eternal life. I have to say something. I have to scream out and tell the truth. Paul said in Galatians 1:10 that if I don’t tell people the truth, then I am seeking to please men, and have failed (become disqualified) to be a servant of Christ.
So we must listen very carefully to the truth we have heard, or we may drift away from it (Hebrews 2:1). This verse brings out in the Greek that there is a current constantly seeking to draw ships out to sea. This current is the world system and the self-life. If you are not anchored to the shore of God’s Word, then you have allowed the safety rope to slowly come off the mooring…and one day you will wake up out of your spiritual sleep and you will find yourself lost at sea, with no land in sight. There will be those who drift out to sea, and then there will be those who sail past the harbor. Don’t be either one of these.
God’s Word is a life-line. Hold on to His Word. Secure it fast. Don’t rest until you have made it all the way to the eternal shore. But if you fail to stay awake and alert, then I’m afraid that your faith will become shipwrecked.
Cling to your faith in Christ, and keep your conscience clear. For some people have deliberately violated their consciences; and as a result, their faith has been shipwrecked. 1 Timothy 1:19 NLT