Leaving God Out
Before I retired from secular work, more than one of my co-workers told me that I should leave my religion outside the workplace. I wondered what they thought would happen to them if they left their religion in the parking lot and happened to die while at work. Since they had left their religion outside the workplace, wouldn*t they then go to Hell? They were obviously not aware that the only religion that saves is not a religion at all. It is Christ in one*s heart. If He is living in your heart you can*t leave Him out, no matter where you go and you shouldn*t try. It is a horrible mistake to live as if God did not exist, especially for those of us in whom He lives. That kind of life is the hallmark of false religions, cults and unwise and immature Christians. Before I received Jesus, for me personally, it was as if He did not exist. I did not know from personal experience that He existed. I did not know that He wanted to live in my heart and life. So I lived as if He didn*t exist. Now I know that He does exist and that His living in me and my life is a wonderful thing. I never again want to live like He did not exist.
Ephesians 3:17a: That Christ may dwell in your hearts by faith; . . .
Evangelist Wil Rice wrote this article entitled The Gospel Goes with YOU! on Philippians 4:22: All the saints salute you, chiefly they that are of Caesar*s household.
Recently on a Friday morning here at camp, I was addressing the adults that brought young people from literally all across the country and abroad. I was struck by the fact that within 48 hours, we would be spread across a distance that reached from Yuma, Arizona to Nassau, Bahamas. In short, we had, condensed in a single room, people who would spread out over the better part of a continent. How amazing!
God intends that the gospel go wherever you do. In Philippians 4:21 it says, *Salute every saint in Christ Jesus. The brethren which are with me greet you.* Verse 22 says, *All the saints salute you, chiefly they that are of Caesar*s household.* This is amazing. These *brethren* are brothers in God*s family with Paul. The *saints* are children of God in God*s family. *Caesar*s household* refers to the people employed by the tyrant of the Roman Empire. The point is that God intends the gospel to go wherever you do, whether that is to the California border, to the Bahamas, to the Midwest, or to any other place to which God has sent you.
In Ephesians 5:19, Paul asked that his friends would pray for him to have boldness to open his mouth to make known the gospel where he was. He goes on to say in verse 20, *For which I am an ambassador in bonds: that therein I may speak boldly, as I ought to speak.* Paul did not ask for an open prison door or another opportunity somewhere else. He just asked that where he was, which happened to be in prison, that God would give him an open door there.
I don*t know where you live, what you do, or what your life may be today, but I do know that regardless of the kind of atmosphere in which you find yourself or the kind of people with whom you make contact, God intends for the gospel to go wherever you do. God has the grace to give that which I have the humility to ask, and if you will ask God for an open door today, I believe He will give it. Paul had an open door in prison to give the gospel, and God will surely give you an open door to give the truth where you are today if you*ll ask for it, seek it, and seize it.