As born-again believers, we all long to see the Lord’s return; to see Jesus standing on the edge of heaven, calling us all home to forever be with the Lord. And as we walk through this dark and cold wilderness, that promise of the Lord’s appearing warms our hearts and brings peace to our souls. Yet this promise, when held against the backdrop of Christ’s sufferings and sacrifice, is quick to remind us of the multitudes that will perish and be forever lost when that great day is come.
His suffering reminds us of what His Church is to be about; and that is to seek and to save the lost, “For the Son of man is come to seek and to save that which was lost” (Luke 19:10), especially as we anticipate the Lord’s imminent return. (Hebrews 10:25).
The Burden that our Savior has for souls has been imparted to every believer, and that burden will naturally find its way into some area of service or work of the same. Jesus is happy to afford His people the opportunity and the occasion to serve Him, and none of us are denied of that blessing. To share with the world what Jesus has shared with you and I is fundamental to our faith. And so, we ask, “Jesus, you gave all, now what can I do?” Well…. have you considered the Bus Ministry?
The Bus Ministry at Sharon Baptist Church is one of those opportunities. It is a blessing that God has graciously granted us. It brings with it all that the Lord would have us to do in fulfilling His Commission to the Church; “to seek and to find”, “to go ye therefore”, “to compel them to come in, that my house may be full.”
When considering all that a Bus Ministry has to offer, you’re hard pressed to find a more effective way of getting the lost to Christ. So often the Bus Ministry is branded as a laborious and arduous work, yet how that work blesses the Lord and how He in turn blesses His Church, far out-shines any difficulties it may endure. The fruit that is born from this Ministry is tremendous and could never be rightly measured on this side of heaven.
Those that are reached through our buses are generally the young and unchurched, and this is where the seeds of the Gospel are more readily received. Consequently, as we plant the good news of Jesus Christ in our coming generations, the principles of sowing and reaping are sure to abound. Thank the Lord that He has purposely provided us a way to reach those that are least likely to be shown the love of God, or get to Church, or to hear a clear presentation of the Gospel.
As an example, some boys on our buses got saved not long ago, and as I was getting their information, one of them, a 5th grader, could not give me his last name… He literally didn’t know it. Beloved, this is the world that we live in today. Now ask yourself, how else would they have heard, or where, or when… if at all?
The Blessings of God usually go hand in hand with a hard work, and the Bus Ministry is no stranger to its many forms. Buses are expensive; in fuel, tires, insurance, and in time. It takes a dedicated team of people to move it forward; from the Pastor, to the Director, to the Captain, to the Driver; to helpers and mechanics. There are those that faithfully pray, and generously give, and cook breakfast…Praise the Lord! Yes, it takes a lot to make it go but it’s worth it. The charge of the Bus Ministry demands an incorporation of the Body of Christ like nothing else, and what could be a more satisfying testimony to that Body than to know it is being used of God? My friend there isn’t one!
In Matthew 25:21, Jesus encourages us with these words, “Well done, thou good and faithful servant: thou hast been faithful over a few things, I will make thee ruler over many things: enter thou into the joy of thy lord.” I’m convinced, by witnessing first hand the saving power and life changing influence of the Holy Spirit in this ministry, that our Savior will repeat that verse again and again to the faithful hands that have labored, and do labor, to bring them in.
If you are in search of a place of service, if you desire the blessings of God and want to be a blessing to Him, then I submit to you the Bus Ministry.
“He that goeth forth and weepeth, bearing precious seed, shall doubtless come again with rejoicing, bringing his sheaves with him.” Psalms 126:6
- Spencer Close, Bus Director, Sharon Baptist Church
Yet another Soul-Winning principle that has great implications for our witness is the message that we are declaring. Why is the message so important? Because Paul tells us “For I am not ashamed of the gospel of Christ: for it is the power of God unto salvation to every one that believeth; to the Jew first, and also to the Greek.” If this message is the ‘power of God unto salvation’ we must know what the message is. In our day confusion seems to be the norm when it comes to the message of salvation. Popular thought concerning salvation today says there are many ways to Heaven. However, this leads to confusion in the heart of the individual and also in fact is contrary to the Word of God. Perhaps even worse is the inability of the child of God to communicate the Good News of salvation to someone who is lost. It is therefore critical that every child of God not only understand the Gospel Message, but be able to take a Bible and show someone else ‘the way’ (As it was called in the old days: John 14:6, Acts 9:2, Acts 19:9, Acts 19:23) of salvation.
We first must declare what this message is; the Bible tells us first of all that this message is Good News.
From the very beginning in the Garden of Eden, God gave Adam and Eve good news following the terrible results sin. In Genesis 3:15 we find:
“And I will put enmity between thee and the woman, and between thy seed and her seed; it shall bruise thy head, and thou shalt bruise his heel.”
Though on the surface this does not seem like good news, it in fact is. “Her seed,” spoken of here, is a reference to the enmity between man and the evil one. But certainly is a reference to the future when our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ would crush the head of the serpent, triumphing over our Adversary; that ‘old serpent’ (Revelation 12:9, 20:2) the Devil.
Moving forward in the Bible to Genesis 13 we find further these words spoken to Abraham:
“And I will bless them that bless thee, and curse him that curseth thee: and in thee shall all families of the earth be blessed.”
‘All families of the earth’ are certainly blessed in Abraham by the coming of Jesus Christ. Our Savior Jesus Christ was in fact of the lineage of Abraham (Matthew 1:1); Him being all God and yet all Man.
And finally, as we come to Luke 2:10,11 where the Bible declares this from a heavenly messenger:
“And the angel said unto them, Fear not: for, behold, I bring you good tidings of great joy [or we could say, Good News], which shall be to all people. For unto you is born this day in the city of David a Saviour, which is Christ the Lord.”
The message we bring to this world is certainly good news. And this good news is Jesus Christ. To speak of any message that is devoid of Jesus Christ is no good message at all because the Bible shows that Jesus Christ is the good news. In fact, any so-called ‘gospel’ that does no center around the person and work of Jesus Christ deviates from what God’s Word teaches.
What about Jesus Christ makes this good news? We are told that our Savior came from Heaven to earth; was God in the flesh (incarnate); lived among us; died on a cross paying the sin debt for you and I; rose from the grave after three days and ascended back to Heaven victorious. Take note of the following verse:
“Moreover, brethren, I declare unto you the gospel which I preached unto you, which also ye have received, and wherein ye stand; By which also ye are saved, if ye keep in memory what I preached unto you, unless ye have believed in vain. For I delivered unto you first of all that which I also received, how that Christ died for our sins according to the scriptures; And that he was buried, and that he rose again the third day according to the scriptures:”
Paul declares that this good news message is wrapped up in the death, burial, and resurrection of Jesus Christ. But why did He die, why was He buried and why did He rise from the grave?
This is where the good news is applicable to those who are lost. Isaiah 53:5 gives us a good indication of why He died. “But he (speaking of Jesus) was wounded for our transgressions, he was bruised for our iniquities: the chastisement of our peace was upon him; and with his stripes we are healed.” All of these phrases vividly speak of the suffering atonement that Jesus Christ made for us. The why is explained in the fact that we have transgressed, we have committed iniquity. This good news at first starts out with bad news. The bad news is that we have a problem that could not be dealt with otherwise. Peter in his first epistle explains it this way, “Who his own self bare our sins in his own body on the tree, that we, being dead to sins, should live unto righteousness: by whose stripes ye were healed.” (I Peter 2:24) This problem originates for man all the way back in the third chapter of Genesis where we saw the first indication of Good News! He died, was buried but then we understand he rose from the grave. Romans 4:25 tells us why His resurrection is significant to the message. It states that Jesus Christ, “…was delivered for our offences, and was raised again for our justification.” By His resurrection we see His work completed and accepted of the Father. We also understand that we who by faith accept God’s gift of salvation are justified or declared righteous by His resurrection. And lastly by his resurrection we have a lively hope according to I Peter 1:3!
So, we understand the message is the Good News, secondly, we understand the Good News is Jesus Christ, but lastly what are we to communicate to others on how to respond to this message.
The Response to the Message
We can sum it up as it is put in Acts 20:21, “Testifying both to the Jews, and also to the Greeks, repentance toward God, and faith toward our Lord Jesus Christ.” This message of Good News should draw men to repentance and a decision of faith or trust in the Lord Jesus Christ. Ultimately, this is the prime mover of the heart, that God loves us so much, He sent His Son to be the payment (propitiation) for our sin who accomplished just that by His death, burial and resurrection. How can one accept this gift of salvation? By calling upon the name of the Lord (Romans 10:13). The heart expression of faith towards Jesus Christ. "That if thou shalt confess with thy mouth the Lord Jesus, and shalt believe in thine heart that God hath raised him from the dead, thou shalt be saved. For with the heart man believeth unto righteousness; and with the mouth confession is made unto salvation. For the scripture saith, Whosoever believeth on him shall not be ashamed." (Romans 10: 9-11)
Let us be good students of the Good News to communicate to others what we have already found!
- Pastor James, Community Outreach Pastor, Sharon Baptist Church
Sharon Baptist church is an independent, fundamental Baptist church located in Hampton, VA.
Showing People the Way to God
- Personal Evangelism
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