Devoted to the Propagation and Defense of New Testament Christianity
March 20, 1958
NUMBER 45, PAGE 8-9b

Wanted: Full-Time Workers

Weldon Warnock, New Martinsville, West Virginia

"Then saith he unto his disciples, The harvest truly is plenteous, but the laborers are few; Pray ye therefore the Lord of the harvest, that he will send forth laborers into his harvest." (Mt. 9:37-38.) From this passage we see that Jesus needs all the workers that he can get.

The Bible plainly teaches that Christians are to be workers. Jesus, in Matthew 20, compares the kingdom to a vineyard. A vineyard is a place of work. Paul said that we are "laborers together with God." The Apostle again stated that each Christian must work out his own salvation with fear and trembling.

Another verse which teaches us to work and which is the basis of our remarks is I Cor. 15:58. It reads: "Therefore, my beloved brethren, be ye steadfast, unmoveable, always abounding in the work of the Lord forasmuch as ye know that your labor is not in vain in the Lord." The following lessons are taught in this verse.

Workers . . .. Brethren

If you are a brother you are exhorted to work. This responsibility rests upon every Christian, not just the elders or preacher or the faithful few. Paul compares the church to the human body in Rom. 12 and I Cor. 12. We can see from this that each member of the body has its own particular work; so it is in the spiritual body. All cannot be elders, preachers, deacons, song-leaders, or have a leading part, but each can serve to the best of his ability This is all that God expects.

In some congregations, instead of the members working as they should, they try to hire a preacher to become their "pastor" and do their work for them. Some churches want a preacher who has a pleasing personality, who is good looking, a "spark plug" or promoter, a good mixer a psychologist, song leader, and a host of other things What the church needs are preachers to preach, elders to "eld", deacons to "deak", and members to "mem".

We need to try to make, if possible, "Sunday-morning only-goers" conscious that they are responsible before God to attend every service of the church and help out in any way that they can. If God will permit the "oncers' to go to heaven in their apathy, then he will permit all of his children to go on the same basis. So, let's just close the doors of the meeting house on Sunday and Wednesday nights, eliminate gospel meetings, have curb service for the Lord's Supper on Sunday morning and all go to heaven like "greased lightning."

Ask yourself this question brother: What if all the members were just like I am, what kind of church would it be? The answer is sorry in many cases, I'm afraid. It is no wonder that it is so difficult to convert people. The half-converted members stand in their way. Many brethren drink, have a filthy tongue, are covetous and attend worship when they take a notion. As Brother T. Q. Martin used to say, "There is better religion than that in hell."

Let's work brethren. Study the Bible, teach the truth, visit the sick and destitute, attend all the services of the church possible and do any other good work when we have an opportunity.

Requirement For Workers .... Conviction

The Corinthians were told to be steadfast and unmovable. All must have these characteristics to work. A fickle man seldom will do anything. You can always tell the brethren who have conviction. They are interested in the progress of the church, and consequently are the ones who do the work. A member who hasn't any conviction doesn't care much what happens. The salvation or condemnation of people doesn't seem to stir him, nor if the church folds up, he isn't bothered.

The Jerusalem church was a steadfast church. Acts 2:42 says: "And they continued steadfastly in the apostles' doctrine and fellowship, and in breaking of bread, and in prayers." These brethren wanted all of the truth and they weren't ashamed of the gospel either. I can't imagine any of them going fishing, visiting relatives or attending a reunion thus missing worship. These Jerusalem brethren knew the meaning of pure Christianity and were devoted to it, even unto martyrdom. They were conscious of the value of a soul. Can the same be said of you?

Constancy Of Work .... Always

There is no place for spasmodic service in the Lord's vineyard. We must be constantly working. There are no arrangements for retirement in this life as long as we are able to do something. Retirement comes after we put off this earthly tabernacle. John says we will then rest from our labors. (Rev. 14:13.) Some are satisfied to come a Sunday and miss a Sunday. Others come only on "Easter." Many are only "good weather" workers. The weather has to be almost perfect before you see much of them. But "always" means during all kinds of circumstances.

Fervency Of Work . . . . Abounding

To be just mediocre in the Lord's work is not enough. We must abound in it. Observe that Paul said "abounding" and not "bounding." There are many brethren who are "bounding" in the work of the Lord. They are continually on the go. They never concentrate their efforts in one congregation, but "float" around from one congregation to .the other. They do this to get away from responsibilities.

Abounding means, "exceeding or excelling." Brethren are to excel the righteousness of the sects. Jesus said: "For I say unto you, That except your righteousness shall exceed the righteousness of the scribes and Pharisees, ye shall in no case enter into the kingdom of heaven." (Mt. 5:20.) This, of course, means in quality. Quantity would just mean more of the same thing. They are to exceed or excel the minimum requirements. Jesus said, "And whosoever shall compel thee to go a mile, go with him twain." (Mt. 5:41.) Many are pleased to do just enough to get by or satisfy their conscience. This is the reason you see the church house filled to capacity on Sunday morning and only half-full on Sunday night. We should consider working for Christ a privilege instead of something we have to do. Again, brethren are to exceed the past. The life of a Christian is a growth or development. Peter states, "And besides this, giving all diligence, add to your faith virtue; and to virtue knowledge; And to knowledge temperance; and to temperance patience; and to patience godliness; And to godliness brotherly kindness; and to brotherly kindness charity. For if these things be in you, and abound, they make you that ye shall neither be barren nor unfruitful in the knowledge of our Lord Jesus Christ." (2 Pet. 1:5-8.) Do we have more virtue, knowledge etc., this year than we did last year? If not, we are treading on dangerous ground. The church needs abounding workers.

Reason For Work .... Reward

"Therefore" in the verse under consideration is a conjunction and means, "in view of this or that." Paul had been talking about the resurrection of the saints and the second coming of Christ. If we are to be resurrected with the just and go to live eternally with the Lord, we must be steadfast, unmovable, always abounding in the work of the Lord.

We must work also in order to shun hell. If we work in the Lord, our labor won't be in vain.