Monday, August 11, 2008

The Night Before Outreach

Twas the night before outreach and throughout the church walls
Not a creature was stirring to the preacher's altar calls.
The people were nestled all snug in their seats,
In the hopes that he'd finish, so they could go home and eat.
Outside a community on a straight road to hell,
Inside a community unwilling to tell
That Jesus has risen and all who are lost
Could come and have life, without money or cost.
But like walls on a prison that are heavy and stout,
The Christians stayed in and the lost stayed out.
"For who has built this inseparable wall?
And who is the one resisting the call,
To go to the fields where the harvest is white
And shine in the place where He made us light?"
While the preacher was pleading to get out of the pews,
And into the fields where we could be used,
All of a sudden, in the blink of an eye,
With the blast of a trumpet, the Lord appeared in the sky.
And all those who slumbered awoke with a fright,
And instead of rejoicing began to shrink from His sight.
As we rose to meet the Lord in the air,
We could see friends and neighbors left behind down there.
Suddenly reality hit with a shock,
That we never thought to stop and consider God's clock.
For all that time we had lived for ourselves,
God's spiritual watch read "one minute till twelve."
While a people at war had continued to sleep,
The second hand to midnight had continued to creep.
We cried, "If we'd known the time was so late,
We'd have warned those poor souls of their terrible fate."
But now in hindsight we finally see clear.
If we'd only stopped and realized the time was so near.
But now as we stand to recieve our reward,
Not much is being said about our communities and boards.
The emphasis now is on "Who did you tell?"
And, "How many souls did you keep out of hell?"
As I searched for a reason or a person to blame,
I could not find excuses or escape from my shame.
I could think of the people I had chances to win,
Whose fate was now sealed and would die in their sin.
And I hung my head and started to cry
As I thought of the thousands who would now surely die.
Then all of a sudden I awoke with a fright
And realized it had all been a dream in the night.
But like Scrooge who awoke to find Christmas day,
I rushed to my closet and started to pray;
"Lord, thank you for waking me out of my slumber,
For one day I know I'll be in that number.
And when I hear my name called by your Son,
I want Him to smile and tell me, "Well done."
So, People please listen before it's too late,
We must hurry, get busy for we don't know the date.
Let us determine that like never before,
To get back in the battle and fight all the more.
Let's determine that day will cause us no shame,
By heeding His warnings and promises claim.
And consider the worth of one single soul,
And get our priority and make it our goal
To win every soul with the life-changing news,
And go to the fields where we can be used.
And as the day nears when He will step through the door
We can say, "Lord, come quickly" and rejoice all the more.

Written by Loyd Baker, then, minister of education/administration Northport Baptist Church, Northport, Alabama - 1996 Sunday School Leader Magazine

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