They Died in the Service
They Died in the Service
One Sunday after worship, the preacher noticed a little boy named Alex staring up at a large plaque hanging in the foyer. This plaque had names listed all over it and American flags on each side. The six-year-old had been staring at the plaque for some time, so the preacher walked up, stood beside the boy, and said quietly, "Good morning, Alex." "Good morning," replied the young boy, still focused on the plaque. "What is this?" Alex asked. "Well, it's a memorial to all the young men and women who died in the service." Soberly and silently they stood together, staring at the large plaque. Finally breaking the silence, little Alex's voice was trembling and barely audible when he asked, "Which one, the morning or evening service?"
Maybe we should have a plague with all the names of those who died in service. NO, not those who died in the pew, when I went a little long, but those who died spiritually when in service to the Lord. Those who once were faithful in attendance. Those who were actively participating in L2L, teaching, leading worship, etc. A plague remembering those who, like Demas, have gone back to the world (2 Timothy 4:10). Maybe we need a plague for those who have left the faith for “a different Gospel; which is really not another (Galatians 1:6, 7).
No, I am not saying we put a memorial to them, but if we had a physical reminder we had to pass every time we came through the doors, it might do some good. For starters, it might remind us what we stand to lose, if we follow them. It might serve to encourage us to renew our relationship with our Savior and work harder at our salvation (Philippians 2:12). It might create a little fear and trembling. Maybe it would bring to mind images painted in the Word, such as: (1 Peter 2:20, 21) “For if, after they have escaped the defilements of the world by the knowledge of the Lord and Savior Jesus Christ, they are again entangled in them and are overcome, the last state has become worse for them than the first. For it would be better for them not to have known the way of righteousness, than having known it, to turn away from the holy commandment handed on to them.” Or the images of a clean sow returning to wallow in the filth and a talk consuming his own vomit (verse 22).
Secondly, it might challenge us to do something about their condition. If we had a physical reminder of the friends, loved ones and family members we have lost to the world and false teaching, we might be more inclined to pray for them, seek them and reach to them.
I guess putting a plague in the entryway is not the most practical idea, but what about putting list on your desk, refrigerator or mirror? By the way, when was the last time you did anything about an erring brother/sister? In HIM, Odie