See You Next Year!
DR. SHELTON SMITH
Although we have our eye on the sky and our ear tuned to hear the trumpet, should the Lord not return, 2021 will be here very quickly.
I read today where a well-known evangelical leader declared to his denomination that they must “change or die.” His pitch is so common these days as to be hackneyed. It is an appeal for churches to allow the evolving culture to have a seat on the platform at Sunday morning church time. Such compromise is heretical foolishness, but it is common in a lot of churches today.
Well, I have an announcement to make. When I “See You Next Year,” I will still be opposing that ungodly nonsense. We will not budge even one silly centimeter in that direction.
When I “See You Next Year,” we will have
I. The Same Bible!
Everything rises or falls right here. Either you have an authentic text, or you don’t. Either you have a text from which you can declare, “Thus saith the LORD,” or you don’t. Either you have a Bible that is undiluted and undefiled, or you don’t.
If you have a King James Bible, you have exactly what you need. Whether reading my Bible, teaching it, preaching it or witnessing one-on-one in 2021, I will have in my hands “the same Bible.”
II. The Same Vision!
COVID may slow us down, but our goals are unchanged. Heaven is sweet, Hell is hot and both are real places. Everybody who lives will die someday (unless the Lord comes first) and everyone will go to either Heaven or Hell.
In order to escape Hell and enter Heaven, we need a Savior. Jesus is the Savior and He has commissioned us to take the message far and near.
III. The Same Doctrine!
The culture always clamors to be heard, but they need to be the ones who hear. Our message remains the same; namely,
1. we were created, not evolved;
2. we have an inspired, inerrant Bible, the Word of God;
3. Jesus is the Messiah (Christ) promised of God throughout the Old Testament;
4. salvation is available to everybody;
5. salvation is received by God’s grace when we put our faith (trust) in the Lord Jesus;
6. baptism is by immersion—for believers only;
7. the local church is God’s idea;
8. Sunday is the Lord’s Day;
9. the Christian life is one of holiness and godliness;
10. the Lord is coming again someday (pretribulation, premillennial);
11. Bible truth is always true and needs no revision or modification.
IV. The Same Convictions!
We have convictions based on the great truths (doctrines) of the Scripture. We have been and we will be strongly opposed to alcohol, abortion, infanticide, euthanasia, homosexuality and same-sex marriage.
We have taken and we will take a stand against Calvinism, Arminianism, the ecumenical practices and the charismatic movement.
We still believe a man is a man and a woman is a woman and they should act and look the part in a distinctively defining way. Yes, I mean grooming, clothes and whatever else is involved.
V. The Same Burden!
We do have a burden for revival and soul winning. We have a burden for our pastors, evangelists, and missionaries. We have a burden for our pulpits and preaching. We have a burden to see our churches catch the fire of God in their midst. We have a burden to get out the Gospel and see people saved.
We have a burden for marriages and for families. We have a burden for America’s youth. We have a burden over the political scene in our country. We have a burden for our national and state leaders. We have a burden for our military men and women.
We have a burden for our police, firemen, EMTs and other emergency personnel. We have a burden for the more than two million incarcerated men and women in America’s prisons and jails.
Yes, we have had these burdens throughout the years and they are our focus still.
VI. The Same Game Plan!
It is way past time to make some mature decisions. Turn off the TV! Shut off your computer! Get off the internet! Silence your phone! At least some parts of the day you can do this. Stop wasting time reading every silly post that pops up on Twitter.
The game plan that we advocate involves faithfulness to family, church, prayer, reading the Bible, witnessing, making a living, living godly and being a blessing to others.
VII. The Same Hope, Same Joy and Same Excitement!
Has 2020 been a tough year? Have we all had our struggles? Is our country in a mess? Yes, yes, and yes! All of these things and more are true, but let’s not cower to the problems and cave in because of them.
Let’s believe God! Let’s walk with the Lord! Let’s fan the flame in our hearts! Let’s let the joy bells ring! Let’s stay on target! Let’s not bend to the pressures of the times! Let’s give the Lord our best today and every day!
Some of us need to kick discouragement on down the road, rise with the morning sun and get back in the race.
Rekindle the hope! Reclaim the joy! And rebuild the excitement!
Am I concerned about our “perilous times” (II Tim. 3:1)? Yes, I am!
I am concerned enough to know that the world does not have the answers we need. God does!
Whatever voices are clamoring to change church, change how we serve God, change our values and views, I am still committed to following what I have found in the Word of God.
So when I “See You Next Year,” you will know that I’m still who I was this time a year ago.
When I “See You Next Year,” I trust that you too will still be on a solid, scriptural footing.
Oh, dear friend, for your friendship and your fellowship I am so very grateful; and I hope that I will indeed “see you (sometime) next year.” Amen!