Missions and the Bridegroom :: By Quintin Smith

This article is based on a reply to a question as to why there is seemingly a dearth of Afro-American missionaries on the world scene. I was asked due to the fact that my familyandI were missionaries in the Philippines for four years. I answer with my take on it, but then I digress some.My digression, I feel is the heart of the Bridegroom.

Many people say, “I can do better for the kingdom if you let ME have MY business/MLM company/motivational speaking gig, etc. (Even though NO souls are being birthed into the kingdom of God because the unadulterated, uncut, non-watered down gospel is not being proclaimed.)Is this, what God’s will is for you or what you want to bargain with God for His will for your life?

We ease our conscience by telling ourselves, “Well, I might not be preaching the gospel/the Bible per se but I am using biblical principles, people just don’t know it.” HUH? So now God is being used so that WE can get RICH, but God gets NO SOULS out of it? As well as not using the Scriptures out of fear that people might get offended and our crowd might not be as large─it sounds like God is being pimped.

There some brothers and sisters out there with an authentic call of God on their lives who have settled/compromised on this because it makes them money and they can do it by using biblical principles in some cases and in others it’s just worldly wisdom and nice “catchy phrases.” Preaching the RAW GOSPEL will OFFEND (although that is not the intention).

not wanting to be missionaries themselves have the ostensible motivation that says, “I want to make MILLIONS for God’s kingdom to finance work for my church, that way money can be sent to people (people that my “home” church and I have NO connection/relationship with other than sending them a check each month). Some say, “I know that can’t be God’s will for ME to go because that’s an UNCOMFORTABLE lifestyle!” Even though the Bible says, “Endure hardness, as a good soldier of Jesus Christ” (2 Timothy 2:3.)

The New Testament as a whole, the vibe it gives is one of NOT expecting a comfortable/cushy lifestyle in this life! So you wonder why you don’t see many AA missionaries out there?

That which is being preached and taught from MANY pulpits, the SEED that is being sown is producing a harvest/crop of “believers” who are WORLDLY, fleshly, inward focused and could not CARE LESS if their Bridegroom comes back or not because they are having too much fun committing adultery with the world.

They have the mindset/stronghold that says, “God wants me to be happy and well- off. To those folks I say read Hebrews 11 the “Hall of Faith” as its called and STOP being FIXATED on the fact that Abraham was rich. (Which being interpreted means, “I am supposed to be rich, too!) Read the lives of those brothers in Hebrews 11 who lived a very uncomfortable life, many being martyred. Remember John the Baptist; his life was not so cushy. Let’s stop reading the Bible through an American dream lens.

Look at all the “prophetic words” we hear nowadays: “Its YOUR time now.” “Your BEST is yet to come!” “Your Best Life Now.” (Does the New Testament REALLY convey this vibe/mindset/mentality that we are to be that hooked into THIS life like that with no eternal focus?

If ye then be risen with Christ, seek those things which are above, where Christ sitteth on the right hand of God.” (Colossians 3:1).

Think about it all. With ALL that we see happening in the world RIGHT NOW on a DAILY basis pointing to the IMMINENT return of our Bridegroom, do you REALLY think that the Word for THIS hour for the church in America has to do with “Your best life now?” Or “This is your season” and “It’s your come back season?”NO: Read Revelation and Jesus’ letter to the churches paying close attention to the FIRST church and the LAST church (HE is THE FIRST and THE LAST).

The message for the first church in Ephesus was, “You have left your first love.” Shake my head, my Lord! Look at the church in America. We are giving up our spiritual “booty” to every idol out there: Money, fame and notoriety as portrayed in the Preachers of L.A. TV series. About that, Paul told the Corinthians, settle matters between yourselves so you don’t go before UNSAVED court officials embarrassing the body of Christ.

“But brother goeth to law with brother, and that before the unbelievers” (1 Corinthians 6:6).

Here these people are claiming to be ministers and are showing that type of behavior before sinners on national television. (And we watch it). Here are some other “idols” we are chasing after: The American Dream…check…Political affiliations…check… Ethnocentrism…check…Family Relationships…check.

“He who loves [and takes more pleasure in] father or mother more than [in] Me is not worthy of Me; and he who loves [and takes more pleasure in] son or daughter more than [in] Me is not worthy of Me” (Matthew 10:37, AMP).

And Jesus The Bridegroom is WEEPING for His bride because He desires INTIMACY with her but She is too busy giving it up to her other lovers (read the book of Hosea for a clear picture from Jesus’ perspective). Just as the desire for intimacy increases as you near the wedding day, so it should be as we near Jesus’ return. He desires INTIMACY with His bride. But every time we come to Him we are asking for things: Blessings and miracles, signs and wonders or to intercede for someone or something. He is saying, “I just want to spend time with you, my bride.”Read: The Song of Solomon to see how He desires to be intimate with His bride, the church.

In closing, the “Word of the Lord” for the church in America is, “Come back to your first love and seek HIS face.” (Intimacy/just being with Him), loving Him and not just asking for things such as blessings, miracles, signs and wonders. Oh, I forgot to include the message that Jesus gave to the LAST church in Laodicea. The message to the church was, “You think you are rich and have need of nothing, but you are DESTITUTE. You think you can see, but you’re BLIND. You think you are decked out, but you are NAKED.” They saw themselves one-way, but Jesus saw them another. Ah, so it is in the church here in America: “I am rich and increased with goods, and have need of nothing.”

That sounds like the regular teaching from MANY pulpits on Sundays and midweek services here in America. Jesus does NOT see it that way. He said, “You make me want to VOMIT.” So I ask you once again, what is the real Word of the Lord? (Read 1 Kings 22). There is a FAKE word and then there is the REAL Word of the Lord for the church in America. (Keep in mind that in the book of Revelation, Jesus had a specific word for each church!) The Word for the church in America is not the same for the church in China, for example because they are not dealing with the same issues.

In NO WAY am I saying that God wants us poor and broke. What I am saying is that we here as a church in America are unbalanced and seeking after money, stuff and worldly pursuits versus pursuing with a passionate love our Bridegroom, Jesus.

MANY are deceiving themselves into thinking that what they do is of God, when in REALITY it is their OWN WILL to pursue these dreams and visions that are NOT glorifying God, neither are they producing the fruit of SAVED souls.

It is time that we focus back on Jesus our soon to return Bridegroom and reach out to hell bound sinners while we still have time. What will YOU have to show for YOUR life down here throughout eternity?

Think about it.