“For I know that this will turn out for my deliverance through your prayer and the supply of the Spirit of Jesus Christ, according to my earnest expectation and hope that in nothing I shall be ashamed but with all boldness, as always, so now also Christ will be magnified in my body, whether by life or by death. For to me, to live is Christ, and to die is gain. But if I live on in the flesh, this will mean fruit from my labor, yet what I shall choose I cannot tell. For I am hard pressed between the two, having a desire to be with Christ, which is far better. Nevertheless, to remain in the flesh is more needful for you” (Philippians 1:19-23, NKJV).
What I appreciate so much about the Word of God is the honesty about how we feel at times when this world’s problems and heartaches seem to overwhelm even the most spiritual of us. God graciously allowed the feelings and frustrations of the kings and commoners who wrote the Bible to be displayed openly. They held nothing back in terms of praise, anger, despair, faith, and the ability to ask honest questions before the LORD, knowing that in His grace, mercy, and sovereignty, all things will fall into place and work out according to His will.
The apostle Paul was no exception as he poured out his heart to the church at Philippi. He was languishing in a dingy, dirty Roman prison chained to a soldier when he wrote this letter. This letter, along with the letters to the Ephesians, Colossians, and to a brother in Christ named Philemon, were all the products of time spent in prison for the “crime” of spreading the Gospel of Jesus Christ. What I see in these verses is the heart of a man who, while yearning to be of use to the Lord Jesus while on this earth, also desires to be with Him, free from the troubles and pain that he has endured over the years for the sake of the Gospel (2 Corinthians 11:24-28).
Although I do not in any way claim to be on the same level of spiritual devotion like Paul was, right now I can say that this is how I feel, and if you’re honest, those of you reading this message and who have served the Lord Jesus throughout your life are all thinking the same thing: We want to remain faithful and obedient to Him while in this fallen world, but at the same time, we want to be with Him in the glory of heaven where we will be free from the grip of sin, sickness, and suffering forever, seeing Him in person, having fellowship with Him and our loved ones who are waiting for us to join them one great day (1 Thessalonians 4:13-18; Revelation 21:1-7).
I am tired of seeing my LORD mocked and ridiculed by wicked people and governments who have turned their backs on Him. I am tired of being mocked for my faith in Christ. I am already tired of the hassle of dialysis, the increasing medical bills, the frustration of taking numerous medications, and the never-ending round of visits to specialists, nutritionists, and other professionals who keep track of my progress and reactions to varied treatments for kidney failure which has plagued me for the past few years.
Believe me, there are days when I feel so bad that I have asked the LORD to let me fall asleep and wake up in His presence. I want to see Jesus, along with my parents, grandparents, friends, family members, and especially my daughter. I believe that the day of our deliverance is nearer than a lot of us want to admit (Luke 21:28). But while I wait for that day (and I hope you feel the same), I also know that while I am here, He has work for me to do, and that is to use the internet, social media, and online broadcasting as a means of reaching out to as many people as possible with the Gospel message, both here in the USA and around the world. I want to share with you the opportunities that the LORD has given to me so that this goal can be achieved.
After the first of the year, I will be working with a fellow pastor to initiate a series of “video crusades” to be broadcast to churches and gatherings in the regions of southern and southeast Asia. I will also be working with brethren in West Africa to begin broadcasting via “Zoom” a series on Bible prophecy to be used as a teaching series for outreach in villages, urban churches, and Christian schools. I am currently teaching a series on the Gospel of Luke on my YouTube channel, “The Reality City Review,” that you can watch or download either for individual or home church/ group study. All these overseas broadcast projects will be available for viewing and future downloads as they get underway next year or earlier.
Yes, I am ready to go home, but I also know that I need to be about the King’s business while I am in this present world. I want to hear Him tell me that I was a good and faithful servant. Even when I want to just lie down and forget about this wicked world and tell myself that sharing the Gospel is growing more futile and not worth all the hassle, ridicule, and mocking, I stop and realize that I am His servant, that the word of God will not return void, and that I am the messenger, nothing else, trusting the Holy Spirit to take what I do and have it bear fruit, whether great or small. I quietly say, “Yes, Sir,” and carry on.
I felt that I needed to share this to encourage you not to give up, stay in the fight, and keep one eye toward heaven as we wait for His glorious appearing. Until the trumpet sounds or we go the way of those before us, we need to remain devoted to the Gospel call and the work that He has assigned to each of us. When we gather around His throne one day, we can all share with each other what He did for us, what He did through us for His glory, and see the fruit of our labors. If just one person comes up to us and tells us that what we did or said brought them to faith in Christ, all the hassle we had to endure will have been worth it. Amen?
See you soon, brethren. I believe He is at the edge of heaven, ready to get us. Stay faithful.