One really nice thing about not having a television is that I have gotten out of the habit of zoning-out in front of the idiot box at the end of the day. And let’s be honest, there are a lot of things on television that are not faith-building. In fact, there are far more unchristian and even antichristian programs than there are Christian programs. Ask yourself this: if I wouldn’t let my children or grandchildren watch this, then why am I watching it?
Instead of television, what I do is spend time with friends, read a book, or watch sermons on You Tube. Instead of only hearing 1 Bible-based message a week, I hear as many as 10. The Bible says: “So then faith comes by hearing, and hearing by the Word of God,” (Romans 10:17, NKJV). So if I have a lot of faith, that is why—I’m hearing the Word of God daily. And do you know what? That gives me more of an appetite for the Word of God, which gives me more faith. It’s a righteous cycle. Hallelujah!
This morning I was praying for Europe, my mission field. My fellow missionaries understand the burden I feel for Europe because each of us feels that for our respective mission fields. It’s not a burden in the way that most people think of burdens. Rather, it’s a deep longing and desire to pray and to keep bringing Europe’s people before the throne of God.
So as I was praying this morning, the Holy Spirit reminded me of something I heard in a sermon recently. The sermon was about calling on angelic help. “Are not all angels ministering spirits sent to serve those who will inherit salvation?” (Hebrews 1:14, emphasis mine). There are billions of angels. A third of the angels rebelled, including a cherub named Lucifer, and became fallen angels, also called demons. Matthew 18:10 makes it clear that each child has a guardian angel. So if there are over 7 billion people currently alive on planet earth (check out: World Population Clock), then that means that there are billions of angels. In addition to the guardian angel that each of us has, there are messenger angels (like Gabriel), warrior angels (like Michael), and worship angels (like the ones around God’s throne). And the angels have ranks: angels, archangels, princes, thrones, etc.
So, given that there are literally billions of angels, outnumbering the demons by 2 to 1, then there are a whole lot of angels ready to help us. But they’re mostly idle because we haven’t asked God to send angels to help us.
Note: Never go directly to the angels, themselves. They take their orders from God. If you ask an angel to help you, you will unknowingly be inviting a demon to interfere in your life. Whereas God must be invited to act on your behalf, demons will push their way into the slightest opening that they are given. If you’re curious about the purpose and position of angels, read the first chapter of Hebrews.
Often I am saddened by the spiritual state of Europe. Operation World says that Europe is “by far the most secular and least religious continent,” (pg. 79). On top of that, there are not anywhere near enough missionaries to bring the Gospel to every part of Europe. My organization, European Faith Missions, in partnership with GoMissions, is working to remedy that situation by offering an online bulletin board for matching missionaries with serving opportunities in Europe. But Europe has failed to capture the imagination of most Christians.
Americans think of Europe as a wealthy place because that’s where rich people go on vacation. The reality is that there is a much bigger gap between rich and poor here, and there is practically no middle class in most European countries. Moreover, the third world can be found in every gypsy camp throughout Europe.
I am very aware that the clock is ticking down to the end, and it’s very near. So, inspired by the Holy Spirit, I prayed for angels to help in the task of spreading the Gospel throughout Europe. On Judgment Day we won’t be judged for our sins because if we’re Christian, then Jesus has already paid the full price for our sins at the cross. But we will be judged for our works. Don’t misunderstand that as meaning anything like salvation by works. Each of us has been given spiritual gifts and work to do for the Lord. On Judgment Day we will receive the reward for our work.
No one can lay any foundation other than the one already laid, which is Jesus Christ. If anyone builds on this foundation using gold, silver, costly stones, wood, hay or straw, their work will be shown for what it is, because the Day will bring it to light. It will be revealed with fire, and the fire will test the quality of each person’s work. If what has been built survives, the builder will receive a reward. If it is burned up, the builder will suffer loss but yet will be saved—even though only as one escaping through the flames. 1 Corinthians 3:11-15, emphasis mine
Salvation determines where we will spend Eternity, our work on earth determines our reward for Eternity (read the parable of the talents in Matthew 25:14-30). Do you know what our reward is? God told Abraham: “Do not be afraid, Abram. I am your Shield, your very Great Reward,” (Genesis 15:1, emphasis mine). Our reward will be how much facetime we have with God. Each time I experience the presence of God, it leaves me wanting more. His presence is our reward, and how much we get to experience of His presence in Eternity will be determined by how faithfully we carried out our work here on earth. Remember how the people begged Moses to put a veil over his face because he shined too much with the glory after talking with God (Exodus 34:29-35)? Well, I believe that the same glory that caused the people to avoid Moses will attract the people to us in Eternity.
But it’s not the people that interest me so much, but being in the presence of God. That’s where I want to spend my time in Eternity. I want a Great Reward!
If Christians fail to answer the call of God to come to this mission field, I will call the angels to do their work. And those of us who answered the call will have our Reward. God is good! And His presence is the best Reward I could ever get! He is my very Great Reward! Hallelujah!