Westminster Assembly

Westminster Assembly

Acts 6:4

"But we will give ourselves continually to prayer, and to the ministry of the Word."



1 Timothy 4:6-16

" If thou put the brethren in remembrance of these things, thou shalt be a good minister of Jesus Christ, nourished up in the words of faith and of good doctrine, whereunto thou hast attained. But refuse profane and old wives' fables, and exercise thyself rather unto godliness. For bodily exercise profiteth little: but godliness is profitable unto all things, having promise of the life that now is, and of that which is to come. This is a faithful saying and worthy of all acceptation. For therefore we both labour and suffer reproach, because we trust in the living God, who is the Saviour of all men, specially of those that believe. These things command and teach. Let no man despise thy youth; but be thou an example of the believers, in word, in conversation, in charity, in spirit, in faith, in purity. Till I come, give attendance to reading, to exhortation, to doctrine. Neglect not the gift that is in thee, which was given thee by prophecy, with the laying on of the hands of the presbytery. Meditate upon these things; give thyself wholly to them; that thy profiting may appear to all. Take heed unto thyself, and unto the doctrine; continue in them: for in doing this thou shalt both save thyself, and them that hear thee." 1 Tim 4:6-16 (KJV)

"Your Commission Or Your Follies, What Will It Be?" by Shane C. Montgomery

Friday, December 17, 2010
"For though I preach the gospel, I have nothing to glory of: for necessity is laid upon me; yea, woe is unto me, if I preach not the gospel!"     1 Cor 9:16 (KJV)

 "Woe is unto me, if I preach not the Gospel!"   I wonder today if we can relate to these words spoken by the Apostle Paul?   Do we find ourselves in despair and anguish on days and even hours that we remain idle?   Ah, am I touching upon a sore area now my friend?   More than likely, you have stopped reading this article.  Why?   Maybe it is of little interest to you, have you forgotten your commission so quickly my dear brother or sister in Christ?

 What commission? You are now asking.  Why the very same commission laid upon Paul to preach and teach the Gospel of Jesus Christ.   Paul evangelized as the commissioned representative for Christ.  Just as you were commissioned my dear friend.  Are you observing your commission?  Paul, given much more than the simple task of speaking about the Gospel to friends and family from time to time, his commission extended way beyond his cozy little comfort zone.  He spoke the Gospel to sinners, sinners he knew and sinners he did not know.   What does your commission require?   Does is state that you are to, on occasion, and after you solidly befriend the individual, to then speak of the things of Christ?  No, I think that commission was never given my friend.

  The commission laid upon Paul was to go out into the world and preach the Gospel to every creature, mostly and mainly the Gentiles.  Do we have any Gentiles today?   Of course!   They are everywhere are they not.   I wonder if our brother Paul was with us yet today would he sit so idly by and make the same excuses we make?   Oh, you say you are not called to evangelized!  Well then, that is a different story, for then you my friend are not called at all then are you!   You who claim no such commissioning can not claim my Christ either then!   For my Christ called and commissioned His sheep.   Then you, by your denial of Him and His call, you sure as well have denied Him who delivered you!   My friend, may you please be on your way with other worldly doings because I am simply wasting your time.   You who deny the calling of Christ and who deny His commission, well, you deny Him and hence forth you are not one of His own because my Lord says so clearly, "My Sheep Hear My Voice, and they Know Me and I know them!"

  Are you sure you are one of His sheep?   Are you sure you hear His voice and not that of that dirty old man, Satan!   Oh yes, Satan knows well how to mimic the voice of He who died for His sheep.   The Devil and his demons know a thing or two about you, think not that they care little for you, for you see, they cannot afford to lose you.   They will fight for you, tooth and nail, even to go as far as to speak like your Savior, in tones that soothe your soul and rest your weary mind.  They know how to sound somewhat like Him, but they cannot fool His very sheep.   Oh, they will try, but with little luck.   So it is that I must ask you once again, are you sure you belong to my Christ?

 My Christ commissioned His sheep to go into all the world and preach the Gospel to every creature!  Paul did this, Paul did this and then some, why, because Paul understood his duties as a believer.  Paul understood what was meant by those few words.  Maybe, just maybe the words that make up the last dozen or so verses in Mark's Gospel were not included in the original Greek text, maybe this is news to you, but later documents, the Dead Sea Scrolls for example have shown documents that omit these last several verses, but so what!   Even if those last verses were penned in later by Erasmus in his translation or by one of his scribes or even some other over zealous scribe, even if all that is true, we cannot ignore the rest of the entirety of Scripture.  You see, throughout Holy Writ, we read of the commission of all believers to evangelize.

  We must look to the Apostle Paul as an example of one who was obedient to His calling.  For Paul not only understood this commissioning, he acted upon it.   Do we do this as well?    Most do not.  Paul understood that even the Old Testament taught of the need....no, the necessity of us to warn the lost.   In the book of Ezekiel we find verses that make my blood run cold dear friend.

"1 Again the word of the Lord came unto me, saying, 2 Son of man, speak to the children of thy people, and say unto them, When I bring the sword upon a land, if the people of the land take a man of their coasts, and set him for their watchman: 3 If when he seeth the sword come upon the land, he blow the trumpet, and warn the people; 4 Then whosoever heareth the sound of the trumpet, and taketh not warning; if the sword come, and take him away, his blood shall be upon his own head. 5 He heard the sound of the trumpet, and took not warning; his blood shall be upon him. But he that taketh warning shall deliver his soul. 6 But if the watchman see the sword come, and blow not the trumpet, and the people be not warned; if the sword come, and take any person from among them, he is taken away in his iniquity; but his blood will I require at the watchman's hand. 7 So thou, O son of man, I have set thee a watchman unto the house of Israel; therefore thou shalt hear the word at my mouth, and warn them from me. 8 When I say unto the wicked, O wicked man, thou shalt surely die; if thou dost not speak to warn the wicked from his way, that wicked man shall die in his iniquity; but his blood will I require at thine hand".                                Ezek 33:1-8 (KJV)
  What do these eight verses from the prophet Ezekiel say to you dear reader?   I know what they say to me, and I tremble!   I am a watchman for the house of Israel, (Christ's Church).  I take this commission more serious than my own life.  My days upon this earth are short, being 44 now and in poor health, I have little time to beat around the bush.   I do not have the luxury of time anymore, I have squandered that gift long ago in rebellion toward God, now my desire is to serve Him until the end.   If I could ask for and be granted one wish, it would be that I may live another thousand years!  Not for any selfish reasons, but that I could spend every day of those thousand years in praise, worship, prayer, Word and in observing and upholding my commission to be a herald of the Good News of Christ the Savior of Sinners!    Then again, this reason may indeed be selfish.   

  I hope you are a constant student of His Word and if so you are familiar with the Pauline Epistles. In reading Paul's letters we see that he took his commission to it's furthest point, he in fact observed the entire body of the commission, in that he not only spoke of the Gospel, but he did in fact Teach the Gospel as well.   Now, here you may be saying, "Wait!  That was never in Matthew or Mark or any other book!"   But I say to you it is!   Our commission as His sheep is to Preach and Teach!   Just as Paul did.   Just as we are to do!    Even more than Preaching and Teaching are these things added- Evangelizing is more than Preaching, Instructing and imparting information, it is a heartfelt attempt to Convert the sinner!    

  Even though we cannot convert anyone, even though we have no power to change the mind or soul of another, we are expected to do all we can in the matter of conversion of the lost soul.  This sounds like I am going against my own Calvinistic doctrines, I know, I admit it sounds this way,  but listen to what I have to say,-

"12 For there is no difference between the Jew and the Greek: for the same Lord over all is rich unto all that call upon him. 13 For whosoever shall call upon the name of the Lord shall be saved. 14 How then shall they call on him in whom they have not believed? and how shall they believe in him of whom they have not heard? and how shall they hear without a preacher? 15 And how shall they preach, except they be sent? as it is written, How beautiful are the feet of them that preach the gospel of peace, and bring glad tidings of good things! 16 But they have not all obeyed the gospel. For Esaias saith, Lord, who hath believed our report? 17 So then faith cometh by hearing, and hearing by the word of God."                                 Romans 10:12-17 (KJV)

"Faith comes by hearing, and hearing by the Word of God."    They Must First Hear before they can be regenerated!   Do we get this part?!   Do we really!?  How can we expect anyone to be saved outside of the preaching of the Word?   God, by His good grace, saves sinners and then He regenerates them through the indwelling of His Spirit and Christ inside the believer.   God alone saves and God Alone Sanctifies.   I do not for one moment give credit to anyone except God in the Salvation and Sanctification of anyone!   But we are commanded to uphold our commission to preach and teach the Gospel of Christ!   You cannot explain this duty away, you cannot and you must not!   To dismiss your duty is to dismiss your God!   Can you live with that?  Because I cannot!

  We, as ambassadors of Christ have been sent out into the world to preach and teach, but we have not been sent out empty handed.... we have been given a tool, the best tool ever.   We have the Gospel Hammer!   Alone with His Holy Spirit we go into the world and we find Stony Hearts, hearts in rebellion toward God and we confront them, we use the Gospel Hammer to hammer away at those stony hearts until God in His grace, breaks that heart of stone and reveals the heart of flesh underneath.   You swing this Gospel Hammer by preaching and teaching the Gospel.   But you have tried and they rejected you right?  No, they rejected the Gospel, they rejected Christ, so what!   Pick that hammer up again and start swinging!  Swing it again and again until God uses it to break through.   It is not up to you or me to decide when we have swung that hammer enough, it is up to God.   Swing the Gospel Hammer until your arms swells with pain and inflammation, and then swing it some more!

  Do you fear man?   Do you fear condemnation?   Sheep of Christ, why do you fear?   Did not Paul tell us in Romans Chapter 8, "There is therefore now no condemnation to them which are in Christ Jesus, who walk not after the flesh, but after the Spirit."    Romans 8:1 (KJV)

So then, Walk after the Spirit and not after yourself!  Might I add this?- "For as many as are led by the Spirit of God, they are the sons of God. 15 For ye have not received the spirit of bondage again to fear; but ye have received the Spirit of adoption, whereby we cry, Abba, Father" Romans 8:14-15 (KJV)

Do you worry about suffering at the hands of unbelievers when you share the Gospel?
"For I reckon that the sufferings of this present time are not worthy to be compared with the glory which shall be revealed in us."         Romans 8:18 (KJV)

Do you feel you have something of great value that may be lost if you fulfill your commission?
"What shall we then say to these things? If God be for us, who can be against us? 32 He that spared not his own Son, but delivered him up for us all, how shall he not with him also freely give us all things? 33 Who shall lay any thing to the charge of God's elect? It is God that justifieth. 34 Who is he that condemneth? It is Christ that died, yea rather, that is risen again, who is even at the right hand of God, who also maketh intercession for us. 35 Who shall separate us from the love of Christ? shall tribulation, or distress, or persecution, or famine, or nakedness, or peril, or sword? 36 As it is written, For thy sake we are killed all the day long; we are accounted as sheep for the slaughter. 37 Nay, in all these things we are more than conquerors through him that loved us. 38 For I am persuaded, that neither death, nor life, nor angels, nor principalities, nor powers, nor things present, nor things to come, 39 Nor height, nor depth, nor any other creature, shall be able to separate us from the love of God, which is in Christ Jesus our Lord."   Romans 8:31-39 (KJV)

What do you have to fear in upholding your commission?    Nothing!   You have nothing to fear but the fear of man, and what kind of fear is that?   What if Paul had that fear?   How would the church be today if everyone through out the history of His Church feared approaching man, or feared speaking of something so wonderful as Christ's atonement for sins to your friends and family?  How do you sleep at night you who deny your commission?   You know it to be valid, yet you do not care, you know what you must do, yet you rest.   Why?   Is the pleasures of this world too much of a distraction for you?  If so, you may not belong to Him.  Your election might be false.  You may not be one of His sheep.   You might just be one of Satan's goats.  Did not Jesus say in Matthew 25-

31" When the Son of man shall come in his glory, and all the holy angels with him, then shall he sit upon the throne of his glory: 32 And before him shall be gathered all nations: and he shall separate them one from another, as a shepherd divideth his sheep from the goats: 33 And he shall set the sheep on his right hand, but the goats on the left. 34 Then shall the King say unto them on his right hand, Come, ye blessed of my Father, inherit the kingdom prepared for you from the foundation of the world: 35 For I was an hungred, and ye gave me meat: I was thirsty, and ye gave me drink: I was a stranger, and ye took me in: 36 Naked, and ye clothed me: I was sick, and ye visited me: I was in prison, and ye came unto me. 37 Then shall the righteous answer him, saying, Lord, when saw we thee an hungred, and fed thee? or thirsty, and gave thee drink? 38  When saw we thee a stranger, and took thee in? or naked, and clothed thee? 39  Or when saw we thee sick, or in prison, and came unto thee? 40 And the King shall answer and say unto them, Verily I say unto you, Inasmuch as ye have done it unto one of the least of these my brethren, ye have done it unto me. 41 Then shall he say also unto them on the left hand, Depart from me, ye cursed, into everlasting fire, prepared for the devil and his angels: 42 For I was an hungred, and ye gave me no meat: I was thirsty, and ye gave me no drink: 43 I was a stranger, and ye took me not in: naked, and ye clothed me not: sick, and in prison, and ye visited me not. 44 Then shall they also answer him, saying, Lord, when saw we thee an hungred, or athirst, or a stranger, or naked, or sick, or in prison, and did not minister unto thee? 45 Then shall he answer them, saying, Verily I say unto you, Inasmuch as ye did it not to one of the least of these, ye did it not to me. 46 And these shall go away into everlasting punishment: but the righteous into life eternal."    
Matt 25:31-46 (KJV)

Now is the time my friend, are you one of His sheep, or are you a goat?  The fact that you lack the drive to uphold your Christ given commission to preach the Gospel tells it all.  "
 But seek ye first the kingdom of God, and his righteousness; and all these things shall be added unto you."
Matt 6:33 (KJV)
As an ambassador of Christ, Paul was more than a teacher of the Gospel,  which he was charged to preach and teach and to preserve, but to those yet in sin who were perishing without the Gospel, he was a giver to those lost, he was concerned for their souls, Paul was not sent into the world to lecture sinners, but to love them!   Neither are we sent to lecture, but to love our neighbor and what better way to show your love than to show the Gospel!

My dear friend, you, me and every Christian have been given a commission, what you do with it is up to you, but for me, I must leave you now and find my hammer, for night has fallen and soon time will bring forth the day, the day in which we must leave the comforts of our homes and fulfill our commission.    This night I will spend in prayer and in His Word, preparing my Gospel Hammer for use once again.   Satan, if you read this, and you stand between God's elect and the Gospel Hammer, and you try to block the blows of His Word upon their stony hearts, then, dear monster,  I will break you in half with this very hammer!

 May God Continue to Sanctify You and Provide For Your Needs!

Be Holy!
Shane C. Montgomery


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