Bruce Collins, Evangelist

The personal website of Bruce Collins

Does the Lord Trust Me?


Colossians 4:2  Continue earnestly in prayer, being vigilant in it with thanksgiving; meanwhile praying also for us, that God would open to us a door for the word, to speak the mystery of Christ, for which I am also in chains.


The Church

When Paul preached the Gospel, He looked for doors that the Lord had opened.  He had found one at Ephesus.  What joy he must have had as he saw their response to the Gospel.  But on his last personal contact with the elders at Ephesus he tells them, “For I know this, that after my departure savage wolves will come in among you, not sparing the flock. Also from among yourselves men will rise up, speaking perverse things, to draw away the disciples after themselves (Acts 20:29-30).”  He knew that the work that had started with such love and enthusiasm for the Lord, would soon be corrupted by those who were after disciples for themselves rather than making disciples for the Lord.  The Ephesians would not be able to discern savage wolves and perverse teachers.  Ultimately, according to John in Revelation 2:4, they had left their first love.  This probably took about 30 years.  The Lord had not left them but they had left the Lord. 


There is no joy in knowing that any good work that God establishes will be attacked by those who not only want to have people follow them instead of the Lord,  but who actually want to destroy that which is of God.  The joy is in knowing that with regard to the church in the broad sense, the gates of hell will not prevail against it (Matthew 16:18).  The Lord is always going to have faithful people.  They may feel isolated and alone.  They may be weak and small in number.  They may be misunderstood by the world and by secular Christians.  At times they will be considered legalistic and at times they will be considered out of touch with society.  But I want to be a part of their number.  Not only do I want to trust the Lord, but I want Him to be able to trust me.


The Joy of a Door that the Lord Opens

Sometimes we have to wonder if the Lord really does trust us.  My ministry is small.  It was supposed to be large by now.  We say we don’t measure our success by numbers or riches; but frankly, once in a while, there needs to be some encouragement in this business.  We not only need to know the promises of God, we need to see Him fulfill those promises in a tangible way.  Most of my friends are so in to teaching the Christians that they ignore the few unsaved that may be present in a meeting.   I try not to do that.  I pray for open doors in the Gospel.  And recently, once again, the Lord gave me that:


I was holding a Bible study in my local church (some of you know the name of that church is Panera Bread).  The Bible study was in a back booth and we thought we were being discreet, but maybe, just maybe, I had gotten a little bit too enthused about the subject matter at hand.  All of a sudden a college-age girl sitting ahead of us, got up and asked me if she could ask me a question.   I said absolutely.  She said I have been overhearing your conversation and I have wondered if God hates homosexuals.  Now that was not the subject of our conversation   I was happy to tell her that God hates sin but He does not hate those who sin.  In fact that is what Easter is all about.  The resurrection proves that God has been satisfied with the substitutionary sacrifice of Christ for sin, and those who have sinned in any way can be forgiven.  And that is a wonderful thing.  I did assure her that because I believe the Bible, I had to tell her that the practice of the homosexual lifestyle is sin but that it is not the only sin that grieves God.  Heterosexual sin also grieves God. We have all practiced sin of differing kinds in differing ways.  My Bible study partner was watching her face while we talked and was impressed with the fact that her question was not confrontational.  Her interest was genuine.  She did not question whether there was a God, but wanted to know how He viewed the problem.  I gave her some contact information and I hope to talk to her again. 


I was thankful that the Lord thought he could trust the two of us to be faithful to that girl.  We did see the Lord open a door to the Gospel.  We didn’t force the Gospel on that girl, but we were available and maybe kind of vocal.   On a number of occasions people in Panera’s have told us that they have been listening.  We don’t intentionally try to preach to those around us, but if they overhear, it is ok with me.  And it must be ok with the Lord. 


What joy there is in being trusted with the message of the Gospel.   Maybe, just maybe, others have overheard us as we have discussed the truth of Scripture in that “church” and maybe, just maybe, our work has influenced more people than we know.  I want to find those open doors where the Lord can trust me to be faithful to Him.  Let others be the destroyers, l want to be a builder.


Bruce Collins


Meditation for the week of March 29, 2015

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