Bruce Collins, Evangelist

The personal website of Bruce Collins

He left All!

Luke 5:27-28  After these things He went out and saw a tax collector named Levi, sitting at the tax office. And He said to him, "Follow Me."  So he left all, rose up, and followed Him.



Matthew (Levi) was a tax collector.  He was a Jew who was collecting taxes for the Romans who ruled (occupied) Israel at that time.  Tax collectors usually bid on the right to collect taxes from an area and then anything that they collected over and above the bid was pure profit to them.  The Roman government was assured of the money from the bid, and the tax collector was assured of making a profit if he could collect more than the bid.  This was why tax collectors were despised by the Jews.  They worked for an occupying force (in the mind of a Jew) and profited at the expense of their fellow citizens.  I am glad that our current system of taxation does not work that way   For many years I filled out tax returns as a CPA, but I never collected any taxes for myself.   However, the cost of preparing the return is sort of a surtax.  Paying someone to tell you how much you owe and then having them fill out your return does not really endear you to many people—unless they were expecting to pay on April 15 and you were able to get the government to refund some taxes to them.  Nevertheless, very few people pay their taxes with joy and most would like to throttle those who are publicans—even if they are honest publicans.


When the Lord called Matthew from this profitable but despised occupation, he left all and followed the Lord.


Following today

I am not sure who people really follow today. I used to hear people quote the Bible and tell me what they had personally enjoyed from their meditations.  Now I hear people quoting Biblical scholars—some of which are good and some of which are not so good.  We follow people religiously who do not preach that all need to be saved by repenting and believing.  Some of them believe in universal salvation.  Some believe that God chooses us to believe rather than choosing believers to be his holy people.  Some find any kind of so-called baptismal rite to be acceptable to the Lord.  Some believe no baptismal rite is also acceptable.  Some think baptism or ordinances save.  Some believe organized churches save.  And we think that in reading and following these men and women we can distinguish between the truth and error in their teaching.  We believe that those that we are disciplining as young Christians will be able to distinguish truth from error when they read what some of these people have written.


The Lord tell us that to follow Him, we will have to deny ourselves.  Matthew did that.  We find that in denying ourselves we will have to worship “outside the camp.”  That is where the Lord died.  The Lord should have been crowned King in Jerusalem.  He should have been able to worship and teach in the temple.  However, religion had turned the temple or house of prayer into a den of thieves.  Religion wanted a political deliverer in Barabbas.  They didn’t want to follow a man who wouldn’t raise an army and take up arms against the Romans.  They didn’t know their own Scriptures that clearly said the Messiah would suffer before He could reign.   The Lord died outside the camp of formal Judaism and we must be willing to serve and worship Him there as well.  Rejection is tough, but true Christianity does not make us popular with the religious world.


Following the Lord is not like joining a club or following a political party.  I was asked recently how there could have been mass conversions historically in some of the South American countries.   I had to point out that scripturally there is no such a thing as a mass conversion even though multitudes were saved at one time in the early part of the Acts of the Apostles.  But there were many who did not believe.  There may be mass joining or association with with formal churches whether they be protestant or Catholic but conversion is a heart matter.  It requires conviction.  One has to be convinced that they are believing the truth.  Then and only then will one want to deny themselves, leave all, and follow the Lord.


My Personal Experience

I frankly did not leave all and follow the Lord the moment I was saved.  But through a series of events over a period of time, my wife and I came to the conclusion that I should sell my business and “follow the Lord.”  In doing so, I left the profession for which I had prepared, I left financial security, I left my comfort zone.  I was determined to keep the Gospel free and to never charge for it.  I was determined to keep the doctrine of the Gospel simple and pure but to not short change people into believing that something they did would save them.  I wanted people to understand that their salvation was a result of what Christ had done for them and was not a result of what they had done for Christ.  I wanted them to quit following men and I wanted them to quit substituting loyalty to denominationalism and nondenominationalism for loyalty to the Lord. I wanted them to be so sure that they were saved and following the Lord that if they were ever to see me make a mess of my life and faith that they would still be sure that they were following the Lord.  I wanted them to get their eye on the Lord and not on me. 


I have not achieved my goals perfectly.  But please, please, ask yourself, have you left all and followed Him?  Is your church loyalty greater than your loyalty to the Lord?  Are you still waiting for your father to die so that you can use your inheritance to follow the Lord (See Luke 9:59)?  Are you still waiting for a good bye party so that your friends and relatives can fund your new endeavor (Luke 9:61)?  Or are you willing to leave all and follow Him?  Great reward awaits those who are willing to do this.  Those rewards will not necessarily be seen in this lifetime but remember eternal rewards are forever.


Bruce Collins


Meditation for the week of November 19, 2017

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