EXERCISING FAITH TO PREACH THE GOSPEL
Preaching the gospel is truly a matter of faith. Many times people say that we need love for sinners. There is no doubt that we need love and a real concern for sinners, but going out to preach the gospel is mainly a matter of faith. First, we have to believe whatever is spoken in the Word. If we do not believe, if we have even a little bit of doubt about the Scriptures, we lose the ground of faith, and the enemy, the devil and the demons, will know. Therefore, we have to exercise our faith, telling the Lord and telling the whole universe, “I believe in Jesus. I believe in the Triune God, and I believe in every word of the Scriptures.” We have to exercise our faith to tell the enemy that we believe all the words in the Scriptures, so we are going out to preach the gospel with assurance, confidence, and authority.
We have to exercise in this way. We cannot be indifferent when we preach. When a policeman comes to us, he comes with a definite purpose. We must learn to exercise faith to believe that we have been saved, we have ascended to the heavens, and we have been entitled with all that Christ has attained and obtained. We have to exercise faith to such an extent that we can preach the gospel in a prevailing way. We must not pay attention to any feeling. Even if feelings do come, we have to tell the enemy, “I do not accept these feelings. I do not care what kind of feeling I have. As long as I have the will, the testament, in my hand, that is good enough. I believe in this will, and I believe in this work. I do not need any kind of manifestation, and I do not need any kind of feeling.” Then we will see that the Holy Spirit honors us.
We must exercise the faith that anyone we touch will be saved. The evil one within us always causes us to doubt and ask how this can be. We must not try to figure it out by ourselves; rather, we have to exercise faith. If we do not believe that a person we touch can be saved, he will not be saved. The principle is that what is accomplished is according to our faith: “According to your faith, let it be done to you” (Matt. 9:29). We have to learn the lesson to exercise faith.
BEING RIGHT WITH THE LORD, THE BODY,
AND EVERY MEMBER OF THE BODY
IN ORDER TO HAVE AUTHORITY,
ASSURANCE, AND BOLDNESS
In order to exercise faith we have to be dealt with by the Lord. We have to be cleansed and have everything cleared up. If something within condemns us, we have to confess it and deal with it. If our conscience has some kind of accusation, our faith will be gone. We cannot take an indifferent attitude. We must take a positive attitude in faith, but this requires that we have everything cleared up and that we be cleansed. We have to confess and apply the blood for cleansing for whatever condemns us within. We should go to the Lord again and again to get ourselves cleansed and to make ourselves right with the Lord. Then we will have a pure conscience, a good conscience, a genuine conscience without any kind of offense. We can stand before the whole universe and tell the enemy, “Now my conscience is cleared up. I have no condemnation. I am void of any kind of offense, without accusation.” If we are unable to work out certain matters, we should simply tell the Lord, “I am willing to do it, Lord, but I cannot. Cover me in this respect with Your precious blood.” This will make us right with the Lord so that we will have boldness within.
Not only must we be right with the Lord, but when we go to preach the gospel, we have to get ourselves right with the Body and with all the members. If there is something between us and the brothers, that will be a real hindrance, so we have to deal with that hindrance and get right with the brothers. If we are not right with the brothers, we will lose the ground. The enemy, the devil, will laugh at us. This is the reality in the spiritual world. The enemy knows whether or not we are right with God, right with the Body, and right with the members of the Body. We cannot fool him. If we are not right in some matter with any member of the Body, then when we go out to preach the gospel, the evil one will always hit this weak point. We will not have the assurance, because there is a weak point. Therefore, we have to get right with God, with the Body, and with all the members. Then we can say, “I am a person in this universe who is one hundred percent right with God under the blood, and I am a member of the Body of Christ who is one hundred percent right with all the members. I have no problem with any member.” Then we will have assurance.
When we say that we have to pray much for the gospel preaching, we mean that by praying we are dealt with by the Lord very much. It is easy for sinners to be saved, but it is not as easy for us to be dealt with thoroughly. We have to be dealt with thoroughly by the Lord. Then we will be on the right ground. Learn to exercise your faith, and learn to be dealt with thoroughly. Then you will have the authority. I do not pay much attention to the result of the preaching of the gospel, but I pay my attention to the learning of the brothers. I am still watching to see how much the brothers and sisters are learning. This is the real building up. Some may say, “We are still not built up, so we cannot go to preach.” If this is so, then they must be built up by being dealt with. We have to be dealt with to get right with God, with the Body, and with every member.
We have to learn the lessons. By the grace of the Lord, we are now under the learning process. I have seen and I still am seeing that all the brothers and the sisters are so willing to learn the lessons. Do not pay attention to the result. Do not be bothered by the numbers. We must be assured that a good number of people will be brought in. There is no doubt about that. The thing I am concerned for is that the brothers and sisters would learn and be built up. I am concerned for how much we have learned, that is, how much we are being dealt with thoroughly by the Lord. To have this experience is wonderful. After the preaching of the gospel, we will see a glorious building up among us, plus some souls will be brought in among us; the result will be a positive gain. The main thing is the learning of the brothers and sisters. Before the preaching we may see weaknesses and problems, but after the preaching we wish to see that many dear brothers and sisters have been dealt with by the Lord. I believe that after we preach the gospel, many praises will go to the Lord, saying, “Lord, we thank You not only for the preaching, not only for the sinners being brought to Your Body, but for us, that we ourselves have learned so much, that we have been dealt with so much, that we have been built up so much, and that we have learned to know the spiritual world and all the devilish wiles.”
In the future we will have more effectual preaching of the gospel. We will have the furtherance of the gospel, not only in this city but to other districts and even to other nations. After being trained in the military service, it is easy to be formed into an army. We also will learn the lessons and be trained; then it will be easy for us to be an army. If the Lord can have a prevailing expression of His church, the gospel will be very prevailing. It depends on the expression. Therefore, do not pay attention to the result, but pay attention to yourself.
BEARING OUR RESPONSIBILITY
TO HELP THE NEW CONVERTS TO GO ON
Do not think that it is good enough simply to bring people to be saved and to bring them to the church. Rather, that is only the delivery of the child. Mothers know that after a child is delivered, they will have many troubles. This is the main reason that mothers do not like to have many children; two or three are good enough. Nevertheless, in the church we need more deliveries, the more the better. We have to learn how to bear the responsibility, how to take care of the difficulties, and many other necessary matters. After the preaching of the gospel, we will be very busy. We are expecting many deliveries, so we see that we will have to take care of many things. For this reason, after our preaching of the gospel, we should invite all the brothers and sisters and all those who hear the gospel to come together for follow-up meetings. Moreover, we hope on the following Lord’s Day to have baptisms. As long as people are clear about their salvation, we have to baptize them right away. We have to learn how to take care of our responsibility. We have to learn much in this regard in order to help the new converts to go on. This is a tremendous responsibility, and many things are involved with it. Praise the Lord, these matters will afford us the best opportunity to learn and be trained in a practical way! May the Lord be merciful to us.
(Preaching the Gospel in the Way of Life, Chapter 3, by Witness Lee)