Pastor's thoughts After New Believers' Murder
By CCD contributor: Wu Bing, June 08, 2017 04:06 AM
Editor's note: A sister and her child who planned to receive baptism were cruelly murdered by her husband. When the senior pastor of her church saw the woman's mother, who is a devout Christian, she sobbed her heart out, grasped his hand, and asked him, "Was my daughter saved?"
Below is the senior pastor's inner monolog after the incident:
My previous articles didn't weigh heavily on my mind like this one. It is difficult for me to write. Maybe it will become a milestone that determines my days and ministry in the second half of my life. I regard a few issues I experienced and saw these days as a reminder from God to myself.
I was informed of a scary and distressing thing after returning from a business trip. A sister I nurtured was ready to be baptized soon after joining a catechism class for about one year, but she was killed by her husband. Even more frightening was that her child was brutally murdered by him as well. When I saw her mother, who is a devout Christian, she sobbed her heart out, grasped my hand, and asked me, "Was my daughter saved? "
As a pastor, I could tell her that she was indeed saved, for people who believe are justified! Moreover, I do believe that she was justified. However, I reproach myself bitterly in the face of one grim fact. The sister wished for her husband to convert to Christianity and receive baptism with her. She brought her husband to the church and he participated in our gathering and camp for couples. I saw him and he appeared gentle and cultivated. I always thought that it was not a hurry for him to convert since I had many things to do. I would wait for him to convert naturally.
If I caught hold of him, keeping visiting, evangelizing, tutoring, warmly inviting him to the church and getting to know him, maybe things would have turned out differently.
I ask myself: what am I doing all day as a pastor who attempts to introduce the Gospel of Jesus Christ to others so that they may be saved, hopes that people can experience life transformation to know the love of God, and a person who cares for souls? Does my work win God's favor? Is it valuable? Is it related to changing people's lives and bringing love and hope to them?
I count how I spend my time. Apart from preaching, leading services, necessary work, reading, and devotionals, I seem to spend most of my time dealing with administrative affairs, disputes, transportation (my daily commute time accounts for a large percentage of time!), church affairs, relationships between church workers, and conflicts in the church. I don't mean that these things are not essential. Instead, I ask myself what God calls me to do and what God wants the church to do. If God wants his children to gather together concerning domestic trifles, judge and envy each other, then what is the significance of the church's existence? If God gathers his children just for self-amusement, self-enjoyment, and self-satisfaction so that they are high in spirits while ignoring many lost and suffering souls, does fellowship still have any meaning? If God calls us, these pastors, to pursue fame, wealth, and an important position, scramble for power and profit and care only for formality while forgetting to help, look after, and change people's lives, then don't we pastors give short shrift to God's calling?
What will remain after our work is tested by fire one day? What are the things made of gold, silver and precious gems?
I must adjust my focus and concentrate on caring for people rather than things. Like Jesus, I will give attention to souls in need so they may be changed and receive salvation, power, and comfort. On that day when we will lose fame, position, and good health, and money will be useless, I hope that people around me will say at the moment of paying their last respects to me: the pastor led me to salvation; Jesus used the pastor to help me walk out of life's haze; God let the pastor comfort me in my life... I hope they won't say how large a church he set up, or talk about his position or fame.
I wish that in the minute I step into heaven, many friends who will live in eternity with me in heaven will tell me that they are happy to see me for I was always by their sides and helped them grow! I wish more that God will say to me: you didn't live your life in vain because you obeyed My will that many people feel the warmth of love, therefore, their lives were changed thanks to knowing me. This will be the greatest reward for me! God, help me aim the focus of my life so that I would know what should I do!
(The author is a pastor in Dalian Beijingjie Church.)
Translated by Karen Luo
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