Lately, I have been reading about the recruiting frenzy in the United States, especially in regards to College Football. Last Wednesday was “National Signing Day” and thousands of High School student athletes from all over the country signed their Letter of Intent to enroll and play in their chosen university.
This day marked the culmination of a year-long process of recruitment. Coaches and other staff members call, text and email the athletes on an ongoing basis. Many of them go so far as to travel to their schools and homes in hopes of “reeling in” the prized prospect.
Recruiting goes on all the time…and not only in sports. The Armed Services is always looking for new recruits and so does the FBI, the CIA and most other government agencies. The private sector also engages in this process, as well as most religious organizations and cults.
The so called Jehovah’s Witnesses are very effective in recruiting and adding new converts to their false church. They, along with the Mormons, are frequently engaged in visiting homes and other places with the purpose of proselytizing others.
And what can we say about the church of Christ? Are we actively calling unbelievers to come to Christ for salvation, or are we just recruiting believers from other congregations to join our fellowship? This unbiblical recruiting of members of other churches goes against everything the apostle Paul stood for. He respected the ministries of other preachers.
“…so that we may preach the gospel in lands beyond you, without boasting of work already done in another's area of influence.” (2 Corinthians 10:16)
God is sovereign, and He moves his people according to his will. It is one thing for the Lord to move us to another congregation to use us for his glory and quite another for pastors and church members to “recruit” brothers and sisters away from their home church.
We have been called to be “fishers of men” (Matthew 4:19), that is, to evangelize unbelievers and bring them to Christ. Pastors and church leaders have likewise been instructed to “feed the sheep” (John 21:17), not to steal sheep from other churches.
I wonder how many churches still require reference letters from other churches. It is more difficult to go from one job to another, than to hop from church to church. New jobs demand a Resume, an application, references, interviews and even drug tests.
Many Christians leave their congregations with impunity, knowing that a host of desperate churches will admit them, no questions asked. It is time for us Christians to honor Christ and respect his church. It is time to bring unbelievers to the church and to keep believers in their church.
The Evil Queen in Disney’s “Snow White” said one of most memorable lines in movie history:
“Magic mirror, on the wall, who is the fairest one of all?” (Not “Mirror, mirror…” by the way). The said mirror would always proclaim the queen as the fairest, until Snow White appeared on the scene and became the most beautiful girl in the land.
Mirrors have become a necessary commodity in our homes, cars, public bathrooms, fitting rooms and in many other places. We need mirrors to groom ourselves correctly and to see if our attire fits (and matches) properly.
Mirrors are also used as decorative pieces and are strategically placed in stores and offices to “enlarge” the room. Finally, “magicians” and illusionists use mirrors as part of their acts, to make us believe that they are actually performing magic tricks.
There is one MIRROR that is infinitely superior to all other mirrors. I am referring to the mirror of the Law of God. This mirror lets us see beyond our physical reflection. As we look intently into this divine glass, we can clearly detect ALL of our defects, stains and sin.
The Law of God is the mirror that leads anyone who truly looks into it, to desperation and sorrow over their sin.
“What shall we say then? Is the law sin? Certainly not! On the contrary, I would not have known sin except through the law.” (Romans 7:7)
The Law shows us our sinful condition and furthermore it cannot save us
“Therefore by the deeds of the law no flesh will be justified in His sight, for by the law is the knowledge of sin.” (Romans 3:20)
So, what is the Law good for? The Word of God is the double edge sword (Hebrews 4:12) that first wounds the sinner with the “edge” of the Law and then heals him with the “edge” of Grace. The Law is not only a true mirror that reflects our wickedness, but it is also a light that points to the Savior:
“Therefore the law was our tutor to bring us to Christ, that we might be justified by faith.” (Galatians 3:24)
What shall we do with this heavenly mirror after we come to Christ for salvation? Search for Christ every day in his Word and do what He commands.
“But be doers of the word, and not hearers only, deceiving yourselves. For if anyone is a hearer of the word and not a doer, he is like a man who looks intently at his natural face in a mirror. For he looks at himself and goes away and at once forgets what he was like. But the one who looks into the perfect law, the law of liberty, and perseveres, being no hearer who forgets but a doer who acts, he will be blessed in his doing.” (James 1:21-24)