Bella Vista Church of Christ

LIFELINES

09/19/2018

Harold Akridge

 

Being Zealous For Christ

“It is fine to be zealous, provided the purpose is good…”

(Galatians.4:18)

 

  The New Testament Greek word for zealous is “zélótés.” Strong’s Concordance defines zealous as “one who is eagerly devoted to a person or a thing, a person with zealous enthusiasm who (literally) "boils over with passion." Many Christians have accepted Satan’s lies that we should be submissive, passive, and politically correct so we will not offend Muslims, Buddhists, Hindu’s and atheists. Satan wants committed Christians to get nervous and squeamish about being “zealous” for Christ. The world promotes a private, silent Christian voice while encouraging a strong political voice “for or against” hundreds of political causes like climate change, gun control, LGBT and gay rights, illegal immigration, building a border wall – but not Christ. Satan wants Christians to hide their faith and action under a “lampstand.” NOTHING- NO THING is more important than being zealous, enthusiastic, boiling over with passion for Jesus Christ

 

  The New Testament records many men and women who were passionate and zealous for Christ but none greater than John, the son of Zechariah and Elizabeth who was known as John the Baptist. The angel Gabriel announced to Zechariah, a Levitical priest, and his barren wife Elizabeth that they would have a son and his name would be John. (Luke 1:7, 60, 63) Seven hundred years before John the prophet Isaiah wrote: “A voice of one calling in the wilderness, ‘Prepare the way for the Lord,..” (Luke 3:4-6) John’sfather Zechariah prophesied concerning his son, And you, my child, will be called a prophet of the Most High; for you will go on before the LORD to prepare the way for him, to give his people the knowledge of salvation through the forgiveness of their sins…, And the child grew and became strong in spirit; and he lived in the wilderness until he appeared publicly to Israel.” (Luke 1:76-80)

 

  God chose John to break 430 years of silence. John was humble and comfortable in who he was, standing out only because of his clothing. His coat was made of camel's hair with a leather belt around his waist. He was a naturalist, living off the land eating locusts and wild honey. He was a trail blazer preaching a new simple message unlike anything the people had ever heard. His preaching style and mannerisms were zealous and passionate. John “went into all the country around the Jordan, preaching a baptism of repentance for the forgiveness of sins. “People went out to him from Jerusalem and all Judea and the whole region of the Jordan. Confessing their sins, they were baptized by him in the Jordan River.” (Matt. 3:5-6) John’s message caused “the Jewish leaders in Jerusalem to send priests and Levites to ask him who he was. He did not fail to confess, but confessed freely, “I am not the Messiah.” They asked him, “Then who are you? Are you Elijah?” He said, “I am not.” “Are you the Prophet?” He answered, “No.”Finally they said, “Who are you? Give us an answer to take back to those who sent us. What do you say about yourself?”  John repliedin the words of Isaiah the prophet, “I am the voice of one calling in the wilderness, ‘Make straight the way for the Lord.” (John 1:18-23)

 

  21st century Christians are called to bring the gospel message in a strong, zealous, passionate way to the lost of this world. Paul wrote in Galatians 4:18, “It is fine to be zealous, provided the purpose is good…” There is no greater purpose than preaching and teaching the gospel of Jesus Christ. As a disciple of Jesus Christ, we must be proud, brave, excited, passionate and zealous about the gospel message of Jesus Christ. A day is coming when Jesus will judge us for all that we have done in this life and I want to hear him tell me “Well done, good and faithful servant” I have found you strong, passionate and zealous when teaching the gospel.  

 

“There are extremes in life that we should guard against but having too much zeal for Christ and his gospel is not one of them.”

 

—Harold Akridge

   Bella Vista church of Christ