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John had a tremendous amount of people that followed after him. He was very careful to inform them that he was not Christ, but only one to point to Him.
Quite often a preacher has problems with having "Preacher Lovers" in a congregation. That is, people want to follow him, rather than Christ. If he is not teaching or preaching because he has to be out of town, they don't even attend services. One preacher never tells his congregation that he is going to be gone, because he knows that "when cat is away, mice will play." One has a poor religion if it is "built upon a preacher" instead of Christ. If a preacher "falls," so does their hope of Heaven. John made it very clear that he came to witness of Christ. Any preacher worth anything today, will do likewise.
In John 3:25-30, an argument broke out among some of John's disciples over ceremonial washings. They came to John to settle dispute. He was quick to tell them that Jesus must be given pre-eminence in all things. John said that he (John) must become less and less in eyes of man and Jesus must become more and more. The disciples of John were having problems with Jesus gaining popularity, and John had to resolve this problem. John showed how "big" he was by his willingness to take second place. This is a "monument" to his character. It is one that all of us Christians would do well in duplicating. When Christians are willing to work in Lord's Church and not care who gets credit, a great deal can be accomplished. However, if a person fears doing anything, due to not getting a "pat on back," then Lord's work is drastically limited. If John taught us anything, it was a life of servanthood.
In John 1:6 word "sent" is from a Greek word (Apostello) from which we get English word "Apostle." This word normally means "one sent with a message."
No one has ever had a greater sender (God), nor has had a greater message than to point people to Jesus Christ, as John did. John's purpose of coming was to testify of Jesus. Day by day people enter court rooms to testify on behalf of others (witness to accidents, business frauds, martial disputes, etc.). However, no one can give a greater testimony than to inform people how Jesus saved them from their sins, when they accepted Him as Lord and Savior, by allowing their faith to cause them to repent of their sins, confess Him publicly, and permit someone to immerse them in watery grave of Christian baptism.
Now - some people may THINK they are saved, but were really not, according to God's Word. Some would say they were saved when: they heard a voice; they prayed "sinner's prayer" (not found in Bible); laid their hand on radio or TV; recited a confession or creed; got goose bumps when hearing a Gospel song; signed a commitment card at a religious service; or "prayed through" at an alter.
In John 1:8, John made it very plain that he was not Light, but came to be a witness of Light. All Christians today need to do likewise. That is, make it plain: who Jesus is (God in flesh); what church is (God's redeemed family); there will be a Judgement Day; there is a hell, as well as a heaven; and Lord's Plan of Salvation.
Just as John realized that he was born to witness about Jesus, today God needs men, women and youth to do likewise. Too many church members go to gridirons, ball diamonds and gymnasiums and shout, scream and yell for some athletic contest and then become closed-lipped and yellow-bellied when it comes to "speaking up" for Jesus. Shame on us if we are guilty of such. If we are a "Born Again" child of God, we have been born to witness! Let's do it, every day that God allows us to live.
All Scriptures quoted are from New King James Version unless otherwise noted.
Brother Hoyt W. Allen Jr. is a Restoration author, preacher and director of the KYOWVA Evangelistic Association in Ironton, Ohio. You may visit his website at www.kyowva.com.
Brother Allen's article is courtesy of the The Home Bible Study Institute - www.james1-22.org.
Permission to use is granted if attributed to author, his website and the website of The Home Bible Study Institute.