Most of us have had the experience of standing in a line holding a small ticket with a number on it, waiting. Many of the places, that give these type of tickets to customers, often have some type of sign that has the statement “now serving” with a number corresponding to the tickets being held. Each person holding said tickets anxiously waits for their number to be called. Looking at the sign, then their ticket, their ticket, then the sign. Finally, often after what seems like forever, our number is called. You have to admit, we all react the same way…it is our turn, that’s right, no one else but us, as we strut proudly up to the counter with our now useless ticket. And then, reality sets in. We are just like everyone else that has been holding a ticket at some point. But this isn’t the bad part. No, the person with the power, that is now waiting on us is simply another person doing the same thing many others are doing. Did you get that part? We have waited, patiently, only to find we are being treated no differently than the person before us. In fact, the person we have been waiting to see is just like every other person, at every other place, doing the same exact thing. The only thing that could possibly be worse would be to find out the person serving us could not answer any of our questions! They all looked the same. They are all doing the same thing. How could they not be able to help me? So what does this have to do with apologetics, or the church?
Every day there are thousands, if not millions, of organizations and people now serving…They are giving away, helping out, feeding, you name it, they are serving in some capacity. Good people, “bad people”, church people, those required to serve, others doing it to impress someone. All now serving the same things, the same ways, in the same places. All of which is both amazing, and great to do. The church people are, in fact, instructed to serve. But wait, if everyone else is doing the same things, then what is the difference in the other servers and us? Remember the scenario from above? Exactly! WE are to serve, but what happens when a very appreciative person asks us why? Do we simply say we are trying to show the love of Jesus? (They killed Him, remember). Do we tell them we are simply being nice, that it is a church thing, or maybe go as far as to invite them to church?
You see, as Christ followers we are supposed to serve, to love our neighbor as ourselves. But is that all? If so, do you see the problem? Christians have a bad name the way it is. It is like standing in the line and no one being able to help you. We can’t be like everyone else. Even if we are all doing the same thing, we must set ourselves apart from the world. In fact our Book tells us to set ourselves apart, to be a “peculiar” people. (KJV) But how? We are serving, locally and throughout the world. So what sets us apart? Now more than ever we must be prepared to serve. Our military, our favorite ball team, other religions, organizations, and people are prepared to serve. Why not us? Well, ladies and gentlemen, let’s go to the Book!
The first and greatest commandment is to love God with all of our heart, soul and mind. The Book of Acts provides many examples of Paul being prepared to serve. How? Paul went to the temple daily and “reasoned” or gave answers for why he was serving. And of course, Jesus spent His entire ministry using signs wonders and miracles serving. He was prepared, to say the least, as were each of His disciples. How did they prepare? By studying the scriptures daily! Throughout the Bible we are given examples of serving, and how they prepared to serve. How they set themselves apart. And get this, we too are told to be prepared! It’s what the Book states, “be prepared to give an answer for the hope we have”. 1 Peter 3:15.
Yes, it is a lot easier to be like everyone else. Yes, we all may be doing the same things. But, we must be prepared. In fact, how can we serve if we are not prepared? Is that not something like putting the cart before the horse. Now serving…disciples, followers of our Lord Jesus Christ, prepared to battle, For we do not wrestle against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the cosmic powers over this present darkness, against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly places. Ephesians 6:12