Frank Retief was pastor at St James Church Cape Town for 31 years, having planted the church in 1968 with his wife Beulah. He became the Presiding Bishop of the Church of England in South Africa until he retired in 2010. Frank remains active in ministry through preaching, teaching, pastoral work & writing, and has authored a number of books.
Never say no!
Luke 10 verses 8-12. “When you enter a town and are welcomed, eat what is set before you. Heal the sick who are there and tell them, ‘The kingdom of God is near you. But when you enter a town and are not welcomed, go into its streets and say, ‘Even the dust of your town that sticks to our feet we wipe off against you. Yet be sure of this: ‘The kingdom of God is near.’ I tell you, it will be more bearable on that day for Sodom than for that town.”
Jesus sent out seventy two other disciples to go ahead of him and prepare the various towns for his visit en route to Jerusalem. They were to call on people to repent and enter the Kingdom of God. Like many people today, who have squandered their gospel opportunities, they would never be able to say that they had no opportunity to be saved.
In verses 13 and 14 Jesus seems overwhelmed at the thought that some cities who had witnessed his mighty works had never taken the opportunity to repent. There are only two final destinations. The world is full of opportunities to hear the Gospel and to turn to Christ. But just as final salvation is a possibility for people, so is everlasting destruction – eternal hell. There is only one heaven and whoever gets there must get there through faith in Christ. Rejection of the messengers Christ sends into the world is tantamount to rejection of Christ himself. Thus the cities mentioned in verses 13 and 14 have woes pronounced upon them, by Jesus. The words are full of sadness.
How careful we should be with every opportunity we have to hear God’s Word and to respond to it. How unspeakably sad for those who hear but don’t care ……
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