Entering Heaven ‘Empty-Handed’
Gary Waddell - Victory Ministries / Middle Tennessee - 7/13/2018


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The fruit of the righteous is a tree of life; and he that winneth souls is wise.   Proverbs 11:30



Go ye into all the world, and preach the gospel to every creature.    Mark 16:15



  "Must I go, and Empty Handed" - Charles Carrol Luther penned this song in 1877 and if many preachers, teachers and congregations would read and reflect on the words for a few moments, I know there would be conviction in their lives. I would like to share just the chorus with you. It is not being sung in churches much these days. Even I didn't know about this song until recently because I was not raised in church as a youngster.


“Must I go, and empty-handed?”
Must I meet my Savior so?
Not one soul with which to greet Him:
Must I empty-handed go?

How heart-breaking this song should be to “Christians” who have claimed Jesus as their Savior, but have never (or rarely) shared the Gospel of our Lord, Jesus Christ, with someone else, outside of his or her household. We have strayed from the words of the Bible when it comes to ‘winning souls for Christ’ and we assume that the believer is to attend church, greet others with a smile, give his or her offering, stay awake for 40 minutes, and go home and try not to sin (which will last for about 3 minutes after one leaves the church service).  Some of the churches I visit are becoming social clubs and gatherings.  Please understand, I am not putting myself above anyone because we ALL have room to grow.  And that includes me.

 One of AW Tozer's short but impactful messages was entitled: A Great Loss - Power to wage spiritual warfare. The message, from ‘renewed day by day,’ speaks of some Christians as ‘sick eaglets.’ He knew the condition of a lot of churches even many years ago. We are a feeble bunch over allWe possess the greatest message in the world, and yet many are afraid to pass it along. I met with a dying man in the hospital one time and he told me that he ‘wished he had done more for Jesus.’ It touched me so, that I wrote a song about it and put it in message. I saw genuine sorrow in his eyes, and had compassion on him because he missed out on a lot in his life; but I was able to encourage him that he would still meet a few care-givers and friends (which he shared the gospel with before passing).


Why are so many afraid to preach the gospel outside of the circle of their ‘church’ or ‘meeting place?’  I cannot answer that in every case but fear plays a big part, but I have heard an array of other reasons.  Jesus warned us about being ashamed of Him (Mark 8:38) and that is ‘scary’ to be frank. The Apostle Paul proclaimed to the Romans: For I am not ashamed of the gospel of Christ: for it is the power of God unto salvation to every one that believeth; to the Jew first, and also to the Greek (Rom 1:16).  Paul let his audience know immediately where he stood.  We need to do the same.  We should not be ashamed of Christ's Gospel.  We have GOD on our side. Who can be against us? Who dare to be against us? (Rom 8:31). Our purpose on earth is to glorify God (1 Cor 6:20) and to win souls for Christ. None of us as “followers of Christ” can afford to miss an opportunity to tell the lost the gospel. We must be prepared though, and look for opportunities as we walk through this life. We are “workmen” (2 Tim 2:15) and our desire is to be pleasing to God always. Tell them the “truth” and God will save them.  There are many who are lost that think they are saved.

 We are warriors and must behave ourselves as such and never 'cower' to anyone when it comes to the Gospel.  We are not to fear them that can “kill the body” but to fear Him (Matt 10:28) who knows our souls. If we indeed belong to Him, we are soldiers – fearless (2 Tim 2:3-4). Fear is mentioned 400 times in the King James Bible and the word “fearful” is mentioned 11 times. The last time it is mentioned is in Rev 21:8 where the Bible reads: But the fearful, and unbelieving, and the abominable, and murderers, and whoremongers, and sorcerers, and idolaters, and all liars, shall have their part in the lake which burneth with fire and brimstone: which is the second death.  To me, that is a frightening picture.

 Jesus scolded the steward who buried the talent He had given him (Matt 25:14-30) and did not use it for increase. This parable spoke mainly about the ‘word of God.” The slothful servant had done nothing with his talent (and in this case he was not a disciple). I certainly do not have knowledge of who is going to heaven and who is not – that is on God’s ‘side of the ledger,’ but personally, I do know that I want to touch people’s lives for Christ, and do not want to go to heaven “Empty-Handed”. Do you?  Let us all have the desire to bring a boat-load of souls with us. Pray for God to give you a soul-winning spirit and to remove the 'spirit of fear' from you.  Let’s go out and “tell ‘em about Jesus”. Our own testimony can be our best witness.

Let us tell all about the greatest gift in the world - Jesus.


Let’s not go “empty-handed” into eternity.

Someone's life may depend on it!


For the wages of sin is death;

but the gift of God is eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord
(Rom 6:23).


Gary Waddell – Victory Ministries of Middle Tennessee - iamnotashamed.com 
Thanks for “Taking 5” – God bless and bless GOD

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For I am not ashamed of the gospel of Christ: for it is the power of God unto salvation to every one that believeth; to the Jew first, and also to the Greek.

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