Passing the Torch

Bible Verse: "My son, be strong in the grace that is in Christ Jesus. And the things you have heard me say in the presence of many witnesses entrust to reliable men who will also be qualified to teach others." (2 Timothy 2:1-2).

The Olympic runner dashes forward, torch in hand. Soon he grows weary and another clutches the flame. On the runner goes toward the finish... the great arena... .the goal of every Olympian.

Jesus passed the torch to a hand full of disciples..."Go ye into all the world and PREACH THE GOSPEL," He told them, "I pass the authority given Me by My Father to you." (Luke 9:1).

So the Gospel is the torch; you and me are the runners.

On another occasion Jesus said, "And this gospel of the kingdom will be preached in the whole world as a testimony to all nations, and then the end will come." (Matt 24:14).

"Wait for the Holy Spirit," He said to the runners, then run. "You will be My witnesses in Jerusalem, and in all Judea and Samaria, and to the ends of the earth." (Acts 1:8).

Twelve disciples, then seventy, then hundreds who joined them, ran well - but only for a few short years. A few died of old age or natural causes, but many gave their lives for their testimony. Before they died, some of Christ's runners took the Gospel around the then known world.

Silas and Timothy were two of the young runners. Paul told young Timothy, "The things you have heard me say... entrust to reliable men who will also be qualified to teach others." (2 Tim 2:2). Make sure they are men of integrity, then pass the torch to them.

All who profess Christ as Savior and Lord have a solemn responsibility to pass the torch to the next generation. To younger and stronger runners who will carry it for the rest of their lives! Men and women who will grasp the burning gospel from the lips of t hose who know the Lord and have a zeal for His word.

Look around your family, your church! Where are the runners? Look around your family, your church! Where are the runners? We gave them physical birth. We fed and clothed them, and put a roof over their heads. We educated and provided for their growing up. We drove them to little league, or took them to the beach on weekends.

God knew all about bringing up children. He said of father Abraham: "He will direct his children, and his household after him to keep the way of the Lord..." (Gen 18:19)

Jesus said, "Occupy until I come" or in the context of the story, "Put this money to work until, I come back." (Luke 19:13). You know the parable of the Ten Minas.

For many years I thought of 'occupying' for Jesus as preaching and teaching God's word. And that is part of it. But Watchman Nee stretched my thinking to understand that we who love the Lord occupy that part of the earth where we live and work and witness.

The earth is the Lord's, but it has fallen into Satan's hands. Only that part which is occupied by the Christian Church, individually and collectively, is the Lord's today The Body of Christ holds that part against the day when the whole universe will be redeemed and Jesus will be Lord of all.

"Then the end will come, when He (Christ) hands over the Kingdom to God the Father, after He h as destroyed all dominion, authority and power. For He must reign (in the hearts of His people) until He has put all His enemies under His feet." (1 Cor 15:24-25).

Are you passing the torch to the next generation of runners?