Jesus also, that he might sanctify the people with his own blood, suffered outside the gate. Therefore, let us go forth to him outside the camp, bearing his reproach. For we have no continuing city here, but we seek one to come.
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From one of Pastor John's Old Testament classes, June 27, 2004.
One of my relatives once told somebody that the reason she did not support me in my work was that God wanted His people to support successful minsters. Admittedly, I did not have a large congregation, or a large staff, or a large budget; actually, at the time she made that comment, my wife and I were pretty poor indeed. But then, my measure for success differs from hers anyway.
I feel successful when I have accomplished the will of God for me. I feel successful when I have led a sinner to the Lord, when that new convert has grown in the knowledge of God, and when he has learned to live a holy life. In the end, the only success that will matter to any of us will be to hear Jesus say, "Well done, good and faithful servant!" That's the success I desire above all else.
So, I feel successful when someone comes to the Lord under my wing and learns to live a godly life. That is my commission. Jesus will not say "well done" to me if in the end, I bring with me no clean souls.
Maybe it is best for all of us to wait until Jesus comes before we dare to judge who is successful and who is not. In my opinion, no one will be a success whom Jesus rejects in the Final Judgment.