Compelled to Tell!
2 Kings 5: 2-4
There is a serious danger on the part of Christian people today of forgetting that we are
to present to the world a specific message.
The tendency is to apply the gospel of Christ to the present situation in a general sense.
We talk about the forces that are in conflict in the world,
about the present state of nations,
and we try to apply the message of the gospel to that general situation.
But the function of the gospel is something that is intensely personal an specific.
Many Sermons seem to lack a unique Christian note.
They could just as well be given by those who do not claim to be Christians at all.
If our message is the kind that might just as well be given by those concerned solely
about secular affairs, that message is not specifically Christian.
As we read the New Testament when we find that the message given by the early Christians
was altogether different from anything that the world knew.
It was a unique message, one which only the Christian could give.
The task of the Christian is something entirely separate and distinct from anything
the world -- even at its very best and highest -- is capable of.
Christians fail to realize the remarkable opportunity presenting itself today.
Both the history of the Bible and that of the church illustrate the fact that there are times
and periods when special opportunities present themselves to the church
and to individual Christians.
Surely, this present time is one of those occasions.
Men and women outside the church are looking to Christianity, wondering if the solution
for the world's problems is not to be found in the gospel of Christ; and therein lies
your opportunity and mine.
Are we taking advantage of these opportunities?
Are we seeking to bring these men and women into touch with the One who alone
can satisfy the desires of the human soul.
It is against this background that I want us to look at the familiar Old Testament story of Naaman.
However, it is not Naaman to which I want us to center our attention.
I want us to center our attention on the little maid in his household.
We don't even know her name.
But here we have a simple illustration of the way in which God uses the weak things
of the world to confound the mighty and strong.
Also, we see in this story that Christianity is something that is invincible.
It doesn't matter where we put the Christian; if that Christian truly belongs to Christ,
then he is found to be triumphant.
Even in adversity the Christian finds himself capable of doing that which makes him triumphant.
The Christian possesses a knowledge that is greater than the knowledge of the greatest
The most humble Christian is superior to the greatest of the world.
Here is a story of a little maid who performed the most menial tasks, yet uses something
of which a great captain of the hosts of Syria was utterly and totally ignorant.
There is something so interesting, as we read through the Bible, as seeing the way
in which insignificant people seem to emerge in a crisis as the possessors of knowledge
When our Lord chose His disciples, he didn't go to the court of the king; he chose
ordinary fishermen and workmen.
And it was always a matter of astonishment to the Sanhedrin, and to other courts,
how these unlettered and ignorant men were able to perform mighty miracles.
Now Naaman's life was essentially a failure in spite of his greatness and might.
He was really unhappy.
Leprosy had come into his life and had spoiled everything.
It never mattered how great his victories or his honors that he had or might have had
because he was a leper and everything was nullified.
All that the world could give him availed him nothing.
Of course, that is a perfect parable of life in all times, and of life at this present hour.
There is this cancer, this disease called sin, which comes into life spoiling and
ultimately, ruining it.
A person may be possessed every power that is available to mankind, but if he cannot
solve the central problem of sin, he remains wretched and unhappy.
But the wonder of the Christian is that the knowledge he possesses is a knowledge
with regard to this leprosy, called sin, and which meets that vital and central need.
In other words, the mission of Christianity is to deal with and to solve this central problem of life.
And the church is neglecting her true mission unless she comes to the realization
that this is her mission and privilege.
The ultimate cause of the wretchedness and misery found in the human heart is not due
to those things that follow in the wake of modern warfare.
The ultimate cause is sin.
The whole glory of the position of those who are Christians is this; that though we may not
be able to solve great international problems, we do know all the solution of the problem of sin,
as this little maid knew the secret of the cure of Naaman's leprosy.
This marvelous knowledge is something which even the humblest and the lowest Christian
can impart to others.
The little maid knew nothing about the nature of leprosy; but she did know that there was
a prophet who " would recover him," and she just passed on that information concerning Elisha.
There is a tendency among Christians to think that only a certain few are called on to do
the work of an evangelist.
It is true that there are vocations in the church, and gifts corresponding to those vocations;
but the humblest and lowest Christian is capable of pointing lost souls to Jesus
who alone can solve the problem of sin.
Even the lowest Christian can point men and women to Jesus who can deliver them from sin
and death and give to them eternal life.
Let me ask a personal question.
Are you alert to every present opportunity?
Are you seeking to bring the peace and joy of Christ into burdened hearts?
We hear those around us as they express their pessimism, and their sense of hopelessness
about the state of things in the world.
Do we do anything about it?
The little maid was filled with a sense of compassion and sorrow as she thought
of her master's leprosy.
It became a burden on her heart.
She felt compelled to pass on her knowledge to her mistress.
Do you have any compassion of the burden of souls?
Do you feel a sense of sorrow for the masses in their darkness, lostness, and hopelessness?
Or, are you content to go on enjoying your own religion, and never saying a word
to those who need it?
We know that their lives are blighted with sin, and that blight might be cured if only
we spoke a word in season to them.
This little maid possessed divine compassion.
She and her people had been carried away captive by Naaman and his army.
And she might very well have allowed him to go on suffering.
But in spite of having been wronged, she forgave everything.
You and I must be animated by this same spirit.
This little maid had great confidence in the power of Elisha.
But you and I are point people to Jesus who was and is infinitely greater than Elisha.
We can point people to the Son of God who has all power, and who has died to save us from our sin.
There is no depth of sin that He cannot reach.
There is no case too hopeless for Him to rescue and to redeem.
God grant that in these days of opportunity that urgent need to tell men and women
the gospel of Jesus Christ.
We must tell them that if they will turn to Him that He will deliver them from their sins
and give them a new life.
We must pray daily that we will become compelled to tell others of the greatest need of their life.
Sermon adapted by Dr. Harold L. White