62 Years and Moving Forward
Chris' Corner -- Sunday, May 2, 2021
Who were the first members of the church meeting together in New Port Richey? Who were the Christians who were busy teaching the lost and converting souls to Christ in those early years? Who were those who contributed their time and money so the new congregation of the Lord’s people could purchase property and build a building in which to worship? Who maintained the objective so the church would survive through the years?
For the most part, the answer to these questions; they died. They have gone on to their reward. Those early Christians are in that place where all faithful workers of the cross go when they pass from this life. They are in Paradise—the bosom of Abraham (Luke 23:43; 16:22; Ecclesiastes 12:7).
Implied in this answer is a truth we all know. When Christian workers get old and frail and can no longer do the work they once did or pass from this life, others come along to take their place and carry on.
Now the question that follows, “Who will fill their shoes?” No one can be the same as someone else. We should not try to be (2 Corinthians 10:12). God made us individuals with unique personalities, talents, and abilities. Paul pointed this out with him and Apollos (1 Corinthians 3:5-8).
Christians of the past served their time well, but it is time for others to step up and continue in the work at hand. That means all of us. We must serve now in this time and place. And when we are gone, God will raise others who will faithfully and lovingly carry on in the kingdom doing His work as we have done.
God has graciously brought in new workers for His cause in New Port Richey. Year after year, for sixty-two years, Christians have passed by this way, with willing hearts and a dedication to serving in the River Road congregation. If you have been here for any length of time, you may have known some of these folks. If not, you are learning about those who have taken their place. We hope you become one of us.
John recorded, “…Blessed are the dead who die in the Lord from now on. Yes, says the Spirit, that they may rest from their labors, and their works follow them" (Revelation 14:13). Their work testifies to us today through this congregation’s existence. We are grateful to be a part of the fruits of their labors. We are honored to carry the torch further.
Jesus said, “The harvest truly is great, but the laborers are few; therefore pray the Lord of the harvest to send out laborers into His harvest” (Luke 10:2). We may enjoy the results of someone else's work, but we are the ones who have come along to replace them. We are now the teachers, the laborers, and the contributors to the work at hand. We are the replacements for those who have passed from this life or are no longer physically able to continue as they once did.
What will future generations think and feel about us? What kind of legacy will we leave for the River Road church? We must carry on to ensure there will be a congregation of God’s people in the future. Now is the time to step up and fill the shoes of our fellow workers of the past.