Collins defines success in the Lord
By Vicky Kaniaru
CLEVELAND, Ga. (TMCNews) — Threatened with execution during the Scottish Reformation, Andrew Melville faced a government official and said, "It is the same to me whether I rot in the air or in the ground. The earth is the Lord's. My fatherland is wherever well doing is, and I have been ready to give my life when it was not half as well worn at the pleasure of my God. ... It will not lie in your power to hang nor exile the Truth."
Roc Collins -- senior pastor at Indian Springs Baptist Church in Kingsport, Tenn. -- related Melville's words while preaching at Truett-McConnell College's Oct. 6 chapel service.
Expounding on 2 Timothy 2: 8-10, Collins shared a strategy on "how to succeed in the eyes of the Lord," saying the key to living a life pleasing to the Lord is to remember Jesus Christ, rely on his Word, and resolve doing the things God likes.
Addressing the active and imperative nature of the word "remember" in the passage, Collins noted the Apostle Paul insisted that believers constantly remember Jesus. "He is continually to be on our mind ... daily, hourly, minutes, and seconds."
Though Jesus died on a cross, Collins told the audience that Christ arose from the dead and "we [should] celebrate the resurrection daily because he lives."
Quoting Hebrews 7, Collins said Christ "ever liveth to make intercession for the saints." Just like Paul, Collins insisted that Christians should cling to the Gospel as if it is their own.
Recounting the story of a heavily tattooed man he met at church, the evangelistic Collins was quick to share the Gospel with the visitor, who responded, "I'm not really into that religion stuff."
Collins responded likewise and said, "I am about a relationship with Jesus Christ. Have you ever met him?" The visitor left, but returned two weeks later, committing his life to Christ.
Regarding the importance of relying on the Word of God, Collins noted the Bible "has outlived every critic that it has had."
He related the story of the Englishman, John Bunyan, who was imprisoned for preaching the Gospel. Collins said Bunyan's prison window faced a stone wall. The Englishman approached the window everyday and preached. As word spread, people would gather outside the prison walls to listen.
The story reveals that God's Word cannot be bound, Collins added. Though you may succeed in life, the Word is what makes you a success in the Lord's eyes, he added.
Collins pleaded with the audience to "get a hold of that which is eternal. Get a hold of that which will stand against all the raging tides of the world. Get a hold of the Word that will change lives, nations, and the world."
The last key to succeeding in the Lord's eyes, he noted, is resolving to do the things God likes. Drawing from 2 Timothy, Collins highlighted Paul's "unwavering desire to tell the good news. Do you want to really succeed? Then make a decision today that you're going to tell people about Jesus Christ," said Collins, recounting how he realized during college that he was not a personal soul winner.
While pumping gas at a station, a college-age Collins pleaded, "God, here I am, I'll do whatever you want me to do!" The Lord immediately prompted him to witness to a man at a nearby pump. Though hesitant at first, Collins obeyed. The man did not accept Christ, but Collins realized how important it was to be a personal soul winner.
Collins also cited a sermon from his years as a seminary student: "I can't remember the sermon, but the title shocked me," said Collins, recounting the speaker who stood and said, "Are you a soul winner, or are you out of Gods will?'' The question caused Collins to believe there was no middle ground. He was either one or the other.
Collins said believers have been commissioned to share the Gospel, and then he read Henry Crocker's poem titled "Evangelize."
"Give us a watchword for the hour,
A thrilling word, a word of power,
A battle-cry, a flaming breath,
That calls to conquest or to death;
A word to rouse the church from rest,
To heed her Master's high behest,
The call is given: ye hosts arise,
Our watchword is Evangelize!
The glad evangel now proclaim,
Through all the earth in Jesus' name;
This word is ringing through the skies,
To dying men, a fallen race,
Make known the gift of gospel grace;
The world that now in darkness lies,
Vicky Kaniaru is senior staff writer at Truett-McConnell College.