Our Present Work Will Bear Future Fruit
by Dr. Ken Matto
(John 20:29 KJV) Jesus saith unto him, Thomas, because thou hast seen me, thou hast believed: blessed are they that have not seen, and yet have believed.
On January 5th I took my exam for the General Class Amateur Radio License in a nice little community in Pennsylvania called Lansdale. It is not far from my house so I decided to take the chance and go for it. I arrived at their Public Library and hobbled into the place, and of course, the bathroom was on the other side of the building. In 1970, I was a Ham and had my Technician Grade license. Now in the 80s I let it expire but since I have become disabled, my interest is once again peaked into Amateur Radio. So I decided to do some investigation into the requirements for my license. I was only expecting to go for my Technician Grade license which allows you to be on the Ham Bands of 6 Meters and higher. Now an interesting thing had taken place since I was involved in Amateur Radio 30 years ago. The Federal Communications Commission had implemented a Grandfather rule somewhere along the line.
Now since I was a Technician in the 1970s to about 1986, I was allowed to get credit for the Morse Code test and the written examination which went for the General Class License. The test I was required to take last week was for the Technician grade license but, because of the work I did 34 years ago as a teenager, I was granted a General Class license. Now for you non-hams, the difference between the Technician grade and the General grade is that on the Technician frequencies, you are limited only to Very High Frequencies (VHF) above 50 Mhz., which normally yields only local contacts except under certain conditions when the ionosphere opens up and you have capability of long distance communication. I still have some of my QSL cards from the 1970s with stations I worked around the country. The General Class license allows you to get on the lower frequency ham bands where you can literally work the entire world any time during the day on different bands. Needless to say I was very surprised when I was allowed to go for this license by means of a grandfather clause.
I guess my interest in long distance communication started when I was about 12. Now I received a catalog from Spencer Gifts and in that catalog was a crystal radio which sold for $1.25. Needless to say, I had to have it, so I went to the bank and purchased a money order and sent away for it. When I received it, it had an alligator clip on the wire which you would clip to a ground, like a lamp or the center screw on an outlet. Well, the first night I had it I clipped it to the outlet and began receiving some AM stations from New York, one was WOR and I also picked up the Voice Of America Shortwave Broadcast from North Carolina. On Sunday night, I clipped the clip to the outlet and at 10PM from WOR, 710 AM in New York, they had on Blind Evangelist Ralph Montanus. His introduction was sung by him and the hymn was Count Your Blessings. This was my first hearing of the True Gospel and my introduction to Shortwave radio. Now isnt it interesting that a little crystal radio, no bigger than a pack of cigarettes, was used of God to let me hear the true gospel and 15 years later I became saved.
I did not write those three paragraphs to brag that I received my General Class license but to point out a great biblical truth. The work I did 34 years ago is now bearing fruit. In fact, consider this principle, what you do today may affect your own life thirty years from today, so proceed wisely and make wise decisions. In the above verse we see the Lord Jesus telling Thomas that because he sees he believes, but the Lord Jesus is looking to the future that those who will not see will believe. When you do ministry, do you ever consider that the work you do today may reap fruit thirty or even forty years from now. The ministry of Ralph Montanus did not bear fruit in my life until sixteen years later. The seed was planted when I was just a young boy. It was like the Apostle Paul who was set apart in his mothers womb, and then there was a time which had to pass before Saul became Paul. Ralph Montanus had no idea that he was witnessing to someone who would be the fruit of his ministry 15 years later. We never know what the future results of our present ministry is going to be. This is why we must minister the True Gospel from Scripture because it is applicable to every forthcoming generation. The idea that I have to reach todays generation of youth by bringing in a group of freaks to play in the church at 90 db beyond what your ears can take is hogwash. The same gospel that reached this 12 year old boy in 1965 will reach the twelve year olds of 2004. God hasnt changed His salvation plan and methods. Where did we ever get the idea that we have the authority to change his methods. (Rom 10:17 KJV) So then faith cometh by hearing, and hearing by the word of God. Faith comes by hearing of the Word of God, not some freak band that calls themselves Christians.
Whenever we minister to people, we must minister with the present needs in mind and the overriding understanding that whatever we say or write today, may be used by someone in the future, maybe long after we are gone home to be with the Lord. I tried to find out if Ralph Montanus was still alive but he had already gone on to glory in 1986. I wanted to write to him or his ministry, if there was still a present ministry with his old tapes. If a door of opportunity opens for you to send forth the Gospel to wherever, then use that opportunity because there may be someone who is listening or reading that God is going to save. What legacy will you leave to the future world? Will you be remembered as one who only butted heads with other Christians or will you be remembered as one who could minister to Christians and evangelize the unsaved? Our present ministry is our gift to the future. We cannot sit back and say, oh the rapture is coming so why should I bother to start a ministry? That is nothing but slothfulness and shirking of Christian duty.
I personally believe the Lords return is very near but that should be a prompt to get busy in the Lords work and not to use eschatology as justification for non-involvement. You can make a 30 minute Gospel tape in your own home with standard equipment and send it to a Christian Shortwave ministry and preach the gospel world wide. As I stated last week that we just need to be faithful to the word of the Lord and leave the results to Him. I have no idea who comes to my website and reads the material except sometimes I receive an e-mail from someone. I have no idea who reads the bumper stickers on my car. This is an aside. It is interesting that I have trouble walking but I have absolutely no problem driving. Could that be because my car is a rolling witness for the Lord?(Rom 1:16 KJV) For I am not ashamed of the gospel of Christ: for it is the power of God unto salvation to every one that believeth; to the Jew first, and also to the Greek.
I know it aggravates some people when they see the sticker Jesus Christ is Not a Swear Word or the other one Truth Not Tolerance. I can tell by the demeanor of the people behind me. Again that is not my problem, as long as my car exhibits faithful stickers, it will be used of the Lord to reach whom He will reach. Let me give a quick car testimony here. I had a Dodge Colt purchased in 1980, I became saved in January 1981, so I placed stickers on my car. I sold the car to a friend of mine at 80,000 original miles. I had another Dodge Colt which was a 1988, I placed stickers on that car too. It lasted 10 years with 156,000 original miles. My present car I purchased used from Avis where I worked. I bought a 1998 Nissan Sentra GXE fully loaded and the Lord gave them them price to sell it to me at $8750, when that model retailed for $11,500 in January 2000 when I bought it. Here is an interesting addition. It was January 20, 2000, when I received the Motor Vehicle Paperwork. One of the drivers stayed late that night so he could follow me home and bring me back to pick up the newer car and bring it home. That very night, our Avis lot was vandalized and all the Sentras and many of the other cars had their radios stolen and many had broken windows as the thieves went through the lot. If the MV paperwork did not come through and that other driver was not working late, my new Sentra would have been among those that were vandalized. The Lord protected my car. Here are two verses which annunciate the biblical principle.
(Prov 3:9 KJV) Honour the LORD with thy substance, and with the firstfruits of all thine increase:
(1 Sam 2:30 KJV) Wherefore the LORD God of Israel saith, I said indeed that thy house, and the house of thy father, should walk before me for ever: but now the LORD saith, Be it far from me; for them that honour me I will honour, and they that despise me shall be lightly esteemed.
So for those Christians who are afraid to be a rolling witness for the Lord, I feel sorry for you because you have not tasted the fulfillment of Gods promises above. If you honor the Lord with your substance, He will prolong the life of your vehicle. That principle goes for anything that we dedicate unto the Lord. One more example and I will quit. In August of 1981, I purchased a Pioneer Am/Fm Stereo 45 watt unit. From the time I purchased it, it only played Gospel music and Gospel stations, sometimes Classical, plus many Gospel tapes. I am looking at it right now as I still have it and it still works beautifully. So the principle is alive and well. Dedicate what you have to the Lord and take every opportunity within that dedication for ministry, and your legacy will be a great one, touching the lives of many.
PS: Going back to long range communication, at night, the later the better, take an AM radio and slowly turn the dial and you will pick up distant stations. Within the last 2 weeks, I picked up: Charlotte, NC - Atlanta, GA - Cleveland, OH - Wheeling, WV - Hamilton, Ontario - Boston, MA. If you copy what they are transmitting and send it to the station, they will send you a QSL confirmation card. Station Engineers like and need to get these reports to see how the stations are getting their signal out. This would be something interesting to do with your children. It may help take them away from the TV or Video games. (1/16/04)