Riding the stagecoach together

Dr. Marc Drake, Senior Pastor, First Baptist Church, Sun Lakes

The great 18th century evangelist George Whitefield once stepped into a stagecoach about to leave Edinburgh. A lady who belonged to a different church denomination happened to step into the same coach. She saw Whitefield and became alarmed, saying, “Are you not Mr. Whitefield?” He replied, “Yes, Madam.” The woman then exclaimed, “Oh, then let me get out.”

Whitefield calmly replied, “Surely, Madam. But before you go let me ask you one question. Suppose you die and go to heaven, and then suppose I die and go there also; when I come in, will you go out?” The lady was struck by his words. She then cordially shook his hand and they proceeded together on their journey.

Unity in Christ is a great joy and is based – not on denominationalism – but on Christ Himself. Thus, those who know Him personally as Lord and Savior are one in Him through His atoning death on the cross and His bodily resurrection from the dead. And to be one in Him is to be one with all others throughout the world who are one in Him!

I often think of the rich ethnic diversity in my own church: black, white, Asian, Native American. We hail from north, south, east and west, with some of our flock originally coming from Canada, England, Germany, Africa and Russia. Writing to the Galatian believers, the apostle Paul declared: “There is neither Jew nor Greek, there is neither slave nor free, there is no male and female, for you are all one in Christ Jesus” (Galatians 3:28).

All one. I love the sound of that!

What a privilege to serve alongside fellow believers as together we seek to glorify God, make His name and gospel known far and wide and grow together in love, grace and unity as we study and apply His perfect and living Word – the Bible.

My desire for First Baptist Church, Sun Lakes, is that God will use us, along with other Bible-believing churches, as His witnesses in our community and beyond. And my prayer is that the greatest and most spiritually effective days are yet to come.

It’s truly a joy to be on the same “stagecoach” with other believers. What a ride! And it’s one that will never end, for God promises that His children will spend an eternity in heaven with Him.

As the Bible says of believers, “Our citizenship is in heaven, and from it we await a Savior, the Lord Jesus Christ, Who will transform our lowly body to be like His glorious body” (Philippians 3:20-21).

Now that’s the greatest of all citizenships, and heaven will be the greatest of all countries!