By Dr. Donald Whitchard
Ever since I was fifteen years old and Elvis was alive, I have known beyond the shadow of a doubt that I was called by the Lord Jesus Christ into the gospel ministry. I have not always followed that route and I made some foolish decisions in my youth and to a greater extent, in my adult years because I chose to get ahead of God and figure out what I thought He had planned for me. A lot of prayer, thought, and careful action was used by Him to open doors of opportunity in spite of myself. I discovered along the years that I had the gift of teaching and I put that gift to good use by teaching Sunday school for adults and youth as well as teaching history and English to high school students both in public and private schools. That gift of teaching was used when I entered the pulpit. My sermons were, in effect, lessons on books of the Bible with a dash of fire and brimstone.
It was while I was in my third pastorate that I got a hunger for the welfare of souls and to reach out to people with the truths of the gospel. Now you would think that this feeling was part of the territory of gospel ministry, and, I had in my past ventures, tried to make the need for people to come to Christ a priority. The fact was that in the churches I led, almost everybody already knew the LORD and giving invitations became an afterthought. The trouble was that these churches were for the most part, content with things as they were and no new ideas for outreach need apply, except for my last church. They had a zeal for God and told people about the church. They passed out gospel tracts and prayed for a harvest. The trouble was, and is now, that people by and large could care less about the condition of their soul .That is the state in which we find ourselves spiritually as a nation and people. There is a smothering apathy about what life is all about, with the population choosing rather to place their faces in their phones and cease interacting with people on a level of care and concern.
Sometimes I think that the church of Jesus Christ has given up on evangelism and outreach, preferring to bask in the spotlight of relevancy and self-deification, seeing the living LORD as a means to an end instead of bowing before Him and asking what His will is to be. The world is merrily riding down the expressway to hell and there are few believers who are trying to stop them before it is too late. I hate to be pessimistic, but that’s what the Bible says about things in the last days. Paul warned us about apostasy, and our Lord Jesus told His disciples that there would be perilous times upon the earth, with Christians becoming Public Enemy Number 1. It is all too easy to hunker down and wait for the Rapture and avoid the Great Commission which, if I’m not mistaken, is still in effect. We might think that the world has gotten so bad that it does us no good to tell people about Jesus outside the church walls, but, believe it or not, we are sitting on a spiritual gold mine. Pardon my pessimism, but I need to also take a look to see how I’m doing in the job of winning souls. Since I resigned from my last pastorate, I am writing books on prophecy and the rise of the occult with a partner from the state of Indiana. These books are filled with appeals for the reader to come to Christ.
My prayer is that the garden variety pagan will read them and that what is written will be used by the Holy Spirit to draw people to a saving knowledge of Jesus Christ. Along with my writing, I plan to devote the remainder of my days going where the LORD wants me to go and preach the gospel to the lost and hurting. I will not compromise the Word of God to suit anyone’s idea of what a Christian is to be and how he should live. My allegiance is not to the denomination of which I’m a part ( the Southern Baptist Convention), but to the Lordship of Jesus Christ. The consequences of life without Christ leads to eternal hell, and I’m not afraid of saying so. I fear no man or tyrant. I will say what the LORD puts on my heart and sensitive feelings be warned. I don’t compromise truth and I have no tolerance for foolishness disguised as ministry. I’m not good with excuses used by churches with their lack of concern for the welfare of their souls. There is little time left and if we’re not diligent in our calling, there will be those who will gladly accept the mark of the Beast and lose their souls for all eternity. I obey the orders of my Captain. I’m a willing soldier ready to lay it all on the line for my LORD. All I want out of it is for the Lord Jesus to say to me, “Well done, thou good and faithful servant. Enter into the joy of thy LORD.” If your church is ready to commit to the evangelization of the lost, contact me. I’ll gladly come and preach the truths of Scripture. I can be called, but I’m not for sale at any price. Let’s work together for a great soul harvest.
Don was born and raised in the true Cajun Country of Louisiana. He holds a Bachelors Degree in History from Louisiana College, a Masters Degree in Christian Education from the New Orleans Baptist Theological Seminary, and a Doctor of Ministry degree in Pastoral Theology from Andersonville Baptist Seminary in Georgia. Don has served as a pastor, interim pastor, high school teacher, and hospital chaplain over the past thirty years. He currently serves as a volunteer chaplain (2008-present) with St. Francis Hospital and also served as the pastor/teacher from 2013-2016 at the Gospel Rescue Mission, both of which are here in Muskogee. He was called to Meadowbrook in February 0f 2017 and began his ministry in March of that year. He has also served as President of the Muskogee Baptist Association’s Pastors Conference, which is a weekly meeting that presents speakers and ministry ideas and concepts to church leaders in the greater Muskogee area.
Don’s top priority is to see that the good news of Jesus Christ is shared with our lost and hurting world and that the people of God are taught sound doctrine and preparation for our Lord’s soon return.