Not buildings or cemeteries...!
Bob!," he said as he opened the blueprint, "This is going to be a fourteen storey building! On the ground floor, we will have our bookstore, on the next floor a conference room, then the residences of all our employees, and above, offices!"
"Yes, we will rent it out and get an income!"
"Do you know what our salaries are like?"
I looked at the present bookstore, "What's wrong with this?," I asked. "It's in the best location, it's got hundreds of thousands of people passing by, and you've got space for another hundred thousand books! What's wrong with this place? Why do you want another place and that too a building?"
"It's a project, Bob! I love projects! This store here was the project of somebody fifty years ago, I need another huge one to keep me going!"
"Come here!," I tell him, "You know what that is hanging on your wall?"
"The map of India!"
"You want a project?"
"What is it?"
"There," I tell him, "That's your project! It's not building buildings for God, it's bringing India to God!"
And as I watch many of my dear brethren gathering money and building huge buildings, I think of another call I received a few days ago from a poor village somewhere in India. "Brother, we need funds!"
"So we can bury our dead the Christian way!"
And the story goes on. We invest in buildings, in cemeteries, but hardly in saving souls, do we?
Many years later, when we climb those golden steps, we will be greeted by one with a book in hand, standing before the Heavenly Gates: "What did you do for Jesus?"
"I built buildings!"
"I guess you have your name on all the buildings too?"
"Oh yes, you can go down and see my name if you want proof, itís on a plaque at the entrance, in case you've forgotten to enter it in your book!"
"Your name isn't here!"
"Yeah, but it's down there!"
"So you've got your reward, dear friend!"
"No buts, it's not buildings God wanted you to build down there, it's His Church in the hearts of men and women who'd never heard the Gospel...!"
And as you are led away, the angel whispers with a sad smile, "And not cemeteries too...!"