Wednesday, September 17, 2014

May we not live and die in vain

Wednesdays is a day that our church leadership has set aside and pray specifically for missions. As I sat at my desk early with a cup of coffee and prayed, I could not help but ponder a conversation I had with a young man the day before. He shared with me how he and his family surrendered to The Lord to missions. Not just any missions but he explained that he has a heart for unreached people in closed countries, and in particular Muslim people.
As I prayed for him and the people he might deliver the Gospel to I also could not help but think of all the uproar in the media of Christians being murdered by radical Islamic followers. I thought of the horrific stories of Christians in these difficult places being beheaded and children being persecuted for their faith and their families’ faith. Our culture has developed a hardened attitude towards these radicals. We are appalled at how they could believe and do such things, and don’t get me wrong, what they are doing is wrong and horrific. Our hearts should break for their victims and our knees should be calloused in prayer for those suffering and persecuted. But what about the ones wielding the knife and sword and rifle? Does your heart break for them as well?

We are quick to condemn and blame them for their impure motives but let me offer a different angle on looking at things. Do they know any different? Is it all their fault? Are we as professing Christians across the globe maybe just a little bit responsible as well? The Apostle Paul says in Romans 10:12-15 For there is no distinction between Jew and Greek; for the same Lord is Lord of all, bestowing His riches on all who call on Him. "For everyone who calls on the name of The Lord will be saved." How then will they call on Him in whom they have not believed? And how are they to believe in Him of whom they have never heard? And how are they to hear without someone preaching? And how are they to preach unless they are sent? As it is written, "How beautiful are the feet of those who preach the good news!"

God commissions believers to continue Christ’s unfinished work by proclaiming the finished work of Christ on the Cross. In other words God commands believers to be instruments of delivery of the life changing Gospel. We are to carry the Good News to people that don’t know it. I would say that these guys we see in the black pajamas don’t know Him. So how do they get to know Him? Look again at the words of Paul. He asks some great questions. How are they to believe unless someone preaches the Gospel to them? How are they to believe unless someone is sent to share truth?
Before we completely write them off as hopeless, let us not forget about the guy that penned the words in Romans. He was a guy that persecuted Christians for their faith in Jesus and God did a mighty work in and through him.

 As I began my day praying for missions may we continue, and I urge you to join me in praying that God would send and save. That the Gospel reach these that we see as lost and wicked and the grace of Jesus redeem and make righteous. May our knees be calloused and our lives be sacrificial to the commission of making disciples of all nations. May we not live and die in vain.