Hidden Treasures

The Bible is much more than a book of religion.

MISSION POSSIBLE

MISSION ANNOUNCED

I often heard Dr. Oswald Smith speak on missions.  I remember him telling  the story of the Feeding of the Five Thousand.  When the crowds were hungry for food and the disciples could find nothing but a boy’s lunch of five loaves and two fish, Jesus insisted, “Give ye them to eat.!”  Then Jesus took that little lunch, blessed it, multiplied it and fed over 5000 people.He purposely told the story with a flaw.  He told of how Jesus’ disciples went back and forth among the people in the front rows feeding them until they were stuffed, ignoring the masses of people in the back rows. Then he would ask the congregation,  “Is that what Jesus did?  Of course not!”   Then he would correct the story.  The disciples moved through the entire crowd, making sure EVERYONE was fed.”  Then Dr. Smith would ask the provocative question, “WHY SHOULD ANYONE HEAR THE GOSPEL TWICE BEFORE EVERYONE HAS HAD THE OPPORTUNITY TO HEAR IT ONCE?

 “The mission of the church is summed up in Jesus’ Great Commission “Go ye into all the world and preach the Gospel to every creature.”  Mark 16:15    What is the Gospel? “God was in Christ, reconciling the world unto Himself, not imputing their trespasses unto them; and hath committed  unto us the word of reconciliation. Now then we are ambassadors for Christ, as though God did beseech you by us; we pray you in Christ’s stead, be ye reconciled to God. For He (God) hath made Him (Jesus) who knew no sin,  to be sin for us, that we might be made the righteousness of God in Him.” II Cor 5:19-21

Jesus, the holy, spotless  Son of God came into this world as the Lamb of God,  to die on a cross and shed His blood for our sins.  Three days later He rose from the dead, thereby guaranteeing that He was indeed the Son of God and that His sacrifice was acceptable to the Father. Those who receive The Lord Jesus Christ as Saviour are given God’s gift of eternal life and an eternal Home in Heaven.    Those who reject the Saviour remain lost in their sins and are headed for Hell. Paul states the Gospel clearly in I Corinthians 15:1-4 “Moreover, brethren, I declare unto you the Gospel…..how that Christ died for our sins according to the Scriptures; and that He was buried, and that He rose again the third day according to the Scriptures.” 

MISSION AUTHORIZED

Christians are to faithfully carry out Christ’s Great Commission. The Good News of salvation must be declared to everyone, starting with our neighbors and carried to the ends of the earth to every tribe and nation. The last words of Jesus before He ascended back to Heaven are recorded in Act 1:7-8  When the disciples were asking Him questions concerning prophecy, He replied to them, ” It is not for you to know the times or the seasons, which the Father hath put in His own authority, but ye shall receive power after that the Holy Ghost is come upon you: and ye shall be witnesses unto me both in Jerusalem, and in all Judea and in Samaria and unto the uttermost part of the earth.”  That and that alone is the Great Commission.

True, the fulfillment of the Great Commission  involves a huge support team just as a nation’s military operations involves a huge support team on the front and in the homeland. It involves the sacrificial financial and prayer support of God’s people back home. It involves translating the Bible into other languages so that all may have the Gospel in their own language.  It involves teaching people to read, feeding starving people, healing the sick, and teaching people how to care for their own physical needs. However, it is important to understand  that if we teach people to read and help them  medically, but we never get around to giving them the Gospel; then we have failed in carrying out Christ’s Great Commission.  We have simply made it possible for educated, healthy people to continue on their way to Hell.  Certainly we are not called to Westernize  people in other lands; rather we are to reach them in their own cultures. 

With His Great  Commission Jesus gives us the promise of  His presence, His authority and His power to carry it out.  For two thousand years the church has made some progress in fulfilling this responsibility; but  in the past century , with the advent of radio and television and with the aid of airplanes and  computers,  the Church has made even greater progress in reaching the world for Christ.   

MISSION ADVANCED

In this age of nationalism, the old fashioned missionary method of developing a mission station and building a work centered around the missionary does not work. The key to the spread of the Gospel centers in the training of a national, indigenous self-supporting, self-propagating  church. The Apostle Paul taught this method to Timothy in II Timothy 2:2  “And the things that thou hast heard of me among many witnesses, the same commit thou to faithful men who shall be able to teach others also.” 

In places where this principle is being practiced, churches are multiplying and thriving under the  leadership of their own people.  In recent years there has been a great influx of  foreigners into our country.  Our colleges and universities, are overflowing with foreign students.  Many of these foreigners live in our communities, providing one of the greatest opportunities ever to evangelize the world. The Church needs to be aware and take advantage of this wonderful opportunity of reaching the world for Christ  right in our own backyard. Not every Christian is called or equipped to go to a foreign land, but  every Christian can be a missionary as we live a consistent Christian life reaching  out in friendship to our neighbors and friends. We can all help finance the work of reaching the world for Christ as we make it a priority in our life.  Certainly every faithful church should be making the evangelization of the world a priority in their stewardship. God not only calls missionaries to a life of sacrifice; He calls every Christian to live a sacrificial life so that the Great Commission can be fulfilled in our lifetime.  We are not responsible for past generations nor future generations, but for reaching our own generation for Christ. 

MISSION ACCOMPLISHED 

Though we do not know the day nor the hour of Christ’s return; we do know from Scripture  that when this task of world evangelization has been accomplished  and Christ’s Church is complete, Jesus has promised us that He will return. “And this Gospel of the Kingdom shall be preached in all the world for a witness unto all nations, and then shall the end come.”  Matthew 24:14 Humanly speaking, the accomplishment of our mission seems utterly impossible, considering the population of this world and the opposition of Satan.  Jesus said in Mark 10:27  “With men it is impossible, but not with God; for with God all things are possible.”  He never gives us a command without giving us the power to obey it. If Christ is going to have the final victory, and He will;  then our mission IS possible and it WILL  be accomplished.  Not everyone will be saved, but everyone will have the opportunity to be saved. Not every Christian will choose to be involved in The Great Commission and make the sacrifices necessary for its accomplishment; but those who do will be well rewarded.  

Christian friend, in the light of Christ’s Great Commission given to every Christian. Have you considered where you fit into the big picture of reaching the world for Christ?  To be an obedient Christian you must be involved.  There are no deferments in the Lord’s Army.

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April 9, 2006 - Posted by | Missions

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