This was first written on the 12th of October 2014 and I would consider it my first real foray into seriously thinking about mission as a course for my life (my first record of my thoughts on mission and ministry being the “first world problems” post written a year before). Upon reposting in June 2016, additional content was added.
We are called by God to something bigger. Whether we Christians believe it or not, we are called, in some way or another, to God’s mission in this dying world, the great commission of Christ remaining relevant and binding. A mission that would see people saved from the clutches of hell and the evil one and see them welcomed into heaven as children of the Most High.
18 And Jesus came and said to them, “All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to me. 19 Go therefore and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, 20 teaching them to observe all that I have commanded you. And behold, I am with you always, to the end of the age.” ~ Matthew 28:18-20 (ESV)
As every Christian will know, this is the Great Commission. When I read this verse I have felt compelled to go, knowing that there are still far too many unreached people’s in this world, knowing slavery is still an epidemic, knowing poverty still robs people of their potential. Others read it and are happy to stay in our home countries, knowing there are still many people who don’t know Christ here. Whether we feel as I do, and feel the call to go, or as others do, and desire to stay, our call to the great commission of Christ is the same. We are to make disciples of all nations and to teach them to observe all Jesus has commanded us.
So often we as Christians will cop out and ignore this verse. Oh, that only means those who have the gift of evangelism. That’s only for those called to missions, or called to be pastors. What we need to understand is that our lack of evangelistic ability, our inability to relate to people or our dislike for sharing our faith for fear of persecution – none of these apparent shortcomings absolve us from our biblical calling to bring the gospel to a world dying and being condemned for its sins.
C.H Spurgeon, a 19th century preacher put it like this;
“I plead this day for those who cannot plead for themselves, namely, the great outlying masses of the heathen world. Our existing pulpits are tolerably well supplied, but we need men who will build on new foundations. Who will do this?
Are we, as a company of faithful men, clear in our consciences about the heathen? Millions have never heard the Name of Jesus. Hundreds of millions have seen a missionary only once in their lives, and know nothing of our King. Shall we let them perish?
Can we go to our beds and sleep, while China, India, Japan, and other nations are being damned? Are we clear of their blood? Have they no claim on us? We ought to put it on this footing–not, ‘Can I prove that I ought to go?’ but, ‘Can I prove that I ought not to go?’”
This is my question I am continuously asking myself. Am I clear in my conscience regarding those who have not heard to name Jesus even once? There are times where I have been up unable to sleep because of these tough questions. Knowing God, and knowing there are countless individuals made in His image and loved by Him out there dying in their sins without the revelation and salvation of Christ, “can I prove that I ought not to go?” In the end, no, no I cannot prove that I ought not to go.
Of course, whether or not I, or any of us go or stay, is ultimately up to God. Perhaps instead we are called to stay at home and support those who God calls to go abroad. Either way, it’s all for the Kingdom and all for His glory.
By the time of revisiting this post, i have explored the mission field for myself and I can’t wait to explore it further in the future. Having spent 2 weeks in Malaysia and Nepal July last year (almost a year, whoa!), I can positively say that this is the most likely course my life is heading down. The next steps, with careful consideration and prayer, will be to step out and head to Cambodia.
God-willing, something to look forward to next year! But regardless of the outcome, God be praised for His work in this world and the many faithful He has sent out into the harvest field!
Looking forward to everything to come and seeing the will of God, whatever that should be, be done.