Ministerial Meanderings

God centered theology in a man centered world.

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Location: Springfield, Missouri, United States

I was born in Washington D.C. and raised in Laurel, Maryland. I served in the United States Air Force for 20 years then retired. Then God led me to become a pastor. I was converted to Christ in the summer of 1966. I enjoy the company of my wife, children and grandchildren. I live with my three cats Hobbs, Taz, and Chloe.

Friday, January 05, 2007

Into All The World ...

Now that we are nearly a week into 2007, I thought I'd make my first post of the new year. I considered many topics, which is why it took so many days for me to actually post this. But I think the topic of reaching the world for Jesus is probably the post that I want to start the new year off with.

When we think of reaching the world, more often than not, our thoughts go out to foreign mission work. That is good and right. There is a lost world out there who needs to hear the gospel of Jesus Christ. Hear me friend, no one gets saved without hearing the gospel and believing it. And, as 1 John 2:2 tells us, there is no other savior for the world except Jesus Christ. Every single day, people die and when they do they will go to one of two places. And there is no hope of eternal life apart from saving faith in the Lord Jesus Christ. We have got to be serious about reaching the world for Jesus.

But there is also another world out there to be reached. It is a world that is almost invisible to most Christians. Maybe it is invisible because our minds have trouble thinking in certain ways. Maybe we just don't want to see it, by and large. It is the world at our doorstep. Beloved, when you walk out of your church at the end of the Sunday service, you step out into the mission field. Our own towns, and cities, and communities are a mission field waiting to be reached. Most of the people you interact with on a daily basis need Jesus just as much as the Arabs, or the Chinese, or the _________________ (fill in the blank). "Behold," Jesus said, "the harvest is plentiful but the laborers are few. Pray that the Lord of the harvest will send laborers into the field." The fields are all around us. Our families, our co-workers, our friends, and acquaintances are also people who need Jesus. I pray in 2007, the Lord will open our eyes to the opportunities all around us.

As I think about this, there is another thought which intrudes into my head. We seem to see people (most of the time) who are very much like us. But when we look to the life of our Lord Jesus, we see that he spent his time among sinners. If the world is going to be reached, then we Christians are going to have to move out of our comfort zones to reach it. Beyond our families and friends and co-workers and acquaintances, there is another world that needs to be reached. It is the world that no one goes to. It is the world of the drug users, the prostitutes, the criminal, the homeless ... those who are not like us, but who also need to hear the saving gospel of Jesus Christ.

Christians can be extremely snobbish in our choices. Calvinists are often chided that they worry about the doctrine of election because we want to pick who we will witness to. As though we go around thinking "this one is elect and this one is not..." As though any human knows that. But I have known many Christians who are extremely selective in who they witness to. Usually, it is people they would "like" to have sitting in church with them on Sunday. Too often the divorced, the single parent, the poor, the infirm, the elderly, those kinds of people who might "bother" us by their presence in "our" church ... they are too often passed by. I tell you ... it is sin to pass them by.

Jesus told us to "go into all the world" ... think! ALL the world. In Revelation we are told that there is a numberless multitude gathered around the throne of God. It is made up of people from every people group on the planet. Every group! God is not going to be glorified as He ought until we get serious about reaching everybody for Jesus ... the desirable and those we (sinfully) consider undesirable.

As we begin 2007, I challenge all who read these words to be serious about reaching the whole world for Jesus Christ. Let's reach out to those near and far, high and low. It is for God to decide who His people are, not us. I pray God will enlarge our hearts so that we don't consider any soul too removed from us that we pass it by with the gospel. May God open all our eyes to His harvest fields and send us as laborers into the fields. Wherever the lost are, that is where we need to be. I pray it will be so. Will you pray too?

2 Comments:

Blogger Seeking4Truth said...

John, I think the problem with sending laborers into the field, is that we often forget where we came from. Eph 5:8 “For ye were sometimes darkness

What a powerful statement in light of what scripture commands us to be. How is it possible for man to become anything other than darkness? Scripture commands us to be godly, to be light, yet informs us that we can not become anything other than what we are. This thought should drive men to their knees and scream out for someone to save them. But instead man defines his state, darkness, as normal and views all men in this manner. The only difference they see is in knowledge. One who has more knowledge is viewed as a better darkness. Darkness does not comprehend itself nor does it condemn itself for lack of light.

Even though Eph 5:8 says “For ye were sometimes darkness,” it did not stop there it finishes by saying, “BUT now are ye light in the Lord: walk as children of light:”

What happened between “darkness” and “but”?

Ro 5:6 For when we were yet without strength, in due time Christ died for the ungodly.

Oh the magnitude of this verse! That while in darkness, “Christ died for ungodly”! What can possibly equal this gift? What can we possibly offer in return? We are completely unable to remove our ungodliness. Deplorable and “without strength” unable to turn away the wrath of God because ungodliness is the very essence of our fallen state. We see no need for light when we do not see the darkness.

What can be more descriptive of our condition than being darkness and ungodly? How can we become what we are commanded to be in order to be accepted by God? It is only by an amazing Grace, we can offer nothing.

How can grace be amazing if man has any ability to contribute to it? What is so amazing about a carpenter who builds a house or a plumber who fixes a leaky faucet? Grace is only amazing when “Christ died for the ungodly”. This should give us reason to rejoice, boldness to proclaim the magnificence of God. How can anyone doubt this sure foundation and the security of it? Your view of grace is relative to how dark you see yourself as being. If we think for a moment that we in any way contributed to our salvation, then we see that Christ died for the almost godly. To offer the Gospel to a man who is darkness, without defining the darkness is like exchanging his bread for a rock. He sees no need for the rock, still desires the bread, and will eventually cast the rock aside for the weight of it.

Some would say to speak to men to build their self worth and by doing so will convince them of the value that God placed on it by sending His Son to purchase it on the cross. The truth is the magnitude of the sacrifice is relative to the ungodliness that it was given for. An infinite magnitude of light for an infinite magnitude of darkness. “Christ died for the ungodly”.


Tim Naab

3:57 PM  
Blogger PBill said...

John, how's things going for you? Email me at wm@mail.yellowstone.net if you prefer.

William thornton

4:02 AM  

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