“GET REAL”: BECOME A WORLD CHRISTIAN
“If my life is broken when given to Jesus, it is because pieces will feed a multitude, while a loaf will satisfy only a little lad”. - Ruth Stull
Just before our Lord Jesus Christ departed to His heavenly abode, He asked his disciples to fulfill “The Great Commission”. It was this: “Go into all the world and preach the gospel to every creature…” (Mark 16: 15a) To empower them for this mammoth task, He commanded his disciples to wait for the baptism of the Holy Spirit in Jerusalem as the first step. “But you shall receive power when the Holy Spirit has come upon you; and you shall be witnesses to Me in Jerusalem, and in all Judea and Samaria, and to the end of the earth”. (Acts 1:8)
Starting from the 2nd chapter of The Acts of the Apostles, after being baptized by the Holy Spirit, we see fervency on the part of the disciples to spread the good news everywhere in Jerusalem. The command of their Lord and Master in Acts 1:8 to witness outside Jerusalem was actually obeyed only 20 years later in Acts 8:1, when all the disciples (except the apostles) got scattered to Judea and Samaria due to immense persecution against the church. It was Apostle Paul, who became a pioneer in exploring uncharted territory outside Judea and Samaria to spread the Gospel. He counted himself to be a debtor to everyone around him to preach the Gospel (Romans 1:14-16). Such was the zeal of the 1st century Christians, that in their time, a major part of their world could hear the good news, and many churches mushroomed all over the globe. They were willing to sacrifice everything, even their lives, to obey their Lord’s command!
About 2000+ years have passed since then. As of today, how much of our world has really heard the Gospel? If each Christian, who loves the Lord and is sincerely trying to follow the Lord’s footsteps, would have even one-tenth of the zeal of the 1st century Christians, the whole earth would have been won over for Christ. But no, we have our own agendas and our own priorities. We want an easy life here with all its comforts. We act as if God owes us when we go to the Church services, and spare some of our time in His presence. We do not really “choose to suffer affliction with the people of God…” (Hebrews 11:24b), and do His will in propagating the Gospel. Even the people in our sphere of influence – our relatives, co-workers, friends, neighbors etc – who have been interacting with us on a day-to-day basis have not had a chance to hear the gospel from us. We have not started with ‘Jerusalem’, let alone talk about ‘Judea, Samaria & the end of the earth’!
Instead of being cooped up in our comfort zone, we need to stretch out with a wider vision and be a ‘World Christian’. To be a ‘World Christian’ doesn’t necessarily mean that we take a plane and fly to all parts of the world to preach the gospel. This suggestion is by itself absurd and impractical. Then what can we do?
Firstly, try to reach the people in our sphere of influence with the gospel. This group of people is “our Jerusalem”. Be a witness to them and communicate to them how God has changed our lives. Tell them about the dire need for them to be ‘born again’ in this earthly life, or else suffer the consequence of an eternity in hell and darkness. How can we remain listless, when our own near & dear are doomed for eternal suffering?
Secondly, make every effort to stretch out and reach people outside our sphere of influence through organizing outreach ministries, Gospel tract distributions, Open air meetings, Christian evangelistic meetings, Christian musical concerts, and doing personal evangelism through home & hospital visitations. Many people have come to the saving knowledge of Jesus Christ through this type of ministry, which is very effective. Ecclesiastes 11: 1-2 says “Cast your bread upon the waters, for you will find it after many days. Give a serving to seven, and also to eight, for you do not know what evil will be on the earth”.
Thirdly, we have a very real responsibility towards the entire human kind. Since we cannot personally go to all the nations to ‘preach the gospel’, we can do something that is possible even in our very busy life. This is ‘to stand in the gap before the Lord on behalf of the nations’ (Ezekiel 22:30) and intercede for the lost and perishing generation in those countries. We cannot really fathom how much our intercession for the nations will increase the effectiveness the Gospel being preached already, as this is bound to strengthen our position in this great spiritual warfare. Through interceding, we need to ask “the nations for our inheritance…” (Psalms 2:8), that the people living in these countries may turn towards the Lord Jesus Christ, and receive the ‘born again’ salvation experience.
Lastly, we can, with our money, resources, time and effort support churches & para-church organizations that are trying to evangelize the world for Christ. I will not attempt to name any one particular organization or church denomination, for it will sound like I am trying to ‘sell’ you something. Find out by yourself who are sincere in obeying the call of God and the full gospel, and support them wholeheartedly. In doing so, we are indirectly obeying our Lord’s commands ‘to preach the gospel to every creature’, and thereby supporting the great task that is entrusted to us in this end time.
I wish to challenge you to ‘get real’ in your Christian life, and be a true disciple of the Lord Jesus Christ by becoming a ‘World Christian’. Do not remain a hypocrite any longer. We are His mouth, His hands & His feet to reach the lost in this final countdown. The Lord looks to all the earth and asks “Whom shall I send? Who will go for us?” (Isaiah 6: 8) Can we join Isaiah in saying, “Here am I? Send me”? Remember, there is a hurting world outside which is waiting to hear the good news from you.
Can you take up this challenge? May God Bless you as you follow His footsteps!