Taking Jesus Seriously
Between my regular exposure to missionaries at my home church & camp, I was softened up to the idea that missions was a viable option for someone who claimed Jesus was Lord.
Like what Robert Coleman said in Master Plan of Evangelism,
“The plan of Jesus has not been rejected; we have just done without it. It has been converted into something worthy of remembering, that belongs to the past, but it has not been taken seriously as a norm of conduct for the present.”
Do we take Jesus seriously? Have we forgotten what He went to the Cross for?
It wasn't for my salvation. Or for yours. It was for everyone, for every tribe, tongue & nation.
We don't pray for the lost, the remote or the forgotten. We tend to worry about whether we are comfortable in church, or not. We don't sacrifice so others can hear the news which will make all the difference between whether they spend eternity in hell, or not.
Being a missionary, or participating in the gospel getting right round the world, is to take Jesus seriously.
Anything else is a mockery of name Him as Lord.
Every day 100,000 cars go over the Auckland Harbour Bridge. The people in those cars think they are going to work or to school or shopping or for a manicure . . . .. when in reality they are going one of two places; either to heaven or to hell.
They are oblivious.
We know the God who gives choice in the matter.
We know the Son who provided the choice with His own blood.
We know the Spirit who equips us to speak redemptive analogies into every culture of the world.
And we often wander around as oblivious as the lost, and we ought to be ashamed.
Anyone can be a missionary.
If they know Jesus.
If they know someone who doesn't.
If they are willing to cross whatever cultural barriers exist between themselves and that other person so as to communicate the message, they can be missionaries.
Missionaries have a unique role in that they see obstacles like language, culture socio-economic differences, and they devise plans to hurdle them. They figure out ways around them or through them.
Evangelism is you talking to someone very much like yourself. We gotta do this or our friends & family are at risk!
Missions is seeking out someone who is very different from yourself and creating dialogue in which Jesus can join the conversation. We gotta do this or the effectiveness of what Jesus did on the cross is gonna be limited to a bunch of people who look and sound like us. God is more creative and diverse than just "us".
To have Africans and Latinos worshipping with us at the throne!
To have Asians & Europeans in the crowd!
To have islanders and Eskimos! That will be a party I wanna be at!