Monday, March 20, 2006

Are we ready?

How to make sense of death being gain in the mission field.

The promise is sure: Jesus does not lie. He said that all nations, all tribes, people groups and tongues would hear the Gospel. I recently watched a DVD about the Gospel being taken to some remote tribes in Indonesia, 2000 years after the cross. These tribesmen then left all they had to take the gospel other remote Indonesian villages. The promise is sure, all will hear the Gospel. We can either get on board and take part in the victory, or we can waste our lives. Thats the choice.

The price and means is suffering: Gologtha is not a suburb of Jerusalem. Jesus went outside the city gates on display to everyone to suffer and die. He says that anyone who would follow Him would take up their cross and follow Him. Ask yourself where Jesus was going when He was carrying His cross. Not to a retirement village on the south coast, not to a comfy job and life in the suburbs. In Colossians 1:24 Paul says that he is filling up what is lacking in the sufferings of Christ. Whatever can this mean? That somehow the shedding of divine blood wasn't enough? NO! Not for a second. What is lacking the sufferings of Jesus as far as the Colossians are concerned? A visual presentation of the sufferings of Jesus. They don't know Him or His life or His sufferings. This is what Paul does...he presents the sufferings of Jesus to the Collosians. This is what we must do.

The prize is satisfying: Until we truly rejoice when our belongings are ransacked for the Gospel (Heb 10:32-35), until we really know what Paul means when He says that death is gain (Phil 1:21) or that the steadfast love of the Lords better than life (Ps 63:3) we won't be willing to give up our lives for the sake of the Gospel. But look! The steadfast love of the Lord is better than life! And Jesus is life, life with Him is life itself! We need to grab onto these biblical promises. The prize of the Christian life is satisfying. Eternal life with Jesus, with no more longings or despair, or sin or death is the prize. That's why laying down our lives for the gospel is worth it. Because death is gain, because nothing we will ever lose is anything compared to that which we will gain.

Are we ready?

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