Saturday, August 04, 2007

why bother?

There is indeed, something irresistable about getting the Gospel to eastern Europe. I can't explain it, but it's there, inside me. It lures and attracts me more than getting a good job, leading a quiet life in the suburbs and dying in my garden. I certainly don't want to die collecting shells in Punta Gorda, Florida. Keep me from that. But why should anyone bother? Why go somewhere like Bulgaria, why long to go back somewhere like Bulgaria? I think there are four main reasons.

The Glory
The glory of God is at stake in missions. Bulgaria is a country of about 8 million people, and just 0.5% of those are Christians. Now, even allowing for the fact that in a country of fewer Christians God's glory is more manifest in those who are calling on Him, thats still not much glory from people. Of course, the landscape and the weather and the diverse language and culture bring much glory to God. It's imposible to look at views like this without standing back in awe at our creator. But people were made to communicate the glory of the Lord in a different way. By worshipping Him, by waiting on Him, by enjoying Him. That the glory of God is supreme in the affections of God is fresh air to me. If i thought for a moment that me and my welfare was supreme in the affections of God then my passion for mission would be over. Now of course, the best bit about this is that my desire to be satisfied and God's desire to be glorified have the same end, because God is most glorified in me when i am most satisfied in Him. Isn't that good news? The glory of God is at stake, the glory that causes people to cry from their hearts 'how majestic is your name in all the earth' is at stake.

The Authority.
The great commission of Matthew 28 is a passage that i love. Oh the confidence and joy that it gives to the missionary endevour. All authority has been given to Him, therefore we are to go. Christ rules all, we must trust and go. He commands it, because of His authority. And because of these two things, the authority of Christ over us and over everything, we have the command to go, the twofold reason to go and the confidence to go. And this is compelling good news.

The Promise.
Matthew 24:14 is probably my favourite verse in the Bible. This Gospel will be will be preached to all nations, all tongues, all tribes, all people groups, and then the end will come. More authority from Jesus, and another great promise. We know the end is coming, we know that Jesus will return, therefore we know that the Gospel will be preached to the ends of the earth. It's a conditional promise, the preaching of the Gospel to all the ends of the earth...but we know that the condition will be met faithfully and we know the Gospel will be preached to the ends of the earth. So to not waste your life is to spend your life upon the glory of God through Jesus Christ in the mission field. And this doesn't neccesarily mean going abroad. The City needs missions, offices need missionaries, our families need missionaries and so do our friends. All Christians in that sense are missionaries, so we should have hope and confidence in the 2414 promise, and go and share the Gospel.

The Reward.
In some countries you can and will be killed for being a Christian, for sharing the Gospel. I believe that this number of countries will only increase as time moves forward. Better not go to those countries then? But what of Psalm 63:3? 'because the steadfast love of the Lord is better than life my lips will praise you' You see that? There is something better than life...the steadfast love of the Lord. They can kill our bodies, but not a hair on our head will perish. Again, great promises made with great authority to give us great confidence in the missionary endevour. They worst people can do to us is send us to Heaven to complete our joy. The devils greatest weapon is death, but Jesus has turned that great weapon into the beginning of our greatest joy, eternity with Him. A death that shows that Christ is more precious to you than life is not a death wasted...

let goods and kindred go, this mortal life also,
the body they may kill, God's truth abideth still

His Kingdom is forever

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