Will Christians ever run out of people to share the gospel with?
Matthew 28:16 (ESV) Now the eleven disciples went to Galilee, to the mountain to which Jesus had directed them. 17 And when they saw him they worshiped him, but some doubted. 18 And Jesus came and said to them, “All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to me. 19 Go therefore and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, 20 teaching them to observe all that I have commanded you. And behold, I am with you always, to the end of the age.”
Those of you who follow me on social media will be aware that my wife, my child and I took a short vacation to the central coast of California recently. I love going to the beach and visiting at the ocean as it has certain refreshing qualities that allow me to forget problems and issues that come by on a day to day basis. It is also good for us as a family to make good and happy memories with each other.
Often times, I vacation in Cambria and Morro Bay in California and this time was no different. I have history there as my wife and I honeymooned there and I have many happy memories in that small part of the Pacific coast. What was different is that this time I had the opportunity to visit with a friend of mine who pastors the Calvary Chapel in Cambria. What may be surprising is that the message was not the message I will tell today, but something that came to me on an early Saturday evening as I am making sandcastles with my daughter.
The beach is a curious place, regardless of when you visit it is never going be exactly the same, the creator God who fashioned the universe simply by saying it, the one who measured the heavens with the span of his hand sent a tiny (by his standards) wave to shape and reshape the shoreline of the beach.
Can we count the sands of the beach? Or the salt in the water that comes and moves the particles to and fro, refreshing them, cleansing them and placing them where God desires them to be at that appointed time? The answer is obviously no, but God knows the number.
We are like those particles, our lives have meaning and when we do what we are meant to and connect with our creator God then we fulfil what God has for us. Christians have one task in this world and often times we don’t do that well, sometimes we get caught in a sideshow. Sometimes we do the “holy things” and get involved in arguments that we believe are for God, sometimes they are sometimes they are not.
An example of this is from my own personal archives, I have been guilty in the past of posting on social media about an issue that will generate discussion; I justify it to myself as I am “getting people talking” but really I am generating discussion to flex my intellectual and theological reasoning muscles. Whilst it is good to share the gospel, doing so in such a prideful way is by far not the best way to introduce Jesus to them. These discussions can degenerate very quickly and are often a deterrent to people looking to search out God.
One job, you only have one job!
Revelation 12:11 (ESV) And they have conquered him by the blood of the Lamb and by the word of their testimony, for they loved not their lives even unto death.
Our job is to share the love of Jesus Christ by sharing with those that the LORD has given us opportunity to speak to. I make a big thing of learning the names of the checkout people at my local supermarket, building a relationship with them, cracking jokes, putting them at ease, wearing Christian T-shirts and always looking for a way to talk about Jesus in a way that will be receptive.
I am also called to host a bible study with my wife in our home, this world is hurting so bad and my wife felt a calling on our heart to talk about pain and suffering using biblical characters as examples, it is such a blessing to serve and to share with people. I have a great love for the people in the city that I now call my home and my desire is to introduce as many of them as I can to Jesus Christ.
I apologize if this sounds like a commercial for myself, it truly is not. The unfortunate reality is that many Christians (me included) do not take most of the opportunities that God places before them and if we as Christians were to do so, we could literally be the difference in people’s lives.
Personally, I cannot be saved for anyone else! All I can do is be the vessel used to carry the living water to the participant. The Holy Spirit will prick the heart of those hearing it and people have the same choice that Adam and Eve have, they can choose to follow God’s plan or choose to not follow God’s plan.
This world is not my home; I am just a passing through!
Here is the deal, this world is temporary! Once we pass from this life it is too late to talk about our “eternal future”. As much as I love my new home in my adopted country, if the LORD was to move me on, I would be personally sad but I would comply as the LORD has a plan for my life.
I take great solace and inspiration from the prophet Jeremiah, who was 40 years in ministry and no one listened to him. If that was me I would be very discouraged and questioning my mission left, right and center. Jeremiah did not, he just kept right on to the end of the road, he knew that God was using him and his life, he did not know why but he knew he was being used by God.
We have to be compliant like Jeremiah, we can’t want to do the work of God and move God along, God will do things in his time. When you are following God’s will obedience is key, we don’t always see the big picture so we don’t always see why God moves in the ways that he does.
What about the title?
Matthew 9:35 (ESV) And Jesus went throughout all the cities and villages, teaching in their synagogues and proclaiming the gospel of the kingdom and healing every disease and every affliction. 36 When he saw the crowds, he had compassion for them, because they were harassed and helpless, like sheep without a shepherd. 37 Then he said to his disciples, “The harvest is plentiful, but the laborers are few; 38 therefore pray earnestly to the Lord of the harvest to send out laborers into his harvest.”
The answer is obviously no. As Jesus said, the harvest is plenty but people are not doing the work. When I think about the city that the LORD has placed me in or some 11,000 souls. I know that I cannot save one of them, but the LORD will put me in touch with many of them as I go around my daily life.
Pray for me (and one another)
My prayer for me is personal boldness, order in my life so that in season and out of season I will reflect the LORD in all that I do, take the opportunities that I am given to represent Jesus, give testimony on how he has changed my life and I pray for wisdom to say what needs to be said and not say what does not need to be said.
Folks, we need to get out there and engage the culture positively for Jesus Christ. I am reminded of a song I used to sing as a high school student back in Scotland…
“Be bold; be strong, for the LORD our God is with you”
God will always open doors for us, we have to stay on mission and always be ready to give a defense for the faith that we have in Christ Jesus (1 Peter 3:15) Sharing Jesus and allowing someone to make the choice to go to heaven is showing great love. I certainly do not hate anyone enough to condemn them to an eternity separated from God.
I pray this was a blessing and please share, like or comment below