What is Christian Missions? The first thing that pops up in a persons mind is work for the Lord in other countries. On gotquestions.org Christian missions is explained as, “sharing the Gospel with the lost world through Gods wisdom and strength.” This means that our mission as Christians is not only in other countries but also all around us. Wherever we currently are. It might be our work place, our family, our friends, or the community we live in. Yet, we allow time to pass without giving the lost even a thought.
“Jesus answered,“I am the way and the truth and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me.” – John 14:6
If we believe what scripture is saying, then we would understand and know that the only way to avoid eternal separation from God is to go through Jesus Christ. This means there is no other way. As brash as it may sound, scripture tells us that if you don’t turn from your sin and trust in Jesus, you will spend an eternity in hell. Pastor David Platt was asked if this is what he truly believed. David responded saying “that if you don’t turn from your sin and trust in Jesus. You will spend an eternity separated from God.” The person asking the question stated that it was the most, “arrogant, completely unloving and uncomfortably brash thing they’d ever heard.” David then went on to say, “that it is a pretty arrogant, completely unloving, and brash thing to claim. To tell people that if they did not turn from their sin in that moment, they’d go to hell if they did not trust in Jesus. Such a claim would be arrogant, unloving and brash, unless it is true.” If it is true, what are we waiting for? Do we have a misunderstanding of what hell is? Do we not take eternity seriously? Is complacency replacing the urgency we should have for the lost?
“Then they will go away to eternal punishment, but the righteous to eternal life.” – Matt 25:46
“But the cowardly, the unbelieving, the vile, the murderers, the sexually immoral, those who practice magic arts, the idolaters and all liars—they will be consigned to the fiery lake of burning sulfur. This is the second death.” – Rev 21:46
“They will be punished with everlasting destruction and shut out from the presence of the Lord and from the glory of his might .“ – 2 Thes. 1:9
There are many reasons why we don’t share the Gospel. The main excuses I’ve heard or even used myself are; “I’m far to busy,” or “I don’t know enough about the Bible.” The most common one might not necessarily be said said audibly, but felt often, “I’m ashamed or embarrassed of my faith.” Paul speaks of an unceasing anguish in his heart of the lost in Romans 9:1-3. When will unreached people be unacceptable to us? When will we stop being so hateful as to not share Jesus with those around us? When will we cast aside our own ideal schedule to pursue the lost? When will we stop saying, “missions isn’t for me. I’m far to young or old for that”? When will we be so consumed for the lost that we’d wish ourselves cut off from Christ for their sake? When will we start taking eternity seriously?
Eternity means an infinite or unending time. I think to take eternity seriously we need to first understand it.
“Now this is eternal life: that they know you, the only true God, and Jesus Christ, whom you have sent.” – John 17:3
Upon studying the words eternal and life using the website Biblehube, I came across something outstanding. I found that eternal life operates simultaneously outside of time, inside of time, and beyond time. This use of eternal life does not focus on the future, but rather on the quality of the age it relates to. This means believers live in eternal life right now, experiencing this quality of Gods life now as a present possession. Just as hell is eternal separation from God, eternal life is knowing the Lord our God on a personal level. This is exciting news! This means we enter into eternal life the moment we become believers. Sure people might reject what you are saying, but remember that their not rejecting you, but God.
I’ve learned so much from my latest study in the book of Jeremiah, but one of the biggest things I’ve learned is how the lost run away from the Lord and will eventually not want to turn back.
“This is what the LORD says: “Stop at the crossroads and look around. Ask for the old, godly way, and walk in it. Travel its path, and you will find rest for your souls. But you reply, ‘No, that’s not the road we want!” – Jeremiah 6:16
“But the people replied, “Don’t waste your breath. We will continue to live as we want to, stubbornly following our own evil desires.” – Jeremiah 18:12
Yet the Lord still loves us endlessly. This breaks my heart. This was once me, still is many of the people in my life and in this world. There are 7.125 billion people in the world and according to articles regarding the 10/40 window, its estimated that 2/3rds of the worlds population is still unsaved. Rather than the oh so unsatisfying, soul numbing momentary satisfaction of sin, God has called us to cry out for Him. To search for Him as if He were silver or a lost treasure. When we do this, the moral benefits are innumerable. The end result is wisdom will enter your heart, and your soul will finally be truly satisfied and full. They search for things that can-not satisfy them. The Lord is calling them. The sad truth is some will just turn and say “No, that is not the road I want”.
Jerusalem is being punished in the book of Jeremiah not because God is unjust, rather because they have brought it upon themselves. This is Gods last act (Judgment), to try to bring them back. There was no other way. You can almost hear Gods mourning heart through Jeremiah,
“My heart, my heart—I writhe in pain! My heart pounds within me! I cannot be still. For I have heard the blast of enemy trumpets and the roar of their battle cries.” – Jeremiah 4:19
I cannot be still after reading this and knowing how real hell is. I have an unceasing anguish for the lost. I know many people who don’t watch the news due to current events depressing them. Saying things like, “my heart just can’t take it”. People, we need to understand that it is a good thing to be burdened for the lost. I’m not speaking of a worldly sorrow, but a Godly sorrow that burdens your heart to action. If we refuse the Gospel enough, we will eventually be unable to understand it. (Romans 11:8-10.) This is all the more reason to keep trying without giving up. We need to remember that it isn’t by our own power that people are won over to Christ. Without constant prayer, we’re trying to do it ourselves.
Is complacency replacing urgency? Have we begun to just accept the lie that people are just going to hell and there is nothing we can do about it? I’m not saying that we have the power to accept people into heaven. Solely Jehovah – Elyon has that authority. As ambassadors of the living God, we are instructed to cast out demons, heal the sick, and exercise our authority over the powers of darkness. Why and how you ask? Because we’re children of God.
“This is how we know who the children of God are and who the children of the devil are: Anyone who does not do what is right is not God’s child, nor is anyone who does not love their brother and sister.” – 1 John 3:10
If we are children of God, what are we to do? Is there anything more right or loving than explaining to someone about the eternal love of Jesus? We should be trying with all our might to reach those that have yet to experience true life. We do this because that is what children of God do. We do this because Jesus Christ is the only way to heaven and the only alternative is hell and Jesus is the only way to escape it.
Mathew West said it best in his song, Do Something, “I woke up this morning. Saw a world full of trouble now. Thought, how’d we ever get so far down. How’s it ever gonna turn around. So I turned my eyes to Heaven. I thought, “God, why don’t You do something?”. Well, I just couldn’t bear the thought of people living in poverty, children sold into slavery. The thought disgusted me. So, I shook my fist at heaven and said, “God, why don’t You do something?”He said, “I did, I created you.” If not us, then who?
“Be wise in the way you act toward outsiders; make the most of every opportunity. Let your conversation be always full of grace, seasoned with salt, so that you may know how to answer everyone.” – Col 4:5-6
“Repent, for the kingdom of heaven has come near.” – Matt 3:2
“And do this, understanding the present time: The hour has already come for you to wake up from your slumber, because our salvation is nearer now than when we first believed.” – Rom 13:11
“I tell you, no! But unless you repent, you too will all perish”. – Luke 13:3
” I told you that you would die in your sins; if you do not believe that I am he, you will indeed die in your sins.” – John 8:24
Why are we not taking eternity seriously? The gospel spells it out for us, yet we still overlook the lame, the poor, the outcast, our co-workers, our friends, our neighbors, those that persecute us, or even the occasional visitor in church.
I truly believe not taking eternity seriously is a direct result of storing up treasures on this earth. A direct result of making this world our home. In other words, we are taking our eyes off Jesus.
“Do not store up for yourselves treasures on earth, where moths and vermin destroy, and where thieves break in and steal. But store up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where moths and vermin do not destroy, and where thieves do not break in and steal. For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also”. – Matt 6:19-21
Where is your treasure? You might say, “Oh, well it’s Jesus.” What are your actions saying? Are we a people who just say things? Are we a people that just give God lip service when our actions are really far from Him? I’m sorry friends, but if you’re not putting His kingdom first, then no matter how many times you say, “He is my treasure,” He is not. It’s only through God’s wisdom and strength that we may stand in front of the gates of hell and redirect traffic.
In Christ, Alex