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As I sit in Thailand, I am once again amazed and reminded of the power of God’s Spirit to bring change, reform, and restoration. The energy and life of the Thai, Lao, and Myanmar people is incredible. There is absolutely no question that they love God and truly desire to give their lives in service to Him.
But there is something that strikes me to the core of my heart. I was talking to Pastor Ed about the mission of humanity to take the gospel of Jesus Christ to the ends of the earth and he made one statement: “We have to take the gospel to people every day, because people are dying here every day.” This statement sticks with me, because it seems to easy to forget about the fragility of life. We often think that we have time to wait and waste, but that is not the case. We are engaged in a struggle for life and death – especially in the spiritual realm.
And, if you do not believe that, let me describe our situation last night. Pastor Chad is sharing about the early church in Acts and how the disciples were faithful to the mission to share the message of Jesus to the world. Literally, in a matter of years following Jesus’ ascension into heaven, there are thousands of new disciples all over the ancient world. Disciples have gone into Africa; disciples have gone into India; disciples have gone up into Russia; and, disciples have gone over into Europe. As we sit and hear this message of the disciples’ faithfulness, you can just see the excitement building in the room. By the end of the message, the people are clapping, praising the Lord and exuberant over their chance to continue sharing the good news.
But Pastor Ed stands up after Pastor Chad sits down. And as he looks at everyone, you can see the tears watering his eyes and he begins to speak with a cracking voice. He says, “In Acts, the Holy Spirit kept Paul from going into Asia. But, I think that God is telling us that it is now time to take the gospel of Jesus to all of Asia.” And in a heartbeat, the people started praying for the whole continent of Asia. In that moment, I heard the cry to God on behalf of the Asian people. Almost everyone’s voice was praying aloud for their people, their villages, and the unreached people groups in Asia. And all I could do in that moment was cry. I just stood there and cried. And I am still crying.
People around the world are dying every day and most of them have not heard of Jesus or have heard about him and rejected him. It is time for us to rise up and start taking the message of hope to people who are in desperate need of salvation. People may turn away from you; people may choose to ignore you; and, people may even get angry with you. But that does not diminish the enormity of the task before us.
Your mission, if you consider yourself a disciple of Jesus Christ, is to spread the message of hope that comes through him. You may think to ignore the command, but I must insist that you think carefully about where God is calling you to minister. Let us take the message of Jesus to the nations with reckless abandon!
On behalf of the many who still have yet to hear, I thank you.