Dear Brothers and Sisters,
I write brothers and sisters as that is what we are in Christ for all eternity. I thank God for you! I write this letter with a heavy and tired heart. But fixing my eyes not on what is seen but what is unseen, I am certain that these light and momentary troubles are achieving an eternal glory that far outweighs them all.
My first initial reaction to the Vegas shootings this week was one of numbness. Day by day we wake up to the horrible realities where children are killed and ripped from their mothers wombs by choice, children are sold as sex slaves, the average refugee lives in a a refugee camp for 17 years, child pornography is a new drug, children in the city I live in have to walk past an “adult bookstore” on their way to elementary school, Heroin is easily accessible for teenagers in local schools, and children are living in places eating pies made out of mud. We see the effects of sin in us all and the effect our sin has on each other. I used to work in a skilled nursing home in Tennessee where I would cry in the bathroom regularly on my lunch break. I would go home and have night terrors during the early part of my marriage because the images of my patients laying in stone lonely rooms day after day simply surviving until the next day rocked me to the core. But eventually I had to learn to grow a thick skin to what I would see day after day. I found myself having the same response when I opened my email for the day to see that the deadliest shooting in U.S. history had happened. I simply went on to check my inbox.
I do not like my response and I grieve I had that response initially and where my skin is thick. But I have to see my response as very similar to the church in the west in our day but to thousands dying daily. Every day. Followers of Jesus are sitting back and watching approximately 70,000 people die daily without ever hearing the gospel. Without receiving the gift of salvation in Jesus Christ one faces an eternity receiving the full wrath of God. We sit in our church buildings week after week and consider missions just a side ministry that we might wear a t-shirt for every now and then. Less than 1% of the American churches money is going to spread the gospel to the unreached having more money spent on dog Halloween costumes than what is sent to the reach the unreached with the gospel of Jesus Christ.
God in his sovereignty could open up the heavens and reveal Jesus Christ as Lord and Savior to all but this is not what God in his sovereignty has chosen to do. God has chosen to use his people to GO and share the gospel so people can hear the call and be reconciled to Him through Jesus Christ our Lord. This is amazing, God has chosen to use His people to share His great love in bringing a people to himself from every tribe, nation, and tongue through Jesus Christ our Lord.
Brothers and sisters lets please don’t grow a thick skin and let us encourage one another as the day draws near. May we be a people that do not sit back and watch Billions of people perish for all eternity because our hearts were too hard to pray, send missionaries and Go ourselves.
Let’s take seriously Jesus’ words where he tells his disciples “As the Father has sent me, I am sending you.” (John 20). “You will be my witnesses in Jerusalem, and in all Judea and Samaria, and to the ends of the earth.” (Acts 1:8). “And this gospel of the kingdom will be preached in the whole world as a testimony to all nations, and then the end will come.” (Matthew 24:14)
Step back American follower of Jesus and let us weep and mourn with those who mourn and walk in the reality of the great hope we have in Jesus Christ our Lord and share that hope with a perishing world around us with great eagerness and joy.
“And he has committed to us the message of reconciliation. We are therefore Christ’s ambassadors, as though God were making his appeal through us. We implore you on Christ’s behalf: Be reconciled to God. God made him who had no sin to be sin for us, so that in him we might become the righteousness of God. ” (2 Corinthians 5: 19-20)
The real gospel never ends with you!!! An imposter gospel will end with you but the gospel of Jesus Christ never ends with you.
“From everyone who has been given much, much will be demanded; and from the one who has been entrusted with much, much more will be asked.” (Luke 12:48) We have been given much!!! We have been given the gift of sonship for all eternity in Jesus Christ our Lord and what are you doing with the gospel, the greatest gift ever given?
Always preaching to myself too brothers and sisters.