During Friday nights of SWO13, Brody Holloway teaches from Acts 1:1-11."Be my witnesses" is the promise to the believer. We have the truth of the Gospel. Nothing would be more wicked than to keep the truth to ourselves and not proclaim the Gospel.
Hi to everyone reading! It has been a while since I blogged, but here is a new blog to read, FINALLY!
I hope everybody had a GREAT Christmas and an AMAZING New Year. Happy 2013!!!
So I know my last blog was about global missions, but now I wanna talk about local missions — ministry and discipleship at your school, in your neighborhood, with your sports team, or even your in church and house.
Most of the time, in an average Christian life, we think of “ministry” for global missions — ministering to the unreached. But while that is so important, so is local missions. We need to reach the ones who aren’t reached — to challenge ourselves to reach who we never thought we would get to know, who might not be anything like us, who might hate our guts, or even people who are so similar to us.
We need to make this happen, under any circumstance!
We need to not only reach the ones on the other side of the world, but also those who need the Gospel who live beside us, go to school with us and live in our town. That is the power of the Gospel of Christ. We can’t reach the world if we aren’t willing to reach our friends and family who don’t know Christ.
This is one of my favorite verses:
"But you will receive power when the Holy Spirit has come upon you, and you will be my witnesses in Jerusalem and in Judea and Samaria, and to the ends of the Earth." (Acts 1:8)
Whether we are comfortable with this or not, this is our task. Live your life for Christ. It is his life anyway. As we live for Christ to reach people in our daily lives, that will move us to reach the rest of the world. Share your faith with your friends and family. That is one of God’s calls for you. Let me just finish with this quote from a movie I recently saw:
"Everything has a purpose, clocks tell you the time, trains takes you to places. I'd imagine the whole world was one big machine. Machines never come with any extra parts, you know. They always come with the exact amount they need. So I figured if the entire world was one big machine... I couldn't be an extra part. I had to be here for some reason. .." – Hugo Cabret (Hugo)
What is the reason you are here? To share the Gospel…with EVERYONE.
I read some stats today, and I am still trying to wrap my mind around them. In December 2012, the world population was estimated to be 7.1 billion. That is enough people to hold hands and wrap around the planet a couple of dozen times. More than one-third of them have never heard the Gospel or even the name of Jesus.
There will be an estimated 55.3 million deaths this year, while the birth estimate is double that at 131.4 million. That means the population keeps exploding. I remember when we hit 5 billion when I was in high school, and everyone was freaking out.
The most accurate estimates from the U.N. report that in 1 A.D., the earth’s population was 300 million. It took 1,250 years to get to 400 million. Then we hit 500 million in the year 1500. The world population finally hit 1 billion in 1804, rose to 2 billion in 1927 and, in 1960, was at 3 billion.
Think about this: the world’s population has more than doubled in the last 50 years. In fact, we hit 4 billion in 1974, 5 billion in 1987, and 6 billion in 1999.
Numbers, numbers, numbers. What do they mean for us?
We have more resources than any generation or society in history to reach the world. There are 4 billion people in Asia alone! The current death rate means that every minute, 105 people die. That is almost 2 per second. But every time one dies, two are born.
Again, why so many numbers?
I have heard people “resolve” to do everything in 2013 — from losing weight to getting married. But as Christians, we need to literally become OBSESSED with reaching the nations. People are coming and going at a staggering rate, and we are “business as usual.”
“I’m gonna get to the gym more often.”
“I’m gonna eat fewer calories, or drink less coffee, or watch less TV…”
Blah. Blah. Blah.
“I am resolving to pray for and learn about specific people groups in the world who don’t know the Gospel of Jesus Christ!”?
So the plan Christ has to reach the world is not only doable, but IT WILL HAPPEN. The question is, will you and I be a part of it? Get off the stinkin’ church pew, get over commercial American Christianity and get obsessed with the Gospel. Let you heart break for the 7 billion! Let’s be a part of what Christ has promised He is going to do.
In the next post, we will look at some practical, hands-on ways we can take part in reaching that 7 billion.
For now, think about this:
The world is growing. The world is dying. Do you care?
(photos by 'India Wallpaper')
I am so grateful to live in a country with a democratic process. This is a huge blessing and just as big a responsibility. Yet even in that responsibility, I have complete confidence in the sovereignty of God in the appointment of governments and leaders.
Romans 13:1 says that God institutes leaders:
"...For there is no authority except from God, and those that exist have been instituted by God."
Paul says this concerning governmental authorities. The most incredible thing to me is that he wrote this when the emperor Nero was in power. This man killed tens of thousands of Christians, yet Paul trusted firmly in the divine plan of God to somehow use even a narcissistic maniac to bring about his purpose for the Church. So God is in control of nations, and the United States is under God. From Washington to Lincoln and from Roosevelt to Obama, God remains sovereignly seated on the throne of heaven and is always working toward his kingdom. Like us, our leaders will answer to God.
Regardless of who our leaders are at a given time in history, we do well to remember that Christ has called us into a Kingdom that is much greater than this one. Our task in this life, as aliens and sojourners, is to labor for the Gospel and for the future Kingdom. Let's labor while there is time!
Yeah, we have a duty and obligation to vote and to be active in the legislative process. Our voices should be heard. Men have died for our right and our voice. But I believe it was Jesus Christ who once said to an earthly ruler who seemed in the moment to be "in charge:"
"My kingdom is not of this world..."
Let's remained focused on the Gospel work and the Kingdom that is already, but not yet, and that will last forever. Our hope is not in man, or men, or elections or nations. Our hope is in The Lord.
On Friday night of SWO10 Summer Camp, Brody challenges students with what they are going to do with the Gospel in light of the fact that more than half the world has never even heard the name of Jesus.