Awaken From Our Slumber
There’s something about living in America that insulates us from the rest of the world; some would argue the “real” world! When we see pictures of some of the horrors that choke the rest of the world, they seem so far away that they’re almost surreal! Well, Church, we need to awaken from our slumber; and, we need to see the world through the lens of Scripture. We need to face some realities— at best, 1/3rd of the world knows Christ if you count everyone who claims to be a Christian! Even if we give them the benefit of the doubt, that still means that 4.5 billion people are, by their admission, non-followers of Christ.
Separated From God
They remain eternally separated from the God of creation at this moment! What is God’s will for these? “The Lord is not slack concerning His promise, as some count slackness, but is longsuffering toward us, not willing that any should perish but that all should come to repentance” 2 Peter 3:9. It’s not God’s will that any of these would perish? So, why are many of them dying without ever hearing the Gospel? In part, it’s because we— Christ’s Church— have failed them! And, we are without excuse! It is God who empowers us to be His witnesses to the whole world! We can’t ratchet up enough strength to follow through on the Great Commission in our flesh.
Holy Spirit Power To Witness
But, Jesus did tell His disciples that, “…you will receive power when the Holy Spirit has come on you…” Acts 1:8. His Spirit has come; and, He indwells each one of us who have trusted Jesus’ atonement on the cross to save us! God commands us to embrace the lostness of the whole world— ”…you will be my witnesses in Jerusalem, in all Judea and Samaria, and to the ends of the earth.” We need to face the humbling truth that Jesus didn’t just die for US! We may not say it; but, we live like we think God is an American! But, John 3:16 doesn’t say that “God loves ME so much He sent Jesus to die for ME.” The message of Biblical Christianity is that God does love me enough to save me, and then He commissions me to make Jesus known among ALL the nations! It’s about the LOSTNESS of the whole world before God; and how He reconciles all who believe, by the work of Christ! The total depravity of the world requires our faithful witness to the Gospel’s work on behalf of sinners! He has no other plan! For the world to hear the gospel, we (the Church) must accept our calling!
The Gospel Is To Be Shared With All Ethnic Groups
He says, “…YOU will be MY witnesses…” We are witnesses of the Gospel work He has done in us! In Christ’s commission— “Go and make disciples of all NATIONS…”—the word, “nations”, is “ethnos” in the original Greek. It’s the word we get “ethnic” from in English. So, it’s “ethnic” groups or “people groups.” And, in Matthew 24:14, Jesus says, “…this gospel of the kingdom will be preached in all the world as a witness to all the NATIONS, and then the end will come.” Same word! So, it seems that God intends for all people groups to hear the Gospel before the end comes! In fact, in the eternal state, there will be “… a great multitude that no one could number, from every nation, from all tribes and peoples and languages, standing before the throne and before the Lamb, clothed in white robes, with palm branches in their hands.” Rev 7:9. As we’re faithful to our calling, we’ll be used by God to make that happen!