What if we don’t change? What if despite all of our resources and knowledge we turn a deaf ear and a blind eye to the world around us? What if our desire to live for Christ never moves beyond just that… a desire? Will it even matter? Won’t someone else simply pick up my slack? It seems as if we live our lives believing that our contribution will not be missed if we skip it. I’ve been listening to David Platt talk about unreached people groups recently, and statistics show that over two billion people still have never heard about Jesus. That’s an incredible number. Nearly one-third of the world’s population is yet to be exposed to the truth and love of Jesus. By many estimates, that’s about the same number of people who profess to be Christians in the world. So, using easy math, if each one of us would simply go tell one of these folks about Jesus, we could cover the world. That would work, except most of us will never follow Christ’s command to go into all nations teaching others about Him. Most of us won’t even talk about Jesus in our own neighborhood. Suddenly two billion people are a staggering challenge, because most of us will not do our part.
Why this apathy? As followers of Christ we know we will one day have to answer to God concerning our actions here on earth. We know we will have to give an account for the things we did and did not do. It is my horrifying suspicion that what we didn’t do will far outweigh the things we did do. How can we ignore the commands of Christ as if they were irrelevant to our salvation? We are saved by the grace of God to do good works for Him (Ephesians 2:8-10). We are not saved by grace to sit around and watch the world die around us. We are called and chosen to take the message of Christ to all people. We are called and chosen to fight injustice and care for everyone in need. In short, we are called and chosen to live our lives the same way that Jesus lived His. Jesus was not passive in His mission. He actively pursued the fulfillment of His purpose.
Where did we come to believe that following Jesus meant praying a simple prayer and going to church on Sunday’s? Where is the scriptural reference for this kind of life? Yet this is what we have been taught and indeed continue to be taught in a great many churches throughout our country. We speak more of building campaigns and budgets than we do of ministering to the poor. We are taught the importance of regular church attendance and small group involvement, but rarely do we hear teachings on the command of Jesus to go out into the entire world. We’ll determine to perhaps take our cities for God but taking God outside of our city is a job for someone else. When did the church stop preaching the Bible? It frustrates and infuriates me, especially as I realize I have spent far too much of my own life buying into this very teaching. Satan delights in blinding us from the truth, all the while convincing us of our righteousness and spirituality. We have a mission and we have been neglecting it for too long. We need to get busy.
Will you join me? Will you come out of the safe confines of the churches to reach out to those who have never heard the name of Christ? We must refocus our gaze on the mission that has been set before us. We were created for a purpose and that purpose is to flood the world with the love of Jesus. Time is running out for all of us and we have none left to spare. Its fight or flight, and I will not turn my back on the one who gave His life for me. I will not turn my back on those who are dying without the knowledge and love of Christ. I will press forward and I am desperate for your help and talents along the way. We desperately need each other, and together in His strength, we will change our world for His glory.