Over the past few months, Erica and I have been in prayer over when and where God would send us to spread His glory in the nations by proclaiming and teaching the gospel of Christ. We have looked into a couple of opportunities to go to South America as well as a possible trip to India. We are still seeking, meditating, and praying over this decision. For us there is no decision as to if we would go. The decision is now down to where we will go. I am confident God will provide us with an answer on where He would use us to spread His glory and to make His greatness known. Now, anytime there is any discussion about world missions, the issue of safety comes up. In particular to areas such as India or a poor community in Ecuador, there is always possible (probable in India) hostility to the gospel of Jesus Christ. Whenever you deal with unreached people groups, you must realize that they are still unreached for a reason. There is always a level of physical danger in missions. Danger, persecution, injury, and sometimes death are inevitable in certain areas in the world. Along with these inevitabilities, there are a few others.
One is that the glory of God in Jesus Christ through the spread of the gospel is worth the risk. God has a desire that none would perish (2 Peter 3:9). This is not a defense of universalism, but instead a truth that God loves all peoples of all nations in that He sent Christ to die for all despite our sin (Romans 5:8). He desires the praise of all peoples and this will one day be realized (Revelation 7:9). Because of this, we as His followers must feel compelled to make His glory known. We have been commanded to and if we seek the end to come, world missions should not be a goal but the central goal of our Christian life (Matthew 24:14; 28:18-20).
Another inevitable for world missions is that we cannot be harmed by anyone or anything. Therefore, any fear that results from anticipation of world missions is literally in vain. It is futile to fear any danger, man, government, persecution, disease, illness, injury, or circumstance. Nothing can harm us in the sense of devaluing us in God’s sight. As His children, nothing can touch our soul. As a matter of fact, we are the only one’s who can cause us harm by allowing temptation to overcome us or by not guarding our hearts and allowing sin to pollute us. However, by obediently following Jesus Christ in making the glory of God known through the message of His Son’s perfect life, willing death, and victorious resurrection, we are “more than conquerors” (Romans 8:37) and have the assurance of the salvation of our souls in Him. For since we are spirit and not only body, any threat to the body is simply a weak attempt to degrade us in Christ. We have no death to fear, but rather life to live for Christ and life to lose for Christ for the sake of the gospel and for the sake of the glory of God through the joy of the nations.
With both of these certainties in mind, I still feel anxious about dangerous areas where the gospel has yet to be proclaimed. In the back of my mind, I desire safety over God’s glory and the salvation of those yet to hear the name Jesus. I received great encouragement tonight from reading in A.W. Tozer’s Living As A Christian. This is just one of many reasons I read the writings of Christian leaders of the past in order to receive enouragement when I doubt and insight when I am confused. I praise God for His faithfulness despite my faithlessness in this matter. May my heart become more aligned with a Philippians 1:21 attitude. “For me to live is Christ, and to die is gain” (Philippians 1:21). I pray that some of you may respond out of obedience to Christ’s command to make disciples in all nations by going into the nations even if it means going to harsh and dangerous lands. Be encouraged that Jesus and His gospel is worth it, the glory of God through the joy of these people groups is worth it, and that we as Christians cannot be harmed by anyone or anything for we are in Christ and He is in us. Our eternity is secure in the faithful hands of the Father. May we turn our devotion and attention to the lost and dying peoples of the world who currently have an eternity of suffering and death awaiting them. Pray to be lead to a place to faithfully share the grace and glory of God through the gospel of Jesus Christ sometime in this year. Remember that fear of man is futile, but fear of God is necessary. Eternity is at stake. “And do not fear those who kill the body but cannot kill the soul. Rather fear him who can destroy both soul and body in hell” (Matthew 10:28).
“If God is for us, who can beagainst us? He who did not spare his own Son but gave him up for us all, how will he not also with him graciously give us all things? Who shall bring any charge against God’s elect? It is God who justifies. Who is to condemn? Christ Jesus is the one who died—more than that, who was raised— who is at the right hand of God, who indeed is interceding for us. Who shall separate us from the love of Christ? Shall tribulation, or distress, or persecution, or famine, or nakedness, or danger, or sword? As it is written, ‘For your sake we are being killed all the day long; we are regarded as sheep to be slaughtered.’ No, in all these things we are more than conquerors through him who loved us. For I am sure that neither death nor life, nor angels nor rulers, nor things present nor things to come, nor powers, nor height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God in Christ Jesus our Lord.” – Romans 8:32-39
By His Grace — For His Glory — For our Joy