‘What about the lost in Africa?’

This commentator draws a lesson from Luke 13.1-9:

The passage is significant because Jesus constantly avoids letting the question get off-track; he keeps people considering their own sinful state. I am reminded of the standard question that comes up in evangelistic contexts, often to shift the subject: “What about the heathen in Africa [or some other remote area]?” This abstract question is often posed to deflect a personal confrontation with our sin and our need for God. In former days when confronted with such a question, I would wax eloquent on the evangelistic possibilities or lack of possibilities for those distant folk in need. Recently, thinking of this Lukan exchange, I have tended to quickly refocus the question by assuring the listener that God is perfectly capable of handling the needs of those distant folk, but the real question for us to discuss is what we will do with God and his call to turn to him.

via Luke 12 Commentary – Know the Time: Israel Turns Away but Blessing Still Comes – BibleGateway.com

There is an answer about the lostness of man and the condemnation that sin brings. Like the author above, however, I tend to emphasize the need of the questioner.

God has made the church responsible for telling everyone about Christ. If they’re lost without hearing the gospel, we bear responsibility for it. Let us therefore fulfill our mission with the news of salvation.

(Oh, in Brazil, the question often is asked about the natives in the depths of the Amazon jungle.)

#mission #evangelism #perdition

Not purposeless: 1 Thessalonians 2.1 VOTD

“For you yourselves know, brothers and sisters, about our coming to you—it has not proven to be purposeless.”

1 Thessalonians 2.1

When the gospel is preached, God brings forth fruit. The truth is not without effect. Paul recalled the conversion of the Thessalonians. His work among them was the best answer to critics who charged him with disinterest or hidden motives.

How does our work show our purpose and motives? How can you be sure that the gospel will bear fruit?

#gospel #mission #VOTD

Saved: Mark 16.16 VOTD

“The one who believes and is baptized will be saved, but the one who does not believe will be condemned.”

Mark 16.16

Jesus gave this command and promise to be preached in all the world, v. 15. The response to the gospel is a part of the message.

This command requires double obedience: first, to believe and be baptized; then, to proclaim it to all. Have you done the first, and are you doing the latter?

#Great-Commission #mission #VOTD

Throughout the earth: Psalm 67.1-2 VOTD

“May God be merciful and bless us.
May his face smile with favor on us. Interlude
May your ways be known throughout the earth,
your saving power among people everywhere.”

Psalm 67.1-2 NLT

Israel received God’s blessing in order to make his ways known to “people all over the world” v. 7, so that they might fear him. The focus of the psalm is v. 4, the just government and guidance of God, which brings joy to the world.

As God’s people today, the church has been given the mission to make God’s salvation known to all. How should the church show that this mission has priority?

#mission #God #VOTD

About to go: Luke 10.1 VOTD

“After this the Lord appointed seventy-two others and sent them on ahead of him two by two into every town and place where he himself was about to go.”

Luke 10.1

Jesus prepared his disciples for their future work of proclaiming the gospel and prepared the peoples who would soon be blessed with his presence as he proclaimed the kingdom of God in Israel.

How do Christians today prepare people ahead of time for Jesus’ appearing?

#mission #discipleship #VOTD

Safely: 2 Timothy 4.17-18 VOTD

“But the Lord stood by me and strengthened me, so that through me the message would be fully proclaimed for all the Gentiles to hear. And so I was delivered from the lion’s mouth! The Lord will deliver me from every evil deed and will bring me safely into his heavenly kingdom. To him be glory for ever and ever! Amen.”

2 Timothy 4.17-18

The Lord saved Paul so that he might save others. In this life the Lord stood by him. For the next, the Lord delivers from evil and conducts him safely.

The Lord protects us so that we can do his will, that of teaching others the Good News. As we are engaged in this, God is guaranteeing our entry into the heavenly kingdom.

#salvation #mission #VOTD

Not from me: John 7.16 VOTD

“So Jesus replied, ‘My teaching is not from me, but from the one who sent me.'”

John 7.16

The Lord replied to a question of how he, untrained in a formal school of rabbinical theology, had acquired such learning. He exploded all human expectations and attributed all to the Father.

If Christ has sent us, as he was sent by the Father, Jn 20.21, what does this say about what we should teach?

#mission #teaching #VOTD