Sunday, December 12, 2010

Christian Mythology: 16. Missionaries – Myth: Only Certain Christians are Called

Every year at the missionary conference at church I hear the same message. "Everyone is a missionary." True. True. True. So why are most people still in the pew year after year? There are two possible reasons. On the positive side, some folks fulfill God's "missionary" purpose in their lives right where they are. They know God's will, they know and use their spiritual gifts, and they actively apply those gifts in prayerful pursuit of witnessing and making disciples. On the negative side, life is just the opposite. These folks have no idea of God's kingdom purpose. They don't know God's specific will for their lives. They have no idea what their spiritual gifts are. So naturally they are not engaged in the prayerful pursuit of witnessing and making disciples.

Why not?

Well, some are not Christians. Therefore they cannot know.

Others are Christians asleep in sin. Their ears are dull. Their eyes are dim. Their hearts are hard.

God saved me in October of 1980. I was awake for a few months. The aftermath of the witnesses wore off and soon I was back to my old ways. I had no discipler. Nobody taught me the Word of God. Sometime around 1985 the Word of God woke me up again. The goodness of God led me to repentance and the blood of Jesus was still sufficient to cleanse me from all unrighteousness. Then, Jesus became my teacher. Alone. In the desert of life He taught me then just as He teaches me now through the power and illumination of the Holy Spirit. I spent the years between 1980 and 1985 asleep, dull, dim, and hard. It still happens as I work out my salvation with fear and trembling. For the last ten years, I spend more and more time with Jesus, awake unto righteousness, and full of the joy of His salvation.

This is the missionary message we are called to take to the world. It is found in I Corinthians 15:1-5. This is the Gospel. Tell people about the death of Jesus as the price for sin.

This is the missionary message we are called to take to Christians asleep in sin. It is found in I Corinthians 15:34. This is also the Gospel. The death of Jesus is still sufficient a price for your sin. Wake up and sin not.

Only the Christian awake receives the teachings of the Word. Only those who sin not present themselves as holy and acceptable living sacrifices to God. Upon leaving the altar, they alone know God's will. They alone are filled with the Holy Spirit. They alone have His power to use His gifts.

It took me nearly twenty-five years to learn that, actively engage in my responsibility to work it out, and resolutely utilize His gifts to accomplish His missionary purpose through me. Do I wish I knew this stuff long ago? Yes. God is merciful and taught me now to use me now for His glory now. He will do the same for you.

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