Easter and Missions

4 04 2012

Most Western Christians have a very egocentric view of the cross and the resurrection. The pronouns “me” and “I” are heavily used when talking about what Jesus did. This is one of the reasons why many people will claim to be Christians but never share their faith outside of their immediate families. We all know that Christ died for the whole world, but our actions show that we only care about number 1 and our kids. In John Zumwalt’s fantastic book, A Passion for the Heart of God, he talks about how we are taught to place our name in John 3:16 in place of the word “world,” so that it might read, “For God so loved Scott…” He goes on to explain that the problem is that we leave our name there! ¬†After we become a believer, our name should move to a different spot reading, “For God so loved the world that He gave Scott…”

During the Easter season there is much talk about eternal life and Heaven, and rightly so! In Heaven we will be able to do some amazing things, but there is one thing that we will not be able to do after we get there. We will not be provided the opportunity to go back and share the gospel with others. After we become a believer, our main purpose is to be a witness, or God should have just translated us right to Heaven as soon as we accepted Him. I realize that fellowship, prayer, Bible study, attending church, etc. are all integral activities that should be apart of our lives, but these are all activities that we will do for all eternity. The only activity that we have been called to and will one day cease is missions.

The resurrection of Jesus and the hope of eternity should compel us, as believers, to share the Good News with everyone. Jesus did not die for just me. He died for the forgotten Native American on the Reservation. He died for the young Muslim man that hates Americans. He died for the Indian woman that worships multiple gods. He died for everyone, and if we cannot understand this by proving it with obedience and action, then we are believing only a partial gospel or no gospel at all. It might be good news to you, but what about those that have not heard?

We talk about salvation as being a process, and we use fancy terms for it. We say that when we first accept Jesus as our Lord and Savior, we have been saved. This is salvation and is considered the starting line. We then move into the process of sanctification, and finally, when we physically die, we enter into the stage of glorification. Sanctification is simply the process of becoming more like Jesus and doing what He, as our Lord, commands us. The problem is that many people have made it to the starting line, plopped down in a Bible study class, and have not moved since. In light of who Jesus is and what He has done for us, this should be offensive to us. Our sanctification process should include us scraping and clawing and fighting for every soul on the planet. Jesus deserves this at the very least for the salvation of our own soul for He scraped, clawed, fought, bled, and died on our behalf.

My challenge for you this Easter is to not think in terms of your personal satisfaction for having been blessed, but to remember the masses of people that have not once heard the Good News and how you can, in turn, bless them.

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