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The Heart of being a Christian – World Missions

Copyright © Andrew J. Shreeve 2006

 

For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life

John 3:16

 

I am writing this teaching from Morocco, North Africa. Five times a day the call to prayer is heard over the many loud speakers throughout the city. Probably every Muslim is observing the fast of Ramadan. In this Muslim setting I am acutely aware of the lack of knowledge of the significance of the coming of the Son of God, Jesus Christ, from heaven to earth. Most people in Morocco do not know that Jesus Christ is the almighty God, their creator (Isaiah 9:6; Colossians 1:16). They are unaware of the significance of the blood of Jesus and that righteousness with God is attained through: faith in Jesus' blood, belief in Jesus’ resurrection and, confession of Jesus of Nazareth as Lord (Romans 3:25, 10:9-10).

 

The question I ask is what can we do to help these beautiful people? We know it is the will of God that they all become born again and saved from eternity in the lake of fire (John 3:3, 5; 1 Timothy 2:4; 2 Peter 3:9; Revelation 20:15). In the light of this revelation of God’s will, what is the true heart of being a Christian?

 

A Christian is somebody who is born again spiritually (John 3:3, 5). They have received a recreation of their spirit (2 Corinthians 5:17). They have been spiritually baptised into the spiritual body of Christ (1 Corinthians 12:13). Their new spirit is righteous and holy (2 Corinthians 5:21; Ephesians 4:24) and their spirit has been placed at the right hand of the throne of the Father in heaven (Ephesians 1:20, 2:6; Hebrews 8:1). A Christian has received the love of God shed abroad in their heart by the Holy Spirit who is given to them (Romans 5:5). A Christian, therefore, sees this world with new eyes, with the eyes of love. A Christian looks from heaven to earth and seeks to reconcile to God those who are not yet in God's family. A Christian is under the Lordship of Jesus Christ and allows their will to be governed by the will and purpose of the Lord.

 

In the light of God’s love for the people of this world we need to note the final words of Jesus before he ascended into heaven to sit at the Father’s right hand. Jesus’ words concerned bringing the people of every ethnic group in this world into his family, the family of God.

 

All power is given unto me in heaven and earth. Go ye therefore, and teach all nations, baptising them in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit: teaching them…

Matthew 28:18-20

 

Go into all the world, and preach the gospel to every creature

Mark 16:15

 

Repentance and remission of sins should be preached in his name among all nations

Luke 24:47

 

Ye shall receive power, after that the Holy Ghost is come upon you: and ye shall be witnesses unto me both in Jerusalem, and in all Judea, and in Samaria, and unto the uttermost part of the earth

Acts 1:8

 

The heart of the Lord is that people should be saved. God has a heart of love for all people. The responsibility for communicating God’s love to the nations has been given to the Lord’s body, his family, the Christians. Surely this great commission to reach the ethnic groups of the world with the message of God’s love, expressed through the work of the Lord Jesus Christ, is the heart beat of what it means to be a Christian.

 

A Christian is one who has surrendered their life to the Lordship of Jesus Christ. Jesus Christ has expressed his will that every person on earth be saved. Jesus Christ has given command to his people to carry out his will by communicating what he has achieved for the human race. Our obedience to Jesus’ command shows the reality of our love for him (John 14:21).

 

In a country like Morocco there is very little knowledge of the truth of Jesus Christ. My people are destroyed for lack of knowledge (Hosea 4:6). Is there not an urgency to bring the knowledge of the truth to these friendly, welcoming, people? Does not love compel us to give our lives for our brother? If I am eternally saved and my brother is condemned to eternal death (John 3:18) should not I give my life to save my brother? If I have the words of eternal life should not I be willing to sacrifice my comfort to bring life to those who are in ignorance, bondage, and death? Is not life more than physical comfort? Is not life eternal? Should we not give more weight to eternal matters than temporal matters? Did not Jesus sacrifice his life for our eternal well being? Should not we also sacrifice our life for others eternal well being? Is not the love of God to sacrifice our life for our brother?

 

Hereby perceive we the love of God, because he laid down his life for us: and we ought to lay down our lives for the brethren

1 John 3:16

 

Is not this the central meaning of being a Christian, a follower of Christ?

 

We have a world mission! We have an eternal purpose for our lives. Don’t miss your Christian purpose. Ask the Lord how you can be involved in world mission. Be open to the Holy Spirit. It may be through going personally to the nations, through praying for those who go to the nations, and / or through supporting those who go financially. Whichever way the Lord leads you be involved, wholeheartedly support world missions and experience the love of God flowing through your heart. This is the true heart of being a Christian.

I love you, Andrew

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