Don’t the tribal people deserve to be told the truth?
If Jesus said that He alone is the way to heaven, and the New Testament confirms his
statement in various passages. Then the only way for people to be saved is by hearing and believing the Gospel of Christ. Since God took the effort to pay for mankind’s sin in his own way so that all may be saved, and since God commissioned his church to advertise the free salvation in Christ to the whole world, then why are so many still in the darkness and have not believed this wonderful opportunity? In this passage, Paul says that it is his ambition and “obligation” (from Rom 1) to take the Gospel where it has never been proclaimed in order that it is a pure gospel not polluted by various “religions”. Those who have religion (defined as man trying to please God; as compared to God pleasing himself on our behalf in the work of the Son, and offering us a relationship with God as a result) don’t need God to save them (so they think); as the saying goes, “It is hard to fill a glass that is already full”. But the question is this, is that which fills your glass the right stuff to save you? Paul says that if the stuff which fills your glass is not his gospel, then the answer is no, it cannot save you. Paul’s commission was to offer the right stuff to all who would listen to him, both Jew and Gentile. “How shall they hear unless someone is sent”? Either send someone or go yourself.
Paul the Minister to the Gentiles
Romans 15: 14-22 Use this link for the NIV or use your favorite version but underline vs 16, 18, 20, 21b.
As we ponder God’s character from the above passage, I wonder if God would answer our signature question below in the following way…
Who are you Lord?
I AM the God who desires that all men hear my Gospel. I died for all men that they might have a relationship with me. I commanded my church to take this message to the whole world not just to their personal family. My message is also to individuals. Since every man woman and child are sinners, each one then must personally receive my Gospel. A father’s belief is not enough for the whole family. Just look at Lot’s wife, she did not share her husband’s vision, also look at the look at Eli the priest’s boys. One day every human being will stand before me to give account for their own lives whether they be in the faith or not. Fathers and mothers it is your job to be proactive in teaching your children about me for their salvation. Otherwise they will grow up only knowing about me, but not knowing my salvation personally like you do.
I AM the God who makes men acceptable in my sight. I AM the God who sanctifies men and makes them holy. Not church, not religion, not philosophy and definitely not materialism. Only I can make you holy in my sight by my spirit as my word takes root into your hearts and minds. Only then can you be transformed with a renewed mind to break free of the conforming power of this world system. The supernatural life which I offer cannot be artificially manufactured by religion, it must be demonstrated to you by my true children and produced in you by my Spirit. Thus…
I AM the God who uses men as part of my plan to rescue sinners. Some ask why I don’t just appear personally to everyone to tell them about myself; it is so that I can include my children in this great work and thus reward them for their sacrifices in being about my business. I use your prayers to move my hand, I use your hands to share my love, and I use your mouth to speak my very words. I use your wallets to minister my love for the needs of others. When I use the testimony of your lives as you let me live through you, I can draw men to desire me. By the peace and comfort that I put into your lives, others will want what I have given to you. The world cannot understand me without my children being there as examples of my grace and truth.
It takes people with God’s heartbeat to reach the lost
Paul said in Ch 1 that only in the gospel will you find the power and righteousness of God unto salvation revealed to us simply by believing His Word. The Jews should have seen this salvation coming but they were too wrapped up in their laws and traditions. The Gentiles have other things which hang them up still. But the message of the Gospel is simple and can be readily believed and received by either group of people. Paul’s Gospel is not dependent upon culture, religious background, or citizenship. Paul’s Gospel is between God and each individual on Earth. His ambition was to reach the known world in his time. Each generation is responsible to reach the unsaved of that generation in the time allotted to them. When William Carrey wanted to go from England as the first modern missionary to India he was rebuked by the church as they told him, “If God wanted the heathen saved, then God would do it himself”. However, God limits himself to the faith, prayers and availability of his children to reach the world in this time. Consequently, it takes people who have God’s heartbeat and vision for the nations to see the lost around the globe reached with the Gospel of Christ.
Stepping out your door
Bilbo Baggins said “It’s a dangerous business, Frodo, going out of your door. You step into the road, and if you don’t keep your feet, there is no telling where you might be swept off to.” Acts 1:8 is key. The principle is that God does not steer a stationary ship. You must be faithful to witness first in your Jerusalem (your family), then in your Judea (your town), then in your Samaria (your country) and then unto the utter most parts of the earth. In other words as you are faithfully ministering where you are at, then God will give you more and more reach in your ministry. He will move you to greater and greater affect as He wills. It is up to him where you ultimately wind up, but in each step of the way he prepares you for the next step with his presence right beside you. He is the God who desires all men to hear the message of the Gospel, but he wants to use you and me to tell them. Come join me. The fields are white unto harvest.
To use a fishing illustration, we fishermen don’t like to fish where the surface of the lake is littered with every kind of bobber and lure that become intertwined. Rather we like to go where the fish are jumping out of the water to take even bare hooks. You can’t find places like these in the big cities, you have to drive out of the cities and then hike to the difficult places of the world if you want this kind of fishing. But it is always worth it.
More to come,