Go into all the world and proclaim the gospel to the whole creation.
The question in the tile of this article was asked by Hudson Taylor, to a room full of people, sometimes towards the late 1800’s, in England. Just like today, in those times many Christians saw foreign missions as something of a less importance to the church and missionaries as individuals who, at best, love to travel to weird places. In worst case scenarios, missionaries are seen as crazy people, irresponsible towards their family and running away from a regular 8-4 job.
The same Christians, most of them pastors of that time, could not believe their ears that some heathen fishermen would let a man drown because they were too busy fishing, while they sat passive as millions die eternally in hell.
Sadly, not much has changed today when it comes to this twisted perspective upon life. Any of us, followers of Christ, are shocked when we hear somebody died because of someone’s negligence, while we can care less if thousands go to hell every day, being eternally separated from God. What is more important? The body or the soul? When have we become so blind to the real needs of this world?
In a previous article I shared about our new intern, Roxana, who is coming from Romania. Knowing a little about what she is going through during this time of preparations, my mind was flooded with memories of when we, as a young family, did just that. As if the whole preparation was not fearful and stressful enough, there were some that felt they had to use their gift of discouragement in order to make things even more difficult. Several Christians questioned our call to Malawi and wondered if we were not supposed to actually stay in Romania? Others had other ideas about what God’s plan for our lives could be and it seemed, more often than not, that those who do little or nothing for the cause of Christ are experts in giving advice.
I’ve always welcomed and enjoyed answering sincere questions regarding our call to Malawi. After all, it is an opportunity to show how great our God is and how many amazing things He has done in and through our lives. I do remember, though, on at least a couple occasions, when that question was meant in a sarcastic way.
- Sarcastic person: Do you have a special call to go to Malawi?
- Me: Do you have a special call to stay home?
Hudson Taylor was addressing a church in England just before going back to China to continue God’s work of spreading the gospel to those who had never heard. He was explaining how there were regions as large as England that had not one preacher and then he said this… “It will not due for you to say that you have no special call to China. With these facts before you you need rather to wonder weather you have a special call to stay home. If in the sight of God you can not say you are sure you have a special call to stay at home why are you disobeying the Savior’s plan and His command to go. Why are you refusing to come to the help of the Lord again of the All Mighty? If however it is perfectly clear that duty not inclination, not pleasure, not business, detains you at home, are you laboring in prayer for those needy ones as you might? Is you influence used to advance the cause of God among them? Are you means largely employed as they should be in helping forward their salvation?“.
I read this words years ago and I found them to be very convicting. No, there is nothing special in coming to Malawi. No, there is nothing special in being a missionary. From the Bible, I believe that is actually the norm. It has to be a special and unique call to rather stay home and do nothing for Christ. It must be a special gift to be on the side and mock, ridicule and discourage others who want to obey Christ.
I don’t know where God may want you to serve Him, maybe China, maybe Malawi or maybe even home but, until everyone is saved, Christ’s call stands.
For I am not ashamed of the gospel, for it is the power of God for salvation to everyone who believes…