“For God did not send his Son into the world to condemn the world, but in order that the world might be saved through him” John 3: 17. What a glorious message that must be communicated as many are still held captive by the enemy. You are God’s hands and feet to make Christ known among all the nations.
Believe that God can use you. William Carey, a shoemaker with no formal education is introduced in the encyclopedia as the ‘Pioneer of the modern missionary movement and a distinguished scholar of Indian languages’. When Carey brought to the attention of his church pastors of his burden to bring the gospel to the heathen nations, he was sternly rebuked by an older minister with the words, “Sit down young man; when God pleases to convert the heathen, He will do it without your help or mine.” Within a year, Carey had written his reply in a book entitled, ‘An Enquiry into the obligations to use means for the conversion of the heathen’. His enquiry caught the attention of many and would forever change the thinking of the world regarding missions. In June 1793 Carey sailed from England to India and took on the insurmountable task of translating the Bible into 35 languages and dialects of India and translated some of the best of Sanskrit literature into English. He exhibited great ability as a linguist, a botanist and as an educator and still stands today as a model of all that a missionary should be. Carey served his beloved India for 40 years. He has awakened a sleeping church to carry the gospel to the uttermost parts of the world.
In 1812 Adoniram Judson and his wife journeyed from America to Rangoon, Burma (now called Yangon, Myanmar) and began work there. Judson mastered both the Burmese language and the Buddhist religious language called Pali. During the first Burmese war with Britain, Judson was imprisoned and tortured but survived to carry on his work until his death on April 12, 1850. He left behind a community of over 500,000 believers.
Robert Moffat was born in Scotland and went to Africa the so called “Dark Continent” in 1817 at the age of twenty-two. He labored 53 years and translated the Bible into the Bechuana language. David Livingstone joined Moffat in 1841. He was burdened for the thousands of unreached tribes. Livingstone traversed that dark and unknown continent and opened it for the first time to the outside world. Livingstone blazed a trail cross Africa that thousands of missionaries would follow. Livingstone died in Africa in 1873 while on his knees praying for his beloved land. There are many, many more examples of godly men and women who have braved difficulties and challenges to bring the gospel to the nations. The list is too long. What we want to emphasize is God is more concerned with your availability than natural ability.
What is the task before us? Every generation is responsible to reach their generation for Christ until Jesus comes. It is sad to know that countries and nations once evangelized and thought of as “Christian” are now mission fields once again. The number of people calling themselves Christian is declining significantly in England, the cradle of the modern mission movement. Christianity has suffered serious decline in Europe, the place where apostles preached and where Calvin, Luther and countless other spiritual leaders called home. Christianity has also saw decline in America and Australia. Christianity is not dying, it is sleeping and under serious threat. Evangelism can awaken it.
We have the financial resources and technological advancements in our generation to complete the task. All we need is the “will” to complete the task.
Sister Teo Soke Fung