Last night, I had the privilege of hearing from a church planter from Ghana, Africa. Pastor Wisdom has planted 70 churches, 40 schools (which led to churches) and an orphanage in his home country. God has given him a vision for churches in eight more African nations. Needless to say, this man has the heartbeat of God.
He spoke of the tragedies in Myanmar and China, where tens of thousands of people went out into eternity. He asked slowly in his heavy African accent, “How many do you think knew Jesus Christ?”
After letting that sink in, he challenged us. The church, he said, seemed to be “aloof.” We seem to view the problems of distant lands as unimportant to us. 43,000 and upwards of 50,000 just sound like numbers to us, but those are almost 100,000 individuals that either had a relationship with Jesus or not. Do we care?
As Pastor Wisdom was talking about that, I thought back to a men’s conference I went to Monday night. Before the speaker, they had the usual men’s singing group singing Southern Gospel harmony. One song they sang, I have heard dozens of times, a really popular song, but it struck me a different way that night.
As the men are singing the upbeat, bouncy tune, they are clapping their hands, smiling and enjoying the message. But, one of the lines of the chorus says, “many will meet their doom.” I understand that the song is about Jesus’ return. I know that it will be a happy occasion for us and it will be “doom” for many others, but I just don’t see why we should rejoice in that.
Do we have the attitude like Pastor Wisdom said of not really caring about what happens to souls across the world or even, as he reminded us, those in our family that “will meet their doom” unless they come to Christ? Do we have a passion for those far from God?
We know His heart. We know He is an evangelistic, missionary God. He sent His Son on the most extreme, difficult “mission trip” ever. How do we, as His body, reflect the heart of God in that way?
It’s too easy to think of those across an ocean as just a number and those across the street as just a guy, instead of thinking of them as individuals without Christ who need to know Him. It’s too easy to think of ourselves as anything but the person God has placed in this world to do something about it.