Imprisoned by Lies
A prisoner sits across from a minister of the Gospel in the visiting area of a high-security prison. Listening to the invitation to eternal life in Jesus Christ through the thick glass barrier, the prisoner shakes his head in refusal. The minister inquires as to what could possibly be holding this man back from accepting the free gift of God.
Does the prisoner believe in heaven and hell? Certainly. Is he convinced of his need for a Savior? Yes. However, the prisoner explains, following Jesus comes at too great a cost – he would have to give up too much.
Dumbfounded, the minister points out that the prisoner has been convicted and sentenced to death. He is confined, his days quite literally numbered. What is it that he will have to give up?
The prisoner considers this, finally answering, “My way of thinking.”
Perhaps this sad story is an illustration of the Church today. Not in terms of salvation, but responsibility. Though we say we believe Jesus Christ lived a perfect life, died on the cross for our sins, and rose again from the dead, we tend to balk at His command to “Go into all the world and make disciples” (The Bible, Matthew 28:18-20). It would require us to give up too much.
We have readily answered the call to be rescued from everlasting destruction apart from God (The Bible, II Thessalonians 1:9), yet we are not convinced the call to preach the Gospel to all creation is for us. In fact, we are often told this requires a “special” call.
Relieved of our missionary duties, we can breathe a sigh of relief and pursue our own ambitions and dreams – while still attending church, reading our Bibles, and praying.
Like the prisoner, we are not willing to accept the cost of following Jesus. We do not want to give up our way of thinking.
The world and the enemy have infiltrated our minds and hearts with insidious lies. “You can follow Jesus and have your own way,” their voices assure us. So we celebrate Jesus as Savior (Oh, how we need Him!), but refuse to bow to His Lordship. In the end, we are no better off than the man behind bars, held captive by false philosophies.
“There is a general obligation resting upon Christians,” wrote missionary Robert E. Speer (1867-1947), “to see that the Gospel of Jesus Christ is preached to the world. You and I need no special call to apply that general call of God to our lives. If men are to have special calls for anything, they ought to have special calls to go about their own business, to have a nice time all their lives, to choose the soft places, to make money, and to gratify their own ambitions.”
The question isn’t if we are called to reach the world with the Gospel, but rather, how? What is our role in accomplishing this task?
For you and me, and every other Believer who is not currently engaged in cross-cultural missions, that translates into giving our time, efforts, abilities, prayers, and finances toward reaching the unreached.
Since the vast majority of those still waiting to hear the Gospel reside in the 10/40 Window, giving to Window International Network (WIN) is a strategic, wise, and Biblical means of accepting the responsibility of our call. A donation to WIN not only helps mobilize evangelism and prayer in regions of the world where the task remains unfinished, but it enables us to be faithful in our service to the Lord.
“Let us lay aside all double-dealing, all moral subterfuge, all those shuffling evasions by which the devil is attempting to persuade us to escape from our duty,” Speer encouraged, “and let us get up like men and look at it and do it.”
Don’t allow yourself to remain a prisoner to worldly thinking. Give to WIN today.
“If you love me, keep My commandments.” -Jesus, The Bible, John 14:15
Sourced: “A Missionary Call,” Robert E. Speer
Originally published in the 1040 Window Reporter August 2010
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