Posted by: Omar C. Garcia | November 8, 2012

The Nations Still Beckon

From the first century to today, Christ-followers have left the comfort and security of their homes in order to take the good news to the nations. Whether that means walking across the street or flying across the planet, taking the good news to others requires a willingness to go beyond — to step across the line that delineates the farthest we’ve ever been and the most we’ve ever done for God and His purposes. We must have the courage to step across that line even if it means leaving behind all that is familiar, comfortable, and convenient. The late A.W. Tozer once said that the kingdom of God advances at our inconvenience, never at our convenience.

History illustrates what can happen when Christ-followers lose their resolve to go beyond. When Marco Polo’s father and uncle met Kublai Khan, this great Mongol leader asked them to bring one-hundred missionaries on their return trip so that his people could learn about God. Marco joined his father on the return journey, but the Pope sent only two priests instead of one-hundred. Within a short-time, these two missionaries turned back because the journey became too inconvenient and difficult for them. This sad episode stands as the greatest missed missiological opportunity in the history of Christianity.

Mark Twain said: “Twenty years from now you will be more disappointed by the things you didn’t do than by the ones you did do. So throw off the bowlines. Sail away from the safe harbor. Catch the trade winds in your sails. Explore. Dream. Discover.” German author Johann Wolfgang von Goethe offers a complimentary warning: “Hell begins the day God grants you the vision to see all that you could have done, should have done, and would have done, but did not do.” The truth of the matter is that we cannot make progress unless we are willing to leave the security of the harbor, lose sight of the shore, and endure dangers and inconveniences.

In April 1901, John R. Mott, leader of the Student Volunteer Movement, spoke on the responsibility of young people for the evangelization of the world. He challenged the students of his day to forsake conveniences for the sake of the kingdom. His words are as relevant today as on the day he spoke them. In this speech, Mott said, “The last command of Christ is operative until it is repealed. It is not optional, as some would assume, but obligatory. It awaits its fulfillment by a generation which shall have the requisite faith and courage, and audacity and the purpose of heart to do their duty to the whole world.” Regardless of whether we are young or old, every Christ-follower is responsible for the evangelization of the world.

The book of Acts records the story of a vision that the Apostle Paul received while in Troas, a city on the extreme western shores of Asia Minor. In the vision, a Macedonian man was standing and appealing to him, “Come over to Macedonia and help us” (Acts 16:9). Paul and his companions recognized the urgency of the message and departed for Macedonia at once, concluding that God had called them to preach the gospel there. They did not allow themselves to be swayed by whether this venture would be convenient or inconvenient, only by the fact that they needed to get to Macedonia quickly. We must have the same attitude when it comes to sharing and showing the gospel. We must do so when it is convenient and when it is inconvenient as well. Like the Macedonian man in Paul’s vision, the nations still beckon us to come and help. We must listen to their cries and then go beyond!


Responses

  1. Thank you for always challenging me. Bless you brother.

    • Blessing to you, Matt. Thanks for all your good work for the kingdom.

  2. So true… Thank you for showing us by a good example of going beyond and how to live out the “inconveniences”. I will have to say after making that step of going beyond (here in Houston and abroad) I have been overly blessed… more than I could have ever imagined! Much love, brother

    • Thanks for going beyond in Bangladesh these past weeks and for making meaningful connections for the kingdom.


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