There is perhaps no more a fitting focus for this blog this month than something that has been converging in my preaching on both Sunday mornings (The Sermon on the Mount in Matthew 5) and Wednesday evenings (Romans, we’ll be in chapter 4 this week). The topic that will converge this very week has to do with the Law and justification. The basic argument goes like this:
The Law reveals two things; the Holy Character of God and the sinfulness of man. These two are polar opposites. One cannot stand existentially in the presence of the other. This is the occasion for the wrath of God. The only remedy:
Justification. Man direly and continually needs to be found just in God’s sight. This is an endeavor man cannot obtain through any of his own efforts. God is both the JUST and justifier of men who assent to the finished work of Christ by faith (Romans 3:26, 4:4).
This indeed is the predicament of men everywhere. There is no place on the geographical locality we call planet earth where people do not share in this same need. People from every continent, people group, and culture need to be justified by Christ, to this there are no exceptions. But in order for them to be justified by Christ, they must hear about Christ:
14 How, then, can they call on the one they have not believed in? And how can they believe in the one of whom they have not heard? And how can they hear without someone preaching to them? 15 And how can anyone preach unless they are sent? As it is written: “How beautiful are the feet of those who bring good news!”
Most of the world has never heard about Christ. Let me say that again, differently: most people on this earth have not been justified. We call them unreached. To be unreached simply means that they have absolutely no access to the Gospel. There are no Bibles available to them in their language. There are no television or radio programs that they can listen to. There are no churches which they may visit to hear the Gospel. There are no Christ followers near them that can tell them. They live (and have lived for generation after generation) under the wrath of God. They are born, they live, and they die without ever hearing the name of Jesus, much less of His finished work. Scripture informs us of their fate: hell. (Now I would like there to be another way that they are saved, but Scripture in no fashion gives us any evidence).
Perhaps now we see why Gospel missionaries are so crucial to the mission of God. They are those who choose to leave everything behind to walk into utter spiritual darkness carrying the bright lantern of the Gospel which sheds light in the dark hearts of men, redeeming them for Heaven. And perhaps now you see why we must give. The Southern Baptist Convention exists so that like-minded churches can work together to put missionaries on the field around the world. We give so they can go. It is a unified effort. This month as we take up our Lottie Moon Christmas offering, 100% of what is given goes to the mission field. There is no bureaucracy that must be fed, or wheels that need oiling. It simply all goes.
So I ask you to do three things: Pray and ask God to show you how desperately your financial gift is needed and how much; talk with your family about the necessity of missions; give sacrificially (a wonderful suggestion is forgo giving a gift or two this year to someone who would understand, and giving that gift to someone whose life depends on it).
Our goal at Bethany: $4000.00. Together can do it, together we should to it.