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The Missionary Task
JESUS, OUR MISSIONARY LORD, declared, “If any man will come after me, let him (or her) deny himself, and take up his cross daily, and follow me. For whosoever will save his life shall lose it: but whosoever will lose his life for my sake, the same shall save it” (St. Luke 9:23-24).
PAUL, THE MISSIONARY DISCIPLE OF JESUS, declared, “For I determined not to know anything among you, save (but) Jesus Christ, and Him crucified” (I Corinthians 2:2).
Why have the church folks of the late 20th century and the early 21st century avoided the obvious “Missionary Task”? For one thing, the so-called ministers have no real missionary vision—they are more than comfortable “playing church,” and so the people do the same. For another, as it is said, the rooting out of evil does not take place without the labourer’s bleeding; and if we wish to truly answer the appeal of Christ’s Great Commission (Matthew 28:16), both you and I must genuinely give ourselves up, heart and hand, and be WHOLLY absored in the “ungrateful task,” in the ever-tiresome war against the looming powers of darkness (Ephesians 6), which are almost as cruel as Hell itself. You and I must consent to live by faith (without pay in my case), without seeing the fruit of our labors (many times!) nor fully enjoying the pleasures of our victories. Often little seems to be accomplished. ALL is very difficult (that is, if we really press into the dark strongholds of Satan!). Sure, one can evade this task, escape the labor imposed and ordained, even without much conviction—if you just “play church.”
The true soldiers of Jesus Christ are not those who join the showy “triumphal procession” and scatter palm branches when all the gathered world sings “Hosanna!” Oh, many of those who came to Jerusalem “to be seen and heard of men” later turned on their very own Messiah. But God’s true soldiers are the realists, in the right sense, who, without any illusion as to the very real SEVERITY of the numerous obstacles ahead of them, knowing full well that “the stones of the missionary road will make their feet bleed,” have deliberately answered the Redeemer’s Call to be “Taking Jesus to ALL the world”—everywhere, wholly and always!
General James Green
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