Good news for all people
We are the church! That is what we said last week. You and I together are the church.
Followers of Jesus gathered together and worshipping together. Followers of Jesus loving each other and praying for each other. Followers of Jesus working together and making disciples together. Followers of Jesus growing together and changing together. This is the church. Doing these things in homes, coffee shops, and any place we gather is the church.
Don’t think too small though. Don’t stop there. Every other fellowship in the world that is living as church is connected to God, and so is connected to us. There is ultimately only one church, and the church is global.
Our target here is to reach out to everyone in Jinju. We are seeking to make disciples where we live. God has a bigger goal. His plan and his purpose is for everyone on earth.
In the beginning, God made one man and one woman. He made one human race. His love and his purpose is for the human race. His church is for the human race. Salvation is for the human race. God made a promise to Abraham:
“I will make you into a great nation. I will bless you and make you famous, and you will be a blessing to others. I will bless those who bless you and curse those who treat you with contempt. All the families on earth will be blessed through you.” (Genesis 12)
The promise is for all families on earth, through Abraham’s descendants, ultimately through one particular descendant, Jesus. And we continue that work, obeying the instructions that Jesus gave us. We are the global church.
We are God’s body on earth. God is carrying out a world-wide mission through us.
We are actually lucky here, because we are from so many nations and cultures in this fellowship we readily see the global nature of God’s work. This is something we must remember when we leave here and find ourselves in a homogeneous situation.
And go out from here is what many of you will do, and that is how you will carry the good news to many other places. God’s plan is for his body, that is you and me, his church, to reach every part of the globe and take his message to every person on earth.
We are to take it, and speak it, because until people hear it spoken they cannot respond to the message. Paul explains this in Romans 10:12-15:
Jew and Gentile are the same in this respect. They have the same Lord, who gives generously to all who call on him. For “Everyone who calls on the name of the Lord will be saved.”
But how can they call on him to save them unless they believe in him? And how can they believe in him if they have never heard about him? And how can they hear about him unless someone tells them? And how will anyone go and tell them without being sent? That is why the Scriptures say, “How beautiful are the feet of messengers who bring good news!”
This is an essential part of the mission that Jesus gave to the church. Remember that Christ commanded us to make disciples among all nations. We misunderstand God’s plan of redemption unless we see it reaching to all humanity.
Jesus said that until this plan is accomplished, the evil world will not end. God’s plan is not for us to be a healthy happy fellowship. His purpose is not for us to love each other just in our fellowship. His goal is for all people to be saved. His intention is for every corner of earth to know his name and follow him.
Matthew 24:14 – “And the Good News about the Kingdom will be preached throughout the whole world, so that all nations will hear it; and then the end will come.”
Do you know that even today there are many people who have never heard of Jesus?
We may imagine that no person is without access to a church or a Bible, even if only through the internet. That is simply a false view. All around the world there are desperate people who need hope, healing and salvation, and who have no access to the good news.
Our hearts need to burn with a desire to tell our neighbours the good news of Jesus Christ. Burn with a desire to share the good news with the people we meet at work and on the street. But we also need to have a passion for all those who have never heard and have no one to tell them. How are they to believe if no one tells them. How are they to hear if no one is talking.
By his presence in you, Jesus wants to talk to every person on earth.
When your heart starts to burn, that is the time to start thinking about how you can help spread the gospel. Burning hearts must come first.
We are all supposed to have burning hearts, and so we all should be praying for God to light that fire within us. Or if it is already burning, to make it burn hotter and brighter.
Now, don’t worry. God isn’t about to send you all out into the jungle. But it means none of us are separate from global missions, because there is only one church of which we are part. It also means that God might want to send you somewhere. God may not want you to have a career. He may want you to sacrifice your comfort for his kingdom.
Don’t make any assumptions. Don’t make any demands.
Have you ever genuinely told God that you will submit to his will in this area?
Right now, you should ask God where in the world he wants you to pursue life for the sake of the gospel. It may be a terrifying thought, but we have to trust God more than we trust ourselves. We live on this earth for his glory. God has blessed you and wants you to use whatever he has given you for his glory, not yours. Ultimately, we should expect God’s plan to lead us to places that we wouldn’t naturally go.
Are you ready to go anywhere?
Are you ready if God says stay in Jinju? We are all called to make disciples, but we are not all called to do it in the place where we were born. For the church to spread across every part of the world, it needs our help here. It needs our prayer as well as our practical support.
John says in 3 John verse 8 about the ‘travelling teachers who pass through’: “So we ourselves should support them so that we can be their partners as they teach the truth.”
We may not actually go to Russia, China, Papua New Guinea or Borneo, but we can be part of the work there as part of the global church. We do this through prayer and by giving practical help. The only question is how we will help spread the gospel around the world.
As part of the global church, our future is tied to the future of all the fellowships in India, Iraq, Africa, America and everywhere else. The end of the age will not come until all of the parts of the church, even in North Korea, are ready.
Jesus called his followers to be his witnesses “in Jerusalem, throughout Judea, in Samaria, and to the ends of the earth” (Acts 1:8). We have not yet reached the ends of the earth, but through the power of God’s Spirit we will. As followers of Jesus Christ, our calling is to faithfully make disciples. These disciples are also called to make disciples. Jesus promises that he will be with us as we do this, right down to the very end.
We don’t know when that end will come, but until it comes let’s be faithful in making disciples.