- CALLED TO GO!
- FULFILLING GOD’S END TIME PLAN
CALLED TO GO!
You must not only walk in the light; you have been called, like John the Baptist, to bear witness of the light (John 1:7).
The Lord Jesus has “called you out of darkness into His marvelous light” (1 Pet 2:9). But in giving you the gift of salvation, He didn’t just call you to come out of darkness; He called you to GO out to those who still sit “in darkness” (Matt 4:16) – to tell them the Good News of salvation and “turn them from darkness to light” (Acts 26:18).
You have the light of the Gospel. You have the “light of life — eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord” (John 8:12; Rom 6:23).
Many do not.
Multitudes around the world remain in the shadow of death – eternal death, the “wages of sin” (Matt 4:16; Rom 6:23). They have not yet seen the light.
So it’s up to you.
Show them the light. Let the light of the Gospel that shines on you shine on them. Heed Christ’s command: “Let your light so shine before men, that they may see your good works and glorify your Father in Heaven ” (Matt 5:16).
For did He not say, in Matthew 5:14, “YOU are the light of the world”?
Jesus did NOT say you are the light of your church only or your town only, or even your nation only -He said THE WORLD.
It’s true: Jesus, “the true Light” (John 1:9), wants you and me to “shine as lights in the world” (Phil 2:15); He wants us to shine the light of the Gospel on ALL the world:
“I have set you as a light to the Gentiles [nations] that you should before salvation to the ends of the earth” (Acts 13:47).
Jesus said “Go… and make disciples of all the nations” (Matt 28:19); He said “Go into all the world and preach the Gospel” (Mark 16:15).
ONE CAN WIN THOUSANDS
Now of course you cannot go in to all the world yourself to preach the Gospel.
But you can, if you are a pastor, encourage the members of your church to preach to those outside your church. If there are members of your church who have ministry and leadership abilities, you can send them forth to plant new churches – and they can send forth others to plant even more churches.
You can, if you are an evangelist, go to the next town or village to preach the Gospel and win souls for Christ -and then train these new believers to go to a town or village farther away to win even more souls for Christ and send those new believers even farther away to win many more….
In this way, the ministry of just one church leader – YOU! – can win dozens, hundreds, even thousands to Christ….
In this way, the light of the Gospel that dawned in your heart can shine all the way to the ends of the earth….
And in this way, dear fellow laborer in the Gospel, you can play a vital role in…
FULFILLING GOD’S END-TIME PLAN
“THAT THEY ALL MAY BE ONE”
Jesus told His disciples that at the end of the age the world would face a time of great distress and difficulty (2 Tim 3:1). Fear, hatred and greed would cause the nations of the world to war against one another. The “last days” will be dark days indeed (see Matthew 24; Luke 21).
There is a bright hope, however, for the Christian Church:
It shall be in the last days, says God, ‘that I will pour out My Spirit upon all flesh… and it shall come to pass, that whoever calls on the name of the Lord shall be saved” (Acts 2:17, 21).
These verses, quoted from Joel 2:28-32 in Peter’s sermon signify the Church age starting on the Day of Pentecost when the Holy Spirit was poured out. This age will end in the climatic events of the apocalypse.
This teaches us that more people are going to hear the Gospel and be saved in the last days than at any other time in history. There is going to be a great end-time revival as the light of the Gospel shines into the darkness of a dying world. God always brings a “warning” and a “witness” before times of great judgment.
For this reason, God desires to unify the Church in Her worship, work, warfare and witness. Revival will come only as Christ’s power and glory are revealed by His Body throughout the world.
“I pray … that they all may be one… that the world may believe that You sent Me” (John 17:20, 21);
“…and this Gospel of the Kingdom will be preached in all the world as a witness to all the nations, and then the end will come” (Matt 24:14).
“FOR GOD SO LOVED THE WORLD…”
“Reconciliation” is a beautiful and wonderful word. It means “to bring together in peace those who have broken fellowship with each other”. When man sinned, he opposed God and came under the control of His enemy – Satan. To disobey God is sin. And sin separates us from God and makes us His enemies.
God, in His grace, wants to forgive us our sins and bring us back into His family. In short, He wants us to be “reconciled” unto Himself and be at peace with Him. That is why He sent His Son in to the world to die for our sins. God wants to be our Father; He wants to be our Friend!
Yes, reconciliation is a word filled with holy wonder. It is spoken from the very heart of God Himself. It tells us of His love and grace for all mankind. It speaks of His desire to bring all the nations of the world unto Himself.
Nations are made up of people, and God loves people -even people who have sinned and sought their own will and way. Through sin, man lost his way with God and became His enemy. Through Christ, God seeks to bring the whole world back into a right relationship with Himself.
“For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him should not perish but have everlasting life” (John 3:16).
“AMBASSADORS FOR CHRIST”
God revealed to the Apostle Paul His great love for the nations of the world. Moreover, He set that same love in Paul’s own heart. Listen carefully to these words written to the church at Corinth:
“Now all things are of God, Who has reconciled us to Himself through Jesus Christ, and has given us the ministry of reconciliation, that is, that God was in Christ reconciling the world to Himself, not imputing [reckoning] their trespasses to them, and has committed to us the word of reconciliation.
“Now then, we are ambassadors for Christ, as though God were pleading through us: we implore you on Christ’s behalf, be reconciled to God” (2 Cor 5:18-20).
Truly, this is God’s plan for the nations – that they be reconciled to Himself. He wants ALL people to know, love, worship and serve Him with all of their being. He has never changed His mind; it is still the deep desire of His heart.
THE FIRST AMBASSADORS
It was the deep desire of Peter’s heart. It was the deep desire of Paul’s heart. And Philip’s. And all the New Testament apostles, prophets, elders, deacons — the whole Church.
They had seen the “true Light” -Jesus. They believed in the light (John 12:36). They received the gift of salvation. The light of the Gospel shone in their hearts.
They didn’t keep the gift a ‘secret. They didn’t hide the light “under a basket” (Matt 5:15). They “let it shine” before men and women in Judea, Samaria… and beyond.
A MIGHTY START
They had witnessed the Light. Now they went forth as witnesses of the Light – preaching the Gospel of salvation to as many as they could.
And they witnessed so faithfully, and preached so fearlessly – under the guidance of the Holy Spirit – that within just two months of the Resurrection, thousands received God’s free gift of salvation through Christ Jesus (Acts 2:41).
It wasn’t yet “all the world” (Mark 16:15) -but it was a mighty start!
“WITH GOD, ALL THINGS ARE POSSIBLE …”
“You shall receive power when the Holy Spirit has come upon you and you shall be witnesses to Me … to the end of the earth” (Acts 1:8).
This may have seemed like an impossible task. But the Lord had assured them that “with God ALL things are possible” (Matt 19:26).
So they stepped out in faith, and went to work witnessing in a sin darkened world. The Holy Spirit lit the way. He inspired and empowered them to play a vital role in fulfilling God’s end-time plan.
He can do the same for you.