Injustices of an Ordinary Christian
Surveys has shown that most people became Christians because someone reached out to them one-on-one. Someone who was acting out of obedience to the scriptures, spent the time and resources to evangelize personally. Disciples who took the phrase “a soul added to the Kingdom is of great value” seriously and that such a soul eternally escapes hell shared the gospel. What if there was no one doing such? What if there was no one willing to go out there and fish for men? Definitely, some of us would not be Christians today! Our fate and that of those who are yet to come to the Faith would have been the same. After receiving salvation, we can now testify of the goodness of God and His ever saving grace that located us.
Today, due to the efforts of those who take personal evangelism seriously, there are many followers of Jesus globally. Thanks to the missionaries who gave up everything and took it upon themselves to take Jesus to those who were unreached, His kingdom has expanded. They did so willingly and the cost they paid so that you and I could hear the gospel was great. In my continent Africa, missionaries from Europe suffered the unthinkable, not for personal gains but just to have disciples out of the nations. Their sending agencies, churches and Christians in their home countries gave their resources for that noble cause. Not because they had much but because they were not selfish with the Jesus living inside them. They gave themselves to praying for missions not because they didn’t have anything else to do but because they had their priorities right.
Enter the lives of modern day believers. We call ourselves “Christians” but distance ourselves from missions and personal evangelism. The assignment to “make disciples of all nations” has been left to the so-called ministers and missionaries. Many of us in the church believe we have no part to play as far as reaching the lost is concerned. We go about life happy that Jesus saved us. We are destined for heaven. Ours is the kingdom, we say. We know for sure that those who are without Christ are headed to an eternity in Hell, but we don’t care about it. Tragically, research has shown that 98% of church members have never led any person to Christ personally.
In my view, this is the injustice of being ordinary believers. I fail to understand why we who received Christ freely would fail to consider those who are lost needy of the Bread of Life. We claim to love God and our neighbors. However, I see that “loving the neighbor” is easy if those neighbors are also the Christians next door but hardest if the neighbors are those of other faiths or no faith at all. While neighbors should be those people who are in need and the gospel is the greatest need that everyone has in the light of eternity. Loving those without the gospel is just and in line with Jesus’ commands. Love is a term that attracts action and responsibility. It is not an empty phrase! Disciples who obey the commands of the Master are expected to model love to their neighbors, those who are in need of the gospel.
Is it justice that some people hear the gospel thousands of times while there are many others who have not heard it even once? Is it fair that some people have multiple options to access the gospel, while others in another region of the world have never seen a Bible or interacted with a Christian? Is it just to have thousands of pastors serving Christians while one missionary serves a whole unreached people group of thousands, even millions? Is it just that over 98% of Christian resources be spent on Christians while the needs of the unreached go unnoticed?
So I keep wondering, how will the principles and the practices of the old be instilled into the systems of today’s church. The generals of the faith did their part and handed the baton to use. In our time, we have sat back minding our own businesses as millions of souls slide to a Christ-less eternity. The salvation we received became personal. Our global God was localized and restricted to Churches and Christian circles. A generation that will do justice by emulating such heroes in character and action is needed. A generation that will share the joy of salvation with the unreached needs to arise and execute justice to the uttermost parts of the earth (Isaiah 42).
I see a scenario where we will be counting generations of believers from some specific part of the globe. While other parts are left without the gospel, where believers are content with who they are as a fellowship and close their eyes to the gospel needs of others, where lifetime commitment to global missions is no longer an option for young people, where we inherited great treasures but never passed anything to those who are in the position we were before inheriting anything. A situation where our religious convictions die with us. This is not justice! May Jesus help us all to do justice and share the gospel with those who do not have it.
****Peter Kale (not his real name) is a missionary serving among an unreached people group in Northeastern Kenya