Become Useful Christians In Totally Unreached Peoples – part 25

Missionaries have decided to be useful to others. They turned their uselessness into usefulness and went. When I was a new Christian, I was so indignant with the uselessness of the local Christians, I made a pamphlet with lots of statistics of how unreached the world was. I handed them out to everyone, even non believers. I called it W.E.NT. which stood for World Evangelism Network. After about a year, I WENT. One other girl in our local congregation went too. She is still in Belarus which is currently in the middle of a war.

“What do you think? A man had two sons; he went to the first and said, ‘Son, go and work in the vineyard today.’ 29 He answered, ‘I will not’; but later he changed his mind and went. 30 The father went to the second and said the same; and he answered, ‘I go, sir’; but he did not go. 31 Which of the two did the will of his father?” They said, “The first.”

(NRSV Matthew 21:28-31)

There is a world in a deep crisis. The suffering and loss of souls will continue year after year until the church gets up off its comfortable chairs and walks out into each and every remote unreached language, people, tribe, and clan. Once Christ returns the suffering stops and the loss of souls stops. No one is being born into this world because it has ended.

So we need to be missionaries and finish the job. There’s no rocket science to being a missionary. Being a missionary is nothing more than looking for what needs to be done and then doing something about it. You are being useful to God in a practical way. You will have to adjust your lifestyle to the situation you are going into. You will need to learn a skill, take some seed, or take something useful to the people in rural areas.

You will have to live a very simple life with no place to lay your head at times. (Luke 9:58) Your usefulness to God has nothing to do with your worth. We are worth the priceless act that Jesus Christ paid by dying on the cross. God values each and every human being equally and loves us all unconditionally and completely. If an earthly father were to have two sons, he might have a favorite, but he would sacrificially love the two equally. Our heavenly Father loves us all and values us all absolutely.

However, there are some of us who, though we are loved equally, are not needed equally. Some Christians are useful and some are not. Yes, this means that some Christians are useless. They are not worthless, just useless. One son is asked to do something and does not do it. Another is asked and he does it. He gives up what he wants. He did not want to do it. Our usefulness is different from our worth. Some obey the great commission and some do not. Some are useful for God’s purposes and some are not. Your value and love God has for you do not change but your usefulness on this earth is determined by what you do. (Matthew 11:19) What we do doesn’t save us. What we do shows God how much we appreciate being saved from the fires of hell. We are still not worthy even though we are useful. It is convenient not to believe in the fires of hell. A higher power is so easy to believe in only. It does not require me to do anything more than believe and behave. Having a higher power brings no personal responsibility, and there is no handbook telling you that you have a job to do. You cannot be loved or valued by God any more than you are now. You cannot do anything to gain your salvation. That is already done for you through the work and sacrifice of Christ Jesus, but you can be useful to his priorities.

For it is by grace you have been saved, through faith—and this is not from yourselves, it is the gift of God— 9 not by works, so that no one can boast.

(NIV Ephesians 2:8)

But Israel, who pursued a law of righteousness, has not attained it. 32 Why not? Because they pursued it not by faith but as if it were by works. They stumbled over the “stumbling stone.”

(NIV Romans 9:31-32)

There is something that God wants, and it is not what you want. I call this conviction. The deeper your conviction is toward the great commission, the more likely you are to do something about it. Some will not agree with me, but the hard data shows that the majority of Christ’s followers are not following his teaching. I will be more emphatic, and say once again that you are loved and valued, but you just might be completely useless to God on this earth. Take this as a wake up call. Take it as a challenge. Take it for whatever is speaks to you. Take it as an insult or whatever it takes to get you up off your couch to do something. You are useless to God, and you are useless to the people who have never heard his name. You are completely useless to the remote unreached person up in the mountains or out in the jungle, waiting on someone who will sacrifice a normal life and what he or she wants in life.

For we are God’s handiwork, created in Christ Jesus to do good works, which God prepared in advance for us to do. 11 Therefore, remember that formerly you who are Gentiles by birth and called “uncircumcised” by those who call themselves “the circumcision” (which is done in the body by human hands) — 12 remember that at that time you were separate from Christ, excluded from citizenship in Israel and foreigners to the covenants of the promise, without hope and without God in the world.

(NIV Ephesians 2:10-12)

You are unique, and God made you unique to accomplish things for him. However, if you live your life for yourself, you may think you are special, but you are probably just like a million other people out there. What can you do to change this? You can do something for God. I don’t mean giving money or praying for those who are on the front lines; I mean that you, the person reading this blog, do something. Be like the son who God asked to go work in the vineyard and said no, but later decided to be useful. He probably thought that his brother was not going to get the job done and that, eventually, someone was going to have to do it. So, he decided to get the job done himself. At first, he said no. He really didn’t want to do it. But his conviction was greater than his personal desires and fears. He did not wait on other people to do it, he knew that his brother was not going to do it.

And God is able to make all grace abound to you, so that in all things at all times, having all that you need, you will abound in every good work.

(NIV 2 Corinthians 9:8)

Prayer is the easiest thing you can do for unreached peoples

You have everything you need to be useful in God’s Kingdom; it is the doing of it that you lack. You are saved, and you have Christ in you. What more do you need? Do it! Thousands upon thousands will stay right where they are in their comfortable church buildings and pray and even give to God’s work. Apparently, the majority of that giving is not getting to the harvest field. The reports and evidence of this are grim. Prayer is highly promoted, but prayer is absolutely the easiest thing you can do for unreached peoples. That would make giving finances to mission work the second easiest thing you can do. Sacrificial giving is a bit harder to do, but not really, because the more you give, the more you are blessed. God doesn’t need your prayers and he definitely does not need your money. He will provide perfectly fine for his missionaries. What he needs are workers.

He needs useful Christian men and women. He needs you! He needs people to go. He is asking his people, and they are saying no. Some are going, but they are not going far enough. The proof is that we don’t hear any trumpets blowing. Going is one of the hardest things. You have to leave what you are doing and sacrifice what you want. Staying on the mission field is the next hardest thing that we can do. Many go for a year or two, or three, but few stay. God needs you to be useful during your whole life, not four years of it. The mission field requires more than four years. We need to begin to ask “What do the unreached people groups need of us?” There is not much you can do well in any area of life for only four years. You are loved. You are his child. You are saved. You know what he needs. Now that all this is settled, what are you going to do for the rest of your life?

Consequently, you are no longer foreigners and strangers, but fellow citizens with God’s people and also members of his household, 20 built on the foundation of the apostles and prophets, with Christ Jesus himself as the chief cornerstone. 21 In him the whole building is joined together and rises to become a holy temple in the Lord. 22 And in him you too are being built together to become a dwelling in which God lives by his Spirit.

(NIV Ephesians 2:19-22)

What is the most intentional thing you could do with the rest of your life? I hear this catch phrase being used a lot: “be more intentional.” If you really tried hard, how far could you go? If you really tried hard, how long could you stay? If you gave up all your own ideas and desires of what you want to be, what would God have you do? These are the questions we need to ask ourselves. Every Christian needs to find that perfect place in God’s Kingdom. Every Christian needs to become perfect. (Matthew 5:48) I write these things to you, appealing on behalf of all remote unreached people groups that have no missionary yet.

The most famous words of Jesus are read (and done) half way

“For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life. 17 For God did not send his Son into the world to condemn the world, but to save the world through him. 18 Whoever believes in him is not condemned, but whoever does not believe stands condemned already because he has not believed in the name of God’s one and only Son. 19 This is the verdict: Light has come into the world, but men loved darkness instead of light because their deeds were evil. 20 Everyone who does evil hates the light, and will not come into the light for fear that his deeds will be exposed. 21 But whoever lives by the truth comes into the light, so that it may be seen plainly that what he has done has been done through God.” (NIV John 3:16-21)

Jesus went through all the towns and villages, teaching in their synagogues, preaching the good news of the kingdom and healing every disease and sickness. 36 When he saw the crowds, he had compassion on them, because they were harassed and helpless, like sheep without a shepherd.

(NIV Matthew 9:35-36 )

Love is God residing in our emptied hearts. Love is Christ’s life in our dead bodies resurrected in him. A lot of people go to the mission field, because they feel sorry for the poor or those in difficult situations. This is one reason why so many missionaries give up and come home early. They have a distorted concept of love and go out of an empathetic feeling or for a cause, injustice, or out of indignation. They do not last on the mission field because their feelings are quickly forgotten and buried under all the difficulties. The amount of sin and depravity in the remote areas is harder to handle than the pride they have to swallow in front of other Christians for giving up.

Others do not go at all, because they will not allow God to fill the emptiness in their hearts. If you don’t fill the heart with God, it gets hard. They become hardened and more selfish. They are small and unwilling to let him have it all. If you wait until you feel something for the lost, you will never do anything for them. Even if you hurt and feel sorry for the lost, you may never do anything meaningful for them. There are many things we do in the Christian life that we do out of a decision to be obedient to the commands of Christ, not because we feel pity or empathy. Missionary work is just one more thing we do out of obedience. It doesn’t matter what they say about you or what you say about yourself. It only matters what you do. Compassion without action is just another useless feeling. Once, I saw a dog get run over by a car, and it was still alive writhing and bleeding in the gutter. I felt really hurt for it, but I did not stop to take it to the vet.

The Son of Man came eating and drinking, and they say, ‘Here is a glutton and a drunkard, a friend of tax collectors and “sinners.” ‘But wisdom is proved right by her actions.”

(NIV Matthew 11:19)

If you don’t have the motivation, ask God to help you get it

Don’t get me wrong; our actions do not gain our worth or one bit of our salvation. Our actions come out of moving forward in faith with no feelings or aspirations of reward. If you aren’t moving forward, ask God to help you and then move forward in faith. Self and the sinful nature will always battle against the demand of love, if it is not crucified with Christ.

How do you know if you are doing right? Ask yourself this question: “Am I going to do something about what needs to be done?” Are you doing the action of forgiving? If you are, that person will be forgiven. Are you doing the action of being kind? If you are, that person will have been on the receiving end of a kind gesture or kind words. Are you doing the action of being patient? If you are, you won’t be blowing up at your spouse. To love is one of our highest callings, especially when we go as missionaries. If you are a whiner, you are disqualified from mission work, at least until you repent. Be joyful, even when you don’t feel like it. True joy is being joyful when you don’t want to. Act in joy when things aren’t so great. My mother was the best example of this that I know. I am so grateful that she imparted this to me through Christ. She battled for years with illness, suffering and pain. Near the end they finally discovered that she had a rare incurable cancer (Myelodysplastic syndrome). She didn’t even tell anyone about it and decided to keep doing what she had always done and keep her head up. She and my father built a Bible translation training center to remote unreached people groups.

But he replied, “Lord, I am ready to go with you to prison and to death.” 34 Jesus answered, “I tell you, Peter, before the rooster crows today, you will deny three times that you know me.”

(NIV Luke 22:33-34)

If we love him, we will obey his commands. When we show loving compassion by our actions to those in despair, we have shown love toward God. We cannot love God if we cannot walk in love toward our fellow man. You might be thinking that I am referring to social mission work such as medical missions, disaster relief, or truckloads of blankets. This is all good, and it will serve to bring the end nearer, if you are doing these things in remote unreached people groups AND in conjunction with level 8, 9 or 10 missionary work.

Mission work that does not win souls and disciple people is nothing more than social work. Social mission work has extended much love to people in need, who continue to go straight to hell without Christ. So, is that really love? Is it truly sacrificial giving of our time and person, if it is not accomplishing the greater goal? Or is it my love for the medical profession? Social work as a level 8, 9, or 10 missionary is the goal, as long as winning souls and discipling people is the highest priority.

A friend of mine who is a missionary to remote unreached people groups said, “The problem with social mission work is that most people don’t know how to do it correctly. We end up creating a situation where the church never matures.” To explain this a little more, social mission work done to the proportion that we do it, (85% social work to 15% discipleship) creates dependence on the missionary. The indigenous believers do not mature. They come to church services, not because they want to know the Lord, but because there is something to be gained. Love is action, but first and foremost for the lost people’s soul and for their discipleship. You can give them a blanket and medical attention as well, but the fact remains that we are in the twenty first century and the 85%-15% ratio has not finished great commission.

The task is still unfinished. So, I ask you, is this love? Most people believe that you first give a blanket and then you give the Gospel. Jesus did not do or teach this. What happens when our commitment to preach the Gospel to all ethnos is covered over by our commitment to give quality medical care? If we have lost this love for their souls, have we lost God? Could one go as far as to say that the church has lost her love for God? Is this the first love that is written about in the book of Revelations chapter 2? The church hardly recognizes the priority of God anymore. It is as though we are more concerned with the medical well being of people than we are with their souls. Have we lost our love for people if we are not concerned with their eternal well being? Has the church lost its purpose? Has the church lost its vision? Half of all Christians have abandoned the local congregations. The younger generation never goes once they have left their parents home. They were not discipled nor did they understand God’s purposes for their lives.

If you have no love for the lost, what do you do? Pray for God to give you his love for them. But know that by this prayer, you are asking God to take you to them personally. God loved this sinful world to the point that he made a commitment to send (gave) his son to the earth and to eventually be crucified and die on the cross and then rise again! Jesus went. Jesus was a goer. He came to take away the sins of the world!

Do you believe that India needs missionaries? Do you believe that God wants people to go to India as missionaries? Be as God would be, and love the lost by going. If you don’t feel anything, take a few steps in faith toward them, and you may find that feeling of compassion comes. You may find that it does not come. But the people in India will get their missionary, whatever you feel.

You see, at just the right time, when we were still powerless, Christ died for the ungodly. 7 Very rarely will anyone die for a righteous man, though for a good man someone might possibly dare to die. 8 But God demonstrates his own love for us in this: While we were still sinners, Christ died for us.

(NIV Romans 5:6-8)