No option to determine who should hear

Jesus does not give to Christians the option of determining who should hear the message of salvation. The gospel is to be preached to “all creation” or to “every creature” Mk 16.15. We have no way to judge accurately who will accept and who will not. To judge receptivity, or the lack of it, in a person’s heart, before the message is shared, is to put ourselves in God’s place.

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Seeking wisdom

“In seeking wisdom, the first step is silence, the second listening, the third remembering, the fourth practicing, the fifth teaching others.”

—Ibn Gabirol, quoted in R.L. Alden, Job, 318

If Jesus is the “Wisdom of God” Lk 11.49, the above quote can direct us well.

The effect of poverty and prosperity upon evangelism

Mike Brooks writes from Bangladesh today in his regular “Field Notes” column over on the Forthright Magazine site, about the effects of poverty and prosperity upon evangelism and missions.

Almost always, the more a country begins to rise out of poverty and desperation into economic prosperity, the more difficult it is to preach the gospel effectively. Within the space of only a decade or two many former third world nations in which congregations grew rapidly have now suddenly shown marked decreases in conversions. It is not coincidence that these same nations have climbed into a more prosperous standard of living.

Mike provides two points on how Christian should respond. His article should provoke some thoughtful consideration.

Mission math: Twelve plus 72 equals great commission

go-flags

In chapters 9 and 10, Luke records the limited commission of the Twelve and of the 72 others (besides the Twelve). It appears he makes symbolic use of the numbers. The Twelve represent the Jews. Twelve apostles, twelve tribes of Israel. The 72 represent the number of the nations of the world (see Gen 10; cf. NLT Study Bible).

Luke 10 appears near the beginning of Jesus’ journey to Jerusalem (9.51-19.27), during which he has in view their mission of preaching after his death (W. Kummel, Introdução ao Novo Testamento). Various elements, though not all, seem to look toward fulfillment after the beginning of the church, such as their prayer for more laborers. Continue reading

Knowing what the mission is

Many people have a strong sense of mission, but have little clue as to its nature. Doing good for God is about as exact an idea as they have. With such vagueness, it’s no wonder that little is actually accomplished for good.

The Word of God is clear what Jesus’ mission was and what ours is, as his followers and imitators.

We need the tools and the means that will allow us to accomplish that mission in the most efficient and effective way, in the least amount of time possible. But until we are clear on the mission’s objective, everything else will be but mere thrashing around in the bushes.