Thursday, July 25, 2013

Jim Elliot's Short Story and My Personal Plea for Evangelism

Jim Elliot’s Short Story
Philip James Elliot or widely known as Jim Elliot (1927-1956) was an evangelical Christian who was killed for his passion to spread the Good News about Christ. Before he was called to become an evangelist, he was an ordinary common man. He was a young wrestler, good looking guy, and had a tough body. He was also deeply spiritual young man. Every morning he arose at 5.00am or 5.30pm (most of his biographers said so) and read his Bible and made notes in his diary.

One day, in his praying about the people overseas, he thought to himself,
Why shouldn’t I go? There is one minster for every 500 people in the United States and one for every 500,000 overseas. Why shouldn’t I go?

And he went. He went overseas because of his concern for the lost souls. He was one of five missionaries killed while participating in Operation Auca, an attempt to evangelize the Waodani people of Ecuador. His body was found at the downstream river, along with those of the other men. Their dead were not tragic but triumph. Jim Elliot was murdered and die – yes – but his legacy continue until today and never die.

After his death, they found, scattered along the shore, a river-soaked diary. In it Jim Elliot had written, “Make me a crisis man, O Lord; not just a sign-post on the highway of life, but a fork in the road so that men who meet me will come to know Jesus Christ” Also in his diary he expresses his belief that work dedicated to Jesus was more important than his life: “He is no fool who gives what he cannot keep to gain that which he cannot lose”. All these started when he asked God, “Why shouldn’t I go?”

A Personal Plea
Friends, my Christian friends, do you know? The 2010 Population and Housing Census Report revealed that there approximately only 9.2% Christians in Malaysia; within it only 8.8% of Bumiputra, 11% of Chinese, 6% of Indian and 12.1 % of other ethnics. 11.5% of the rural population and 7.6% of the urban population are adherents to Christianity.

With these percentages in mind, what does it tells you? For me, as I think about it and as I read and write Jim Elliot’s short story above, one heart-warming feet-moving word from Jesus comes to mind: “All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to me. Go therefore and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, teaching them to observe all that I have commanded you. And behold, I am with you always, to the end of the age” (Matthew 28:18-20, ESV) Jesus had issued a clear call and revealed His will to us; now ask yourself, “Why shouldn’t I go?”

I plea with you my concern Christian friends: GO and spread the Good News about Christ with His power, not by force and human authority; GO by the Spirit and the love of Christ, not by gun and sword; GO and be killed, not killing people; GO and joyfully proclaim the righteousness of God, not just sitting around in your comfort zone. Ask God, “Why shouldn’t I go?” – Malaysia needs the Lord.

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