Wednesday, December 4, 2013

Christians, Where Have You Been All the Time?

We know the reality of hell, and we know the way of escape. How shall we escape if we neglect to warn and woo to Christ those who are as yet unevangelized?” (J. Oswald Sanders, on Ezekiel 3:18-19)

Pic: Women from a small rural church
in Nepal received Christian literature
Christians, there are burden and responsibility that is rest on us! We owe the world the Good News about Jesus Christ! To have the knowledge of Christ imposes on us an inescapable duty to share that knowledge with every man as far as lies in our power, and that without delay. To withhold it is a crime against that large portion of the human race which still in midnight gloom.

Read this text from Ezekiel 3:18-19, “If I [God] warn the wicked, saying, ‘You are under the penalty of death,’ but you fail to deliver the warning, they will die in their sins. And I will hold you responsible for their deaths. If you warn them and they refuse to repent and keep on sinning, they will die in their sins. But you will have saved yourself because you obeyed me” (NLT).

The church and individual Christians will have much to answer for because they have withheld the saving truth from needy souls. Missionary history in all lands is replete with poignant instances which underline the tragic crime of delay.

An old Eskimo said to Bishop Selkirk, ‘You have been many moons in this land. Did you know this good news then? Since you were a boy? And your father knew? Then why did you not come sooner?

A Peruvian in the snowy Andes exclaimed, ‘How is it that during all the years of my life I have never before heard that Jesus Christ spoke these precious words?’

A Moor asked a Bible colporteur in Casablanca, ‘Why have you not run everywhere with this book? Why do so many of my people not know of Jesus whom it proclaims? Why have you hoarded it to yourselves? Shame on you!’

An Egyptian woman, hearing the gospel for the first time said, ‘It is a wonderful story. Do the women in your country believe it?’ ‘Yes.’ Pause. ‘I don’t think they can believe it or they would not have been so long in coming to tell us.’

So you have come at last!’ said a Taoist priest to a missionary as he entered a Chinese temple. In a vision he had been impressed that someday a messenger would come a far away land. But should he have had to wait 18 years?

How long have you had the good tiding in England?’ a Chinese man, Mr. Nyi asked of Hudson Taylor. He replied vaguely, ‘Several hundred years.’ ‘What, several hundred years? Is it possible you have known about Jesus so long and have only now come to tell us?

A Muslim woman in Bengal inquired of a missionary, ‘How long is it since Jesus died for sinful people? Look at me, I am old, I have prayed, give alms, gone to holy shrines, become as dust from fasting. And all this is useless. Where have you been all the time?’

Where indeed?
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