Is God still in the calling business?
Does God call everyone to the same place?
Has God gotten on the 10/40 bandwagon and started calling all hands to that geographical region?
Are there billions there still needing the Gospel?
Are there many more in the Philippines needing the Gospel after many years of missionary and national effort? What about Brazil? Mexico?
Is God still calling men to these countries?
What about the USA? There has been more effort there than anywhere, as we all know, and as has been well emphasized.
But is God still calling men to stay in the USA to evangelize, preach and start churches?
Praise God He is!
(Hopefully one of those men will win some of my lost family members to the Lord in the good ol’ US of A. They are still needing evangelizing. Let me say, however, that I am not one of those who has gotten on the pendulum of “Home Missions to save our country before we can think about reaching the world”.)
We can go back and forth about the meanings of words. We can discuss the places of the GREATER needs.
However, if God wants more missionaries in China then He will have to call more Himself. I am not going to call any. I will preach strongly about the need in China but not any stronger than for a new Spanish ministry somewhere in the USA. My message is about the need of the HARVEST no matter where that might be for someone. God will have to do the leading.
Also, God gives us all special burdens. Some of us need to be more burdened for the 10/40 window than others! Others for an Indian tribe or Inuits in the far north. My burden is for the deaf worldwide, after 27 years of burden for the deaf in Brazil. Should I expect everyone to get the same burden?
I never tried to call everyone to Brazil. I never tried to reason with anyone about a greater need in Sao Paulo. I never tried to talk anyone in to coming to work with the deaf. I do present needs. I do encourage. I do get passionate about these things. But I know God knows ALL the needs out there and will place people perfectly in His will.
MAYBE if we all get the same burden then MAYBE we can reach, scratch that, “evangelize fully” one area of the world. Then when we accomplish that we should all get a burden for another area and work on that one. And so on…. until they all are “fully evangelized” … whatever that might mean to someone.
By then, the areas we “evangelized” at first will be in need of “evangelizing” again …. like Israel, England and Germany, to name a few.
The Millennium will probably have come and gone by then.
Let’s, in all humility, do all that God puts on our own hearts and work at drawing others into the Harvest Fields with us … no matter where that is. It might produce more than some of our blogs, as intellectually challenging as they might be.
I praise God for the burden others have. God needs us all and has called us to different ministries, different fields, and given us different burdens, and different visions. I am challenged by the burdens of others for their areas. Yet God has not called me to go help them and let my burden go for the time being. I have to be faithful to my burden. It was God-given.
Whether my field has been “evangelized” or not is not of concern to me. What concerns me is that I evangelize those within my area of influence. I do not care if they have heard the Gospel once or a million times. If God has called me there/here/wherever I want to be faithful in evangelism!
I have never stopped to ask anyone if they have already heard the story of Jesus or the Gospel before. I just go ahead and give it to them. Imagine walking away from someone in the USA without giving them the Gospel just because they had already turned down an opportunity some years ago!
If God calls you to some unreached tribe in Uzbekistan … Glory to God. You better have a burden for those people. I would expect you to argue for all you are worth about the need to get others there to help you evangelize. The same holds true for those called to Chicago, Guadalajara, Istanbul, Paris, or Greenville, South Carolina!
People in Pensacola, Florida or Lattimore, NC are just as lost as those in Iceland. Does God still call to Iceland? What about to Pensacola or Lattimore?
If someone stays in Lattimore or Greenville … who is to say they have missed God’s call because they did not go to some “unreached people or ethnic group”?
I agree with Klining about the recruitment part and our mission agency, like others, is aware of that. (I wish more local churches were.) His concluding statement was very good.
Here is what he said, in case you missed it.
“If these problems can be fixed, the cause of world evangelization can be strengthened… because as logical and tempting as “tactical withdrawal” would be under the given circumstances (to concentrate resources on one “front” or people group at a time,) too much is at stake on each front for that to be a legitimate, viable option.”
We must advance on every front. Who goes where? And when?
I, for one, will let God take care of that. That is not meant to be pious. I just believe God is calling many to some places and fewer to other places whether we like it or not.
I do believe in strategizing and planning, for the record.
Have we evangelized America? If so, then someone needs to tell the Lord about it because He seems to still call men to ministries there. Brazil? Mexico? Philippines? He still is calling people to these places. Is He lopsided? Is He making a mistake?
One final thought: if we had more martyrs in these hard to reach places, this would call more attention to those places and more people would probably volunteer to go. Any martyrs out there?