Friday, March 21, 2008

It is a fact that not everyone can go overseas to serve in missions. There are many reasons for this and many of them are very legitimate ones. We as Christians are called to go into all of the world so that everyone may have the opportunity to know who Jesus is.

It is also a fact that when we talk about missions, most people automatically think about "overseas", just as I tended to growing up. But demographics are changing in the world. Christianity is the fastest-growing religion in the world today overall, though Islam is in the former "headquarters" of Christianity in Europe.

I was reading yesterday in an article given me by a friend that in 1900, more than 80% of Christians lived in Europe and America. Today, 60% live in the developing world with more than 2 out of 3 evenagelical Christians living in Asia, Africa and South America. Christianity is said to be thriving in China and India (which shows how the love of God cannot be outlawed or defeated). At the current rate of growth of Christianity in China, this official bastian of atheism it will become the largest Christian country in the world within a few decades!

Christianity is thriving where it is costly for believers to act on their faith. At the same time, it is dieing where it can be practiced freely and without real fear. Many churches are closing their doors in the U.S. because they can no longer sustain themselves financially because their members have left or aren't giving at a level that will support them. I want to believe that these tend to be the liberal churches that have so embraced the world that attendees see no difference between their church's teachings and teaching of the world around them so there is nothing that sets them apart from the lost world they are living in; what's the point of going to church when it is no different than going to...well, anywhere else? The fact is though that this isn't always the case and western Christians are often christian in name only.

What does this mean for us? If there was any doubt, we are surrounded by the lost who need to know Jesus. As soon as we leave our doorsteps (and sometimes even before that), we are in the midst of a mission field, one that sees belief in Jesus Christ as their personal Savior as mythical, or weakness, or foolishness. The world of darkness tries to smother the Light of His word and when we choose to let it happen in our own lives, it will. Governments cannot destroy it, but our hearts can.

BJ reached out to unbelievers and immature Christians every way he knew to do so - even when he didn't leave the house - using the phone, letters, email, his xanga site.... We truly are without real reasons for sharing the love of Jesus though I know I can be full of excuses.

We may not be in Mexico today, or Peru, India, or Africa; but we are no less in the midst of a vast expanse of the lost who need to see and hear who Jesus is in our lives. In some ways this is more risky than going somewhere else to minister, because the people you share with in your community will be watching you to see if your lives are in line with your words, and they will look for any excuse to say that if it isn't real in your life, you have no place in telling them they need it in their's.

Sunday we celebrate the foundation of our Christian belief, the ressurrection of Jesus Christ from the grave! Without this fact, nothing else we believe as Christians would matter more than the words of any other religion. Celebrate Him this weekend and what better a time to share your faith, your reason for hope with someone you know (or don't know)?

Happy Easter!



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