Yesterday I opened up Oswald Chambers to see if the day’s reading was anything useful. I had to laugh when I read the title.
The Key to the Missionary’s Work*
That sounds pretty good, right? I don’t have to look for answers any further. Here it comes…
"All power is given unto Me in heaven and in earth. Go ye therefore, and teach all nations." Matthew 28:18-20
The basis of missionary appeals is the authority of Jesus Christ, not the needs of the heathen. We are apt to look upon Our Lord as One Who assists us in our enterprises for God. Our Lord puts Himself as the absolute sovereign supreme Lord over His disciples. He does not say the heathen will be lost if we do not go; He simply says - "Go ye therefore and teach all nations..."
Hmmm. That all sounds very nice on paper, but what does it actually mean? Is it wrong if the first (or last) images that cross my mind are of people in need, and not of the cross? What if people don't seem interested in the Gospel? Should I ignore their needs and look for people who are more "receptive"?
I decided to give Chambers another try today.
The Key to the Missionary’s Message
The key to the missionary message is the propitiation of Christ Jesus. Take any phase of Christ's work - the healing phase, the saving and sanctifying phase; there is nothing limitless about those. "The Lamb of God which taketh away the sin of the world! " - that is limitless. The missionary message is the limitless significance of Jesus Christ as the propitiation for our sins, and a missionary is one who is soaked in that revelation.
...It is easier to belong to a coterie which tells what Jesus Christ has done for me, easier to become a devotee to Divine healing, or to a special type of sanctification, or to the baptism of the Holy Ghost. Paul did not say - "Woe is unto me, if I do not preach what Christ has done for me," but - "Woe is unto me, if I preach not the gospel." This is the Gospel - "The Lamb of God, which taketh away the sin of the world!"
This is a fairly provocative message, if I understand it correctly. Many times when limited in missionary activity we are encouraged to simply tell our personal stories of what Jesus has done. They can make a law against preaching, but they can’t make a law against telling about your own life.
But is it worth it to give your testimony without the full gospel? Is it worth it to tell about Jesus without saying, “He died for you too”?
*Note: although the titles are from an updated edition which I happened to be reading, the article excerpts themselves are from the original, with older English (it's the only version I could find on the Internet). Excerpts are from Oct.14 and 15 readings.