Tag Archives: missionary

JRF

JRF’s #13 – An Enquiry into the Obligations of Christians, to Use Means for the Conversion of the Heathens by William Carey

And that’s the abridged title.

This 80+ page “pamphlet” (we call them books today) was used by God to launch the Modern Missionary Movement in the Western world.

When humble shoemaker turned pastor William Carey read his Bible, studied Church History, and looked at the world around him he asked the simple question “Why aren’t we as English followers of Christ doing anything to reach those around the world who have yet to hear of the good news of Christ?”  The answers he got from the ecclesiastical elite basically was, “if God really wanted them to get saved, He doesn’t need us to do it.  Besides there is plenty of Gospel work still to be done here in England.”  This answer did not satisfy and sent Carey back to the Book.  The result was this treatise and plea to take the Great Commission seriously.

His basic premise is that although God is totally sovereign and not dependent on His children to accomplish His plan of redemption, that plan includes using His faithful followers as the means of bringing His Life Giving Gospel to the ends of the earth.  To conviently hide behind God’s sovereignty would be to disobediently ignore His clear commands and foolishly forfeit the joy of participating in God’s design for His glory.

Carey organizes his manuscript into five major sections.  Section I. examines whether the Great Commission is still binding on believers in the Modern Era (the answer is YES).  Section II. is a whirlwind tour of the history of missions starting in the book of acts and ending in Carey’s day.  Section III. is a survey of the spiritual state of the world in Carey’s day and reads like a 18th century Operation World.  In Section IV. Carey examines the obstacles between the church and the unreached world, and in Section V., proposes practical steps to overcome and/or endure them.

I thank God for this book, the man who wrote it, and the fire that was ignited through it.  Its message is just as importantly urgent today as it was when it was written.

“…have not English traders, for the sake of gain, surmounted all those things which have generally been counted insurmountable obstacles in the way of preaching the Gospel?”

“If a temple is raised for God in the heathen world, it will not be by might, nor power, nor by the authority of the magistrate, or the eloquence of the orator; but by the Spirit, saith the Lord of Hosts.  We must therefore be in real earnest in supplicating his blessing upon our labours.”

“What a heaven will it be to see the many myriads of poor heathens, of Britons amongst the rest, who by their labours have been brought to the knowledge of God.  Surely a crown of rejoicing like this is worth aspiring to.  Surely it is worth while to lay ourselves out with all our might, in promoting the cause, and the kingdom of Christ”

 

 

 

mark

Mark’s #45 – Reckless Abandon: A Modern-Day Gospel Pioneer’s Exploits Among The Most Difficult To Reach People

Since John recently read and reviewed this book here, I won’t go into too much detail.

I’ve always enjoyed missionary biographies.  These books challenge and encourage my own walk with Christ, remind me of the global call of the great commission (Mt. 28:19-20), and make me examine my life to see whether or not I believe what God says I should believe about life, death, eternity, and the worth of Jesus.  Most of these books detail the exploits of missionaries from long ago,  but in this book David Sitton tells his story of God’s faithfulness in our time in areas like Papua New Guinea and Mexico. As such, the challenge to missions seems even more real and tangible.

I appreciate David’s life and desire to show that Jesus is worth any sacrifice.  I also appreciate David’s desire to help raise up and train young men and women to forsake everything to follow Jesus to the ends of the earth.

Read the book and be challenged and encouraged!

If you have never considered the possibility that God loves you and may have a wonderful plan for your death, perhaps you should (pg. 201).

You can check out the ministry David started here: http://toeverytribe.com/

mark

Mark’s #19 – Hudson Taylor: The Autobiography of a Man Who Brought The Gospel to China by J. Hudson Taylor

The Apostle Paul encouraged the members of the Philippian church to “…live a life worthy of the gospel (Php. 1:27)” and to “…take note of those who live according to the pattern we gave you (3:17).”  One of the best ways to do this today is to look back through history and take note of the men and women who lived lives worthy of the gospel. Hudson Taylor was one of those men.

I often read Christian biographies and encourage others to do the same.  I read this book as part of the required reading for those going on an upcoming mission trip to Cambodia in August.

This book isn’t truly an ‘autobiography’.  Rather, it is a short biography put together by Hudson Taylor’s son using HT’s diary.   Like many missionary biographies, the strength of the book is not in its masterfully crafted prose, but rather in the way the reader can see the lived out faith of the man and the mighty hand of a good and sovereign God working in all circumstances for our good and His glory.

What particularly caught my attention and convicted my heart was Taylor’s passion for the lost soul’s of China.   In two stories I found myself repenting of my selfishness and spiritual laziness.  In the first one, Taylor describes a scene where he is trying to save a man from drowning by imploring the help of a nearby fishing boat.  Those in the boat didn’t want to be disturbed with such a task.  Taylor pleaded and offered to pay them.  Only after a lengthy negotiation, were they willing to casually paddle over to offer help… but it was too late, by this time the man had died.  Taylor then points out that we as believers are often in a much worse scenario as we idly stand by while the multitudes perish around us though we have access to the life saver they desperately need – the gospel.

In the second story, after one man becomes a Christian he asks Taylor how long the people of England have had this good news of the Savior.  Taylor tells the man that it has been many centuries.  To which the astonished man says, “What?! Why did you not come sooner? My father spent his lifetime searching for the truth and perished without it!”

 

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