THE GREATEST MAN WHO EVER LIVED
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“He was born in an obscure village, the child of a peasant woman.
He grew up in another village, where He worked in a carpenter shop until He was thirty.
Then for three years He was an itinerant preacher.
He never wrote a book.
He never held an office.
He never had a family or a home.
He didn’t go to college.
He never visited a big city.
He never travelled two hundred miles from the place where He was born.
He did none of the things that usually accompany greatness.
He had no credentials but Himself.
He was only thirty-three when the tide of public opinion turned against Him.
His friends ran away.
One of them denied Him.
He was turned over to His enemies and went through the mockery of a trial.
He was nailed to a cross between two thieves.
While He was dying, His executioners gambled for His garments, the only property He has on earth. When He was dead, He was laid in a borrowed grave through the pity of a friend.
Nineteen centuries have come and gone, and today He is the central figure of the human race.
All the armies that ever marched, all the navies that ever sailed, all the parliaments that ever sat, all the kings that ever reigned, put together, have not effected the life of man on this earth as much as that one solitary life.”
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Never have there been so many incredible opportunities for missionary work worldwide, yet there are tens of thousands of vacancies waiting to be filled on the mission field today. The harvest has never been so large – and the workers are frustratingly few.
Finding suitable missionary volunteers has never been easy – nor is it likely to get any easier. Missionary service demands dedication, determination and discipline – and these qualities are basically rejected by the smart-phone generation.
Crippling Attrition Rate
Every mission leader I know has had to grapple with an almost crippling shortage of staff and a serious shortage of long-term commitment. The increasing attrition rate of first term mission volunteers giving up is destabilising missionary endeavours worldwide.
Existential Short Sighted Disposable Culture
Most churchgoers today are secular in their mind-set and lifestyle. They have few convictions, more questions than answers. They are reluctant to make long-term commitments. Our society is existential (concerned primarily about my own personal experience, now!) This throwaway, disposable culture is short-sighted, cynical and short of faith and vision for the future. Our present generation has become selfish, sloppy, soft, spoiled and self-indulgent, unaccustomed to personal sacrifice, unwilling to endure hardship and unlikely to exhibit loyalty to any mission, devotion to duty or courage in the face of danger.
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All Nations in God’s Purpose
After our Lord Jesus Christ rose from the dead, He revealed God’s eternal purpose to His disciples.
“And beginning with Moses and all the prophets, He explained to them what was said in all the Scriptures concerning Himself... He said to them, ‘this is what I told you while I was still with you: Everything must be fulfilled that is written about Me in the Law of Moses, the Prophets and the Psalms.’ Then He opened their minds so they could understand the Scriptures. He told them, ‘This is what is written: The Christ will suffer and rise from the dead on the third day, and repentance and forgiveness of sins will be preached in His Name to all nations’” Luke 24:27,44-47. Most of us have closed minds and we need Jesus to open our eyes to see Him in all the books of the Old Testament, in the Law of Moses, in the writings of the Prophets and in the Psalms. Jesus broadened the vision of His disciples to see all nations in God’s purpose.
The Protoevangelium: Genesis 3:15
Salvation is initiated by and achieved by God – “I will...”
Salvation will destroy satan – “He will crush your head.””
Salvation will come through a Mediator who is related to mankind – “The Seed.”
Salvation will involve the suffering of the Redeemer – “The enemy will bruise His heel.”