Sunday, December 14, 2008

Send the Light

There was the true Light which, coming into the world, enlightens every man. John 1:9

As we look forward to Christ’s second advent, we must think about what we can do to hasten His coming. We don’t know exactly when it will be, but we do know what Jesus taught about what must happen before He comes again.

As He was sitting on the Mount of Olives, the disciples came to Him privately, saying, “Tell us, when will these things happen, and what will be the sign of Your coming, and of the end of the age?” And Jesus answered and said to them, “See to it that no one misleads you. For many will come in My name, saying, 'I am the Christ,' and will mislead many. You will be hearing of wars and rumors of wars. See that you are not frightened, for those things must take place, but that is not yet the end. For nation will rise against nation, and kingdom against kingdom, and in various places there will be famines and earthquakes. But all these things are merely the beginning of birth pangs. Then they will deliver you to tribulation, and will kill you, and you will be hated by all nations because of My name. At that time many will fall away and will betray one another and hate one another. Many false prophets will arise and will mislead many. Because lawlessness is increased, most people's love will grow cold. But the one who endures to the end, he will be saved. This gospel of the kingdom shall be preached in the whole world as a testimony to all the nations, and then the end will come.” Matthew 24:3-14

Did you catch it? Here it is again:

This gospel of the kingdom shall be preached in the whole world as a testimony to all the nations, and then the end will come. Matthew 2:14

Jesus will not come again until the gospel has been preached in the whole world. So what are we doing to hasten His coming? Peter instructs us that we should be both looking for and hastening that day.

But the day of the Lord will come like a thief, in which the heavens will pass away with a roar and the elements will be destroyed with intense heat, and the earth and its works will be burned up. Since all these things are to be destroyed in this way, what sort of people ought you to be in holy conduct and godliness, looking for and hastening the coming of the day of God, because of which the heavens will be destroyed by burning, and the elements will melt with intense heat! II Peter 3:10-12

George Ladd, in A Motive for Mission, implores all Christians to accomplish our mission of taking Christ’s name into all the world, so that Christ will return and establish His kingdom in glory. He says,

"Christ has not returned, therefore the task is not done. When it is done, Christ will come. Our responsibility is not to insist on defining the terms of our task; our responsibility is to complete it. So long as Christ does not return, our work is not done. Let us get busy and complete our mission… Do you love the Lord’s appearing? Then you will bend every effort to take the gospel into all the world."

Not all of us are called to go to foreign nations to preach the gospel. Those of us who don’t go have two important roles: provide and pray. Most of us can financially support those who do go to preach the gospel in every nation. All of us can fast and pray. We must pray for those who are preaching the Word in far off, or close by lands, and we must pray for God’s kingdom to come.

In less than two weeks we will celebrate the light that came into the world to enlighten every man. That light must be sent out: to every tribe and nation, that they might know God who became flesh, who came that we might no longer walk in darkness. Come quickly, Lord Jesus!

I am the Light of the world; he who follows Me will not walk in the darkness, but will have the Light of life. John 8:12

Send the Light
Words by Charles H. Gabriel

There’s a call comes ringing over the restless wave,
“Send the light! Send the light!”
There are souls to rescue there are souls to save,
Send the light! Send the light!

Send the light, the blessed Gospel light;
Let it shine from shore to shore!
Send the light, the blessed Gospel light;
Let it shine forevermore!

We have heard the Macedonian call today,
“Send the light! Send the light!”
And a golden offering at the cross we lay,
Send the light! Send the light!

Let us pray that grace may everywhere abound,
“Send the light! Send the light!”
And a Christlike spirit everywhere be found,
Send the light! Send the light!

Let us not grow weary in the work of love,
“Send the light! Send the light!”
Let us gather jewels for a crown above,
Send the light! Send the light!

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

this post reminded me of the discussion we had at church last week. they were talking about the fact that the US is a globalized nation and that instead of us going to the 10/40 window it has come here. that really impacted me...that I need to be aware of the people of other nations around me and tell them about Christ...the mission field now more than ever is here!