Spread the Word

My little girl went to play with a friend the other day.  The next day the friend’s mum called to tell me the friend was sick.  The next day, my little girl was sick.  The next day, I was sick.  Share and share alike as the old saying goes!

As I was driving today, I started thinking about how easily destructive things spread.  Colds, flus, rumours, gossip, fires, plagues, computer viruses and sin all move very quickly.  Why are these things so virulent?  Why is it so much more difficult to spread God’s Word?  God tells us in Matthew 28:16 – 20 to GO and TEACH the Good News to all nations (people).  If the Good News was as easy to spread as the flu, everyone would have it by now.

At a ladies Bible study the other day, one of the ladies was sharing with us that her son is in a class with a boy whose family is quite faithful in practicing a religion other than Christianity.  This wouldn’t be a problem except that when her son spoke up for Christ the other mum got very upset and accused this family of intolerance.  How do you deal with that?  The boys want to be friends but because of the divide caused by the saving grace of Christ to those who CHOOSE to believe the Christian mum feels the need to protect her son from the influence of the beliefs of the other family.  It’s not that they aren’t nice people or that she fears any physical harm would come to her son.  The concern is that the seeds of unbelief could be planted and as a mother she is responsible to protect her son from things that could do him harm.  She would no more stand him in the middle of the road than she would allow him to be told that Jesus is just one of a variety of gods.

The more I thought about this, the more I thought about how different our society is from that of even a few hundred years ago.  (Not very long in the course of 6000 years.)  People then made poor choices – just like we do today.  They didn’t all take God seriously – just like today.  BUT the majority of people believed that God was God and that He was overall in control.  That doesn’t mean that they all had a personal relationship with the Lord Jesus Christ but at least they acknowledged God.

  In looking up the top ten Christian countries in the world, Canada and the US do not even make the list…

Rank Country Christians  % Christian Country  % Christian Christians
1  Brazil 174,700,000 90.4%  Ecuador 99.0% 14,099,000
2  Mexico 105,095,000 94.5%  Venezuela 98.0% 28,340,000
3  Philippines 90,530,000 92.4%  Greece 98.0% 11,080,000
4  Congo, Democratic Republic of 63,825,000 90.0%  Colombia 97.6% 44,502,000
5  Italy 55,070,000 91.1%  Zambia 97.6% 12,939,000
6  Colombia 44,502,000 97.6%  Romania 97.5% 20,930,000
7  Ukraine 41,973,000 91.5%  Guatemala 97.5% 14,018,000
8  Argentina 37,561,000 92.7%  Poland 95.7% 36,526,000
9  Poland 36,526,000 95.7%  Mexico 94.5% 105,095,000
10  Venezuela 28,340,000 98.0%  Peru 93.8% 27,635,000              

The above list focuses on the percent of the population that declares itself Christian.  Canada claims 77% and the US 78%.  In a speech given in 2009, President Obama espoused the following,

“Although … we have a very large Christian population, we do not consider ourselves a Christian nation, or a Jewish nation, or a Muslim nation,” said Obama.  “We consider ourselves a nation of citizens who are bound by ideals and a set of values.”

 As two of the wealthiest nations in the world, Canada and the US have turned their backs on God and His Son, Jesus Christ, and taken the credit for their successes.  The very values they proclaim are rooted in God’s Word.

Many people think of missionaries as people who leave their homes, friends and families and head out to foreign lands.  They expect missionaries to teach the people English, provide health care and share the values of the North American culture.  Religious people would also expect them to provide a dose of religion.

When I read those verses in Matthew, I am struck by the word ALL.

Matthew 28:19

Go ye therefore, and teach all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost:

To me, that means that I have a responsibility to share the Lord Jesus with people right here in my neighbourhood.  It is easy to say that it is too hard or that we need to respect everyone’s beliefs, but I wouldn’t feel comfortable meeting the Lord in eternity and telling Him that I didn’t think that He wanted to be a missionary because He didn’t send me to a foreign land.  My mission field begins with my children and spreads to my family and neighbours and coworkers and associates.  This doesn’t mean that I need to preach at them.  Jesus didn’t say preach – He said teach.  One of the most effective methods of imparting information is demonstration.  By treating others the same way that Jesus has treated me – caring for them, sharing with them, encouraging, supporting and loving – they should be able to see Him through my life.  This will share Jesus faster than any preaching I may do.

1 John 3:16-18

This is how we know what love is: Jesus Christ laid down his life for us. And we ought to lay down our lives for our brothers and sisters.  If anyone has material possessions and sees a brother or sister in need but has no pity on them, how can the love of God be in that person?  Dear children, let us not love with words or speech but with actions and in truth.

1 John 4:7-12

Dear friends, let us love one another, for love comes from God. Everyone who loves has been born of God and knows God.  Whoever does not love does not know God, because God is love.  This is how God showed his love among us: He sent his one and only Son into the world that we might live through him.  This is love: not that we loved God, but that he loved us and sent his Son as an atoning sacrifice for our sins.  Dear friends, since God so loved us, we also ought to love one another.  No one has ever seen God; but if we love one another, God lives in us and his love is made complete in us.

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