Tuesday, April 3, 2012

"The Best Warrant For Christian Mission" by D. A. Carson

As we walk through this Easter season, the Williams Creek Baptist family has not only been rehearsing the events surrounding the death, burial and resurrection of Jesus Christ, but we've been celebrating what those events have done to reconcile lost and dying sinners with the holy and righteous God.  Any individual who has been made alive by the Spirit through this gospel message understands the call of taking this gospel to the four corners of the earth.  

The Lord has commissioned His church to "Go therefore and make disciples of all the nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and the Son and the Holy Spirit, teaching them to observe all that I commanded you; and lo, I am with you always, even to the end of the age” (Matthew 28:19-20).  Our church body is contemplating and praying about how we might sacrificially give to the support of this gospel kingdom work here in North America.  With this in mind, let me encourage you to read D. A. Carson's brief message which has been described as a "brief apologia for mission in a world that regularly despises mission."  His article is entitled "Take Up Your Cross And Follow Me." (You can find it here).  Carson concludes the following:

"But the best warrant for Christian mission is Jesus himself. He claims all authority is his, but he speaks not as a cosmic bully but as the crucified Lord. He insists that men and women have rebelled against his heavenly Father, but he joins himself to the human rebels so as to identify with them. He declares they deserve punishment, then bears the punishment himself. He claims to be the Judge they will meet on the last day, and meanwhile entreats them to turn to him, to trust him, and live. If one is going to follow a leader, what better leader than the one who demonstrates his love for his followers by dying on a cross to win them to himself? What political leader does that? What religious leader does that? Only God does that!

And then, in a small piece of mimicry, his followers are challenged to take up their cross and follow him (see Luke 9:23). If one of the results is a worldwide missionary movement, I for one will pray for it to thrive."

May we find ourselves fully surrendered to the Master's plan and fully participating in the life-changing mission of taking the gospel concerning Jesus Christ to the ends of the earth.

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