Tough Love (Gutter Evangelism)
It's great doing Short Term Missions. They are needed. They do a special thing in our hearts. They open our eyes to what is out there. And they are an important part of God's mission plan for the 21st Century. We need to be willing to fast our normal lifestyle for a couple of weeks, to go and taste the suffering of the lost, to experience the conditions they experience. And we need to see and feel the joy as just one person enters the Kingdom because of our witness through a persecuted message. From the beginning of time, the message of Christ has had to survive through adversity and it will continue to face adversity until everyone on earth has heard.
But what I want to know is where are the missionaries consumed with God's divine calling to touch a nation, a people group, a sewer system full of down and out kids? God needs us to be willing to forsake earthly ease for a life of suffering for the Kingdom. We need to become God's miracles.
It is hard nowadays to leave a life of luxury to live a life of sacrifice elsewhere. Jesus commands us in Acts 1:8 to go to Jerusalem, Judea, Samaria, and to the ends of the earth. I don’t think it is an either/or choice, but a package to go to all three: to reach our local community, our country, and the rest of the world. More of us need to feel the call to the worthless, the down and outs, and the untouchables. We must touch the people overcome with leprosy and people standing under heavy persecution. We must love and witness to Muslims and Buddhists at their own front doors. Our lives must defy logic, but make perfect spiritual sense. I must be willing to lay down my life to touch one person.
We must balance John 3:16 and 1 John 3:16. On the one hand, Christ laid down His life for us and on the other hand we ought to lay our lives down for our brothers and sisters. 1 John 3:16 balances God's love in John 3:16. "Let’s not love with words or tongue but with actions and in truth." We must be people of action! For too long we have talked about “what we should do is…” and “what would it be like if…” and “if only I…” Now is the time for us to turn words into actions and to see the lost saved. Now is the time to do instead of only talking about what it would be like to return home to heavenly glories.
Let’s be people that look for no glory here on earth because we know that the only person that needs to know our actions knows our actions before we do them. Hear the cry of the lost of this world, of the suffering church, of the aborted child in wealthy western countries, of the cripple sitting on the streets begging for money in China, of the child shot dead on the streets of Brazil, of the frozen communities on the streets of the Ukraine.
This is a cry to see Christ's balance of love returning to the Christian community: love received and love given. This is a cry for us to balance God's love by doing and going.