I had the opportunity to go to a Missions Conference this past weekend. It was truly awesome. I learned many things, and definitely felt the call of God for my life – which is something that I had probably known for the past seven years. I had never been to a conference, tough 🙂
Ever since I became a Christian, I have enjoyed talking to others about God and how much God loves them. At times, I guess, my family and friends have thought that I am crazy, brain-washed or just a “lost cause”.
But that is what happens when something radical is observed in your life. I was the worst of sinners. I know that is how Paul describes himself… and maybe he was, but I also killed a baby in my womb. And I have a history of sexual immorality that does not make me proud. I had a history… of so many things. But I am not that person anymore. I have no other explanation for the radical change in my life that the fact that I gave my life to follow Christ almost eight years ago.
I would like to encourage you to read 2 Corinthians 5:11-21
I understand it might be too long to post it so I won’t, but I will definitely talk about it – even if it’s little by little.
One [Jesus] has died for all, therefore all have died; and He died for all, that those who live might no longer live for themselves but for Him who for their sake died and was raised.
I no longer live for myself, but for the One who died for me. He died for my sake and for everybody’s sake. But you have to believe – you have to trust in His Death and Resurrection. You have to trust that His death takes your sins away. It doesn’t cover them – it wipes them away.
All this is from God, who through Christ reconciled us to Himself and gave us the ministry of reconciliation; that is, in Christ God was reconciling the world to Himself, not counting their trespasses against them.
It is Christ’s death what actually made me have peace with God. It is trusting that God is good, and that He actually wanted to be reconciled with me what made me follow Christ. If you owe someone a huge amount of money, and He himself hands you a ton of cash to pay Him back – wouldn’t you take the money? Wouldn’t you say “Thank you for paying yourself what I actually owe You?” Why would you be proud and try to pay off a debt that you know you will never be able to repay? God forgave me everything that I rightfully owed Him.
Do you see how I cannot longer live for myself? Do you see how I cannot do anything but to live for Him who died for me?
If anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation. The old has passed away; behold, the new has come… in Christ God entrusted to us the message of reconciliation.
I am not the woman I was when I was 20 – thank God. And I am not the woman I was when I was 24. My life was radically changed when I trusted Jesus as my Savior. And at times, I forget that God has a purpose for my life, but He never forgets. At times, I don’t trust Him, but He has proven Himself faithful to me. If Jesus died to reconcile me with God… now He trusts me to reconcile the world to Him.
We implore you on behalf of Christ, be reconciled to God. For our sake He [God] made Him [Jesus] to be sin who knew no sin, so that in Him [Jesus] we might become the righteousness of God.
Paul implored the Corinthians, I implore you – make peace with God. What is it that you feel you are going to loose? What is it that you feel you will have to give up? If you don’t believe in God, of course, I cannot convince you. I would argue, tough, that the evidence for God is huge. But if you do believe that this life is not all there is, then, what are you waiting for?
Salvation is a free gift from God. Why wouldn’t you take it? Is it because the cost of following Jesus is too much for you? You know, I get it. In all honesty, i never consider the cost of following Him. This Following-Jesus- thing sounded great at the beginning, but then it became hard. It became hard to stop thinking about me all the time, and let the Spirit of God control my anger… It was hard to hold back my tongue, and to be patient, and kind. And you know what? I still mess up… But God knew that, and He still choose to die for me. He still died for you. But you have to make a choice: Will you choose to be reconciled with God through Jesus?
This past weekend, I felt so happy that I had decided to go to the conference. I was completely exhausted after spending my Friday night – and literally all Saturday – talking about Jesus. We were actually joking about having a Jesus overload. There was so much information and even theology given – it blew my mind.
I actually bought a book of one of the speakers – Jackson Wu. His lecture impressed me so much. It was something that I had never listened to before. He basically said that if Jesus did not die then God is a liar.
God gave a promise to Abraham. God told Abraham that though him all nations would be blessed. Abraham always believed and he was declared righteous because of this. All through Israel’s history, the LORD (YHWH) always saved His people, and it was not because they deserved it, but because of God’s name sake. It was always because of God’s sake – because God promised to bless them.
So if you fast forward to all the events in the history of Israel – the slavery in Egypt, the exile in Babylon… all until the moment God Himself enters history in the person of Jesus… God has always been in the business of keeping His promises and saving His people – all the nations. So if Jesus (God in the flesh) does not die, then God cannot keep His promise.
Of course, there are a thousand objections if you have other worldview, like if you’re a Jew or a Muslim or whatever. But then, that is a discussion that might have no end until Messiah comes (which at least is something that Jews, Christians and Muslims can partially agree on). Of course, Muslims and Christians would rather say until Messiah comes back. Again, this is not an apologetic post.
In my life, there have always been two Bible passages that make my heart beat faster, and I have always known that is definitely something God has purposed for my life:
I charge you in the presence of God and of Christ Jesus, who is to judge the living and the dead, and by his appearing and his kingdom: preach the word; be ready in season and out of season; reprove, rebuke, and exhort, with complete patience and teaching. As for you, always be sober-minded, endure suffering, do the work of an evangelist, fulfill your ministry.
2 Timothy 4:1,2,5
What exactly does that mean? I don’t know. I don’t think I have been called to be a Pastor. I am of the idea of male leadership in the Church, but I also agree that there were a lot of women that did very important things in the years of the Church in Acts.
Brothers, my heart’s desire and prayer to God for them is that they may be saved. For “everyone who calls on the name of the Lord will be saved.” How then will they call on Him in whom they have not believed? And how are they to believe in Him of whom they have never heard? And how are they to hear without someone preaching? And how are they to preach unless they are sent? So faith comes from hearing, and hearing through the word of Christ.
I know what this means. It has always been obvious to me or maybe not. I don’t know. But I want to go.
Salvation comes when somebody listens to the good news about God wanting to be reconciled with them. They only have to take action – Repent from their wrong doings, and Trust in the name of Christ.
But how are they gonna call in the name of the Lord Jesus, if they don’t know about Him first? And how will they know if nobody tells them? Somebody has to go and tell them! Somebody has to be sent… I know the Lord Jesus. I wanna go and tell them.
What does that look in my life? I have no idea. I think I will figure that out with my pastors. I am definitely telling my computer right now, ha!
That Romans chapter has so much meat. In Romans 10:13, Paul quotes directly from the Prophet Joel 2:32, “Everyone who calls in the name of the LORD shall be saved”. This is in the mind of Paul, along with other Christians, understood as events described for when the Messiah comes. In the Hebrew Bible, this is a Messianic prophecy. Do you see how LORD is uppercase? That LORD means YHWH.
It is YHWH who saves. But Paul is applying the ability to save to Jesus Himself. People need to hear about Christ in order to be saved. How can Jesus save unless He is more than a mere human being? You see? Jesus is YHWH in the mind of Paul.
But if you think that Paul made up the divinity of Christ, then how can you explain away Acts 2:21, where Peter ends up quoting Joel 2:32 also? This is within the context of believing in Jesus as both Lord and Christ for the forgiveness of sins (verses 36-38). In Peter’s mind the name who saves is Jesus. This points to Jesus’ deity – for who can forgive sins but God?
I will end with my deepest thoughts.
During the conference, it was really humbling to see many people walking forward when an African missionary asked them to respond to God’s call in their lives. I saw people responding to the call of being pastors, and leaders. I saw people answering the call of becoming missionaries. And I cried when people responded to the call of going to places where they know they might die.
You see, these people don’t feel like dying. They do not want to kill or be killed. They don’t gain anything by going to these places – they have everything. They have peace with God already. They have salvation already. They have been reconciled with God. And that is exactly the reason they are going. They want to reconcile others with God.
They want to go because there are people who don’t know about Jesus. And they actually want to tell them – even if it costs them their lives.
You can watch this beautiful video about what the GOSPEL is all about.
YOU were Jesus’ destination when He left heaven 🙂