Monday, October 5, 2009

NOT ASHAMED! Heartcry Missions

This is an article from the newest Heartcry magazine addressing the need to not be ashamed in preaching the gospel to the nations. (subscribe to the free mag)
I beg you to consider such a missions organization, one which can be found IN the BIBLE; meaning it's fulfilling the same great commission that the Apostles were: To further the kingdon through the "TRUTH" (spoken=preached) and thru the planting of LOCAL churches (that's true mission work rather than trying to make the world a better place by 'shining our lights' hoping they'll just figure it out--> the lost need the GOSPEL and they need CHURCHES)

Marc Glass is our Missions Coordinator for the Middle East. In the following article, he exhorts us not to compromise the singular claims of Christ as we spread the Gospel throughout the world.
When we study what so-called “missions experts” are saying about missions to the Middle East, we oftentimes get the impression that these men are ashamed of their association with the Church of Jesus Christ. They deceitfully attempt to hide that they are a part of that Bride for whom Christ died, and instead opt for a hyper-contexualized method of evangelism
that betrays the very Gospel they should be proclaiming. While it may indeed be necessary
to have indigenous churches that reflect the culture in which they exist, to over contexualize is to syncretize, and to syncretize is to cease from being Christian and a follower of
Jesus Christ. For this reason, HeartCry’s Mission statement for the Middle East is exactly the same as our mission statement for every other region of the world: “To glorify God through the preaching of the Gospel and the establishment of biblical Churches.” Last August, I had a very peculiar experience during my visit to both Israel and Lebanon. On the night of August 7, I walked through the streets of Israel with the son of one of the missionaries with whom we work. He is a soldier in the Israel Defense Forces and he was wearing his uniform because he had just gotten off duty. The next morning, I flew out of Israel and after a short layover in Jordan, I landed in Lebanon that afternoon. That night, as we were returning to Beirut after a trip up into the mountains, we stopped and picked up a young Lebanese man who was waiting on the side of the road for a bus. He was in his early twenties and was dressed in the typical European clothing of which the younger Arab generation is so fond. He sat next to me in the back seat and we carried on a conversation in broken English. Then he began speaking with the two Arabic-speaking missionaries who were traveling with us. For some reason, maybe just his youthful pride, he began carelessly revealing his identity as a member of the terrorist organization Hizballah. He even showed us his two cell phones, the second one having a picture of Hizballah’s leader on it. At first, the missionaries and I were a bit skeptical of his claims because most people who are a part of Hizballah do not go around broadcasting to strangers and foreigners about their association with the group. For security purposes, it is kept quiet. However, it would not have been an unusual claim. Hizballah has up to 10,000 militia soldiers scattered among the general population who can be ready for combat in a matter of minutes. I lost my skepticism about the man’s claims when he pulled a hand gun out of the back of his pants. He did not reveal it to us in a threatening manner, but he simply held it between his hands together with his cell
phones. After speaking to him about Christ, we dropped him off where he wanted to go and headed back to the home of one our missionaries in Hamra. It is amazing to think that one night I was walking with an armed Israeli soldier, and the next I was riding with an armed Hizballah terrorist. Both of them are young men, and both of them are bitter enemies. They are both products of the deadly conflict between Israel and Lebanon. The only way they would ever meet
would be in war. I have conveyed this story to several people since that time and they have all asked a similar question: “When you realized that he was from Hizballah, were you scared?” The answer is “no.” It was not because I am courageous or that I felt safe. It was because when I sat in the back seat with this armed man from Hizballah, I looked him in the eyes and realized that he was a person exactly like me. Though he was a representative of a terrorist organization, he
did not represent that to me. Though he held to a diametrically opposite ideology and world
view, that is not what I saw when I looked into his eyes. This young Arab was a person with a soul that was lost and going to hell. He did not need a lesson in politics, history, geography, or philosophy. He did not need a discourse on human rights or social justice. He did not need to drive down to Tyre and be indoctrinated by the U.N. Most of all, he did not need to be told that he would be a “complete” Muslim if he would only ask Jesus into his heart and add Him to his Islamic religious system (This “method” of evangelism is actually endorsed by many of the so-called conservative and evangelical missions experts in the Middle East!). This young man needed the Gospel and needed someone (a biblical church) to tell it to him. Though he possessed an outward form of religion, he was a God-hater. He needed a supernatural change of heart that is only produced by the Holy Spirit working through the proclamation of the death, burial, and resurrection of the Lord Jesus Christ. I stated at the very beginning that our mission statement is “To glorify God through the preaching of the Gospel and the establishment of biblical churches.” This statement conforms to the teachings of the Apostle Paul who wrote that the manifold wisdom of God is made known through the Church” (Ephesians 3:10). Therefore, it is only the faithful Gospel proclamation of God honoring churches that will be able to change the course of this young man, and millions of others, and save them from the bondage of Islam and the torments of hell.



Excellent. We must never become pridefull and see ourselves better than a Muslim, Budist, Catholic, or lost professing Christian. We are no better than they are. I was once a God hater myself, I loved my sin, but by Gods grace someone shared the Gospel with me and I believed on Christ and was saved. Glory be to God and his Son Jesus Christ who came to seek and save that which was lost. Our love for Christ must overcome our fears. For to me to live is Christ and to die is gain.

Whosoever will come after me, let him take up his cross, and follow me. For whosoever shall save his life shall loose it, but whosoever shall loose his life for my sake and the gospel's, the same shall save it.

May we press towards the markfor the prize of the high calling of God in Christ Jesus. May God's peace and grace be with you.

Your brother in Christ.

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