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This Sunday morning as I was teaching my tribal friends from God’s Word, a simple and profound thought came into my mind. The older I get and the longer I live among other people, the more I realize that everything boils down to one basic thing: people need the Lord. It is as simple as that. It doesn’t matter who we are or where we live in the world. It doesn’t matter what color our skin is or what language we speak. It doesn’t matter who our parents are or our educational status. We are all the same. We all come from the same ancestors and all are born with the same inherent sin nature. None of us gets to choose where we are born; one day we just “arrive” at the place and time in history of God’s choosing. We also leave this world at the precise time that the Lord has ordained.
As I looked around at my tribal friends sitting with me this morning at our fellowship time, I saw men and women who were culturally so different from people of my own culture. Some were basically naked, others had gaping holes through their ears and septums. Some were decorated with feathers, bird claws, and the bones of animals. I saw before me murderers, sorcerers, liars, thieves, slanderers, and adulterers. These were hard men and women who toil daily to scratch out a living on the side of this distant mountain.
But for many of these, they have understood the gospel and are trusting in the finished work of Jesus Christ on their behalf. They have the Holy Spirit living in them, and He has helped them to become mature in their faith and live holy lives. They have been made alive in Christ, alive to a new life, a new hope in Him. I have seen God’s Word change these people, but this is nothing rare. This is the same work that is going on every day on every continent in the world. The work started by Jesus’ Apostles nearly 2,000 years ago continues to this day, reaching from the churched areas out to the uttermost parts of the earth. This is not the work of men, but the work of the Lord. The Lord is the one reaching out to seek and save those who are lost, and He offers us the privilege of joining Him in His work.
Now this privilege (of reaching the lost) is not just offered to a select few who are to be the missionaries and evangelists. Nor is it restricted to the far-flung “mission fields” of the world. No, this is a privilege that is extended to each and every follower of Christ no matter what our location is. We all have family and friends and neighbors that don’t know Christ, and we could be the ones the Lord uses to reach them.
I have already translated the first draft of the book of Revelation and have recently been going through comprehension checks with tribal language helpers here in the village. As we are going through these portions of Scripture, it has reminded me of the finality of the afterlife. For followers of Christ, we have a lot to be excited about, but for those who have not understood the Gospel, they have eternal punishment ahead of them. This is a sobering reality, and as we reflect on this, it should motivate us to want to share truth with those who are lost.
People need the Lord. Will you accept the privilege God has given you to join Him in reaching them? Start by praying for your lost family and friends, and then use every opportunity to show Christ by your good deeds and teaching them from God’s Word.
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