A Yokefellow’s Chronicle: On the GO for the Gospel
(Updated January 15 2018)
I recently attended the Chinese Mission Convention West 2017 (CMC) organized by the Ambassadors for Christ in Ontario, California. This was the second convention on the west coast of the US and the theme was: Unleashed – Together for God’s Global Glory. It drew some 3,500 participants, young and old, from all over the west coast with everyone focused on unleashing the resources that God has given to the Chinese believers. It was a great time of learning from God’s word, from God’s servants and a dynamic synergy of God’s people with the same passion of reaching the world for Jesus Christ. We were encouraged to move beyond our own ethnocentricity to become cross cultural in our mindset as we step up to the plate of world evangelization.
Chinese Christians are a blessed people. The Gospel came to them through the efforts of faithful men and women who heeded God’s call to them to bring the message of salvation to a lost and sinful world. These missionaries were not perfect people nor their strategies for evangelization perfect, but God, as sovereign Lord, used them all – jars of clay that contained an immensely valuable treasure, so to speak – for His glory and honor. The time has come for Chinese believers to emulate these who have gone before, faithful men and women who fulfilled our Lord Jesus Christ’s commission to make disciples of all nations, to preach the Gospel to everyone, and to be His witnesses in Jerusalem, in all Judea and Samaria and to the ends of the earth. And just as the Father has sent Him, He sends them forth. But to who? Where?
When we think about evangelization, we think of missions; and when we think of missions, we think of where; and when we think of where, we usually think of some places far away from home. Certainly, there is a place for that considering there are still hundreds of Unreached and Unengaged People Groups (UUPGs) in the world who have yet to have the Gospel brought to them in a meaningful way. We were among the UUPGs at the beginning modern Christian missions. Had it not been for missionaries who came, we would still be lost in our sins. But in a globalized village such as ours today, we discover that the world has come to our doorsteps and perhaps camping out in our own backyards.
Who would go to them if not us. Some of us may be called to go to the UPGs and UUPGs but all of us are called to go to our own backyards, our schools, our offices, our families, the market places and everywhere God sends us in the ordinary places we find ourselves, to live out the Christian life before people as a testimony of one who was lost but now found, blind but now see, hopeless but has now found hope and a new life in Jesus Christ. Go, show and tell!
Missions is not just about places, it’s about people – reaching people with the Gospel wherever they are found. And that includes those in your own backyard!
最近，我參加了在南加州安大略市 (Ontario) 由「基督使者協會」 (使者) 主辦的「2017 美西華人差傳大會」(CMC West 2017)。這是使者在西岸舉行的第二次差傳大會。大會主題是「破繭齊出，同頌主榮」，吸引了來自西岸各地約3,500名基督徒出席參加。每位參加者都非常關注如何能發揮神賦予華人信徒中各樣的資源。 這是一個非常美好學習的時刻，從神的話語和衪僕人們的教導獲益良多。更難能可貴的是與一群充滿活力之上帝子民共聚互相激勵。大家懷著相同的心志和熱忱，要將耶穌基督的福音帶到世界每一個角落。當我們華人信徒要將福音遍傳整個世界的同時，我們要學習超越自己的民族主義思想，在思維中建立跨文化的概念。
華人基督徒是蒙神祝福的一群。 福音之所以能夠臨到華人，是因為曾經有很多對神懷著信心的先賢先哲，他們中有男有女，聽從上帝的呼召，把救恩的信息傳給這罪惡的世界，拯救失喪人的靈魂。 這些傳教士並不是完全人，他們也沒有傳福音的完美策略。但神在祂的主權下，使用不完全的人，彰顯衪的榮耀和尊貴。就好像寶貝藏在瓦器裡一樣。 如今，是時候華人基督徒起來，仿效那些走在我們前面的信心偉人。他們履行了我們的主耶穌基督的使命，使萬民作主的門徒，把福音遍傳，並在耶路撒冷、猶太全地、撒瑪利亞，直到地極作主的見證人。 正如天父差遣了主耶穌，主也!照樣差遣我們。但，我們傳福音的對象是誰? 我們去那裡傳呢?
當我們思想傳福音的時候，我們往往會想到宣教；當我們想到宣教的時候，我們會想到往那一個地方去；當我們想到那地方的時候，我們通常會想到，要離鄉別井，到遙遠的地方去。當然，這方面需要思想，因為世界上仍有數百個族群從未接觸過福音，可說這是福音尚未到達之地。這些族群被稱為「未得之民」（Unengaged and Unreached People Groups – UUPGs）。若不是宣教士將福音帶給我們， 我們仍迷失在罪惡之中。現今的世代，我們好像生活在一個全球化的村莊裡。我們會發現，世界並不遙遠，它已來到我們家的門前，或已在我們家的後院扎營。
這些身處我們家的門前或後院的人，如果我們不去尋找得著他們，誰會去呢? 我們基督徒中，有一些會被神呼召去那些福音未到遙遠之地和去接觸那未得福音之民。但肯定的是，所有基督徒都被神呼召進到我們的後院、我們的學校、我們的辦公室、我們的家庭、市場及神所要帶著我們日常去的地方，在人前活出基督徒的生命，見證神怎樣將我們從失喪中被尋回、從瞎眼得看見、從無望得在耶穌基督裡找到希望和新生命。 去! 活出福音的好處! 告訴未信的人吧！