One of the closing commands Christ gave to the disciples before He ascended up to Heaven was to spread the Good News and give hope to the masses. This commandment is so crucial that Christians know it as the Great Commission. And many who have answered the call have experienced and seen the great power of God in ways that few others have.
One of the purposes of a church is a calling towards this Great Commission and FGA KL has taken this to heart very intentionally. For each Sunday of the year, they have been praying for unreached people groups, and its mission task force is very strong. Last Sunday, the missions pastor of the church, Pr Lee Hock Cheng, shared a message about the heart of the church’s missions work.
In our own soil, in East Malaysia, the church has seen 893 native people accept the Lord in one year alone, and more than a hundred from that number have received the Holy Spirit and are in an ongoing discipleship.
In Peninsular Malaysia, in the Prisons Ministry, 48 people invited Christ into their lives. In the Sahabat Pudu ministry, 17000 meals were served to the homeless in one year and 36 people received salvation. 502 hospital visitations were made and 34 people accepted Christ. And in the ministry to the elderly, 36 opened their hearts to Jesus.
These are just a smidgen of the work Christ has accomplished in the midst of brokenness and seeming hopelessness. Many of the sick lie in the hospital with no one to talk to them. Many of the elderly in the nursing homes just sit there waiting for their time to pass on. In the prisons, many of the prisoners who have been sentenced to death just wait for the day to come.
There are many broken, lonely, and disheartened people in the world, and if no one had brought them the Good News of Jesus Christ, these people would have lived a broken life and died a hopeless death. ‘They would not just die a physical death,’ Pr Lee communicated, ‘they would die eternally’. The Church has a vital role to take up and we must be urgent about people’s souls.
Sharing from a passage in Luke 10:1-9, Pr Lee shared that unlike the 12 Disciples that were named, the 72 that were sent out in this passage were unnamed. He shared that this 72 represents the masses; you and I. Jesus sent these mass of disciples out with a pressing imperative, for the harvest is plentiful and the workers are few (v2-4).
The passage goes on to give specific instructions for the missions work, and four in number were shared. The first is to proclaim the peace of God whenever we enter someone’s home (v6). The word ‘peace’ here is a powerful word that represents the completeness of God, mentioned also in the priestly blessing (“The Lord be with you and may the peace of God be upon you”).
It is not just a cessation of conflict, but a proclamation of blessing including security, upon the children, health, and a whole long list of blessings (Deutoronomy 28:1-14). Basically, God is saying remember that all good gifts are dependent upon God’s good grace, and are not possible without Him. By proclaiming peace in the home we’re visiting, it brings blessings unto the family we’re sharing to.
Pr Lee expressed that the world points us to doom and gloom, and we hear bad news everywhere. People are distraught and their hope is shattered. In the midst of this, we have a privilege of being God’s hope-bearers.
Secondly, the disciples were instructed to eat whatever was given to them (v7-8). The act of having a meal is an act of accepting the person. Food is greatly tied with fellowship. As such, when we accept food, the message we’re sending to the other person is that we honour them, we respect them, and we value their friendship and company.
Pr Lee shared that not every food that is given to us in the missions field will be easy to swallow, but the very fact that we’re partaking with them in their meals sents the community a real message that we value them.
Thirdly, the disciples were instructed to heal the sick (Luke 10:9). This is an action phrase, and we can in fact stretch it further and say solve their problems. “When we go into a situation, we proclaim the peace of God, we eat and drink with them, and thirdly, we heal the sick or we solve their problems,’ Pr Lee passed across.
If they’re hungry, feed them. If they need healing, pray for them. If they need counseling, counsel them. Go the extra mile. The community we’re reaching to will notice there is something different about Christians. They will wonder, “Who are these people? Where did they get such strength from, and such ability to love?” “It is an action phrase,” Pr Lee stressed. “Do something so that we can bring in the proclamation of the Kingdom of God.”
Fourthly, the disciples were instructed to declare the Kingdom of God (v9). “Share about the Kingdom of God. Tell them that the Kingdom is near. Preach the Gospel, share your testimony, and tell them why you’re doing all this. Why is it that we have Jesus? Tell them about the Gospel message. Share with them what is so special about Jesus; that Jesus Christ came, died on the cross, and on the third day rose again.”
Pr Lee communicated that this is what Jesus instructed His disciples to do. The harvest is plentiful, but the workers are few, and the field needs people. As Christians, we have a calling, encapsulated in the Antioch vision. We are to go out and be a blessing to the people, and we need to go, he expressed.
|Share The Good News|