2 Serious Questions

Posted: April 4, 2018 in Excerpt from Newsletters

Two significant things happened in my life last month which caused me to ask 2 very serious questions.

First, I attended a United Prayer Meeting on Independence Day and the Lord asked me a question which really shook me. After 70 Years of Independence:

“Why have you not finished the task in Sri Lanka?”

Secondly, I was in a Pentecostal World Missions Committee meeting in Rome on February 21st when news came that Billy Graham was dead. The world’s greatest Evangelist is dead!

The second question was “Is Evangelism Dead in Churches in Sri Lanka?”

The answer to this second question will determine is the answer to the 1st question.

Think about this:
Sri Lanka is only a very small Island with every possible means to reach its 20 Million people. The Island is only 270 miles long and 150 miles wide and has 12,379 kms of motorable roads and other thousands of access roads to every one of the 33,000 villages in the country. There are no uncivilized tribes, high mountains, deserts or jungles where people are not accessible. There is opportunity in radio, TV, internet, print media and all the modern tools and ministries as 99% are literate. No lack of funds as Millions of rupees is spent every month on Christian ministries and activities. AG Churches alone spends over quarter of a billion rupees annually (apart from other millions spent on buildings and assets) on just maintaining our Churches, Pastors and programs!!!

There are no laws to prohibit preaching the Gospel (although we are praying fearfully against it and not doing anything when we have freedom). We have had 500 years of Christian history (100 years of AG) with thousands of Christians and Churches and Organizations ever busy doing something or other. 

WHY HAVE WE NOT FINISHED IT?
Although Billy Graham is known to have preached to millions, his greatest achievement was when in 1974 he called an International Congress of World Evangelization in Lausanne Switzerland to mobilize the “Whole Church to take the Whole Gospel to the Whole World”. His passion was not to preach the Gospel to the same people over and again, but to Finish the Task. The Lausanne covenant says that:

”The Goal of Evangelism should be, by all available means and at the earliest possible time, that every person will have the opportunity to hear, understand, and to receive the good news.”

WHY HAVE WE FAILED TO DO THIS IN SRI LANKA?
Are we not accountable before God for this? What is our excuse?
We have failed to use ‘all available means’ in ‘earliest possible time’ to give ‘every person an opportunity’!
There are around 300,000 Evangelical Christians in our nation and the ratio between Christians and Unevangelized is 1:70. District wise, it ranges between 1:200 to 1:600 in some districts.

The AG being the largest protestant denomination in Sri Lanka is greatly responsible for this failure. 95% of all Church work is focused on Maintenance of their believers, building and programs – not on Evangelism.

Can we go on maintaining our Churches and ministries without fulfilling the GREAT COMMISSION?
This is why we have presented to you the ‘GREAT MISSION’ which is based on the Great Commission.
Therefore, I want you to focus on the 5 aspects of the Mission in the coming 5 months.

This month, we want to focus on the first aspect of our GREAT Mission – Glorifying God.

What does it mean to Glorify God?
“For of him, and through him, and to him, are all things: to whom be glory forever. Amen.”
(Romans 11:36)

Paul gives us the Overall Purpose of our existence – ‘To Glorify God in ALL things’ –   including your life. The reason we have failed our Nation is that we have not considered this supreme priority in our lives.

There are 3 things we want you to do in the coming month:

  1. Study and meditate on this Scripture Romans 11:36 and see how your life is in God’s plan of Glorifying Himself through us. (There are 375 references to ‘Glory’ in the Bible.)
  2. Do a Personal Evaluation of your life by answering the Questionnaire prepared for this.
  3. Preach in your Church for 2-3 Sundays on messages on Glorifying God. We will provide an outline . Let me give brief summary of Romans 11:36.

a. First – All things are ‘From Him’. 

This means you are created by God – Yes, you came “From God” for the specific purpose of Glorifying God. You did not come from your parents but from God, and therefore your background and history does not matter. You must believe that God is able to use you for His purpose – only if you surrender to Him. Why not give yourself fresh to this purpose alone?

b. Secondly – All things are ‘Through Him’. For us humans, there is no other way than Obedience to declare God’s Glory.

If you came from God, He can work to fulfil His purposes ‘through Him’ in your life. You can allow everything that happens to turn for His Glory. However, it requires your obedience and faith for God to turn them for His glory.
Psalms 19:1 says “Heavens declare the Glory of God” because all creation obeys Him. For us humans, there is no other way than Obedience to declare God’s Glory.

c. Thirdly – All things are ‘For Him’

We own nothing in this life and must say like Job, ‘naked I came – naked I will return’.

Everything we have is on loan! All what happens in your life are intended “For HIM” – to bring Glory to Him. What can you take to Heaven from this earth? Your possessions or positions?
Jesus said in John 17:4: ‘I have brought glory to you on the earth by completing the work you gave me to do.”  Finishing the work God gave you is what brings God Glory.

The question is: are you doing the work God gave you? Or are you busy doing your ‘own’ work or what ‘others’ have asked you to do?

The AG Church in Sri Lanka is responsible to “Finish the Work” God has given us – to give the Gospel to every person in our Nation. If we fail to do this, we only bring Shame on God’s name.
I pray that God would give you a sense of Urgency and Responsibility to ‘finish the task in Sri Lanka.’

Ps. Michael & Debi

 

 

 

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