A friend of mine, who is a missionary to North Africa, wrote the following article that I wanted to pass on to you. May God help us to change our thinking about the need to get the gospel out.
Over the last seven years I have challenged Christians in hundreds of churches all over the world to take an active role in sharing Jesus Christ with Muslims. My heart’s desire is that more believers would give their lives to take the gospel to areas of the world where there is little or no witness at all. The vast majority of individuals with whom I discuss this vision at least recognize the need for someone to go regardless of whether or not they should be the ones to do so. However, there always seems to be that “one guy” who is so full of passionate patriotism that he absolutely must voice his opinion.
“Our country needs the gospel just as much if not more than ‘that Muslim country’ does! Let’s not neglect our own people to try and save ‘those’ people. Do you believe that they need the gospel more than the souls in our own country do?”
At first, this might sound like a valid concern, but usually it is a blatant expression of racism and willful ignorance, if not disdain for the Great Commission itself. It is a gross misunderstanding of our responsibilities as followers of Christ.
My answer to this question may shock some individuals.
No, I do not believe that people living in Muslim countries “need” the gospel more than those living in the United States or in Europe.
I also do not believe that people living in the Republic of Congo “need” food more than those living in the United States or in Europe.
The issue is not that of a need. Just like every individual in the world needs food to live physically, every soul needs the gospel of Jesus Christ to live spiritually. There is NO other way.
The real problem is access to that need. Americans consume on a daily average 3,830 calories per person while the people of the Democratic Republic of the Congo only average 1,500 Calories per person. If someone living in the U.S. attends a banquet and refuses to eat, that is his problem. He starves by choice. Those living in the D.R.C. starve involuntarily. Even worldly organizations and individuals recognize the responsibility of those who have great abundance to help those who live in famine conditions. Why do Christians have a problem understanding this basic principle?
Sure, the United States needs the gospel, and American Christians should be active in reaching out to their own communities. However, it is time to quit neglecting our responsibility to go to the uttermost parts of the earth under the façade of patriotism. Fear bred out of ignorance towards the Muslim world will result in the eternal death of over a billion starving souls while gluttonous Christians complain about not having enough spices in their spiritual diet.
Lift up your eyes and see beyond the borders of your own comfort.
Let’s thank God for the abundant blessings that He has given us and then share it with the rest of the world.