Mission Possible

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When you hear the names, Penn and Teller, if you immediately think magicians, comedians and fabulous entertainers, you would be 100% spot on. These guys have been entertaining crowds for decades and are still going strong. I recently read an insightful quote from Penn that I actually had to read through twice to get its full impact. Coming from a well-known atheist, Penn’s words about religion are profound:

“I’ve always said that I don’t respect people who don’t proselytize. If you believe that there’s a heaven and a hell, and people could be going to hell or not getting eternal life, and you think that it’s not really worth telling them this because it would make it socially awkward – how much do you have to hate somebody to not proselytize – to believe everlasting life is possible and not tell them that? I mean, if I believed, beyond a doubt, that a truck was coming at you, and you didn’t believe that a truck was bearing down on you, there is a certain point where I tackle you. And this is more important than that.”

Sharing our faith with those around us should be a top priority in our lives! Since God has “called us out of darkness into His marvelous light,” (I Peter 2:9) why in the world wouldn’t we want to pass that on to others?! Growing up in church, I repeatedly heard that we are to “go into all the world and preach the Gospel to all creation.” I always thought, “But that’s not my job.” No – it isn’t my job – it’s every believer’s job! Everyone has a unique set of friends, family, and co-workers – why would we keep God and heaven a secret from any of them?

Reinhard Bonnke was a person who took this to heart as over 75,913,156 people in Africa came to a saving knowledge of Jesus Christ through his ministry there. In fact, one morning he held a huge breakfast at the Carleton Hotel in Johannesburg for all the Southern African Christian leaders who wanted to attend. His mission was to expand fund-raising for his outreach in order that more people would hear the good news of salvation. After a delicious breakfast and great fellowship, Bonnke shared his vision for Africa with the crowd.

Suddenly, the Holy Spirit whispered, “Give an altar call.” Bonnke stopped talking and thought he had heard wrong. After all, these were all Christian leaders – surely all were saved – but then he heard it again, “Give an altar call.” So he did.

Heads were bowed – people cleared their throats and coughed – and now they all waited in silence as Bonnke asked if they knew where they were going when they died. “If you want to know Jesus, just raise your hands.” All was very quiet, then – “Yes, I see that hand. And you, and you, and you…yes, yes, yes…” I’m sure the gathering was wondering just how many could get saved in that meeting.

Then Bonnke paused and said, “I would like to ask those who raised their hands to come forward and stand here in front of me. If you need to receive Jesus this morning, come now.” 17 people came forward, some of them running. They quickly assembled in front of the platform, some weeping aloud, others trembling, as they came up to

receive Jesus as their Savior. Then Bonnke said to the crowd, “You may lift your eyes now, and see what God has done.” That group of Christian leaders looked up to see 17 people standing in front of them, all wearing a Carleton Hotel uniform. All of the 17 waiters who have served them their breakfast had come forward for salvation!

Steven Curtis Chapman said, “In the gospel, we discover we are far worse off than we thought, and far more loved than we ever dreamed.” We are loved enough that God has given us pastors, teachers, evangelists, etc. – many who have given their lives to share the Good News with “any and all” who will listen. Matthew 9:37 reminds us that still “The harvest is plentiful but the workers are few.” If you are a Christ-follower, you don’t need to cross an ocean to share the Gospel – just share with your neighbor over a cup of coffee, or with the checker at your grocery store, or invite that co-worker to church with you this Sunday. After all -this isn’t “Mission Impossible!”

Bob and Susan Beckett pastor the Dwelling Place City Church at 27100 Girard Street in Hemet, CA. For more information, you can contact them at DPCitychurch.org.

Susan Beckett | Dwelling Place City Church

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