Home-grown World Christians

The Bible commands every believer to be an ambassador for Jesus Christ to this sin-soaked world: “Therefore, we are ambassadors for Christ, God making his appeal through us. We implore you on behalf of Christ, be reconciled to God” (2 Corinthians 5:20). This is a command that is not to be mocked, ignored, or down-played by the church. An ambassador is a spokesman for his homeland in a foreign land. Thus, we are, and are to be, “spiritual” ambassadors for our heavenly homeland. Put another way, it is right and good for us to consider ourselves as heavenly pilgrims who are living in and moving through a strange earthly land, whose daily business is to always represent well the wishes of our great King, “Sing to the LORD, bless his name; tell of his salvation from day to day” (Psalm 96:2).

This great King will have His people to be always doing His most holy will. That will is to make His name known in their Jerusalem, in their Judea & Samaria, and also unto their uttermost part of the earth, “But you will receive power when the Holy Spirit has come upon you, and you will be my witnesses in Jerusalem, and in all Judea and Samaria, and to the end of the earth” (Acts 1:8).

Wow! What an awesome privilege every Christian has been given – the call to testify of the matchless name of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ – wherever he or she may reside! Our success in this blessed calling is assured (Psalm 2:8; Hebrews 2:8), and our success is secured (Matthew 16:18; Revelation 5:9).

But there are other believers, in addition to having the same calling as the one I have just laid before your eyes, who also have a calling from God that requires them to leave their earthly and native homeland to bear the good tidings of salvation to all nations (Matthew 28:19-20). These missionaries are made, not born. The Holy Spirit calls them through both the homes in which they are raised and through the churches in which they are nurtured. Typically they come from godly homes, just like the 19th-century missionary to the cannibals in the South Pacific, John Paton. Every day, John and his siblings would hear the tearful prayers of their father for the salvation of the heathen peoples in faraway lands…and John wanted to be the answer to his father’s prayers. Such homes always have the world’s true need before them – the soul-needs of lost men – driving them to their knees before “their great God and Savior Jesus Christ” (Titus 2:13).

Oh God, give us countless homes like the Paton home in 19th-century Scotland, which would not stop wrestling with You until they saw the heathen and pagan worlds confess your Son, Jesus, as their Lord and Savior (Romans 10:9-10).

May our lives, homes, and churches also reflect that same heart – one that is concerned about the salvation of all nations! Such a heart seeks to be like Christ; right where He has been placed (Acts 17:26)! This was the heart of the great missionary to India and Persia, Henry Martyn, as was so clearly revealed in his following words, “The Spirit of Christ is the Spirit of missions, and the nearer we get to Him, the more intensely missionary we become.”

Jerry Marcellino is pastor of Audubon Drive Bible Church in Laurel. He can be reached by e-mail at pastorjerry@audubonchurch.org


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