“through Him we have obtained grace and apostleship for obedience to the faith among the nations for His name among whom you also are the called of Jesus Christ. Romans 1:5-6
In our last episode we talked about the gospel being a global message. But it is also a local message. Often I have heard people speak of traveling to distant lands to share the gospel. It is a somewhat glamorous and adventurous sounding thing to be a missionary. But it always seemed strange to me when these same people wouldn’t share it in their own city.
I went on one international mission trip a number of years ago. It was a wonderful week and the people were so very responsive to the gospel. And then I came back home and it was over. A few years after that I became heavily burdened for my own city and for seven years I was heavily involved in local evangelism. I was a missionary to my own city.
In Mark chapter 5 there is a very dramatic story of a demon possessed man whose life had been absolutely wrecked and humiliated by the devil. Nobody had been able to help him. They could only try to restrain him. But Jesus came and set that hopeless man free.
Mark 5:18-20 And when He got into the boat, he who had been demon-possessed begged Him that he might be with Him. However, Jesus did not permit him, but said to him, “Go home to your friends, and tell them what great things the Lord has done for you, and how He has had compassion on you.” And he departed and began to proclaim in Decapolis all that Jesus had done for him; and all marveled.
Jesus turned this man into a local missionary. He sent him among those who knew him and had seen his tormented life with a message and demonstration of freedom.
For those who may feel called to bring the gospel to foreign lands, I really do appreciate that work of God in you. But while you are waiting to go there, go here. Bring the gospel to your family, friends and workplace. Go into the streets of your city and preach as boldly there as you hope to overseas. The lost and dying are everywhere. If you don’t care about those nearest to you then you are not ready yet for those far away.
Lord, give us your heart for the world. Even that part of the world we live in every day.