Answering The Call is an international missions organization dedicated to reaching people in difficult to reach places.

Thursday, March 26, 2009

Dare To Say It

It is a foregone conclusion; we live in a troubled world. Of course, the world has been in trouble since Adam. Read history, re-read the Bible and page after page records the growing consequences of garden variety sin. Add to the mix, the full-blown results of greed, hatred and indulgence and the outcome is a dangerous world. Behind it all the Ruler of this world stirs the pot.

Hopeless? Intimidating? It should not be for the people of God. We have not only been saved from this world, we have been saved for it. Salvation is not for our private consumption. Rather we are meant to be God’s merchants of hope in an otherwise hopeless world. What a day to be a Christian!

The once popular song “Who Will Answer” sends out its distress signals, “If the soul is darkened by a tear it cannot name; If the mind is baffled when the rules don’t fit the games, Who will Answer?” Fellow Believer, what a door is opened to us by such despair! It is our moment to shout, “Christ is the Answer!”

Parade magazine recently published a story captioned “The World’s Ten Worst Dictators”. As I read the article I suddenly realized we at Answering The Call have Christian friends and fellow servants of the Lord living under some of those very dictators. With God-given courage those Christians work to penetrate their surroundings with the Gospel of Jesus and it is our privilege to encourage and to equip them. But isn’t it dangerous to do all that? That is the point. If Christ is the answer it is inherently risky to say so.

As if he wrote it for this blog, the apostle Peter said:

“Who is there to harm you, if you prove zealous for what is good? But even if you should suffer for the sake of righteousness you are blessed. And do not fear their intimidation and do not be troubled but sanctify Christ as Lord in your hearts, always ready to make a defense to everyone who asks you to give an account for the hope that is in you…” (I Peter 3: 13 – 15)

There are sensitive Christians today who want to run some risks for Jesus’ sake. That is why they are looking for churches with bigger things in mind than customizing the status quo. What an opportunity for those who know Jesus to dare to say to the surroundings of a troubled economy and a troubled world, “We have the Answer!”

Charles Fuller

Thursday, March 12, 2009

What In The World Is Going On?

The market has yet to find its bottom. The mortgage crisis may have just begun with reports that 11% of all homeowners are now in trouble. By the way, have you noticed the trend in social policy? Proposition 8, the will of the people in California may be overturned. There seems to be a major social policy change almost weekly. The question of the day is why would God allow all of this to happen? Is it His judgment? Perhaps people who are called by His name are not praying enough. What is He doing?

I have pondered these questions many times outside of America. In China an oppressive government continues to try and smash the house church movement. As they continue in this regard their country prospers like never before. Sincere and committed believers in southern Sudan continue to lack the bread they need to feed their families. Why? What is God doing? Doesn’t He know these heroes of the faith have suffered for His namesake? And then there is India, where believers have suffered persecution unto death. Maybe worst of all is east Congo. The rape and pillage of the down trodden people continues to defy all human standards. The power brokers around the world twiddle their thumbs and sit on millions of dollars of international aid while the people of east Congo literally starve to death and find themselves assaulted by well armed militias who answer to no one. What about justice? Why is God allowing this?

The answers to these questions lie in our fundamental concept of who God is and even who we are. The reports of a recent team into Congo bear this out for me. I have an interesting news flash for you. It’s not God who is doing this in Congo, Sudan, China or India. He is not making His children suffer for some greater purpose that is to be revealed in the by and by. This would be outside of His nature and His character. Would you do this to your children? Then how much more so would a father who is the very definition of good do it to His. Jesus stated in the gospel of Matthew that there was only One who was good. I hear it sometimes said as “God is good all the time; all the time God is good.

I have heard all of my life that God is not doing it but certainly He is allowing it. That doesn’t quite seem to line up with the character of God. After 10 years of moving in and out of war zones and human tragedy, my concept of why so much evil exists in the world is changing. I believe the children of God, also called the salt and light of the world, have not taken their rightful positions in this world, a position of authority over darkness and ones who are called to bring justice to the nations. Those called by God have been given a destiny, and when we fail to live out this destiny for whatever reason, unbelief, complacency, or fear, evil will continue to exist. I would further propose we allow this to exist not only in Sudan, Congo, China and India, but in our own country as well.

My thought is that we have not really understood who we are in Christ. God in His sovereignty chose to give man dominion over the earth, to rule and subdue it. If we fail to believe this we abdicate our responsibility on the earth. Whatever happened to the understanding that we are overcomers? Is it not true that we have become a new creation and as such we have been given authority over the dark realm? Is it fair to say that we as redeemed children of God have been given dominion over this earth? It seems to me that all of these notions are basic Christianity as C.S. Lewis would say, or the normal Christian life according to Watchman Nee.

What if you and I shook off the shekels of a religious spirit and moved in the supernatural to see changes in our own country and even in our own lives. Perhaps a day is coming when this is normal; a day when the kingdom spoken of in the New Testament comes to life. I think it is coming and I think the economy of this world has little to do with it.