As a Christian, I have always been deeply impacted by the words of the Apostle Paul in Romans chapter 10, For “everyone who calls on the name of the Lord will be saved.” How then will they call on him in whom they have not believed? And how are they to believe in him of whom they have never heard? And how are they to hear without someone preaching? And how are they to preach unless they are sent? As it is written, “How beautiful are the feet of those who preach the good news!” Romans chapter 10:13-15
The gospel is missionary! It is to be sent out! Paul’s words in Romans chapter 10 remind us that if people are going to hear about Jesus, somebody has to tell them. The gospel is to be proclaimed. It is not to be kept secret or private, but proclaimed in word and deed by the followers of Jesus in every generation.
Missionary work, whether it be in our local context in our neighborhoods, or in a national or global context is one of the great strengths of the Anglican Church.
Anglicans, from the beginning, have always been missionary… sent out to do the work of gospel mission and proclaim the gospel which has been entrusted to us from Christ himself.
200 years ago, a group of Christians whose hearts were stirred to put their call into action. This group included people like William Wilberforce, John Venn, and John Newton. Together they worked to abolish the slave trade, they fought for the rights of oppressed people at home and they launched out on dangerous seas to share Jesus with the world.
The effects of their efforts – as well as the work of thousands of men and women who have followed in their footsteps – are still seen and felt across the globe today.
The final words of Matthew’s gospel are what we call the ‘great commission’. These are our Lord’s marching orders for all his disciples in every generation, Go therefore and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, teaching them to observe all that I have commanded you. And behold, I am with you always, to the end of the age.
Every day the Lord gives us numerous opportunities to share the gospel. When I wear my pectoral cross in public, many people comment about its design. I use their comment as an opportunity to tell them that I believe in Jesus who died on the cross.
What opportunities is the Lord giving you each day to share the good news about Jesus? With your family, in your school or workplace, God will open the door and create the circumstances for you share the gospel. Be ready with a gentle response.
The question is not, ‘Is Jesus calling me to share the good news?’ He is! Our prayer should be, ‘Lord, show me where and when and to whom I will go and speak about Jesus today.’
O God, you have made of one blood all the peoples of the earth, and sent your blessed Son to preach peace to those who are far off and to those who are near: Grant that people everywhere may seek after you and find you; bring the nations into your fold; pour out your Spirit upon all flesh; and hasten the coming of your kingdom; through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.