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  • July 11, 2014 - Reflections

    By Jean S. Horner
    The other day while walking down a corridor in a public building, I saw what appeared to be someone walking toward me. On coming closer, I found it was my own reflection in a huge mirror. For a moment it frightened me. Somehow a full-length reflection of one’s self is a startling thing. ...




Maranatha

By L. John Bueno
May 1, 2011

The New Testament is the record of a mission. That mission is revealed in Jesus coming to earth and reflected in the lives of Paul and the other apostles. The goal of the mission is this: God intends for the gospel to reach everyone.

Even the Old Testament is a foreshadowing of this larger vision. Through Abraham, God indicated His plan to reach all humanity, saying, “In thy seed shall all the nations of the earth be blessed” (Genesis 22:18, KJV). In the New Testament, Peter reaffirmed God’s desire when he wrote: “The Lord is ... not willing that any should perish, but that all should come to repentance” (2 Peter 3:9). 

Understanding what God was doing in the world then, and the pattern He has set for us now, helps us realize that we can’t wait for everyone in a city or nation to be reached before we extend ourselves to those who have never heard. If a solid nucleus of believers exists in a particular area, then we need to press forward to reach others who have not yet heard. Increasingly, God is showing us that we must intensify our efforts to take the gospel to unreached areas of the world.

The New Testament church greeted each other with the word maranatha, which means “the Lord is coming.” God gave a sense of urgency to the New Testament Christians and to believers at the beginning of the 20th century when our mission came into being. If that urgency doesn’t remain with us today, we will lose God’s perspective. The knowledge that Jesus could come any day should be the impulse for Christians to act upon His Word and proclaim His message. Our mission is urgent, both in its eternal value and in the nearness of its fulfillment.

Many of our pioneers questioned the fairness of ministering to and nurturing Christians when so many people had not heard the name of Jesus even once. Jesus wants us to look beyond those who are already in the fold and reach out to those who need a clear witness of the Savior.


L. JOHN BUENO is executive director for Assemblies of God World Missions.

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