PERSECUTED CHURCH // FROM THE FIELDBy admin
What is it like to be the first one? The first person from your family, your village, or your people group of 10 million to meet Jesus and to understand that the promise is for you? There are “firsts” happening every day among the peoples of Northern Africa and the Middle East, and that question is real for them. Can you imagine it, being the only one? The greatest thing that could ever happen to a person happened to you! And if you tell your husband he will kill you. You experience the presence and peace of God. You finally know what it’s like to be loved, really loved. You will get to spend eternity with Him, and if you tell your family or your friends, it is likely that you will lose everything. Everything – except that which you cannot lose.
So, what would our brothers and sisters who are the firsts among their family, city, or people say to us? They would say it’s worth it. He is worthy to receive glory and honor and power, and there’s nothing worth keeping when compared to knowing Jesus Christ. And it’s hard. It is incredibly hard when your husband is arrested and doesn’t return, or when your dad spits in your face and tells you not to come back. Maybe you’ve lost your job and wonder how you are going to feed five children. But it’s worth it. And they would say whatever price we must pay to take the Gospel to the remaining 6,734 (http://public.imb.org/globalresearch/Pages/default.aspx) unreached people groups is worth it. They would tell us we should be willing to give up everything and make any sacrifice needed so that there can be more firsts. The Lord has redeemed people from every tribe, language, people, and nation and His kingdom will be proclaimed in all the world as a testimony to all nations.
Well, I believe all of those things in principle, but true belief translates into obedience. My tendency would be to ask, “What is God using to expand His Kingdom and display His glory in places like the Arabian Peninsula?” and then figure out how I can be a part of it. Does it involve better methods? More resources? Perhaps, but I think the question I (we) should be asking right now is what kind of people is He using? What kind of church will He use? And are you that kind of person? Am I the kind of person God would use to walk beside a new believer, through his suffering and struggles, and show him what it truly means to follow Jesus?
What we discovered in planting our lives among unreached peoples is that giving up a job, home, or family was just the beginning. We are commanded to make disciples, teaching and baptizing those who God calls to Himself. In suffering, giving, sharing, worshipping, praying, loving – we want them to know it from God’s Word, and we want them to see it in the way we live every day. How can we do that if we are not following the Biblical Jesus? Can I disciple my new brother to follow the real Jesus if I’m not following Him? The answer from experience is no. Will discipleship work if I casually pass on my own version of Jesus, the one that makes me comfortable? Not if there’s going to be any chance for the Gospel to penetrate the last and most closed and difficult places and peoples. That will only happen as a result of radical obedience to the Biblical Jesus. That’s what He is calling us to and expects us to embrace. That’s what God is using to advance His Kingdom and bring glory to His name. As those who have been entrusted with Good News and commanded to make disciples of all nations, we have no other choice.
The Binat* family has served 8 years among three different unreached people groups, all in the Arab world. By God’s grace they have been able to see some of the “firsts” from those groups and learn invaluable lesson from them. They are currently serving as team leaders among one of the region’s poorest and least reached peoples. Learn more about Northern African and Middle Eastern peoples at http://namepeoples.imb.org. For current prayer requests from the world go to http://imb.org/pray.
To subscribe to the Secret Church Blog click HERE