What would you say about an organization whose mission is to feed the hungry and the food they have remains in boxes in a warehouse? They talk a lot about food, they spend time raising money to produce or purchase food, they own a large warehouse where they store the food but they never distribute it to anyone! That would be pretty crazy wouldn’t it? The people of this organization who spend time and energy in getting food to feed the hungry have become isolated from their mission. It reminds me of the man who ordered a glass of orange juice in a Florida restaurant only to have the waitress return and say, “I’m sorry sir, our juicer is broke. I won’t be able to bring you a glass of orange juice.” The man looks outside where he sees groves of orange trees. There are more oranges within a few hundred yards of the restaurant than you could count but no one can deliver him one glass of orange juice!
We as the church talk a lot about our mission to bring the lost to Christ. We teach about it; preach about it and pray about it. We raise money to purchase Bibles and gospel literature. We are surrounded by Christian radio stations, Christian book stores and Christian television programs. Yet, in many ways we are isolated from our mission. Our juicer is broke!
As Christians we become isolated from our mission when we isolate ourselves from the people who need us to fulfill our mission. We get used to being around our brothers and sisters in Christ and the enjoyment of fellowship. We can even begin to see lost people as our enemies! In our desire to be insulated from sin we make the mistake of isolating ourselves from sinners. We who have the gospel are not taking the gospel to those who need it.
Let me share some simple insights from the following verse of scripture.
“The Lord is not slack concerning His promise, as some count slackness, but is longsuffering toward us, not willing that any should perish but that all should come to repentance. “ 2 Peter 3:9
Lost people are going to perish. The word perish means to die and be separated from the life of God forever. This is where lost people are headed. This is where we were headed before we came to trust in Christ. We must allow this stark reality to sink into our souls. Lost people are going to perish. God doesn’t want lost people to perish. The love of God for lost humanity was proven on Calvary ’s cross. God paid the ultimate price to purchase our deliverance from death in the sacrifice of His Son. God wants all lost people to come to repentance; that is, to turn from their sin and trust in the finished work of Christ Jesus. He doesn’t want the lost to perish.
God wants us to tell the lost they don’t have to perish. We who know Christ as Savior and Lord have been given the responsibility, yea, the privilege of sharing with those who are perishing the good news of Christ. We can tell them they don’t have to perish—they can live and life is found in Christ.
By God’s grace we can tell them! The Lord will help us overcome our fear and our apathy about sharing the good news with lost people. His word tells us that “perfect love casts out fear” (1 John 4:18). So, when “the love of God is poured out in our hearts through the Holy Spirit,” (Romans 5:5) we will share Christ with others. We will overcome our tendency to be isolated from the mission Christ gave us.
The old hymn says, “Rescue the perishing and care for the dying. Jesus is merciful, Jesus will save.” Fulfilling our mission is all about rescuing those who are perishing. It’s time to move out of our isolation and fear and begin to engage with those around us looking for opportunities to show them the love of Christ. Begin now.