There are many people in this world who
live only for themselves. They have no hunger for God or
righteousness. They are lost. Let us not forget that each and every
one of us was in that desperate camp at some time in our lives. Much
is at stake as the end of days nears. Time is of the utmost essence.
Christians know, deep within our souls, that the gospel has the
power to change the hearts and minds of human beings, and knowing
this, we should be wholly convicted to share it with the lost, no
matter the cost to our comfortable and convenient lives.
The charge is clear
to those who call upon the name of Jesus. The call and commission is
to take the gospel to the nations. Let us be clear: If we are not
faithful to His call, souls will be eternally lost.
What of those who
have never heard of Jesus? What of those who died before Christ? The
answers to these questions are a mystery. We live this life in
Christ with mystery—we live by faith. The Scriptures tell us that
one day we will know fully, even as we have been fully known.
“For now we see
through a glass, darkly; but then face to face: now I know in part;
but then shall I know even as also I am known” (1 Cor. 13:12).
In the meantime, we
do not have the luxury of theological speculation. Instead, we
should assume that those who have never heard of Jesus will be
eternally lost. Why? Because Jesus himself said so: “Jesus saith
unto him, I am the way, the truth, and the life: no man cometh unto
the Father, but by me” (John 14:6).
Jesus also commanded
“Go ye therefore, and
teach all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father, and of
the Son, and of the Holy Ghost: Teaching them to observe all things
whatsoever I have commanded you: and, lo, I am with you always,
even unto the end of the world. Amen”
“And he said unto
them, It is not for you to know the times or the seasons, which the
Father hath put in his own power. But ye shall receive power, after
that the Holy Ghost is come upon you: and ye shall be witnesses unto
me both in Jerusalem , and in
all Judaea, and in
, and unto the uttermost part of the
earth” (Acts 1:7-8).
In the year 1854, a
17-year-old boy was working in a shoe shop in
Detroit. He didn't know Christ and had no
interest in matters of spirituality or religion. But, he had been
forced to go to Sunday school, like a lot of kids these days. One
day, his Sunday school teacher went to the shoe shop where this boy
was working and said, “Hey, I’m worried about you. I want to talk.”
So, they went into the basement of the shoe store, where the Sunday
school teacher led the young man to Christ. The Sunday school
teacher’s name was Edward Kimball, and the 17-year-old boy’s name
was D. L. Moody. We now know that he went on to become one of the
greatest evangelists in the world, and he shared the gospel with
100 million people. And this was in the age before modern
technology. Pretty incredible! And of course, Moody also founded the
Moody Bible Institute and
His name is well known in the Christian community, even today, more
than a hundred years later.
Now, it’s kind of
cool to see that Moody went on to influence a man named F.B. Meyer,
pastor and an intellectual who never focused on Jesus. Meyer’s
congregation told him that they wanted this newly famous evangelist,
Moody, to come speak to them. So, Meyer reluctantly agreed to let
his congregation bring in Moody.
Meyer, who had a lot
of intellectual pride and was ashamed of the name of Jesus, invited
Moody to do a revival in his church. When Moody showed up, Meyer
immediately took a dislike to him. He didn’t like him because Moody
was not well dressed, and because he only had a fifth grade
Meyer had doctorates,
and he was brilliant. So, he kind of looked down on Moody. But,
Moody got up to preach in Meyer’s church and was anointed by the
Holy Spirit. The power of God was upon him. And, as he spoke, he
focused on Jesus, Jesus, Jesus.
As such, hundreds
upon hundreds of people came to faith in Jesus Christ that day from
the pews of Meyer’s beloved church. Because of this, Meyer was
embarrassed and consumed with jealousy. After the revival, Moody
quietly left, leaving Meyer with his congregation and with his
jealousy and anger.
Two weeks later,
Meyer was talking with one of his Sunday school teachers, and the
teacher said, “You know, I used to focus on all kinds of stuff and
never focused on Jesus, but Moody taught me to focus on Jesus. So,
I’ve been focusing on Jesus over these last two weeks and I want to
tell you about this boy who accepted Jesus during my class.”
As he told the story, Meyer began to weep. The Holy Spirit broke
through; he was convicted and supernaturally changed. For the rest
of his life, he preached Jesus to all who would listen.
As the years went by,
Meyer influenced J. Wilbur Chapman; J. Wilbur Chapman influenced
Billy Sunday; then Billy Sunday influenced Mordecai Ham. And it was
Mordecai Ham who led
Billy Graham to Christ. Get
it? Spiritual dominoes.
You see, it’s
incredible, the power of the gospel. To think of Edward Kimball,
D.L. Moody, F.B. Meyer, J. Wilbur Chapman, Billy Sunday, Mordecai
Ham, and then
Billy Graham, all in a row, one going to the next, and
then the next, by the power of Christ, only serves to tell us that
we need not fear. We should share the gospel with confidence and
When we tell someone
about Jesus, we have no way of knowing what the domino effect is
going to be. In our lifetime, we may not even be aware of the full
harvest of souls brought to the kingdom of
God simply because we remain faithful to
the call. So, please be faithful.
did come to Christ through the preaching of Mordecai Ham, it was
during a tent meeting in Charlotte,
North Carolina, in 1936. Graham, born
in 1920, was 16 years old, didn't know Christ, and was "sowing his
oats," as many a young man is known to do. He had a 16-year-old
buddy, and they were just hanging out when they thought, “Hey, let's
go into this tent and hear what this whacko has to say.”
So they were just
clowning around when they went into that tent. Once inside, they
realized that there was no room for them; they couldn’t find any
seats. So Billy said to his buddy, “Let's get out of here.” As they
turned to leave, an usher standing there saw them and said, “Hey,
guys.” He put his big arms around their shoulders and said, “You
know, hey, welcome. We’re so glad you’re here. Let me take you to a
seat.” So, the usher took them to a seat and the rest is history.
found Jesus that night, and he went on to take Jesus to the world.
That usher could never have known how God was using him that night
through his simple yet faithful service.
So, serve Christ,
knowing that it might be a mystery--what God is doing through you.
It’s incredible. God is great. The power of God attends the grace of
the Gospel. So, be faithful to your call and commission.
In closing, one more
little short story about Robert Moffat, who was called Bobby in his
youth. It was 1807, when Bobby was just 12. He was in
at church, and that Sunday morning, a strange thing happened.
After the offering,
little Bobby Moffat stepped into the offering plate. He stepped
right into it! Of course, when one of the church ushers saw this, he
yelled, “Boy! What do you think you’re doing?” Bobby replied, “I’m
giving my whole self to Jesus!” That’s what this 12-year-old boy
said to that usher.
Eight years later,
when Bobby (now called Robert) was 20 years old, he was accepted by
the London Missionary Society to be a missionary to
Africa. The next
year, in 1816, Robert Moffat turned 21 and headed down to
Africa, where he met his wife, Mary Smith. For
more than 50 years, Robert and Mary Moffat partnered to serve Jesus
Christ together on this
At the time they met
and married in Cape Town, Africa, no
one went north of
because the region 100 miles north of
was known as “the dark continent.” But Robert and Mary Moffat went.
They went into
they became missionaries. They took Jesus to those people,
the Swana people.
The Swana people had
driven the “sand people” into the Kalahari. Driven from their land,
they became bushmen. Robert Moffat ministered to both the bushmen
and the Swana people, telling them about Jesus. He translated the
whole of the Old and New Testaments into the language of those
people. Then he took Christian classics, like
and translated them so that the people could read these great works,
and he led the people to Jesus.
Twenty years later,
in 1835, Robert Moffat was back in Glasgow,
Scotland, and he was
tired--broken in body and weary in soul. He and Mary had worked very
hard and wanted some help. They wanted people to go back with them
to work in that dark continent, and as he spoke to them from this
little Scottish church in
Glasgow, he was
describing for them the region of Botswana.
He told them how he could stand on top of this hill and look out to
see the campfires of a thousand villages, villages of people who
knew not Christ, and he said, “Come with me. Help me take Jesus to
all of these people.”
He was disappointed
that night because no one accepted his invitation. But, what he
didn’t know was that a young man there was convicted by the Holy
Spirit that night. The young man was David Livingston, who went on
to marry Robert and Mary’s daughter--an incredible tale of its own!
Livingston went to
thousands of people to Christ. In
Glasgow, he had received his medical
doctorate and a degree in theology. He went to
as an explorer, looking for the headwaters of the Nile
He went as a civil rights leader, fighting the slave trade. He went
as a missionary and an evangelist, taking Jesus to the people,
faithful through his years.
In 1873, David
Livingston died. His last diary entry stated: “My Jesus, my King, my
life, my all. I dedicate my whole life to thee.”
Isn’t that what it’s
all about? Stepping into the offering plate? Dedicating the whole of
our lives to Christ? We have a message that the world needs. We have
a Savior. We have Jesus. Let us be faithful in this hour and share
the grace and mercy of Jesus to all of those who will hear. Let us
fight against the flow of damnation for souls who have yet to hear.
“And he said unto
them, Go ye into all the world, and preach the gospel to every
creature. He that believeth and is baptized shall be saved; but he
that believeth not shall be damned” (Mark 16:15-16).
Source: From the sermon of Dr. Jim Dixon, “Sin
and Salvation.” Cherry Hills Community
Colorado . January 27, 2008.