Is Safety First the Issue?

SAFETY 1Matthew 10:16-19,  Behold, I send you forth as sheep in the midst of wolves: be ye therefore wise as serpents, and harmless as doves. 17  But beware of men: for they will deliver you up to the councils, and they will scourge you in their synagogues; 18  And ye shall be brought before governors and kings for my sake, for a testimony against them and the Gentiles. 19  But when they deliver you up, take no thought how or what ye shall speak: for it shall be given you in that same hour what ye shall speak.

The headlines of this morning’s USA TODAY read, “Americans ask: Where can I be safe?” Now it may be true that Americans are asking, “Where can I be safe?” 

Yet, as Christians, we must be asking, “Where can I be useful?” And “Where is the need greatest?”

Most of us, if we were to be honest, would readily admit that we live in a safety first society. Many, if not most of our decisions are based upon safety, comfort, and convenience.

Take a few moments and think about it. Before moving into a new neighborhood, we often ask ourselves, “Is it safe to live here?” Before enrolling our children into a new school, we often ask ourselves, “Will they be safe there?” Before taking a trip, we often ask ourselves, “Are these roads safe?” Before purchasing a new vehicle, we often consider the safety of that vehicle. We have safety seat, safety helmets,  safety precautions, etc… And of course, the list goes on, and on, and on!

While there is nothing inherently wrong with these things and asking these questions and questions like them, one of the UNINTENDED CONSEQUENCES of this safety first mindset is that we often carry it over into our Christian lives and service for the Lord.

We actually start to believe that the safest place to be is in the will of God. Really? We might want to ask some of the OT Prophets about that. How about John the Baptist? Was he in the will of God when his head was severed from his shoulders? How about 11 of the original 12 disciples? All but the beloved John died martyrs deaths, and John died alone imprisoned on Patmos. Oh yes, and let’s not forget the Apostle Paul. After many years of suffering greatly for Christ and the cause of Christ, he was eventually put to death. Over the past 2,000 years millions have suffered greatly and murdered. Why?  Because they were in the will of God.

Doesn’t sound safe to me!

SAFETY 2I have an assignment for you. Do a study of the “SAFETY FIRST” way of thinking. See what you come up with. :^) You cannot possibly come up with a “SAFETY FIRST” way of thinking, when it comes to serving Christ by searching the scriptures. It’s just not there!

Is this not ONE of the reasons that Christians and churches abandoned the inner-cities of our country years ago? When you think about it, this might very well be that there are fewer going to the mission field today than ever before. Of course, even fewer are going to the most difficult and dangerous places of the world with the glorious Gospel of Jesus Christ. And, this would probably explain why, we as parents, often won’t allow our children to “GO!”

The men and women we tend to admire, whether in the scriptures, church history, or even in secular history, were men and women who made decisions based, not on asking themselves and others, “What is safe?,” but instead asking, “What is right?” and/or “What is needed?”

If we are going to accomplish what Christ intended for His church to accomplish we are going to have to rethink this “SAFETY FIRST” mindset that has slipped into our homes and our churches.

“The Great Commission will not be accomplished by those for whom safety is a main concern.” —Paul Borthwick‬



Do We Believe? Do We Care?

compassion01.jpg“And of some have compassion, making a difference” (Jude 22)

Over the past few weeks–well to be honest, it’s been a few months now–I have been pondering the questions, “Do we really believe?” and “Do we really care?”

Of course, these thoughts revolve around the great need for the Gospel in the world in general, but even more specifically in the part of the world, which we call the 10/40 Window, and what often seems to be a lack of compassion and concern of many Christians, especially those in the West!

Did you know that there are hundreds of millions of people in our world who will live their entire lives having never met a Christian, never hearing the Gospel, and never hearing the name of Jesus even once prior to their death and the vast majority of these live in the 10/40 Window.

Did you know?DID YOU KNOW?

  • There are twenty-nine countries in the world that have fewer than one percent professing Christians (in America over 70 percent to be “Christian”), and they are all found in the 10/40 Window.

  • There are another 35 countries in the world today with fewer than ten percent professing Christians, and almost all of these are in the 10/40 Window.

  • There are over seven billion people alive in the world today, and almost two-thirds of them live in the 10/40 Window.

  • Eighty-six percent of the Buddhists, Muslims and Hindus in the world will live their entire lives and die without ever meeting a Christian, and almost every one of these lives in the 10/40 Window.

  • Forty-three percent of the world’s people groups are considered unreached and the majority of these are found in the 10/40 Window.

  • Over 75,000 people die every day without ever having heard the name of Jesus even once, and the vast majority of these are found in this region.

  • Of the top fifty countries on the list of most persecution of Christians, forty-five of them are also found in this region.

  • For every one hundred dollars raised in Western churches, ninety-nine are spent on Christians; only one dollar is spent on evangelizing non-Christians, and of that one dollar, less than ten cents is spent to reach the almost 2.5 billion unreached people in our world in the 10/40 Window.

  • 95% of full-time Christian servants are serving 5% of the world’s population.

  • Only one in a thousand evangelical Christians ever go into cross-cultural ministry.

  • Of those who do go, more than 90 percent of them go into lands and to people who have already been evangelized, and less than 5 percent of them go to the 10/40 Window where two-thirds of the world is located!

  • There are 1,900 languages in the world (some 180 million people) that have NO Scripture in their own language, and most of these are found there also.

1040Of course, the people who are lost in the 10/40 Window are not “more lost” than your neighbor or family member who does not know Christ. But, they are “unreached” in the sense that they have not had an opportunity to hear the Gospel.

“The issue is not their lostness, but their access to the Gospel.”

People can be unevangelized without being unreached. There are people in the United States who have not heard the Gospel, but they can, if they choose to do so!

Most people living in the 10/40 Window could not learn about Jesus even if they wanted to! These are unreached people who do not have access to the Gospel.

CT StuddDid I firmly believe, as millions say they do, that the knowledge and practice of religion in this life influences destiny in another, religion would mean to me everything. I would cast away earthly enjoyment as dross, earthly cares as follies, and earthly thoughts and feelings as vanity. Religion would be my first waking thought, and my last image before sleep sank me into unconsciousness. I would labor in its cause alone. I would take thought for the morrow of Eternity only. I would esteem one soul gained for Heaven worth a life of suffering. Earthly consequences should never stay my hand, nor seal my lips. Earth, its joys and griefs, would occupy no moment in my thoughts. I would strive to look upon Eternity alone, and on the immortal Souls around me, soon to be everlastingly happy or everlastingly miserable. I would go forth to the world and preach to it in season and out of season, and my text would be, “What shall it profit a man, if he shall gain the whole world and lose his own soul?” – Words of an atheist that stirred C.T. Studd to surrender his life to the mission field