January 31, 2024
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Not long ago, someone told me about a pastor who stood at the pulpit one Sunday and announced this to his people, "Folks, I have some bad news, some good news, and some bad news." He had everyone's attention. "The bad news is that the roof on this church is shot. We have to replace it. But the good news is - we have the money. The bad news is - it's in your wallets!"
I'm Ron Hutchcraft, and I want to have A Word With You today about "Eternity Dollars."
Interesting thought, huh? The money is there for the work God wants to do. But it's still in our wallets, our bank accounts, our toys.
Recently, a friend who is the head of a major missions organization said, "It's taking our missionaries three years to get their support raised. And we've tried every creative means we can to change that, but nothing has worked." The experience of their missionaries is echoed by hundreds, and maybe thousands, of missionaries. Here they are ready to get to the people God has called them to reach - and they have to wait three years because they can't get enough financial support. Is it because there's no money to send them? Probably not. The money is there, it's just tied up in our wallets. And meanwhile, on the other end, people go on dying without Christ.
In our word for today from the Word of God in Romans 10:14, God asks a series of questions that are very revealing and convicting...uncomfortably revealing really. Pouring out His heart for the people who don't yet know His Son died for them, God asks, "How, then, can they call on the One they have not believed in? And how can they believe in the One of whom they have not heard? And how can they hear without someone preaching to them? And how can they preach unless they are sent?"
Now where does this bottom line responsibility rest for whether or not lost people hear the Good News about Jesus? With the messenger? Not according to this. It's with the sender. God takes the process of the unreached hearing the message all the way back to its source - a sender. For 2,000 years the Great Commission of Jesus has depended on two kinds of people sacrificially playing their position - the senders and the sendees.
In what could be the fourth quarter of God's game on earth, there is so much work to be done in Jesus' name. And it's going to take money. Money we may have tied up in things other than what God gave it to us for. He sacrificed His Son so the lost could be rescued. Many of His workers and messengers are willing to sacrifice to tell the lost about His Son. Rescuing the spiritually dying has always meant sacrifice - and no follower of Jesus is exempt. We can't delegate the sacrifices to a few spiritual warriors - God intends for all of us to spend and be spent in the cause for which His Son was spent.
Lottie Moon was a great missionary hero, who made a real great impact on 19th-Century China. She asked some hard questions. She said, "Where is the silver and the gold that should be in the Lord's treasury to send out those men and women who are asking to be sent? Alas! Some are adding more fields to their broad lands. Some are spending on selfish indulgences. So these lost souls go down to death without ever having heard the name of Jesus. In the day of judgment, at whose door will lie this sin?"
By God's grace, let's release the funds God gave us to send His messengers. Let's transfer funds in our account on earth to our eternal account in heaven. The soldiers of Christ are waiting for the bullets that they need to win this battle. It's in our hands!