Taking the Gospel to All the World

When you read your Bible tomorrow morning I want you to look for a sentence in Mark’s Gospel account, which reads:

And he said to them, “Go into all the world and proclaim the gospel to the whole creation.”
Mark 16:15

When you read it, mark that sentence because I want it to remind you of the great task we have in fulfilling CrossPoint’s vision of reaching JUST ONE MORE to become a fully devoted follower of Christ. If we are to believe our vision is particular to CrossPoint, then we must also take to heart what Jesus commissioned us to do in Mark 16:15.

When I read that sentence early this morning it reminded me of my mentor and friend, Dr. Harry Lucenay. Harry, and his wife Nancy, live in Hong Kong, where he pastors Kowloon Toon International Baptist Church. Each week he sends me and several other people a weekly update. Most of the emails include incredible stories of conversions he and his church are allowed to participate in because the harvest is so rich in that part of the world. I am often challenged by the number of gospel-sharing encounters Harry has each week.

Check out an excerpt from this week’s update:

Plans have been approved for two new gardens of remembrance in Hong Kong. People will be allowed to scatter the ashes of their loved ones without charge in these special gardens. The government is seeking to ease the shortage of urn space. One of the obstacles authorities expect to face will come as they seek to overcome the Chinese taboo against mixing their bones with others. One Chinese lady thought the whole process was a great idea. She said, “by that time I’ll already be dead—I won’t need to worry about it.” When asked why she didn’t like spreading ashes at sea she said, “I am afraid that my spirit and my husband’s will be separated as the sea may float us apart.” If their ashes are sprinkled in the garden she said, “we can see and talk to each other after we die.”

That is so strange, isn’t it? Where would she get the idea that if their ashes are sprinkled together in the same space they “can see and talk to each other after they die”?

The woman’s misconceptions about life after death remind me of Jesus’ parable about the rich man who died and spent eternity in Hell:

“There was a rich man who was clothed in purple and fine linen and who feasted sumptuously every day. And at his gate was laid a poor man named Lazarus, covered with sores, who desired to be fed with what fell from the rich man’s table. Moreover, even the dogs came and licked his sores. The poor man died and was carried by the angels to Abraham’s side. The rich man also died and was buried, and in Hades, being in torment, he lifted up his eyes and saw Abraham far off and Lazarus at his side. And he called out, ‘Father Abraham, have mercy on me, and send Lazarus to dip the end of his finger in water and cool my tongue, for I am in anguish in this flame.’ But Abraham said, ‘Child, remember that you in your lifetime received your good things, and Lazarus in like manner bad things; but now he is comforted here, and you are in anguish. And besides all this, between us and you a great chasm has been fixed, in order that those who would pass from here to you may not be able, and none may cross from there to us.’ And he said, ‘Then I beg you, father, to send him to my father’s house—for I have five brothers —so that he may warn them, lest they also come into this place of torment.’ But Abraham said, ‘They have Moses and the Prophets; let them hear them.’ And he said, ‘No, father Abraham, but if someone goes to them from the dead, they will repent.’ He said to him, ‘If they do not hear Moses and the Prophets, neither will they be convinced if someone should rise from the dead.'”
Luke 16:19-31

Observe how the rich man’s life after death did not center on himself or with communicating with those who died with him. Instead, he was more concerned with his five brothers who were still alive on earth. Abraham’s fate had already been settled. He was so miserable in hell he wanted to do whatever he could to help his brothers.

Look at his hellish conditions:

  • He was without mercy (because he was eternally separated from God)
  • He was without relief (no water)
  • He was in anguish (because he was being eternally consumed by fire)
  • He was separated from God and his family (due to the great chasm)
  • He was lost (because no one could cross between the chasm)
  • He was concerned for his family (because he did not want them to experience hell)
  • He was tormented

The last two sentences of this parable always alarm me—And he said, ‘No, father Abraham, but if someone goes to them from the dead, they will repent.’ He said to him, ‘If they do not hear Moses and the Prophets, neither will they be convinced if someone should rise from the dead.'”

Two thoughts come to mind as I write this portion of the blog. First, when I read the woman’s thoughts about her ashes being sprinkled together with her husbands, I realize how confused the world is about life and life after death. We have the message of hope that world is dying to hear. Therefore, we must get busy and spread out across this globe to spread this good news message. Second, when I read Jesus’ parable about hell, I realize how serious our job is to disseminate the gospel into all the world. The world is depending on us.

One more thought and I am done.

My good friend, Buddy Gray says two things happen when the gospel is not communicated clearly. One, men and women are not given the opportunity to be saved. Two, God is not glorified.

CrossPoint we have a mission. Let’s spread the gospel to JUST ONE MORE!


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