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To the Regions Beyond - 1,000 Million




To the Regions Beyond Main Page






Charles Driver



THE AVERAGE CHRISTIAN today is puzzled by two messages presenting two needs. Both needs are clamoring for priority. The first says that we should first take the Gospel to men who have never heard. The other insists that we should take care of the "heathen at home" first.


I recently picked up a well-known Christian periodical where these two messages were in striking contrast. One article stressed the need of unevangelized areas, quoting statistics to prove its point. The article immediately following showed that millions in the city of New York were attending absolutely no church, and further pressed the need of these people by logical proof. Each article was well written.



God Only Goes So Far


I couldn't help but feel that sincere men and women in America, England, Germany and France had reason to be confused when I presented the challenge of world evangelization and insisted that we should first go to men who had never heard. Almost invariably they had said, "But there is such a need at home!" And they were right! There is a need "at home."


But the question is cleared when we realize that God only goes so far in presenting the Gospel, and that WE must not go further. God Gave His Son on Calvary's cross for a world of sinners, after first showing them their need by His law.


God makes opportunities for men to receive Christ. And, once the message is given, God urges the sinner by His blessed Spirit to receive the Lord Jesus (John 16:8). But God only goes so far. He always gives a man the opportunity to reject if he so chooses.



"We turn to the Gentiles"


Christ Jesus manifested this. He dealt with the Pharisees over a period of time. But finally, when His puzzled disciples wondered why He had spoken so harshly, He turned to them and said, "Let them alone..." (Matt. 15:14a). They had rejected Him. They refused to have this Man rule over them. They chose to cast Him out, and He never stopped them. He gave them a chance to reject!


Paul realized this. In the 13th chapter of Acts, when the Jews, motivated by jealousy, contradicted and blasphemed the message of the Gospel, Paul never continued to plead and beg them to receive it. But, turning to them, he said, "Seeing ye thrust it from you, and judge yourselves unworthy of eternal life, lo, we turn to the Gentiles" (Acts 13:46b; ASV).  And this was but the second time they had heard it!


No, God has never intended to coerce men into believing. God gives every man a chance to reject!



Afraid Folks Will Reject


But today we hesitate to do this. Christians are afraid someone is going to reject, and, if one does, every means available is brought into play to "pressure" him into believing.


We press him with the scientific accuracy of the Bible and show him the logicalness of believing, approaching him through his intellect. Or we try to show him how much "fun" he can have and what "joy" there is in believing, approaching him through his flesh. Or we display before him all the Scriptures on the wrath of God, seeking to persuade him through fear.


We are trying to MAKE him believe! We refuse to accept his rejection.



Cramming It Down Throats


One famous soul-winner even goes so far as to counsel his students not to put their questions concerning the Gospel in the negative, because it suggests the idea of rejection. Keep it in the positive so that men will "want" to accept. We don't want to give them a chance to reject!


But we are going further than God. We are going beyond that which is written. The Lord told us to preach the Gospel to every creature -- not cram it down every person's throat! And in going beyond, we sin -- because we are wasting hundreds of hours on people who don't want the Gospel; we are wasting millions of dollars looking for new ways and new things to make the Gospel "irrejectable"; and, worst of all, we are wasting millions of LIVES.


It takes a very clever man to make a person listen who does not want the Gospel. It takes lots of ability in speech and illustration, lots of talent and mental capacity to make intelligent people, who don't want the Gospel, listen for an hour while it is presented. We are preaching to men who don't want it, and we're trying to make them listen.



Talent Not Essential


But we are giving an idea to our Christian people also -- the idea that unless you are talented, and extremely so, there is no hope that you can get anyone to listen as you preach the Gospel; that no one will listen to you talk to him about his soul unless you are marvelously gifted. And this is not true!

Anybody with God's strength (which He offers to all) can proclaim the Good News to people who WANT it! And those are the kind of people Jesus Christ is willing and eager to save.


Hundreds of young people are wasting their lives because they think they must be CLEVER to preach the Gospel -- as clever as a man who can preach in a country where Christ has been rejected.


Jesus Christ simply wants us to make the good old simple, blessed Story available to every man. God wants to give a chance to everyone to receive if he wishes -- and to reject if he chooses. There are men and women in the dark sections of the earth who have never had a single opportunity to accept or reject this Lord of ours -- and they will listen to ANYONE who will bring the message.



Lives Being Wasted


Yes, we are wasting the lives of hundreds of young men and women, because we are giving them the impression that they must have marvelous ability before they can be used to present this message.


Then, think of the lives that are being wasted out there! Who is willing to even count or estimate the cost of that steady stream of men and women who are dying constantly without a knowledge that Jesus Christ died for them? The time and strength we are spending on men who have heard belongs to them!

What will we answer when we stand before our God with our hands completely covered with their blood? The money and lives we are spending belong to them, because our Lord said to tell the Good News to ALL. We have done it in ignorance, perhaps, but God help us for every moment we spend in continuing to do so! We must stop this waste! Let's give them a chance to receive Christ.



We Can't Meet Need


There is no doubt about it -- there is a great need at home. But the need is that of a sick man who refuses the remedy. The need of the "home" field, the great need that statistics show, is a need we can't meet. It's the need to receive what is available.


One day our Lord went out into a desert place to pray. And when the disciples found Him, they told Him that a great mass of people desired to see Him. ". . . All are seeking Thee. And He saith unto them, Let us go elsewhere. . . that I may preach there also, for to this end came I forth" (Mark 1 :37b, 38; ASV).


Certainly, if Christ left those who were seeking Him to give others an opportunity, must WE not leave those who are rejecting, and give ALL an opportunity? Let's give them a chance!


Reprinted from BROWN GOLD, August 1949



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