The Purpose of the Church #3

[I sent this post to my church members last night. Currently, I am posting it from somewhere over the Pacific Ocean on my way to Cambodia via Taiwan].

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I’m sitting in the airport lounge waiting to be called for my flight, having a glass of milk! The Internet is too slow to post a photo, so you’ll have to believe me!

I have been teaching about the mission of our local church. There are three purposes:

1. To glorify God (Ephesians 3:21).
2. To equip the saints (the Christians in the local church) for the work of the ministry (Ephesians 4:11-16).
3. To Go and make disciples, evangelize (Matthew 28: 19-20).

Number 3

I was alone with my shuttle driver from my hotel to the airport terminal; no other passengers. His name was Khaled and I asked where he was from, “North Africa.” When I heard his name and his home I knew he was Muslim. I prayed, “Lord, let me have an opportunity to share the Gospel with him.”

As we pulled out of the driveway I told him where I was going, and why. Trying to spark the conversation I mentioned forgiveness of sins. I don’t recall ever sharing my faith with a Muslim*, but I had heard forgiveness of sins was big on their list!

Turned out what I had heard was right! My comment was definitely the trigger because he said, “Do you mind if we talk about religion?” 🙂

As we talked, he told me how we, both of us, just want to make lives better for people and it’s not about competition with our religions. I responded, there is nothing wrong with helping our fellow human, but “Khaled, the real question is what happens when you die? Jesus said, “I am the Way, the truth and the life, no one comes to the Father except through me.”

He was serious, focused, and forceful and wanted to interrupt me, but I calmly kept talking about Jesus and how He is more than a prophet, He is God and the only way to everlasting life and forgiveness of sins. Unless you believe you cannot have forgiveness of sins.

As we approached the terminal I said, “Khaled, you are trying to reach God by doing good things” He said, “Of course!” I said, “Christians worship the True God who reaches down to us. He does all the work, we only have to believe in His Son, Jesus Christ. That is all you need to do too. He sent His son Jesus to die on the cross in our place.”

He interrupted again, “But how can a dead God help you?” I said, “He’s not dead, He is alive. He rose from the grave and was seen by more than 500 people.”

Now I had to get out of the van, horns were honking behind us, it was chaotic. I gave him our church’s Hope Now Good News tract and a $5 tip for driving me (Christians shouldn’t be cheap!).

Khaled wasn’t convinced, but it’s not my job to convince him. He heard the gospel.

That’s what we’re called to do, that is our mission. Go and do it.

*[Opportunities to share the truth of the gospel with Muslims are going to arise more and more. I need to learn to present it more clearly].

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