Devoted to the Propagation and Defense of New Testament Christianity
June 6, 1968
NUMBER 6, PAGE 8b,10b

God's Divine Challenge

Gene Tope

Much has been said in recent years concerning world evangelism. Articles have been written, untold numbers of sermons have been preached, on-the-spot workers have visited among the churches telling of the growth of the church overseas and pleading that even more be done. And, perhaps right here is our problem: We have heard the great commission expounded so many times recently that when another such occasion presents itself, we say, "Oh, no, not another lesson on that. I know just what he is going to say." To many people, teaching on God's divine challenge in world evangelism is like teaching God's divine plan in baptism, i.e., they have heard it already!

The greatest need on any foreign field is not money; Nor is it church buildings; It is — MEN. Dedicated men and women who have been converted on the field, and dedicated foreigners (you and me) can carry the gospel to the world.

Yet, when men with the message are pleaded with to "come over into Macedonia and help us," far too often an immediate and stiff opposition begins. To be sure it is a silent rebellion, but for that reason, all the more real. Undoubtedly, when otherwise good and active servants of the Lord act so, there must be some reasons for it. There are. And I believe I know some of them.

The need is so great "at home." Small groups of Christians have started out afresh: a new meetinghouse has just been built and a full-time preacher is needed. There are many places that have not yet heard the Gospel. "Why over at Smith's Crossing there is just a handful meeting and they have not had a preacher in ten years." "Well, over there at Punkin' Center (just across the creek) there is a lot of folks that would be baptized if we will just send brother Jones this summer." "Folks have lived in Cherokee County for 150 years and there is not a single Church of Christ in the whole section." And, say brethren, have you heard about the need in the Northeast, the Southwest and the North Central States?

There are not enough preachers! Some of my brethren who read this are being worked to the breaking point. The labor of the home congregation is taking about all of their time and summer meetings are completely booked up. Some are working at secular jobs that they may preach the Gospel free of charge. And still there are not enough preachers to go around. Still there is too much work needing to be done.

And, so it will ever be as long as the world stands. An all-knowing God who sees all of these things and blesses every effort still says, "GO INTO ALL THE WORLD." Is God unreasonable, then? I believe not. Nor, does He intend for us to relinquish any true Gospel effort "at home." But, He does want us to quit being selfish and realize that "the field is the world" NOT the U.S.A.!

South Africa has 18,000,000 inhabitants. It is three times the size of Texas. For these 18 million souls, there are 9 of us labouring full-time in the vineyard. How do these figures compare with Texas; or, for that matter, Missouri, Kentucky, Ohio, Indiana? Pick your State. I am confident that any comparison will be a tragic one.

The point of the Lesson? God's divine challenge is great! We need help over here. What must we say or do to get some of you fine men to come and help us? The time has never been more propitious than NOW.

— P.O. Box 519, Krugersdorp, Republic of South Africa