The Everyday Mission Most Christians Forget About
The Call of Evangelism
Have you ever come home from a hard day’s work, tired and spent, your feet aching, your eyes sore, your muscles, whether of mind or of body, aching after extended use, having sat down on your couch or leaning back in your chair, wondering why you do what you do? Have you ever asked yourself, “What good have I done this day?”
It’s in those moments that it’s easy to call out to God and ask him for something more. Something of greater purpose, something of greater urgency.
Certainly, it’s easy to settle into a lifestyle that gains much and gives little. It’s easy to read the Bible as a collection of lessons on how to live a good life, or to listen to sermons that call us to be a better person, and coast along, believing that we are called to live comfortably well, so long as we don’t break too many of the rules.
Of course, this is the wrong way to understand our purpose as Christians. When we hand our lives over to God, when we stand in allegiance with him, when we confess our sins and believe with our entire beings that Jesus is our Saviour, Lord and King, our calling becomes much more than a comfortable life of receiving and gaining.
Indeed, when we study, close, the life of Jesus and the teachings of the living Word of God, a conclusion we must come to is how our purpose has to do with far bigger concerns than ourselves. Our mission exists outside our own worlds, with instructions from on high on how to live life day in, day out.
In his book, Multiply, Francis Chan writes, “in the New Testament, the mission of God’s people becomes even clearer. We are not on this earth merely to enjoy our own personal relationship with God. We are here to be God’s servants, His ambassadors: ‘Therefore, we are ambassadors for Christ, God making his appeal through us. We implore you on behalf of Christ, be reconciled to God’ (2 Cor.5:20).”
What Chan highlights is how God is at the center of everything. It’s all about Him. And the Bible not only teaches us the story of redemption and salvation, but also instructs us on how to bring heaven to earth, on how to show the world its need to be brought into the presence of God.
In 1 Peter, we learn about the authority we are given as believers to show people the ways of Jesus, to do the things Jesus did during his ministry, and to do greater things as he said we would, with the power of the Holy Spirit. 2:9 says we “are a chosen race, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, a people for his own possession, that you may proclaim the excellencies of him who called you out of darkness into his marvelous light.”
As citizens of the kingdom of God, as royal priests and servants, we are mandated to declare the wonder and majesty of God. In this letter, Peter puts it perfectly, that because of what God has done, we are now called to proclaim this truth–to bring light into darkness.
In After You Believe: Why Christian Character Matters, N.T. Wright says, in the context of this royal priesthood, we are put in a place of purpose to share the good news:
The church gains the platform and the moral right to speak publicly about Jesus and announce him as Lord, explaining how he died for the sins of the world and rose again. In other words, at the heart of the calling to be a royal priesthood lies the task of evangelism: proclaiming Jesus, persuading people to consider him, inviting people to give their allegiance and discover through him, and through the company of his followers, a whole new way of being human.
How beautiful it is, and compelling, that we are given the means to find a new way of being human, to live as new creations, who breathe life into dark and empty places. We belong to a cause that is far greater than ourselves and our personal wants and desires of what a good life is or should be. As we are adopted as sons and daughters of our heavenly father, we are called by Jesus to live lives that boast of this belonging, lives that back up and give proof to our words when we declare with our mouths who Jesus is and who he has called others to be.
Again, we are given the right to proclaim this truth. Acts 1:7-8 says, “It is not for you to know times or seasons that the Father has fixed by his own authority. But you will receive power when the Holy Spirit has come upon you, and you will be my witnesses in Jerusalem and in all Judea and Samaria, and to the end of the earth.”
With this authority to be witnesses throughout the world of the goodness of God, when we share the good news, we join with all of those belonging to the kingdom of God, and find that even in our seemingly mundane and comfortable life, there is much work to be done. Each day we have a purpose. Each day we are called to something greater.