WORLD EVANGELISM: Some Challenges Today

By Leslie Diestelkamp

A few years ago when some denominational missionaries were murdered in the Belgian Congo some brethren seemed to rejoice that no members of the Lord’s church died in that African land. But I didn’t rejoice! I was ashamed! I realized that there were no brethren in Christ there to live or to die! And, though the Congo is completely at peace now, and though a Christian is probably safer there than he would be in New York or Chicago or Miami, I think it is still true that there are none in the Congo who truly follow Christ. What about that?

Most Christians are aware of the abundant harvest that has been produced by the gospel in Nigeria in the last 25 years. Perhaps well over 100,000 souls have been immersed into Christ and even much over half that many remain there, alive and working, after surviving the civil war in that country. But, though we have gone into almost all of the English and Spanish speaking countries with the gospel, we have neglected the French speaking nations. Dahomy is one of those countries. It lies next-door to Nigeria. Ivory Coast is not far away and is a large, progressive country. There are a dozen others nearby plus many in other parts of the world that are virtually untouched by the pure gospel. Surely there are some preachers who speak French or who will learn it, and who will respond to this challenge. There is no reason to suppose the harvest would be significantly less in the French-speaking countries than it has been in fruitful Nigeria. Who will go?

But world evangelism also, includes many bard and barren fields of labor right here in our own land. This we must do and not leave the other undone. In other words, we have the men and the money; the gospel is God’s power to save all who believe; we ought to go everywhere preaching Christ in this generation. This is not I just a visionary dream. It is a New Testament directive. And this battle for souls is not ours, it is the Lord’s. But we are his soldiers! In fact, the Lord has no hands except the hands of Christians with which to reach out in helpfulness to all. He has no lips except the lips of his own people with which to bring the saving message to lost humanity everywhere. He has no feet except the feet of living saints with which to go here and to go there and to go everywhere with the pure gospel. And he has no money except that which the Christians give to support the willing and faithful men who go into the four corners of the earth.

What will you, dear reader, do about this? Will you go? Will you help others to go? And what will the church do where you regularly worship? Actually, you know the church only has one use for money and that is to spend it! If you have a church savings account, unless it is for a specified purpose and a very limited time, you should realize that such money is being wasted. Indeed, the church is neither a money-collecting nor a money-saving body, but when Christians give, the church then becomes a money-spending body. And souls are dependent upon us. Some will die today who could not be saved. What of tomorrow? Will we help others to have a chance?

March 23, 1972