Whose Calling Is It?

Aizawl, Mizoram, India – 2011

Have you ever sat in a church pew, listening to incredible stories from a person returned home from the mission field? Or have you ever read a book about great titans of faith on the frontlines of global outreach and thought to yourself, “Thank God for people like that”?
There’s nothing wrong with that sentiment – after all, we should thank God for rising up remarkable men and women of faith who do remarkable things for His glory. But the next question is a little more daunting:
Shouldn’t all Christians be people like that? Shouldn’t we all be on mission to share Jesus Christ with a broken world – whether that is with our next door neighbors or to an orphan in a third world country?
In his book “Radical: Taking Back Your Faith From The American Dream,” Pastor David Platt discusses this very concept:
“I wonder if we have in some ways intentionally and in other ways unknowingly erected lines of defense against the global purpose God has for our lives. It’s not uncommon to hear Christians say, ‘Well, not everyone is called to foreign missions,’ or more specifically, ‘I am not called to foreign missions,’ When we say this, we are usually referring to foreign missions as an optional program in the church for a faithful few who apparently are called to that. In this mind-set, missions is a compartmentalized program of the church, and select folks are good at missions and passionate about missions…

But where in the Bible is missions ever identified as an optional program in the church? …We were all created by God, saved from our sins, and blessed by God to make his glory known in all the world. Indeed, Jesus himself has not merely called us to go to all nations; he has created us and commanded us to go to all nations…

In Romans 1:14-15, Paul talks about being a debtor to the nations. He literally says, ‘I am in debt to Jews and Gentiles.’ The language is profound. Paul is saying that he owes a debt to every lost person on the face of the planet. Because he is owned by Christ, he owes Christ to the world.

Every saved person this side of heaven owes the gospel to every lost person this side of hell. We owe Christ to the world – to the least person and to the greatest person, to the richest person and to the poorest person, to the best person and to the worst person. We are in debt to the nations.” (Pages 72-74)
If we truly believe that we owe the nations Jesus Christ, then it becomes clear that missions work is not optional. In fact, taking Jesus to people near and far is at the very heart of what it means to follow Christ.
Now, this doesn’t necessarily mean you should go jump on your nearest airplane to India today (although God may just call you to do that – who knows??). But it does mean that we should all be willing, ready and excited to take God’s love and the truth of the Gospel to the ends of the earth.
If we call ourselves Christians, then Christ has given us a clear calling.