Summary: The message is the whole gospel for the whole world. How urgent is our calling to share the gospel. We are God’s messengers.
The Undelivered Message
JOHN CURRIER, A MAN WHO COULDN¡¯T READ OR WRITE, was found guilty of murder and sentenced to life in prison in 1949. Later his sentence was commuted and he was transferred from prison and paroled to work for a wealthy farmer near Nashville, TN. In 1968 his sentence was terminated. State Correction Department records show that a letter was written to the prisoner and the farmer for whom he worked. The letter said that he was a free man.
But Currier never saw the letter or even knew it had been written. One year went by...then two...then five, and finally ten. And still he didn¡¯t know that he was free.
By this time the farmer to whom he had been paroled was dead, but Currier kept working, serving out his life sentence. He was given a little money for personal needs¡ª$5.00 per week at first, then a little more, and finally $20.00 per week. But life was hard and filled with labor. He slept in a drafty trailer, taking baths in a horse trough. Life held very little joy and no promise of hope. This went on until 1979. Then a state parole officer learned of his plight and told him about the missing letter.
How would you feel if you were this prisoner? Would it matter to you if someone sent you an important message¡ªin fact, the most important of your life, but year after year the message was never delivered?
How much is it worth to lose 10 years of your life because you failed to get a message? John Currier sued the state fro $600,000. Some think it was too little.
NOW THINK OF A DIFFERENT SITUATION. A child is born, grows up, and dies without once hearing that there is a God who loves him so much that He sent His Son to die for him so that he could be delivered from sin and its consequences. He lives in servitude to a cruel and powerful master¨CSatan! And when he has children, they too are born to live and die in bondage.
This is the condition of the great multitudes who live outside the circle of the gospel. The Bible tells us they are spiritually dead because of sin and that they have no hope and are without God in this world (Eph.2:12).
Many would like to believe that somehow, some way, people without Christ will find their way into heaven. But the Bible says this is false. Men and women must know and trust in Jesus Christ to be saved. Listen to the words of Romans 10:14:
How then shall they call on him in whom they have not believed? And how shall they believe in him of whom they have not heard?
But Paul doesn¡¯t stop here. He adds two questions for the Christian:
How shall they hear without a preacher? And how shall they preach except they be sent?
The church has been entrusted with the world¡¯s most crucial message. Where this message is preached, there will be those who respond and they will find life and hope. On the other hand, where it is not proclaimed, who people groups will continue to live and die in spiritual darkness.
Here¡¯s the question for all to ponder: HOW URGENT IS OUR CALLING TO SHARE THE GOSPEL?
In order to answer this it will be necessary for us to look at 3 things: (1) the WORLD, (2) the LOST, (3) the LOVE OF CHRIST.
1. LOOK AT THE WORLD
¡õ There are over 6 billion people on this planet. Less than I billion even accept the name of Christ. And a much lesser amount would claim to be ¡°born again.¡±
¡õ For 50 generations, the Gospel has been preached to this world. Heroes and martyrs have died to bring it to them. Great battles have been won. But in our generation, the most populous of them all, most have not heard a biblical presentation of salvation. Five out of six non-Christians live in areas where the message of Christ
has yet to be proclaimed.
¡õ The task is great, but our problem isn¡¯t just the greatness of the task. It is our ATTITUDE! We need to care and pray and give and go and witness where we are. The 80 million Protestants in America give and average of slightly less than 20 cants each week for missions.
¡õ Let¡¯s leave statistics for a moment and think about the world¡¯s need in terms of the power and scope of sin.
For years, especially after WWI, many thought our world was improving. Now few really believe this. We are confronted with gigantic problems. Trace them one by one and you will find their root in man himself¨C-the age-old problem of sin.
Sin cause conflict between the races