Romans 15:20, Yea, so have I strived to preach the gospel, not where Christ was named, lest I should build upon another man’s foundation:
1 Corinthians 9:16, For though I preach the gospel, I have nothing to glory of: for necessity is laid upon me; yea, woe is unto me, if I preach not the gospel!
Spending some time today working on a book that will either be called Don’t let the Dream Die or Keep the Dream Alive. This is a book that will be about my brother’s (Pastor Joe Esposito) desire to see Pacific Baptist Church send a team to China prior to his being hospitalized. Many of you will remember that the last words Pastor Joe’s children heard him say, prior to being hospitalized, were, “China or Bust.”
For a chapter called, “Why China?” I am lifting some excerpts from a few books. I am especially using excerpts from a book called On the Edge: A Strategy for China in Our Generation. The book was written by missionaries Jake Taube and Mark Tolson. They worked together in China. Taube was eventually kicked out of the country, Tolson is still there!
Using the story of God bringing down the walls of Jericho down and his people experiencing the joy of a great victory, as a springboard, missionary Jake Taube writes:
What pushed them [the Israelites] past their protests? It was a burning desire in their hearts to see something great happen. They wanted that victory! They wanted to conquer Jericho! They were just waiting for their opportunity. That is the great separation of generations! Where in our generation does that burning desire of has a passion to see God glorified behind the closed doors of this world? Until we have young men and young women of God who are willing to do anything necessary to see God’s name glorified, there will be no city-taking. Until there is a generation willing to suffer, willing to bleed, and willing to die for the glory of God, there will be no conquering of the land God has promised us. We may watch walls fall and doors open, but it is our hearts that determine whether or not the cities of this world will be taken.
… Though we have raised a generation of young people trained to sweep every decision, even the selfishly-motivated ones, under the rug of their personal perception of “God’s will.” But someone is not being honest! With the millions perishing around the world, it is abundantly clear that there are thousands of laborers never making it to the field. So, as the barrier is obviously not one of authority, funds, or manpower, what is the insurmountable obstacle that lies in the path of the Great Commission’s fulfillment? It is simply a lack of necessity! The reason we do not find the authority to storm the 10/40 window or to penetrate the Bamboo Curtain, the reason we do not see the massive financial figures needed to impact the world, the reason we do not have armies of young people training to go to the mission field is the fact that we feel no necessity to make it happen!
Some creative power will be needed to reach China’s millions with the Gospel! As the government strives to keep the church outside of the borders of China, the church must do whatever possible to get the Gospel inside of their closed doors. But this creative power will never be exercised until God’s laborers feel a need to do so! When a burning necessity drives God’s people to approach His throne on behalf of the 1.3 billion Chinese, those things that seemed like obstacles will fall away to make way for Christ’s church on the warpath.
When will we reach China?
We will reach China when we must.
The Apostle Paul described his motivation like this: “For though I preach the Gospel, I have nothing to glory of: for necessity is laid upon me; yea, woe is unto me, if I preach not the Gospel.” (I Cor.9:16; emphasis added) Paul felt an overwhelming need to expend his life in the way he did. Every decision and action was made in subservience to this crushing need that he felt to get the Gospel to the world. The early church worked almost exclusively in circumstances where persecution, imprisonment, and even martyrdom awaited them when they preached the Gospel. But they found the means! They gave all they had to make it happen, because they needed to!
For nearly three years now, since my brother was rushed to the hospital, by God’s grace, I have been sounding the trumpet and beating the drums for China. Regrettably, I haven’t seen a whole lot of that “burning desire”or that “passion to see God glorified behind the closed doors of this world” that Taube and Tolson wrote about!
I guess I will just beat the drums a bit longer!!!