What if the Roles of Overseas Missions were Reversed…

Suppose that the roles of Christian missions were switched. Suppose that instead of American-Christians going over to countries (i.e. Uganda, Kenya, India, Nicaragua and China) to spread the Gospel…that the native believers from those countries came here to America to spread the Gospel.

What would that look like? That’s a very weird concept to grasp, right?

Well this thought has been on my mind lately.  Honestly, it would be a CRAZY sight to see people from 3rd-world countries proselytizing to our nonbelievers and mentoring our believers.  However, when I think about this, it makes perfect sense. Quite frankly, they live out the Gospel much more biblically and with much more boldness than we do here in America. They have a zeal for the Lord that phenomenal, in comparison. The passion that King David exhibits throughout the Psalms….it resonates with them much more closely. Here is quite the opposite at times. Over here, we must watch The Bachelor and the NFL Playoffs first. Consequently, any holy zeal for God will just have to sit on the back burner for now. We’ll get to it later. [For an example of zeal, watch 1:47-3:15 http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=f86im0DOFcA%5D

Here are 15 possibilities of what it may look like if international missions were brought here onto our soil for a week:

(1) On the day the Kenyans arrive at our airports, they will immediately start asking random people “Do you have Jesus in your heart?”. With boldness they will do this to everyone there, regardless of age or status.  It is inbred in their culture of faith in Kenya to do so.

(2) The Ugandans would get into deep conversations with people and make sure that they have a personal relationship with Jesus and explain the true beauty of what that looks like.

(3) The Christians from India would remind us of just how real spiritual/demonic warfare is. They’ll tell us numerous stories of demon possession occurring in their homeland. (Sadly, we’d think they were lying.  We tend not to believe in the unseen, divine nature of this world. Even though it’s talked about everywhere in the Bible, it very very rarely gets preached on at all. At all)

(4) The Nicaraguans will plead with us not to focus so much on our IPhones. They’ll try to tell us that it is meaningless, in the end.  They will remind us that all of our material possessions will eventually end up in a junkyard somewhere.

(5) The Chinese missionaries will tell us about how they suffer to just to be able to go to church. They’ll explain how their church services consist of them sneaking into caves to worship and pray for 10 hours straight. Being in a highly communistic state, getting caught by their government can result in being killed. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rxX2_D11qBw

(6) They will begin to mourn as they see just how narcissistic, self-exalting, and greedy our society is.

(7) WE will see notice and feel their deep-seated joy in Christ. And it will indeedly sweep us off our feet.

(8) They’ll whip our tails in soccer, haha.

(9) They would tell us stories of how they had to escape from being persecuted or even killed by their home tribes when they converted to Christianity.

(10) Some will explain of how their family members have outright disowned them….but how they still do not regret being made new in Christ Jesus.

(11) They will tell us story after story of their exciting lives as they live out the Gospel. We would sit and listen like little children, in awe, and ask them to tell us more.

(12) They will laugh hysterically at the Prosperity Gospel teaching. They know firsthand more than anyone of just how seriously false and silly that teaching is. They’d think that so-called “pastors” like Joel Osteen were just joking.

(13) They would visit some of our churches wonder how so many of our churches have strayed away from what the Bible actually teaches. And even more so, how we do not seem to be bothered by it. They will weep and beg us to repent. They will lovingly look us in the eyes and plead with us to go back to what the Bible teaches.

(14) They’ll eventually head back to their home countries because, well, that’s where home is. But before they leave, they’ll tell us one last time to ‘be watchful of our sin, to trust in the Lord, and to rely wholeheartedly on Him as if our eternity depends on it’.

(15) For the next year, they would pray endlessly for us Americans…yearning for the opportunity to come back to America, in God’s name.

Irresistible, Beautiful Grace on Youtube

By far my favorite Youtube video ever is this one from 2011, with only a little over 40,000 views. A guy living in Sydney, Australia turns 30 years old and instead of throwing a party for himself or receiving presents….he gathers his close friends and they purchase 30 gifts. They then set out on an epic plan to hand those 30 gifts out to random people that they see on the streets of Sydney.

They choose toddlers, old men, young women….literally no one is left out. No favortism. No hidden agenda. Just love. The faces of everyone that receives a gift is tremendously priceless. There is a look of shock, awe, frustration, and joy all at the same time. This is an exact depiction of the Gospel and our gift of Grace that Christ freely gives to us. Our human nature loves to receive gifts. To receive a gift without earning it or expecting it is at the apex of our eternal being. It transcends this inner joy in us that can only be triggered by grace. When this happens there is joy in that someone loves us despite our shortcomings and there is glory given to the gift-giver.

These people that received gifts in this video did not do anything to earn those gifts. They did not win a race or sing the best. They were not the smartest, tallest, most-handsome people. They did nothing. And most of all….it was not their birthday. It is an odd thing to receive a birthday gift on a day that is not your birthday. You most certainly do not deserve it.

In the book of John, Jesus constantly sets up for the correct understanding of salvation and grace. He’s going to say things like “No one comes to God unless it is through me” John 14:6 / “Salvation is like the wind, no one can grasp it in their hands…[I control the wind]” John 3:8. And he continues to play that same beat throughout the book and the rest of the Gospels.

We must always remember that we do not earn God’s favor. We do not come to faith on our own, say a sinner’s prayer, get baptized, and then think we’re golden. What a silly game we’ve invented. That’s what I was taught growing up and it’s just a silly religious game that causes a great amount of troubles. I grew up in the church doing religious activities….and was never even bothered by the fact that I knew no more of God than any unbeleiver on the street. It wasn’t until Christ gave me potluck doommates my junior year, that were on fire for the Lord, that he showed me the true meaning and joy in following him. That he began saving me and wooing me to Himself. And I love that. I treasure Christ for that. Jesus came to crush religion. He cares about our heart so much that He himself gives us a new heart so that we can have faith in Him and live a life according to the Gospel which leads to fullness of life.