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prov·o·ca·tion - something that provokes, arouses, or stimulates. pant - to long eagerly; yearn. a collection of thoughts intended to provoke and inspire. these posts are hoping to encourage people to think, especially Christians, and pant even harder for the waterbrooks of the Lord. If you are not a believer in Christ Jesus, I welcome your perspective and encourage your investigation on these matters.

Sunday, September 10, 2006

On Becoming a World Christian

David Bryant, in Perspectives on the World Christian Movement, addresses the important issue of what it means to be a world Christian (702-04). Here is a portion of what he wrote:

By now it should be obvious that all Christians are born into the Gap between God’s world-wide purpose and the fulfillment of it. But there’s more than one kind of response to that Gap. Some are asleep, some are on retreat, and some are determined to stand in the Gap, particularly at its widest end were billions await the opportunity to hear of Christ for the first time. Some are heading into the “sunrise of missions” while others huddle in the shadows. Many move along at a sluggish pace, changing little in the Gap because of their own internal gap-of-unbelief. Others run the race before them setting no limits how, where, or among whom God will use them.

Some are trapped in boxes of pea-sized Christianity, full f myths about missions that rob them of incentive to care about the unreached. Others have broken through into cause-Christianity, ready to reach out with God’s love to the ends of the earth. There are determined to make Christ’s global cause the unifying focus—the context—for all they are and do in the Gap. Yielded to the mediator, they are willing to be broken and molded to fit in the Gap wherever they can make the most strategic impact. In turn, they’re growing to know Christ, obey Him, and glorify Him as the mediator.

A World Christian isn’t better than other Christians. But by God’s grace, he has made a discovery so important that life can never be the same again. He has discovered the truth about the Gap, the fact that he is already in it, and the call of Christ to believe, think, plan, and act accordingly. By faith, he has chosen to stand in the Gap as a result.

Some World Christians are missionaries who stand in the Gap by physically crossing major human barriers (cultural, political, etc.) to bring the gospel to those who can hear no other way. But every Christian is meant to be a World Christian, whether you physically “go,” or “stay at home” to provide the sacrificial love, prayers, training, money, and quality of corporate life that backs the witness of those who “go.”

World Christians are day-to-day disciples for whom Christ’s global cause has become the integrating, overriding priority for all that He is for them. Like disciples should, they actively investigate all that their Master’s Great Commission means. Then they act on what they learn.

World Christians are Christians whose life-directions have been solidly transformed by a world vision. This is not a term for frustrated Christians who feel trapped into the world missionary movement and sporadically push a few buttons to say they’ve done their part. Having caught a vision, World Christians want to keep that vision and obey it unhesitatingly.

World Christians are (in Corrie Ten Boom’s phrase) tramps for the Lord who have left their hiding places to roam the Gap with the Savior. They are heaven’s expatriates, camping where the Kingdom is best served. They are earth’s dispossessed, who’ve journeyed forth to give a dying world not only the gospel but their own souls as well. They are members of God’s global dispersion down through history and out through the nations, reaching the unreached and blessing the families of the earth.

By taking three steps, we become World Christians. First, World Christians catch a world vision. They see the cause the way God sees it. They see the full scope of the Gap. Next, World Christians keep that world vision. They put the cause at the heart of their life in Christ. They put their life at the heart of the Gap. Then World Christians obey their world vision. Together they develop a strategy that makes a lasting impact on the cause, particularly at the widest end of the Gap.

Tomorrow, I will share with you a small way P&P hoes to be in the Gap where it is widest. It isn’t much, but I want to do whatever I can to help Christians become World Christians in the fullest sense of the word.

For some good resources on becoming a world Christian, go here.

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