TITLE: If I Should Die Before I Wake, I Pray The Lord My Soul To Take
DATE: December 18, 2018
TEXT: Romans 8:35, 37- (NIV) - 35 Who shall separate us from the love of Christ? Shall trouble or hardship or persecution or famine or nakedness or danger or sword?... No, in all these things we are more than conquerors through him who loved us.
A long time ago I got involved in a conversation with an atheist. The only part of that conversation which I remember was this line. He said: “If I was a Christian and I really believed in hell, I wouldn’t be able to rest until everyone knew about Jesus and how faith in Him could keep me out of there.”
26-year-old John Allen Chau was a US missionary who believed in hell and in telling people how not to go there. Last month he died trying to tell hostile natives on India’s North Sentinel Island how they could be saved by faith in Jesus Christ.
Did I say he “died?” Actually, John was murdered. It was a possibility he understood. You see:
John knew all those dangerous possibilities.
In spite of the hazard to himself and the tribe, he had five fishermen take him to the island. Right before he went, he wrote to his parents. This is what he said:
"You guys might think I'm crazy in all this, but I think it's worth it to declare Jesus to these people…."Please do not be angry at them or at God if I get killed. … This is not a pointless thing. The eternal lives of this tribe is at hand and I can't wait to see them around the throne of God worshipping in their own language."
To be honest I have some mixed feelings about John and his choice of missionary fields.
On the one hand I admire his dedication, his faithfulness, his sense of obligation and immediacy to the sharing of the Savior and the life eternal which comes only through the Christ. On the other hand, I question his going to a place where his presence could easily hasten this tribe’s appearance before God’s throne of justice.
I have no such reservations concerning the coming of the Christ to Bethlehem.
The only downside was this: While the Missionary John might have escaped the exploit unmolested and unharmed; for Jesus to complete His work; for Him to fulfill the Old Testament prophecies it was necessary for Him to die. From the first Jesus realized the eternal future of every man, woman and child depended on Him fulfilling the prophecies and doing the work of the promised Redeemer.
Thanks be to God, it was a job which His third-day resurrection from the dead says He completed with flying colors.
THE PRAYER: Dear Lord, please send the Holy Spirit to smooth out the path before Your missionaries and grant them the grace and the words to touch the hearts and minds of souls which today still need the Savior. In Jesus’ Name I pray. Amen.
Today’s devotion was inspired by various articles, amongst which is the one written by John Gidman for Newser on November 18, 2018 . Those who wish may check out this link which was, at the time of writing, fully active: http://www.newser.com/story/267613/he-yelled-jesus-loves-you-the-remote-tribe-killed-him.html
The music which introduces and concludes our devotions was written by Guy Baumann, one of my long-ago confirmands. He is singing with three brothers. This song comes from the album: The Baumann Brothers which may be ordered here: http://thebaumannbrothers.com/index.html