Does the world still need missionaries?

God didn’t sit in heaven, flip a switch, and send us hope. He didn’t do it by celestial remote control. He personally brought hope to us. He had human skin, breathed air, walked our earth.

...Today, Seventh-day Adventists share their message through the Internet, television, radio, and mass public meetings. These are all worthy means of outreach. But they don’t come close to the power of the personal touch of another human being. 

Today there is widespread cynicism about missionaries, and not without some cause. At times missionaries have been insensitive to the local culture. Popular books and movies such as The Poisonwood Bible and At Play in the Fields of the Lord promote the stereotype of missionaries as cultural imperialists, riding roughshod over local peoples and their customs. What right do we have to impose our views on other people? 

To a certain extent this attitude has infiltrated the church. Many have lost their vision for the difference Jesus can make in the lives of people. They’ve lost sight of the mandate Jesus gave His followers to help people physically and spiritually. While we should always treat others who think differently from us with respect and Christian charity, we have a commission and privilege to share the love of Jesus. It must be done with care and cultural sensitivity, but it must be done. 

People all over the world have become “new creatures” through the power of Jesus. He casts out fear. He brings hope. He gives a new reason for living. He changes the way we treat each other. He brings love into our families.

When you visit villages where animism holds sway, you get a taste of the extent to which fear dominates the lives of hundreds of millions of people. These people live in trepidation of the spirits and spend their energies trying to appease them. The good news about Jesus turns their lives around, bringing peace, hope, and the joy of salvation. 

As long as there is even one person who doesn't know God's love, we will still need missionaries.


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