B.A.S.I.C. NEWSLETTER #30
B.A.S.I.C. NEWSLETTER #30
May 14, 2004
I Cor. 16:9 For a great and effective door has opened to me, and there are many adversaries.
My name is David Lau, and I am one of the teachers at Immanuel Lutheran College and Seminary in Eau Claire, Wisconsin, USA. Every three years I teach a course in the Seminary called Missiology. From time to time I will be submitting some of the material from these Missiology notes for this Newsletter. I am sure there are many hundreds of books that have been written on the subject of Missiology or Mission Work. But since we are Christians, there is one book in particular that we need above all others, and that is the Bible, the book given us by God Himself. What does the Bible say about God’s plan of salvation? Listen to what Jesus said will happen on the Last Day, the Day of Judgment. To those believers on His right hand Jesus, the Judge, will say: “Come, you blessed of My Father, inherit the kingdom prepared for you from the foundation of the world” (Matthew 25:34). God’s plan of salvation goes way back to the beginning, from the very creation of the world and even from eternity. So also the apostle Paul wrote to the young pastor Timothy: “God has saved us and called us with a holy calling, not according to our works, but according to His own purpose and grace which was given to us in Christ Jesus before time began”. (Second Timothy 1:19). “Before time began.” Yes, from eternity, before the creation of the world God was planning our salvation in Christ Jesus. Sometimes when we read the Old Testament, we may think that God really did not have all of us in mind. We may think that the only people He cared about were the children of Abraham. But that is not true. From the beginning God has always wanted all people to hear about His plan of salvation in Jesus and be saved. In fact, there were at least two times in world history when 100% of the world’s population heard the good news of God’s plan of salvation. The first time that 100% heard about it was in the days of Adam and Eve, when God told them that the woman would have a seed, and this seed would crush the head of the serpant. That is, a Child born from woman would have a fierce battle with Satan (the devil or serpent) and would defeat him. Both Adam and Eve heard this promise, and there were no other people living in the world at that time. Thus 100% of the world’s population heard the good news of the coming of the Savior, who would make right again what the devil messed up. If Adam and Eve and their children had only passed this message on to their children and grandchildren and on and on down through the years, everyone in the whole world would know about God’s plan of salvation in Jesus. The second time 100% of the world’s population heard the good news of salvation was in the days of Noah after God destroyed the first world with the great flood. The only human inhabitants on the earth were Noah and his wife, and his three sons and their wives. Eight people in all. Surely all eight of these heard the promise of the coming Savior. They all knew that the reason God had kept them alive was so that He could keep His promise about the Woman’s Seed, the Savior to come. If only Noah and his sons and their sons after them in the coming generations had passed down this great plan of salvation, everyone in the world would know about it now. But we know that men and women have failed to pass down this promise to their children and grandchildren. That is why there are many people in the world today who do not know who Jesus is. They don’t know what Jesus has done for them and for all. It is true, God chose Abraham to be the father of the nation from whom the Savior would come. But God still had everyone in the whole world in mind. He wanted them all to be saved, even as He wants all people to be saved today. God said to Abraham more than once: “In your seed all the nations of the earth shall be blessed” (Genesis 22:18). In fact God wanted all people of the world to hear about the Savior from the children of Abraham. But so often they were unfaithful and did not live or behave the way God wanted them to. Instead of spreading the good news of God’s salvation they fell away from the true God and worshipped idols, false gods that were not gods at all. Nevertheless, there were some people from other nations that learned to know the true God and trust in His plan of salvation. A few examples from the Old Testament: Rahab of Jericho and her family, Ruth from the land of Moab, Captain Naaman from the land of Syria, the Queen of Sheba. I am sure there are many more the Bible does not mention. Now that Jesus has come into the world and died for our sins and won the victory over death by His resurrection, God surely wants everybody to know about this. That is why Jesus told his followers: “Go into all the world and preach the gospel to every creature: (Mark 16:15). Jesus wanted His followers to go everywhere with the Gospel because He “desires all men to be saved and to come to the knowledge of the truth” (First Timothy 2:4). May our dear Lord bless us all as we bring His Word to the world. Amen.