We Are a Crossing People!

We Are a Crossing People!

Written by Rev.Zheng

        Mission is crossing boundaries to proclaim salvation in the name of the LORD, boundaries of all kinds, such as geographical, cultural, linguistic, religious…etc.

        Unlike Christians who are commissioned to go out to the world to proclaim the Gospel, in the Old Testament time God did not instruct Israel to go to make conversion of the gentile nations. Nonetheless throughout the history of salvation, we saw God led His people to move across various boundaries from time to time, such as Abraham migrating from Ur to Canaan; Jacob and his family moved to Egypt and settled there; Israel departed from Egypt after 430 years and lived among the Canaanites. About 700 years later they crossed over to Babylon in exile.

        In each crossing the people of God enter an environment that was culturally foreign and religiously alluring. For Abraham, the land of Canaan was filled with violence and uncertainties. For example, when they saw a beautiful woman, they would kill the husband and seize her. When Jacob’s descendants came out of Egypt and entered Canaan, they had a cultural shock when they first saw giants in the land. Wherever they went, one hostility was constant: idolatry, which was accompanied with sexual immorality.

        Being called to be a testimony for Yahweh as stipulated in Deuteronomy 4:5-8, Israel was to set herself apart from the idolatry and depraved culture surrounding her. Their loyalty towards Yahweh and His way of righteousness is not to be compromised. In doing so, the surrounding nations would be amazed at Israel’s legislation that provided social justice, the economic policies that eliminated poverty completely, the education system that fosters high moral standard, and the national defense that empowered her to conquer every invader! And they would seek the source of Israel’s prosperity – the LORD God.

        This is the missionary intent of God for Israel. It was clearly stated in God’s words for Abraham “for I have chosen him, so that he will direct his children and his household after him to keep the way of the Lord by doing what is right and just, so that the Lord will bring about for Abraham what he has promised him.” (Ge 12:3)

        Thus, all that God did in Israel, for Israel and through Israel is to be understood in relation to God’s salvation work for the entire mankind, not just for Israel. You see, God is re-creating a community of people who are committed to Him and His righteousness and justice. God chose Israel and planted her amidst the nations to be a model for justice and a light of Truth. In other words, Israel exists for the sake of the nations!

Is this not the call of the Church today? “You are the light of the world. A town built on a hill cannot be hidden.” (Mat 5:14) Mission is not just an important ministry in the church. Mission is why the church is still on earth. The church is Christ’s mission! Even so,let us step out of our comfort zone, enter every door that the Lord opens for us, cross over every ‘difference’ as we hold up the light of the Gospel!


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