CALL TO OBEDIENCE #364
Reimar A.C. Schultze
"So Send I You - Not"
by Pastor Reimar A. C. Schultze
Jesus said: as my Father hath sent me, even so send I you. John
So send I you implies that every heart with Christ is a missionary; every heart without Christ is a mission field. No Christian can escape his divine moral responsibility to share the gospel with those who do not have it. No school teacher, no truck driver, no housewife, no engineer, no doctor, no lawyer, no factory worker, no teenager.
There is a wonderful unity in churches where every member accepts his responsibility to witness. Wherever all the soldiers fight the same battle there is no infighting, there is no biting, no division, no devouring of one another. Again, no one is exempt from this call.
Now that we agree on the church’s universal call, the next question is, how shall we go about this great commission? As we see, the answer is an "as He - so you" answer. As the Father sent me, so send I you. The answer is not as this or that religious organization wants us to do it but as Jesus wants it done. How He evangelized is illustrated both in positives and negatives in the gospels. Many biblical directives are not only expressed in commands but also in prohibitions. In fact the God/man encounter begins with a "do/ do not" formula: "do eat" and "do not eat." (Gen. 2:16-17) Throughout my life I have been guided more by red lights than by green lights. In kingdom mathematics all red lights add up to one big green light. (That is the way the Ten Commandments are written.) So today let us look at the how not to evangelize to better understand how to evangelize. Here are four so send I you not's.
1. We are not sent to be served, but to serve. But Jesus called them unto him, and said, Ye know that the princes of the Gentiles exercise dominion over them, and they that are great exercise authority upon them. But it shall not be so among you: but whosoever will be great among you, let him be your minister; And whosoever will be chief among you, let him be your servant: Even as the Son of man came not to be ministered unto, but to minister, and to give his life a ransom for many. (Matt: -28)
Among the Gentiles, the unbelievers, it is all about getting to the top: to become somebody, to get recognition, to be served. We want our house, our car, and how we dress to make a statement. We like to have some letters behind our name. Don't misunderstand me, there is nothing inherently wrong in these things. What kills us spiritually is that along with these things, we so easily develop an attitude of arrogance, conceit and superiority when we should be coming into a spirit of deep gratitude and humility. God has to slay the kingly domineering element out of us. In His
Unfortunately for most of us, if we are served last at a restaurant, we become indignant about it, thinking we “deserve” better. Often our displeasure at not being respected comes out of our mouth or it burns a hole into our soul. It is situations like this where most of us leave Jesus and cease to be His sent ones. We have expectations from our wives, our children, our neighbors, at the office or the factory. In serving every one and everywhere, rather than in expecting to be served, we teach others to be missionaries. Jesus said, And whosoever will be chief among you, let him be your servant (Matt. -27).
Friends, we do not represent Jesus unless we are willing to put on the apron of humility and wash our brother’s feet, even if his name happens to be Judas (John 13:1-5). God resisteth the proud, and giveth grace to the humble (1Pet. 5:5). Again Jesus came not to be ministered to, but to minister even to the extent of giving His life for others. So the last shall be first, and the first last: for many be called, but few chosen (Matt. ). Few of us get low enough for God to do anything through us. So send I you not. Not to be served.
2. We are not sent to do our own will, but the will of our father. For I came down from heaven, not to do mine own will, but the will of him that sent me (John ).
When you are young you are asked: What are your plans for your life? Well, you say, I want to be an engineer, a machinist, a nurse, etc. Would you please add, the Lord willing? If God is not in it, you're on your own and that is neither wise nor safe. Choosing the wrong occupation will put you in the wrong places with the wrong people. In fact everything in your life will be wrong. To miss God's will is to miss the purpose for which you were born.
Can we realize and teach our children, that nothing matters in life but the will of God - every moment of every day? John said: And the world passeth away, and the lust thereof: but he that doeth the will of God abideth forever (1 John ). To live for Christ is to die to our own plans every day. This has to be the foundation for everything we do. We will never be satisfied unless doing the Father's will takes priority. You will never reach the fullness of life any other way. You will never be a "meat Christian", but will remain a ”milk Christian" all your life. Paul said of the Corinthian Christians, I have fed you with milk, and not with meat: for hitherto ye were not able to bear it, neither yet now are ye able (I Cor. 3:2).
Jesus said, My meat is to do the will of him that sent me, and to finish his work (John ). There is no other meat for the Christian but God's will. Everything else is milk at best. A milk diet keeps us in a perpetual state of weakness. Part of the meat diet is helping Jesus to finish His work. What an honor that is! So send I you - not. Not to do your will.
3. Jesus sent us not to destroy. Jesus passed through a Samaritan village, and the Samaritans would not receive Him. When James and John saw this, they said, Lord, wilt thou that we command fire to come down from heaven, and consume them, even as Elias did? But he turned, and rebuked them and said, Ye know not what manner of spirit ye are of. For the Son of man is not come to destroy men's lives, but to save them (Luke -56).
The disciples were unrighteously zealous. Here Jesus said to them essentially: you don't know yourselves. You're not as good as you think you are. You're not Elijah and this is not Elijah's time. You are deceived about the condition of your own hearts: you have hardness of heart, unbelief, selfish ambitions, and impatience. These are the kind of people who cut off people’s ears in the name of our Lord. Jesus is the only one who had the right to destroy the Samaritans, and everyone else for that matter. Truly the Day of Judgment will come, but not yet. From the cross forward to the end of time is the day of salvation (2 Cor. 6:2).
Why didn't Jesus destroy harlots and tax collectors as the Pharisees wanted done? Why did He eat with such people? Because He did not come to destroy, but to save sinners. He had such a gentleness about Him that the common people heard him gladly (Matt. 12:37b).
The Holy Spirit will not drive, but He will draw. No man can come to me, except the Father which hath sent me draw him: and I will raise him up at the last day (John ). We must not get ahead of the drawing. You don't get a kernel of wheat to germinate by shouting at it. Most people have never experienced divine love. If you don't have it, you are not ready to be sent. You will only tear up the sheep, and destroy all hope for the sinner. So send I you - not. Not to destroy.
4. We are not sent to condemn. For God sent not his Son into the world to condemn the world; but that the world through him might be saved (John. ).
To condemn means to express complete disapproval, to censure, or to wish death upon someone. Jesus admonishes us to be slow to wrath. Wherefore, my beloved brethren, let every man be swift to hear, slow to speak, slow to wrath (James -20). Man's anger does not promote the righteousness of God. Without the Holy Spirit we never know the whole story. We always misjudge. A father and his young son were riding in a train. The little boy kept crying and carrying on, disturbing everyone about him. Finally the father explained to the disapproving passengers, "This is why the lad is crying, because his mother is in a wooden box in the car behind this one.” In reference to witnessing someone said, “Without God we never know who is able but not willing and who is willing but not able.”
Therefore judge nothing before the time, until the Lord come, who both will bring to light the hidden things of darkness, and will make manifest the counsels of the hearts: and then shall every man have praise of God (I Cor. 4:5). So send I you - not. Not to condemn.