Saturday, January 31, 2015
Davis Motor Sales banner ad

ronniemcbrayer300 cKENTUCKY (1/27/13) - When my friend Scott was young, he began to experience a stirring deep in his heart that some Christians refer to as “a divine calling.” How could Scott ignore such a thing, conditioned as he had been to hear God’s quiet voice?

Scott, in the words of Feroll Sams, had been “Raised Right” in the Baptist tradition, which meant he “was not only Saved but had spent a large part of his formative years in the House of the Lord…and while Methodists probably could be Saved, there was a question whether any of them really had been Raised Right.”  

Scott did not run away from this calling. He embraced it, and after college, marrying Karen (who also had been “Raised Right” and possessed this same “calling”), and a few years in seminary, this couple found themselves working for one of the largest missions organizations in the world.

Mexico, Central America, the Middle East, and the Persian Gulf: Scotty and Karen traversed the globe for nearly twenty years in faithful service, raising their children, aiding indigenous people groups, and living out the love and witness of Christ. It all came to a grinding halt, however, when the mission organization for which they worked deemed their medical mission financially unsustainable, but completely for reasons other than shrinking dollars and cents.

Simply, not enough people were becoming Christians. Conversions. Baptisms. Increasing numbers of those who have “prayed the sinner’s prayer.” Public professions of faith. Churches being planted and cross-topped buildings being constructed. These were the outcomes that were required by the mission executives. When these outcomes were not forthcoming, the organization refused to keep pouring dollars into such an “unreceptive region.”

Scott and Karen pleaded with the mission’s executives to reconsider this decision. Their medical facility was serving an entire region of needy people, treating tens of thousands of patients a year. A part of the world that had been antagonistic was finding it increasingly difficult to hate those who were loving, medicating, and saving their children and elders.

A mission executive responded to the pleas of Scott, Karen, and the medical staff with these words: “We have no obligation to the bodies of those whose souls are going to hell.” The facility was defunded, dollars were reallocated to more “productive areas,” and the missions’ staff, including Scott and Karen, was recalled to the States. To this day, their hearts are still broken.

Is this really the gospel, having “no obligation to the bodies of those whose souls are going to hell?” Is it “Good News” when we reduce the love of God to simple statistics or counting the numbers who pray a specific, mechanical prayer? Can we, with any integrity, disregard the crushing misery of people today, if those needs are not spiritual in nature, and say we are following the way of Jesus? The answer to all these questions is an emphatic “No.”

The “Good News,” as Jesus proclaimed it, is not an evacuation plan to rescue people from earth, or an insurance policy for the afterlife. Rather, it is a revolutionary strategy to redeem the sufferings of this world by putting the rule and reign of heaven inside people, something Jesus called the kingdom of God.

Thus, any sharing of the gospel that ignores the needs of this current world is a distortion of the gospel. Any profession of faith that focuses only on enjoying and living in a future heaven, rather than sacrificing for and serving people on today’s earth, is not Christian faith. And those who follow a Jesus who concerns himself only with the hereafter, and not bringing holistic change to the here-and-now, are not living out the transforming message of Jesus at all.

We have the chance, if we will take it, to become catalysts and conduits of the very real kingdom of God in today’s world, because the present – not the future – is where we follow Jesus. Today – not tomorrow – “is the day of salvation,” and the prayer “thy kingdom come” is more than words. It is our divine calling.

Ronnie McBrayer is a syndicated columnist, speaker, and author of multiple books. You can read more and receive regular e-columns in your inbox at www.ronniemcbrayer.me.


Disclaimer: The content supplied by columnists and letters to the Editor on this site does not in any way, shape or form, implied or otherwise, necessarily express or suggest endorsement or support of any of such content, statement, or opinions therein. SurfKY News does not necessarily adhere to or endorse content provided by outside non-staff sources.

© Copyright 2015 SurfKY News Group, Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, or rewritten without permission. SurfKY News encourages you to share this story by using one of the social media links below.

In Other News...

Hopkins County Sheriff's Arrest Reports - Jan. 30, 2015

HOPKINS COUNTY, Ky. (1/30/15) — The Hopkins County Sheriff's Office released the following reports Friday, Jan. 30.… Read More

Scammers Now Want Your Money for Fallen Police Officers

HENDERSON, Ky. (1/30/15) — The Kentucky State Police in Henderson has documented a number of people who have reported… Read More

Most Read This Week

January 28, 2015 17353

UPDATED: Several Involved in Two-Vehicle Accident

in Local (Hopkins) Top News by Doreen Dennis, SurfKY News
January 26, 2015 7739

KSP Arrests Two on Child Porn Charges; MPD…

in Top News For All Sites Touching Hopkins by Trooper Stu Recke
January 25, 2015 7518

Dean’s List Announced

in Top News For All Sites Touching Hopkins by Joyce Riggs
January 28, 2015 6655

Nortonville Man Accused of Meth Possession,…

in Local (Hopkins) Top News by Madisonville Police Department/Hopkins County Detention Center
January 26, 2015 5427

School Board Votes 3-2 for Utility Tax

in Local (Muhlenberg) Top News by Charles W. Riley II, SurfKY News
January 29, 2015 5378

Man Charged with Sexual Abuse of Child

in Local (Hopkins) Top News by Doreen Dennis, SurfKY News
January 25, 2015 5033

Juvenile Hit by Vehicle at McDonald's

in Local (Muhlenberg) Top News by GPD Officer Wes Miller
January 28, 2015 4995

Tax Recall Committee Formed Day After School…

in Local (Muhlenberg) Top News by Charles W. Riley II, SurfKY News

Most Read This Month

January 08, 2015 22515

Woman Claiming to be 'Lady Gaga' Tours Town in…

in Top News For All Sites by Madisonville Police Department
January 15, 2015 22128

UPDATE: Fatality Victim's Name Officially Released

in Top News For All Sites by Doreen Dennis, SurfKY News

Stories Trending Today

January 29, 2015 5378

Man Charged with Sexual Abuse of Child

in Local (Hopkins) Top News by Doreen Dennis, SurfKY News
January 29, 2015 3425

UPDATE - Students Have until Jan. 31 to Enter…

in General News For All Sites by James R. Comer
January 29, 2015 2113

Kentucky Highway Crews Prepare for Possible…

in Top News For All Sites by Keith Todd
January 30, 2015 2076

Woman Arrested for Allegedly Attacking Police…

in Local (Hopkins) Top News by Madisonville Police Department/Hopkins County Detention Center
January 29, 2015 1937

Hopkins County Health Department Food Scores Thru…

in Hopkins News by Barry Franklin
January 29, 2015 1909

Group Organizing Prayer Circle for Youth

in Local (Hopkins) Top News by Doreen Dennis, SurfKY News
January 29, 2015 1776

Hopkins County Sheriff's Reports Released

in Hopkins News by Hopkins County Sheriff's Office
January 29, 2015 1761

Madisonville Police Arrest Reports - Jan. 29, 2015

in Hopkins News by Madisonville Police Department
January 29, 2015 1583

Keystone Approval Will Boost the Economy, Support…

in General News For All Sites by Robert Steurer
January 29, 2015 1524

Protect Your Sensitive Information from Hackers

in General News For All Sites by SurfKY News
January 29, 2015 1386

Whitfield Meets with Fort Campbell Soldiers

in General News For All Sites by Marty Irby
January 29, 2015 1341

Revive the Art of Letter-Writing

in General News For All Sites by SurfKY News