Born For Such A Time
Let's imagine for a minute that you were born in Calcutta, India. You would be under the oppression of the worship of the goddess, "Kali." Even today in Calcutta, human sacrifice is demanded to appease "Kali," which is the goddess of destruction, murder and violence. Even in today's "enlightened and educated" environment, that kind of evil continues. Here where Satan's grip is strong, itchy fingers are on nuclear weapons. That is the place. What if you had been born in Calcutta? Wouldn't you be hungry and anxious to see the messenger of the Good News of Jesus Christ? Here in America, we have a land flowing with milk and honey. It is a land flowing with the blessings of the Gospel of Jesus Christ, and there, they have none. Don't you think they desire the Good News? Don't you think they hunger after Jesus Christ? He is called "The Desire of the Nations."
I remember this thought hitting me: It's not fair that I was born here and they were born there. Why is it, for generations upon generations, they grow up in darkness and die in darkness, and yet I have the blessing of growing up with the Light. I have the Scriptures and a family that loves Jesus. They took care of me and brought me up in the Good News of Jesus Christ in a land with churches all around me. I began asking myself the question, "Why was I born here and not there?" That is a good question, but I want to ask you a different one. Why were you born now? Why were you not born 100 years ago, or tomorrow, or why were you not born today? Why were you born for such a time as this? The good news is that God has chosen you specifically for this time. It is not a mistake.
I noticed that we have indications that there may be four Joshua's coming to the next Oak Hill Boot Camp. Who knows if they will all come, but four? What is God saying? I started thinking about this, and I believe that God is saying, "This is the kind of person this is the kind of generation that we are living in a Joshua kind of generation.
You remember Joshua. God said, "He is a man like no other." That means he is not a "normal" man. We need some people who are not "normal." We can look around and see "normal," and there is nothing great about it. "Normal" churches are little more than the Rotary Club. "Normal" Christianity has reduced the life of God in us and through us to a weekend activity right before the football game, hardly distinguishable from any other activity.
We need some Joshuas on planet earth who will hear God say, "I want you to go in and take the land." They will spy it out. They will say, "Yeah, man, there are giants there, but look at the fruit!" They will say, "We can do it, because God says we can." What are the giants? Communism, Hinduism, Buddhism, Islam. You know, Muslims don't like Christians. They kill them. But do you know what Joshua says? We can do it!!! Why? Because we are mighty? NO!!! Because God said we could, and He will be with us!
The people of Israel said, "No." They died in the wilderness, but Joshua lived to lead the next generation into the Promised Land. Friends, I believe this is Joshua's Generation the people who will see The "Promised" land. We will go in without fear. We will not be like past generations who dilly-dallied around in their own affairs, their own business, their own pleasures, concerned for their own life! But we will believe God and boldly go where no man has gone before! Go boldly!!! Enter into this promised land!
I am on the front edge of what is called Generation X. Do you know that half of my generation is dead already? They have been wiped out by abortion. Half of my generation no longer lives. They were cut off. When you see Satan, on a mass scale, wiping out the babies, you know something's afoot. You know he is trying to stop something that God intends to do. Moses, you remember that? Jesus, remember that? We have another situation on our hands. God is planning something for this generation - to bring Light and Salvation to the ends of the earth, and Satan is doing everything He can to thwart God's plan before it ever has a chance to begin.
This is a crucial generation, this Joshua Generation. It is time to go in and possess the land. We are not responsible for generations that have already died. We cannot do anything about it. Can we? But we are responsible for the generation that is now alive. Old to young, we are responsible for who is alive right now. It is an awesome responsibility. Now is not the time for timidity, for calmness. Some people would like for me to calm down a little bit, but it is not the time for kicking back in an easy chair and taking it easy. Now is the time for aggressively going out and doing that to which God has called us.
The spies have gone in. They have seen the land and said, "It is good." God has said, "Go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the Name of the Father, Son and Holy Spirit, teaching them to obey everything I have commanded, and lo, I am with you always even to the end of the age." He commanded that. He didn't say, only go if it is safe to go. He didn't say, only go if you can come back. He didn't say, only go if it feels good. He said, GO!!! We should not be satisfied with just our own salvation and relax in that, but aggressively fight for the salvation of those who have never heard of Jesus even once.
Time for Timidity
I have a statistic, which absolutely blew me away. I know statistics are dangerous. People zone out. But when I read this one, I finally understood. I may have read it before, but recently when I read it, I popped up out of bed, threw my bathrobe on, and I started pacing. I couldn't sleep for hours after this. This is the single most exciting statistic I have ever seen. There are 6.2 billion people alive today. Right now, there are more people alive than have ever died in history! Do you understand? Let me explain. Adam and everyone else who has ever died, there are less of them than those who are alive today on Planet Earth! Do you see? We are not just another generation! We hold in our hands the eternal destiny of over half of God's created beings, over half of the people He died for on the Cross. It is not the time for timidity. It is not the time for doing things casually. It is not the time for doing it like our mom and dad did it. It is time for Joshua to go in and take the land; because if we don't, we have lost nearly half of all the people that God has ever made.
I wonder - God must have made a mistake in His planning! It has to be! I know who I am, and you have seen the condition of the local church? What is He thinking? Where is the Apostle Paul when we need him? Where is James Hudson Taylor? Where is Samuel Zwemer? Where's William Carey? Where is Harmon Schmelzenbach when we need him? I am looking at us, and I am saying, "God, are we the ones to do the job? Literally half of all your loved people are alive right now, and you have chosen us to do this? We have minimal zeal for God, minimal love for mankind, minimal commitment it seems. Us? He has chosen to give to us the biggest task of any generation, ever!
The Good News is that God is enough! Remember the story of the feeding of the 5,000? Lest we forget, they did not have any food to give out to 5,000 people. Impossible! And the bread was broken and given. Jesus made it enough. The little bit we have, the little bit of faith, the little bit of love, the little bit of zeal and passion, God will multiply and feed His multitudes that He loves so dearly. He always puts us between the Bread of Life and the masses, and God will continue to multiply as we, in obedience, hand it out.
He has chosen the weak things of the world - that is an understatement - to do this awesome task, and I have figured out why: because we will not be able to steal His Glory! No one will say, "Look what we did; we were so good." No! We will throw our crown quickly at Jesus' feet and say, "Look what Jesus did! Worthy is the Lamb who was slain!" He purchased men from every tongue, tribe and nation and formed them into a Holy Priesthood and into a Kingdom. He did it!!! Not you and me, because of our brilliance. Where is Charles Spurgeon when we need him? Where's Moody? Where are these guys? God chose the humble things of the earth to bring Him glory and to confound the wise.
Deuteronomy 32:8 tells us that "He establishes the boundaries of the peoples according to the Sons of Israel." God has chosen to establish the boundaries of the peoples of planet earth according to the number of the Sons of Israel. This principle was established in Scripture. God's plan was to bless the nations through Israel. There were 70 sons of Israel that went into Egypt, and God established in Genesis 10 and 11 that there were 70 nations. When Jesus sent out the disciples to the Gentile (or nation) villages, he sent out 70. The principle is this: God is not giving us a job that is too big to be done. Sometimes, I look at it and think "2.1 billion people that have never had a chance to hear??!!" How are we going to do it with just a handful? How are we going to do it even if 600 people come through our ministry in the next two years? It is still 2.1 billion people. Sons of Israel, daughters of Israel, we are enough, with our Almighty God who can multiply all our activities.
God could have controlled the population growth, couldn't He? Why is it that population kind of sputtered along at almost nothing and then suddenly in our generation, swoosh, six billion? How did that happen? God is in control, and He chose you for this generation. This is a good word! We are not out of our God's ballpark. We are in the ballpark He chose for us. We are exactly in the generation and in the time that He chose for us. He believes in us. He has given us a job and provided everything we need to accomplish it. Airplanes. Think about it. It doesn't take six months to get to the mission field. E-mail! You can talk to anybody on the mission field, and they can talk to you. They can say, "Pray, I'm in a world of hurt and trouble." Technologically, we are set-up wonderfully.
Financially, we are set-up incredibly. This always becomes an issue. How are we going to use our finances? I got an appeal from a local institute that is building a plaza in the middle of its property, so the students can have a place to get together. It is a nice plaza, and they are putting a nice fountain in the middle. The fountain alone cost $150,000! A $150,000 fountain! Now, before you think I am a raving lunatic, think about this. When the rainbow showed up, God promised not to destroy the earth again by water. He did not say anything about fire. Next time He is going to destroy it by fire. This fountain is a temporal thing. I am not short-sighted about the fact that the next generation will enjoy this fountain with the little investment we are making now, but I am talking about a real investment. The only things that last forever are those people that you have rescued from the pit of hell! They have happy Heaven to enjoy, but this fountain is not going to enjoy happy Heaven. That $150,000, and all the other ways the Church of Jesus Christ finds to waste His money, is costing lives on planet earth.
I will tell you what it is like. It is like the fire trucks coming to a five-alarm fire in a 15-story building. Fire is shooting out of the top; people hanging on by their fingernails off the edge. Their death is sure. The fire trucks all come up. Zoom! They are there. Then the firemen get out and start polishing their shoes. They start making sure the engine looks good. We have a job to do! We are left on planet earth for one reason! One reason!!! To obey the Great Commission - to see that every tongue, tribe and nation has a witness of who Jesus is! Then, and only then, will He have what He desires: people from every tongue, tribe and nation worshipping Him before the throne forever and ever.
How we spend our money determines how well we are going to do on this job, whether or not we will even get the job done. God's money is reserved for this great moment in time, to save half of the people He ever created. Think about it. Half of all people ever created are alive right now, and this little bit of money we have is meant for that purpose. While people go to Hell, are we concerned over our aesthetic preferences?
It is going to take every one of us, all of us involved in this. He has given us plenty with which to do the job - personnel, strength, technology, money - it is not a problem, but it is going to take us all. How in the world will they believe, unless they hear? How will they hear, unless someone goes to them, and how will someone go to them, unless we send them. We have to march forward with greater aggression than ever before. If you are called to go? Then, GO!!! Don't wait around. GO!!!
If you are called to stay, then STAY and send - aggressively! I am called to stay. I am called to send. We need lots of help to do this job. A couple of people cannot do it alone. Just look at my ministry alone - this little thing that God has raised up. We need people to layout letters on computers for the missionaries that go out, so people can pray. We need an accountant desperately. We need children's workers and teachers, cooks or food coordinators. We need people to work on the grounds.
Think about it: half of all people on planet earth that have ever lived are alive today in your lifetime. Let us throw off everything that holds us back, the sins that entangle us, the nice things that slow us down. You know what I'm talking about. They are the nice things that are not illegal. The Bible does not say, "Don't do them," but you know what they do. They slow you down from aggressively getting the Gospel to the ends of the earth. Let's throw them off and run this race that He has laid before us. He has chosen you for this time. This time. For such a time, you were born.
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