Recent events surrounding the death of a young man, John Chau, have evoked much comment from many sources, some very critical of his passion and sacrifice. In the light of this event and the many before him who have sacrificially given their lives so those at the “ends of the earth” may hear the gospel, consider again the words of Jesus; “That repentance for the forgiveness of sins should be proclaimed in his name to all nations, beginning from Jerusalem” (Luke 24:45–47).
Jesus is clearly saying that the message of His death and resurrection provided a way for mankind to repent and receive forgiveness. He wanted this message to be “proclaimed” so that all “ethne” would hear, receive, believe and confess (Romans 10:8-17). This divine purpose and plan includes every people group from one end of the earth to the other.
John Piper once wrote of another missionary martyred in a hostile field, “The whole point of [his] life is that there is something worse than death. So, he was willing to risk his own life to rescue others from something far worse. And he could risk his own life because he knew his own risking and dying would work for him ‘an eternal weight of glory’” (2 Corinthians 4:17).
These are persons who also took seriously Hebrews 12:2; “looking to Jesus, the founder and perfecter of our faith, who for the joy that was set before Him endured the cross, despising the shame, and is seated at the right hand of the throne of God”. Will we do the same?
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