An Equal Opportunity God?

The important things in life

The important things in life (Photo credit: David Robert Wright)

Today a young man will wake up in an African village. He will not read from Scripture over a cup of hot coffee. There is no such thing as coffee in his village… nor are there any Bibles. He will however demonstrate some semblance of recognition of a higher power he believes controls the rains and the growth of his meager plants. He will ask this god to show him favor.

“At the top of my game now,” thinks the young man of himself as he stares blankly at the figure speaking and gesturing from the front of the room. His recent promotion has opened opportunities he’d only dreamed of before. Closing on his harbor front home would be the final touch to make him the envy of friends and family alike.

The drought has left little hope for food in their village. The young man shakes the dried gourd filled with pebbles toward the sky… hoping to awaken his god from his obvious slumber.

The figure at the front of the room seems to be ending his prolonged discourse. “Why such long-winded messages,” the young man sighs silently. He glances at his watch, realizing if this service doesn’t end soon, he’s going to be late for his dinner reservation which will definitely mean missing the first quarter of the game. He grimaces as the man preaching says something about our indebtedness to carry the good news of Jesus to the farthest corners of the world…

Has God provided an equal opportunity for everyone today to hear the gospel? Indeed, He could have simply given the same level of revelation to all people groups everywhere. Or, He could have strategically placed a great knowledge of Himself in a central location. In this strategic location He could have provided all of the necessary funding and resources so that the good news of His Son would find its way into every crack and crevice of the nations. His strategic location could be inhabited by those whose only desire is to be like their Lord, who gave Himself for them. He gave everything, and in turn, they do likewise. It seems that either scenario accomplishes the same task.

Why then is a young man in Africa still shaking a gourd toward the skies?

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About mtsweat

Seeking the rest that is only promised and found in Christ Jesus, along with my treasured wife of more than twenty-five years, we seek to grow in our relationship with our Heavenly Father, walk with the Holy Spirit as He moves our hearts, loving others always as Jesus loves us, and carry the news of His glory, the wonderful gospel, that gives light and life where there once was only darkness.
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11 Responses to An Equal Opportunity God?

  1. Wes says:

    I agree. Gordon Clark wrote a decent explanation on determinism and Responsibility which is an interesting quick read. I doubt its anything new to you though.

  2. Elder Wesley says:

    The question, ” Why then is a young man in Africa still shaking a gourd toward the skies?” is simply answered in Romans 9:

    …”I will have mercy on whom I have mercy, and I will have compassion on whom I have compassion.”

    In reply to Lyn response,

    ” we will be responsible for the people we ‘could have’ ministered to but did not. Even if they would have rejected us, their blood would have been off our hands.”

    Paul Could have went to Asia but didn’t(Acts 16) does that mean the asiatic blood is on Paul’s hands or God’s, God was the one who commanded not to go?

    • mtsweat says:

      While you are very right in acknowledging that God owes no one any explanation for how much revelation He has chosen to make available, and that He has every right to show mercy (or not show mercy) where He pleases, He has still given us a simple command… “Go and make disciples!” We can kick back in our recliners and enjoy an afternoon of football while consuming a massive amount of hot wings and sodas, thinking to ourselves, “Wow, ain’t it great how God has bestowed His grace on us” all we want, but in the end, we still have to answer the question, “Did I go, and did I make disciples?” If our answer is any less than that, then we might as well prepare ourselves to hear the words, “Why do you call Me Lord, and not do what I command?” He of course means He is not our Lord if we are not doing as He commanded. Reformed theology is going to be a sad excuse for disobedience on judgement day.

      The command to go includes home and abroad. Every believer is responsible to be involved in mission work on all fronts. The church in America is not involved in mission work on any front. We give to mission work when it’s convenient. We give when there’s something excess that we can live without. Jesus hasn’t changed His mind about what the requirements of being a disciple are… “any of you who does not give up everything he has, cannot be My disciple.” While I am a great respecter of God and His sovereignty, I think we’re riding that horse to our demise.We had better learn to be obedient and get busy carrying the good news of Jesus to our neighbors and the nations.

      Hey! Good to hear from you Wes!

  3. mtsweat says:

    Some great comments and discussion going on here, for which I am greatly appreciative. I hope to have time soon to personally respond to each one, but for now, I would like to agree with the assessment that we are called to carry the gospel to our homes, workplaces, neighborhoods, etc…, but we are in fact each called to take the good news to the farthest locations of the world also. We may not all be able to go personally, but everyone is equipped to support those who are going prayerfully and financially. We live in a day when an unreasonable number of missionaries are stranded in their hometowns because there isn’t enough funding to get to where they have been called. Not being a prophet of doom here, but if we’re commanded to get the gospel into every land, and refuse (using the resources for personal pleasure, entertainment, and gluttony), doesn’t it stand to reason that God will put the resources elsewhere? To an obedient people who will see the urgency of the gospel? (oh, did I just imply something? If so, please know I’m speaking directly to me) Just kind of thinking about our economy here… Thanks and blessings good friends.

    • Lyn Leahz says:

      If we are called to do that, then yes, we should. But some of us have responsibilities to small children as well..and as a mother, I am also called to be a mom. One of my children has a dead beat dad, and I am all that he has. I think we can reach the world, for those of us unable to physically travel, through the internet as well as writing books. I don’t really see my children as an excuse, but it is a calling to be a mother as well and to instruct and teach my children the ways of the Lord. Actually, none of my children’s dads know the Lord, so without me, they would not have that instruction in their lives. God bless you!

      • mtsweat says:

        You are absolutely right Lyn. Your first obligation is to your own household. I hope I didn’t imply anything to contradict that. The gospel goes first to our homes, then to our neighborhoods, then abroad. Kind of like Jerusalem… Judea… Samaria… to the ends of the world (Acts 1:8). Still, if we collectively as the body of Christ have been called to carry the good news of Jesus Christ to the uttermost parts of the world, then we must conclude God has given us the resources to do so. I’m very much aware that some live on strict budgets, and may not be able to do what they would consider to be a whole lot, but we must remember that the widow’s mite was praised highly above the treasures given from the wealthy. Why? Because she gave all she had. I think this is where I’m struggling in my own life. And, by the way, messages like this one are written directly to me. Should someone else benefit, praise the Lord! The painful words Jesus consistently declares is that His disciples aren’t those who give what they can afford… they give everything. I’m just not sure we can hear these words from Him, and continue to live the American dream. I know that many people explain away all of these sayings made by our Lord, but they seem pretty cut and dried to me. Unfortunately, I’m a far cry from resembling His description of those who would be His disciples. Blessings good friend and apologies if something was stated that I didn’t mean to come across.

  4. alwayzhis says:

    Very well written post. Comparing the 2 young men! I agree with Pastor J, Lyn and writinggomer.
    This life is but a vapor and then it’s over and eternity begins for everyone!
    Why are we, as God’s blessed, forgiven, adopted children keeping the message of New Life in Jesus Christ to ourselves? Anyone claiming the name of Christ, with a heart filled with the Holy Spirit of God, wouldn’t!
    We need to pray fervently for a revival within the Body of Christ in our culture. There are far too many in the pews every Sunday morning who need to have their hearts break for what Jesus Christ did for all mankind.
    Keep writing and speaking the truth in love…
    Blessings
    Stephanie

  5. writinggomer says:

    Thought provoking post. We His people (many of us anyway) choose to ignore the Great Commission. Then again many go to church and are not involved in helping their church either.
    Not everyone can go overseas, but everyone can do something to make a difference in God’s Kingdom.

    Continue seeking God with seriousness. Unless He wanted you, you would not be wanting Him. #CSLewis

    • Lyn Leahz says:

      Yes, Amen! Not all of us can go overseas, but we can do the same exact thing in our own home town that people do overseas. It’s no different at all. We have plenty of opportunities places we go; the grocery store, work, department store, taking a walk, etc.

      My oldest daughter and I, in the spring and summer months, take late night walks. We take with us stacks of index cards with various veses written on them, as well as a short little reminder that Jesus is coming soon. We either toss them up in people’s private walkways in front of their door, or put them beneath their windshield wiper blades.

      There’re many ways to do it, you just have to be creative!

  6. Lyn Leahz says:

    I agree with jelillie. We are the feet of God..the lesser parts..but so important, for we are they who carry the Word throughout the world. We have been given an assignment by God, upon salvation, to tell everyone we can. This is our job! Are we doing our job?

    If you work for a company and your assignment is to make sure the sidewalks and drive stay free of ice and snow, but someone slips on the ice/snow in the drive… who is going to be responsible for the accident? Was it not ‘your’ job to maintain the sidewalks and the drive to keep them free from snow and ice?

    Likewise, we will be responsible for the people we ‘could have’ ministered to but did not. Even if they would have rejected us, their blood would have been off our hands. How many people do we pass by daily without mentioning anything about Jesus? There’s always a way to bring it up in a conversation smoothly without being brash. God will always make a way!

    Great post! God bless you! Very thought provoking about our purpose.

  7. jelillie says:

    As Keith Green said “This generation of believers is responsible for this generation of souls!” The question has always been what are we doing about our responsibility. Good article!

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