I have to tell you something about this God of ours. I’ll let you in on a little secret. He cares a lot about the people out there. So much so, that he’d sacrifice His own son to reach them…and he’d sacrifice you.
Let me say that again. He’d sacrifice your life to rescue theirs.
God knows that in order to win a war, you have to sacrifice soldiers.
If you don’t believe me, flip through the pages of Foxes Book of Martyrs to find your proof. Within the covers of that book is a roster of fearless soldiers whom God has sacrificed to take captives from the other side of no man’s land. Until you realize that about Him, you won’t really understand what it is we’re doing here. This God of the prophets sent them out with very unpopular messages until they were stoned, sawn in two, lived in caves like wild animals, and made the ultimate sacrifice. You need to know that. Like Warcraft ii, Tides of Darkness, God just keeps sending us wave after wave, over the top, past the barbed wire, even if it means that you’ll be riddled with bullets.
Do you know why?
That’s what it took for him to save you.
This God is a God of infiltration. It’s what he does. It’s what he’s been doing since Genesis 3 when he killed the first living being on this planet. He was sacrificing to reach others. That’s what soldiers do to purchase the freedom of others. It’s a risk I took daily as a firefighter to rescue others. As His image bearers we are called to be continually infiltrating…and that will mean sacrifice. God didn’t send Gotham the hero it deserves, but the hero it needs right now, and that’s you.
Philip the Evangelist went to a city called Hieropolis, which was really a Necropolis, a city of the dead. Not a zombie infested hovel, or they’d never have survived in the days before shotguns. Don’t be ridiculous. Hieropolis was a city of tombs that developed next door to the rejuvenating springs of Pamakule. Because Pamakule’s springs were rumored to possess mystical medicinal healing properties, the disease afflicted rich socialites of Macedonia and beyond traveled to reach the magical waters. The tourist trade was booming and there was money to be made in the name of medical malpractice. In the end, the waters failed, the sick died, and their servants built them tombs with the money the rich left behind. Because it was a bad idea to transport fresh corpses hundreds of miles in the sweltering Mediterranean heat during the first century, the road to Pamakule stretched on for miles with elaborate tombs representing people who attempted one last shot at evading death.
It was to this corner of the world that God sent Philip the Evangelist. Imagine the impact of somebody who turned up in the midst of the medical reliquery booths claiming that Jesus would instantaneously heal? It’d shut down your business, create quite a stir, and probably get somebody killed. And it did.
But it left a church in it’s wake.
Make no mistake, if you’re not getting persecuted, then you’re not actually hitting the culture where it hurts.
Most Christians don’t give a rip about the culture around them. A quick survey of the best-selling books for the last 10-20 years, Left Behind and Prayer of Jabez can be summed up by saying “Get as much crap as you can, and then get the hell out of here as fast as you can.” The whole rapture thing may appeal to somebody who doesn’t give a rip about the lost around them, but if a church planter wrote a book it’d be called “Please Leave Me Behind: I’ve still Got Work to Do Here”. I agree with Dr. D. Martin Lloyd- Jones, that the measure of maturity has always been a desire for lost souls.
Buy Peyton’s newest book “Reaching The Unreached: Becoming Raiders of the Lost Art” over on Amazon.com. You can also download a free chapter and watch a cool trailer for the book HERE or click the image below.