by Dave DeCook
Welcome to the engine room. I remember touring a ship called LOGOS in Chittagong harbor, probably in 1972, when I was 9 years old. It was a Gospel ship owned by Operation Mobilization, I think. It carried a lot of Christian literature around the world. The part I remember the best was the engine room. I was totally awed by the huge pistons that drove the ship. The amount of power that moved through that room was kind of thrilling. To think that it moved the whole ship, a huge ship, bigger than most buildings I had ever been in, and carried it from one continent to another across the mighty seas was mind boggling.
In the same way, the power of the gospel is awesome. Paul said, “I am not ashamed of the Gospel, because it is the power of God for the salvation of everyone who believes. For, in the Gospel a righteousness from God is revealed, a righteousness that is by faith, from first to last. Just as it is written, ‘the righteous shall live by faith.’” This is the power that is winning people from the kingdom of darkness and is building the kingdom of God worldwide, a kingdom that will prevail and never end.
Here in the engine room I want to talk about things that are hugely motivating to me. I am trying to learn the heart of God and bring that into my life and into this ministry. Here I want to share that with you, so that you can get a feel for what is at the heart of this ministry.
So, what’s one thing that I find hugely motivating at Bangla Ministries Worldwide? Right off the top of my head, I would say that what gets me up in the morning is that the Bengalis have a prophetic destiny. According to Genesis 12:3 the blessing of Abraham will come to every tribe on earth. Revelation 7:9-11 shows that God’s promise will come true and be seen in heaven in a huge gathering worshiping God together. In order to come to pass, we must preach the Gospel to every nation. Jesus said in Matthew 24:14 that we would do that and complete the job and then the end will come. I don’t believe that has happened for the Bengalis (more on that later) and yet, I see signs of the end. Therefore, I believe God is about to do something quite amazing so that this largest unreached people group will be reached soon. It is so exciting to be alive at this moment and be a part of what God is going to do!
I welcome your comments. Thanks for visiting The Engine Room!
While I agree wholeheartedly that the gospel must be preached to every nation before Christ will return, and that he endeavors to use us today (just as he has used every generation of his children previously), isn’t it getting a bit far ahead of ourselves to say that Christ is returning so soon? Certainly his return is closer now than it has ever been before, and of course we see signs of it everywhere (earthquakes, famine, war, disease…). However, those things “are but the beginning of the birth pains” (Matthew 24:8). While we should of course do everything in our power to share the gospel with everyone, no one knows when Christ will return and it could still be much longer than we think. I’m not sure his return should be our sole motivation for reaching the lost – the fact that they’re lost, and that only Christ can guide them home, is a greater reason in my mind.
Heather, thank you for your comments!
I am sharing something that I find “hugely motivating at Bangla Ministries Worldwide.” That is, this is special to BMW and other similar situations, not common to all situations. What you have shared–that they are lost and Christ is the only way–is common to all. I agree that your statement should be the biggest motivation and is certainly a sufficient motivation for sharing the Good News, but I am kind of taking that one for granted here. I want to provide people with motivation to get involved in this particular evangelistic endeavor.
I see that you don’t dispute that the Bengalis have a prophetic destiny of being reached before the return of Christ. You seem to doubt my suggestion that the end is near. Fair enough. I will make two points: 1. There are signs; 2. We are supposed to expect the soon return of Jesus.
Firstly, although I eschew date-setting, signs are given for a reason. While it is theoretically possible the Parousia is 1000 years off, as I look at the signs, and as a student of history, I think we have a 90% chance of seeing the return of Christ in the next 25 years and a 98% chance in the next 50 years. Some of the factors in my mind are the abandonment of Israel by the US, the decline of Christianity in the US, the development of the global economy, the acquisition of nuclear weapons by Islamic nations, the wholesale abandonment of sexual mores by the West, the widespread marginalization and persecution of Christianity. These trends and the signs they fit with are converging fairly rapidly.
Secondly, the imminence of the Blessed Appearance is spoken of repeatedly in the Bible as a motivator to serving the Lord. While it is theoretically possible that it is still 1000 years off, that kind of thinking blunts urgency and is demotivating. We are to be “dressed and ready, keeping our lamps burning” (Luke 12:35-43).
So, here’s how this works: We are engaged in a work that has been extremely difficult and slow for 200 years. Is there any other group on earth that has been the subject of missionary effort for 200 years and only has 0.3% evangelical? I don’t think so. But, because of the scriptures quoted in the original post, we know this group will be reached before the end. And because of the signs, we are fairly certain it will be soon. Therefore, very soon something awesome is going to happen, spreading the Good News of Jesus in this people group. And we are going to be alive to see it happen! And some of us are going to be involved in some way. And we are going to find ourselves up to our elbows in spiritual fruit. And it’s not because we earned it or worked hard or worked smart. It’s because we were lucky enough to be alive at this time. As Jesus said in John 4, “Others have done the hard work. Go and harvest!” I know the price my parents and their whole generation paid to serve in Bangladesh. I am not about to let the harvest rot in the field!