The business climate in recent decades has changed dramatically, to say the least. Some of the major "catch phrases" are "outsourcing," "downsizing," "reduction-in-forces," and "global economy."
The concept of a global economy is somewhat new to the American workforce. Many of the products we buy don labels from exotic countries that we have a hard time finding on a map. At one time, our cars came from Detroit; our tomatoes came from the banks of the Ohio River; and our potatoes came from Idaho. Now the Chevrolet (an "American" company pickup truck I drive) was made in Canada, and the Honda (a "Japanese" company four wheeler I ride) was made in the United States. Much of our produce comes from Mexico, South, or Central America. Many of the other products we consume are made in China.
While the concept of a global economy is new to us, God's outlook since the establishment of the church has always been "global." Just before Jesus ascended into heaven, after His resurrection, even before the church began, His vision was worldwide. Notice Jesus' plan of implementation of the systematic spread of the saving message of Jesus, "... and you shall be witnesses to Me in Jerusalem, and in all Judea and Samaria, and to the end of the earth" (Acts 1:8, NKJV). In His "mission prospectus," Jesus outlined His four-step approach to the proclamation of His Good News beginning in Jerusalem, and continuing to the "end of the earth."
This mission was re-stated and re-emphasized in what is commonly called the "Great Commission." "Go therefore and make disciples of all the nations ..." (Matthew 28:19). The companion verse to this is found in Mark 16:15, "Go into all the world and preach the gospel to every creature."
Church historians have documented the rapid rise and spread of Christianity during the first four centuries after that first Pentecost following Jesus' resurrection.
Now fast forward into the twenty-first century. We live in exciting times. We have over six billion souls alive today. Most are lost and separated from God, and many are hungering, thirsting, and searching for the Gospel. We can communicate almost instantly with large portions of this population via the internet and satellite television. Through internet chat rooms I can literally be communicating with my dear friends in Singapore, the Ukraine, Tanzania, and Henderson, Tennessee, almost simultaneously.
Today, we have tremendous potential with tremendous opportunities, with tremendous resources. With all that has been given to the Christian in these United States come tremendous responsibilities. Jesus made this very clear in the Parable of the Talents.
God's vision has always been worldwide - global in its scope! What is your vision? Is it limited to your own small town or city or to your own congregation that has heard the Gospel hundreds, if not thousands, of times? Or, is your vision like God's vision reaching to the end of the world? While the potential is nearly limitless, our time and opportunities are not.
How long will these doors be open? Only God knows. I encourage each of us to be global in our outlook. Take the Great Commission personally and seriously. If you can't go yourself, give so others can go. Let's do all that we can to assure that God's global vision becomes our global vision for the spreading of the Good News of the Gospel. -Route 2, Box 231-B, Fairmont WV 26554.
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