Did you realize that the Body of Christ lacks no funds to pay for the expenses of every one of God’s ordained plans, including taking the Gospel to all nations?
“But Brother K.P.,” you will immediately reply, “if this is true, what about all the desperate needs and heartbreaking stories we hear about the mission fields of Asia and other parts of the world?” The answer is simple: The money that God has entrusted to individual believers and local churches is tied up in properties, elaborate church buildings, houses, cars, boats, bank accounts, investments, fashion, entertainment and self-serving programs.
Billy Graham once said, “The hardest thing for a man or a woman to do is to give their money. A person’s money represents his time, his talents, his education, his sweat, his tears, his job, his toils; and when he converts them into currency and gives it, he is giving his life.”
However, if we understood what our money does on the mission field, that is, what God is doing with it, we would be amazed and more than willing to sell even the clothes on our back to reach the lost world. The following story perfectly illustrates the eternal value of the money we give.
In northwest India, a group of native missionaries was preaching the Gospel on the street. A man in his late 50s came and got a Gospel tract in his native language. This man was a Hindu Brahman landlord. He had cancer in his body; and in order not to bring shame to his family, he ran away from his home to commit suicide. Far away from his home now, he sat on the street corner and read about Jesus and how He had died for him on the cross 2,000 years ago.
There was a prayer he could pray at the end of this tract for forgiveness of sins and peace. For the first time in this man’s life, he not only read about Jesus, but he prayed to Him. He felt something happening to him—a peace began to fill his heart. He did not commit suicide that day, but instead he journeyed back home.
The next day he went to the hospital for the doctors to give him further checkups. To his amazement, the doctors pronounced that he was completely cured. The doctors could give no explanation of how it happened. He told them he knew—the tract he read had cured him.
He traveled to the nearest mission station at the address on the Gospel tract and told our brothers what had happened to him. As they explained to him more about the Lord Jesus, he began to weep. Finally he said, “Now I know this Jesus is my God.” Then he said to them, “I am the landlord in my village. Would you please come and make all my people Christians?” How innocent, how naive and how little he knew about sharing the Gospel.
Two brothers went with him and began to preach the Gospel in this village. Dozens of people gave their lives to Christ and were publicly baptized. As they continued sharing, a strong church was developed in the community. The transformation of this village happened through one simple Gospel tract that cost less than what it costs to buy one pack of chewing gum.
Would the individual who gave that $1 or $10 have ever thought a few pennies of that money would be used to print a Gospel tract that in turn would touch the life of one individual, saving him, healing him and as a result reaching a whole village with the Gospel? Probably not.
Consider the thousands of underground churches in mainland China. Most churches there are privileged if they have one or two Bibles for the entire congregation. Several years ago I was in China. I was totally amazed as I listened to the Chinese brothers explain the scarcity of Bibles. When I asked how they manage, they told me that they tear the Bible into sections and hand out 10 pages per family. Each family will copy down these pages and bring the portion back, and then they are traded around so each family gets a different 10 pages.
What an incredible joy it will be for a person to stand before the throne of God and meet thousands of Chinese brothers and sisters whose church received Bibles through his faithful sacrificial giving. Can you imagine the joy, the thrill that will be?
Here’s a third example: Consider the 60 adults who came to the Lord Jesus Christ through hearing the radio broadcast in the northeast India state of Orissa. No missionary had ever gone into the community. The people had never seen a copy of the Bible or a Gospel tract. But now, in their native language, they heard the Gospel presented through the Gospel for Asia Athmeeya Yathra radio program. After weeks of listening to the program, the news began to spread from one individual to the next, and finally more than 60 people gave their lives to Christ. The families of these new believers were deeply impacted by the change that came into their lives. One of them wrote a letter to Gospel for Asia’s office requesting “that book” our brother was talking and reading from. Soon we sent two missionaries to them. They were overjoyed when our missionaries came with the Bible and explained to them more about the Lord. The believers were baptized, and a glorious church was established.
That broadcast they heard was made possible through the support of an individual, family or congregation that was willing to give its resources to reach the lost world by faith.
During World War II, Winston Churchill called Franklin Roosevelt over the telephone and said, “Give the tools, and we will complete the job.” Today that is exactly what tens of thousands of brothers and sisters scattered in the most unreached parts of our planet are crying out to us—to help them with our prayers and resources so they can complete the task.
We must take this request very seriously. I pray that we will ask ourselves the question, “What can I give or sell so I can give to reach the lost?” Selling out for Jesus is not a new doctrine. Read Acts chapter 2, and you will find that these people sold everything. They had one thing on their mind—to declare to the whole world that Jesus is alive.
I think about the man in Oklahoma City who called me one day weeping over the telephone. He had just finished reading my first book, Revolution in World Missions. He told me of his two expensive Mercedes Benz automobiles, his mansion and all the other stuff he owned. He explained how brokenhearted he was when he realized that millions are lost without Jesus. Finally, he told me he had made a decision with his wife and children that they would sell these expensive cars and home and live modestly so they could spend the resources to preach the Gospel and to reach the lost.
First John 3:16–17 says, “By this we know love, because He laid down His life for us. And we also ought to lay down our lives for the brethren. But whoever has this world’s goods, and sees his brother in need, and shuts up his heart from him, how does the love of God abide in him?”
A day is soon coming in which we will stand before God to give an account for the way we squandered our resources on our own self-centered living. We are the prodigal church that squanders away the Father’s wealth on the affair of an adulterous relationship with this present, passing world.
Your money today can be turned into eternal souls. Don’t wait for someone to come and pester you for it, but look for ways to invest it as a good steward. Don’t forget that soon all you have—everything—will be burned up (2 Peter 3:10). If you hold on to your resources tightly now, you will walk into eternity empty-handed—but with a lot of regret. On the other hand, if you give away what you have now to reach the lost souls, you will walk into eternity with an inheritance that will never perish. Jim Elliot aptly stated this irony: “He is no fool who gives what he cannot keep to gain that which he cannot lose.”1
What will you do now? You must decide.
Reflecting His Image © 1998, 2004 by KP Yohannan, the president and founder of Gospel for Asia. It was written with the intention of encouraging and edifying the Body of Christ. To learn more about Gospel for Asia or to receive additional free resources, visit Gospel for Asia’s website.