June is Mission Appreciation Month. Last week, Pastor Robert wrote on the power of the Name and urged us to proclaim it. I would like to encourage you to do the same. Israel was going through a crisis. They were besieged by the Syrian armies and were hemmed within their city and staring at the inevitable extinction. In this dark hour, God spoke through Elisha and promised deliverance (2 Kings 7: 1-20). Once again in spite of the nation’s sin and unbelief, God showed his amazing love and mercy in saving His people. One expositor commented that most probably there are more missionary sermons preached from this text than any other in the Bible except Matthew 28: 18-20 and Acts 1: 8. This is not surprising because we could identify with the words of the lepers, “We are not doing right. This day is a day of good news. If we are silent and wait until the morning light, punishment will overtake us. Now therefore come; let us go and tell the king's household" (2Kings 7:9). These four lepers did not give in to their plight but cast themselves to God’s mercies by going to the Syrians’ camp. At least in doing so, they might have a chance of survival rather than waiting to die in the city with their fellow countrymen. Unknown to them, God had gone before them and routed their enemies. When they arrived at the camp, they were surprised that it was deserted with all the booties being left behind. These four humble and desperate men, ostracized from the community because of their leprosy, were honored by God with the great discovery. The analogy is clear. God has utterly routed our great enemy through the work of His Son. But if we, who have made the great discovery fail to share it with those who are dying in their sins, we will be held responsible to God (2 Cor. 5: 11-20). No wonder, Paul exclaimed, “Woe to me, if I do not preach the gospel” (1Cor. 9: 16). We should be challenged and inspired by this story! In the first place, God has done all for us. Salvation has been accomplished on the Cross. Just like the story in 2 Kings, the Lord has provided a great deliverance by His mighty power. Israel did not contribute anything to this victory. It was all by His grace and power. All they had to do was to receive and enjoy the blessings of God.
Let us not be silent but do our best to share the good news with others. Perhaps we could start with our loved ones at home. I remember the Gadarenes demoniac (Mk 5: 1-20). After being healed by Jesus, he was so grateful to Him and wanted to follow Him. However, Jesus gave him this simple instruction, “Go home to your friends and tell them how much the Lord has done for you, and how he has had mercy on you" (Mk 5: 19). The spiritual lesson of this story is that christians who, in full possession of the secret of eternal life, should not remain silent while millions are dying without Christ.
Are you doing your best to share the good news?
Rev. Mark Tay