Monday, December 9, 2013

Temporary or Eternal?

Model of Herod's Temple- photo by Anne Laine
 I love how stories in the Bible can grip us. I always find myself pointing the finger at Israel or Peter for obvious mistakes they made, only to see myself in their mistake. Matthew relates the following story in his Gospel. Jesus was at the temple in Jerusalem, but he was leaving. His disciples came to point out the buildings of the temple to him. Apparently more progress had been made on this amazing structure— more rooms added— and they were very excited. It didn’t seem to make any impression on Jesus, so they intercept him as He is leaving and direct His attention back to the building. I can just imagine their awe of this symbol of national and religious pride. Herod’s Temple was stunning.

Jerusalem from the Mount of Olives- photo by Steve Hughes
But Jesus’ response was less than enthusiastic. He prophesied that it would be utterly destroyed...not one stone left on top of another. We know today that the temple had about another 50 years before His words would be fulfilled. But for the disciples this news must have come as a shock. Several minutes later, when He was seated on the Mount of Olives His disciples came to Him privately and said, “Tell us, when will these things be, and what will be the sign of your coming and of the end of the age?” (Matt. 24:3 ESV). So Jesus told them what to expect. Much of what He said would not have sounded like good news: wars and rumors of wars. But he told them not to be alarmed (v.6). He finally reached this conclusion: “And this gospel of the kingdom will be proclaimed throughout the whole world as a testimony to all nations, and then the end will come” (Matt. 24:14).

How do you like that? The end will come after a period of intense mission activity in which the gospel message will be preached to every nation—literally, every ethnic group in existence. If I could paraphrase this whole message I might say it like this: Lose your obsession with comfort, security, and ethnic pride and throw yourselves into my good news campaign to reach every single ethnic group known on earth. He is telling them, “Don’t waste your lives on temporary things when you can engage in eternal things.”

What about you? Are you stuck on temporary? What is it that keeps you from engaging in eternal things? Today there are still 6,900 unreached, unengaged people groups in the world without access to the Gospel. You can start making an eternal impact today through prayer. Jesus said “...pray earnestly to the Lord of the harvest to send out laborers into his harvest” (Luke 10:2 ESV). Who knows? Maybe He will send you?

-Matt Burke

Monday, December 2, 2013

Yesu Amala: Video

Take a glimpse of worship at one of our local Africa Gospel Churches that the Burke family visited.