Profs Without Borders
“All … were scattered” (Acts 8:1).
Religion is very fashionable today, but religious activity is no substitute for Christian living. I write from long years of reflecting on how tragically we misunderstand biblical priorities and of pondering what “the priesthood of all believers” means both personally and organizationally.
When we assemble for mutual edification we are the church “gathered.” The church dispersed for its everyday relationships is the church “scattered.” The church scattered is the church at work missionally – believers spreading the good news through our daily interactions in ever-widening circles. Peter’s opening salutation (1 Pet. 1:1-2) encapsulates this thought when he describes believers as strangers who have been “scattered” for obedience and sprinkling of the blood of Jesus. Through His scattered followers Christ keeps His kingdom spreading as we take His life into the many circles of our ordinary lives.
The purpose of our scattering is the “sprinkling of the blood of Jesus Christ” – sprinkling in the sense of scattering in drops, in small particles here and there. This is the “secular” church – the church as it engages the world through the circles of interconnected human relationships. A disciple is one who not only comes to Jesus but who comes after Him as well. Multitudes of professed believers have come to Jesus to find rest but somehow have avoided taking His yoke upon them. But His business is our business as Christians. Just as our Lord was always about His Father’s business, we too have a heavenly vocation. The Bible has a lot to say about our works, and the imminence of Christ’s return is always balanced in the Scriptures by His sober counsel to be good stewards in the meantime and buy up the opportunities between now and then.
Maybe I should start a new NGO. I’ll call it “Profs Without Borders.” Its membership would include any academic who has come to the realization that there is nothing greater in life than to know Christ and make Him known. Are we not – all of us – called to “full-time” Christian service? This is the heart of the Christian experience. Dead with Christ, we live to walk in newness of life, outliving ourselves by living for others in the here-and-now.
True Christians are always missionaries. Let us, then, be found occupying till He comes, using well our time and strength so that we shall not be ashamed at His coming. Let us dare to enlarge our borders, to “go … and preach the Gospel to every creature.” A pagan world surrounds us, and lost men and women need us. Who will yield to the Lord and obey His call? We need no Macedonian vision, for the Lord has already commanded us to share His love with others.
Chase earthly treasures and you will be satisfied for a while. Blessed is the man who in spite of infirmities of body and mind moves out of his self-satisfied complacency and false contentment into a needy world.
March 15, 2005
David Alan Black is the editor of www.daveblackonline.com. If you would like to know more about becoming a follower of King Jesus, please feel free to write Dave.