We have realized that most of our blog posts are written under the assumption that our readers are believers in Christ. So we thought we would switch things up a bit and write a blog devoted to those who do not know Christ and might be scratching their heads wondering why we live the way we do. This may be you and you may have thought to yourself: “Why would they go to a remote tribe to mess up the people’s way of life?The people in Africa are fine the way they are!”
In response to that, we unashamedly admit that we want everyone everywhere to receive the eternal happiness of worshipping the God who made them.And this eternal happiness can only come to those who believe the Gospel which can be summed up in the following four points:
1.There is Only One God
There is one God and all the rest are impostors.There is one God who created everything.The world does not exist because a bird had an egg and when the egg hatched there was our world inside.The world was not created from the carcass of a dead goddess.And the world is not in existence today because two (eternal?) molecules came together and exploded.
There is only one God and when this God spoke things that did not exist started to exist.God commands nothing and that nothing obeys him.The Creator God is a personal God who made people to be like him.He is a holy God who has never lied, who is not tempted to sin, and who has no lack.If he even got hungry he would not tell us because he owns the whole world and can get food whenever and however he wants.
And the Lord does not seek our counsel for the things he does.He simply does whatever he wants.He is not worried about any atheist’s opinion of him.In fact, he likens such critique to a lump of clay criticizing its sculptor. Can you imagine your child’s play-dough grumbling because he is not making it into what it wants to be?
“Woe to him who strives with him who formed him, a pot among earthen pots! Does the clay say to him who forms it, ‘What are you making?’ or ‘Your work has no handles’?…I made the earth and created man on it; it was my hands that stretched out the heavens, and I commanded all their host” Isaiah 45:9,12.
2.Everyone, Everywhere Has Offended This God
There are certain people that I do not want to make mad.For instance, I really pray that I can stay on the “good side” of people who are handling my visa.Or judges who are ruling whether or not we can adopt a child we love and for which have been praying. I would never insult the surgeon who was going to operate on me.Or anyone carrying some type of weapon for that matter.I think the common factor is that I would rather not offend really powerful people that can make things go badly for me.
And the bad news is that everyone, everywhere has deeply offended God and there is no one more powerful then he is.I know it is not popular to say that God is angry, but we must remember that his anger is different then human anger. It is a pure and holy anger.It is like the anger we feel when we hear a child has been molested or when we remember the Holocaust. It is a anger that is right.
And God is angry because everyone has fallen short of his glory.He made us to be like him and we have dropped the ball. We are not like him.Instead of worshiping him as Creator we worship the things he created.Instead of having all of our energies go towards praising him for the planet we devote our energies toward saving the planet.Instead of trusting his Word we trust in our own opinions.Instead of bowing before this God, we judge him and say something like, “Well I would not do it that way.” Instead of letting the One who made our bodies tell us what we can and cannot do with them, we disregard his Word and sleep with who we want and then throw it in God’s face.Instead of praising the God who made women, we talk about “woman power.” Instead of using our money to help the poor we keep buying more things for ourselves.Instead of defending the weak, we pass laws to systematically kill unborn children.
God sees all of this and God is offended.He promises to punish all of us forever in Hell for living in rebellion to his laws.
3.But This God is Kinder Then We Are
When our spouses do not appreciate us, we divorce them or at least gossip about them.When people do not give us the respect that we deserve, we write them off.When someone thinks they are right all the time, we just avoid them.
And this is how we treat God.We do not appreciate him.We do not value his opinions.We do not listen to him.We do not give him the respect he deserves.And yet he still reached out to us by becoming one of us.
Jesus, the Son of God, willingly left the comfort of Heaven to live among those who would betray him, be ashamed of him, and ultimately kill him.And to top that off, he never even did anything wrong.And yet, it was the plan of God all along to take all his anger out for the sins of the world out on his own Son.
“But he was wounded for our transgressions; he was crushed for our iniquities; upon him was the chastisement that brought us peace, and with his stripes we are healed.All we like sheep have gone astray; we have turned every one to his own way; and the LORD has laid on him the iniquity of us all” Isaiah 53:5-6.
God the Father laid upon Jesus all the sins of the world and judged him for it by killing him on a cross.But then three days later, God raised him from the dead and now Jesus has returned to Heaven.
4.We Must Come to Him on HIS Terms
So now what?So now we have a choice:either submit to God’s method of forgiving the undeserving or continue to judge and critique how he does things.
To those who humble themselves, confess their sin, and believe that Jesus died for them, God is no longer angry because all the anger he had for their sin was put on Jesus, the Sacrificial Lamb.These people will know true forgiveness, a clean conscience, will have a purpose for living and will live with God forever in Heaven.
But to those who continue to think this message is absurd, who think their sin is unforgivable, who love their sin and will not let go of it, who believe anything their culture tells them instead of believing the Bible…there is no forgiveness.These two groups of people can be seen in this verse:
“Whoever believes in the Son has eternal life; whoever does not obey the Son shall not see life, but the wrath of God remains on him” John 3:36.
In sum, because God created everyone and because everyone has the same sin problem, his solution of salvation in Christ applies to everyone regardless of their culture. Jesus’ offer of salvation to anyone who has faith in him did not originate in America but instead is an offer that is relevant to everyone in the world. This is why we do what we do. If it were not for this awesome message, we would not move to Africa. But like those who have been given the cure to some horrible disease, we have been given the only path to salvation. With this gift comes a great responsibility. And we are thrilled to bring this message of redemption and eternal joy to Cameroon.
Author: David M. Hare
Dave is a husband, father of four Africans, and is currently helping the Kwakum people do Oral Bible Storying and Bible translation in Cameroon, Africa.
World Team is a global mission agency dedicated to church planting among unreached people groups.
Our goal is to make disciples and equip the local church to grow and multiply.
We do this by sharing the hope of Christ in word and deed.
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World Team specializes in helping people find a place to serve in global missions where their unique skills and passions can be a blessing to others. From short-term to career missions, we’ll help you find the right team or form a new one.
Dave and Stacey Hare met at The Master’s College (now The Master’s University) in Santa Clarita, CA. They then went on to the Southern Baptist Theological Seminary in Louisville, KY where they each received their MDivs. Also in Louisville, they adopted four kids from Ethiopia. Their first term on the field they spent learning French and Kwakum. For their first home assignment they each received a Master of Arts in Applied Linguistics, Bible Translation from the Graduate Institute of Applied Linguistics (now Dallas International University). They currently live in Cameroon, Africa where they serve as Linguists/Bible Translators among the Kwakum (aka Bakoum) people.