The Guts & Glory of Pioneer Church Planting: Part 3

The world is a dangerous place for Christians, especially for pioneer missionaries. We’re going into battle with the enemy of our souls. This is spiritual war. It is certain there will be casualties, persecutions, and martyrdoms. However, it’s not an accidental providence that God turns evil around for good; it is His “Plan A” strategy. It’s God’s way, His chosen method to save the world through His cross and through our crosses. Joseph Tson said it so well, “His cross is for propitiation. Our crosses are for propagation.”

If God spared not His own son, but freely gave him up to death for us all, then what makes us think we’re exempt from it? Jesus didn’t walk the hard road of suffering and death so that we can walk the soft road! We walk the same road. This isn’t just a missionary calling, this is the calling of a Christian.

If the gospel is as precious as we say it is, then it’s worth every hardship, every sacrifice, every suffering, and every effort that we can muster. The gospel will go to the ends of the earth by “fools” who throw away their lives for the gospel, not by “wise men” who seek to save them. That’s what Jesus did. He came to earth to die. He was dedicated to death from the beginning, that was “Plan A” and there was no other plan. And just before His ascension, Jesus turned to His disciples and said to them, “As My Father sends Me, so send I you.”

As new missionaries train for the frontline, they need to be prepared for the very real possibility that they may be called upon to lay down their lives, all the way, even to death. The pioneering missionary must be absolutely convinced of this truth: because God is Sovereign, Christians are absolutely indestructible until God is through with them on this earth. We cannot be killed prematurely because the Lord has already numbered our days; He knows the moment of our death. The enemies of the gospel can’t change that. Satan is God’s puppet. Our persecutors are God’s puppets. They can only touch us as the Lord gives them permission, and none of their torments will last one second longer than our loving Father will allow. Let’s trust Him with that. Whatever God does with my life is good with me. I’m safe in His sheep pen.

*Check out part’s 1 and 2 of this article.