“Every Christian here is either a missionary or an impostor. Recollect that you are either trying to spread abroad the kingdom of Christ, or else you do not love him at all. It cannot be that there is a high appreciation of Jesus, and a totally silent tongue about him. Of course I do not mean, by that, that those who use the pen for Christ are silent; they are not. And those who help others to use the tongue, or spread that which others have written, are doing their part well; but I mean this,—that man who says, ‘I believe in Jesus,’ but does not think enough of Jesus ever to tell another about him, by mouth, or pen, or tract, is an impostor.”1
This was from a sermon by Charles Spurgeon, known as the Prince of Preachers, and illustrates for us again the primary duty of all Christians.
We know that Jesus died for our sins and that our faith is built on a deeply personal relationship with God through Jesus. Through this relationship we have the wonderful gift of joy and peace and assurance that helps us walk through the trials and struggles of our everyday lives. Most of us deeply value the strength we receive knowing Jesus and walking with Him daily. However, our relationship with Jesus was never intended to be just for ourselves.
The New Testament is abundantly clear that once we’ve received Christ through faith, we now have a new life, a new ambition, and a new agenda.
We are called and equipped to participate in God’s mission of redeeming the whole earth. God’s creative purposes from the beginning were to build for Himself a people who would live under His loving reign and rule and share in the beauty of the world He created. We know that man rebelled against this loving reign and rule and ushered in sin and destruction.
“But God, being rich in mercy, because of the great love with which he loved us, even when we were dead in our trespasses, made us alive together with Christ—by grace you have been saved” (Ephesians 2:4-5).
Now, being made alive with we join with Him to do the work that He was sent to do, which is to seek and save those who are lost. A few verses later Paul writes to the Ephesians, “For we are his workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand, that we should walk in them” (Ephesians 2:10). These good works are using our gifts to build up the church and proclaim the gospel.
So often, we believe that Jesus came to improve our life and to secure our future. We see our salvation through a very self-centered point of view. But the gospel is larger than any one of us, and the moment we take our eyes off of ourselves and begin to recognize our calling to live for others and their salvation, we actually begin to find the life we were created to live. Jesus tells us,
“For whoever would save his life will lose it, but whoever loses his life for my sake and the gospel’s will save it” (Mark 8:35).
The invitation the gospel gives us is so much greater than our own life survival; the gospel gives us a whole new identity with a purpose that transcends our life and purposes. And the secret is, which isn’t very secret because it is all through the Bible, the moment we give ourselves to the work God has given us, the moment our lives become something extraordinary.
We don’t just survive this life; we actually begin to thrive. My prayer is that we begin to rethink our commitment to the calling God has given each one of us who are in Christ. The longer we walk in disobedience to the Great Commission (Matthew 28:19-20) the longer we fail to experience the fullness of joy that comes from living out our new identity in Christ. And, if Spurgeon is right, which I think he is, if our hearts are not burning inside of us to obey Christ and give Him the glory He deserves, we might just be an imposter.