JACKSON, Tenn. – Feb. 25, 2011 – Christians must be willing to make disciples of all the peoples of the world regardless of the cost, Chuck Lawless said Feb. 18 at Union University.
Lawless, dean of the Billy Graham School of Missions and Evangelism at Southern Baptist Theological Seminary in Louisville, Ky., spoke in a chapel address in G.M. Savage Memorial Chapel.
He told of an East Asian country he recently visited where Christians met in the back room of a factory to worship together. To spread Christianity in their country is to risk their lives, he said, but even under the oppressive circumstances they obey the Great Commission and even pray for other Christians to help them.
“They’re known for getting on their knees and praying as congregations,” Lawless said. “We heard them pray that God would use them to make other disciples. We heard them pray ‘God send us workers, God send us trainers … We’re ready, we’re waiting, but we need someone to come and show us how.’”
Speaking in reference to Matthew 28, Lawless said Christians are to spread the gospel because Jesus gave the assignment. If students listen to their professors to learn from them, Lawless asked how much more they should listen when Christ gives a command.
Lawless said he has met Christians around the world who are faithful to the Great Commission, including a nurse in West Africa, an English teacher in the Pacific and a travel agent reaching out to people for the sake of Christ in “one of the darkest places I have ever been.”
God does not ask Christians to be anyone or have any ability on their own. He provides the power, Lawless said.
Referring to the apostles, who were the first to receive the command to spread the gospel, Lawless said, “Jesus takes these nobodies and makes them somebody — that they would go to the ends of the earth and speak the gospel about the eternal God.”
Holding up a yellow rubber mat he brought back from his trip to the East Asian country, Lawless explained, “It’s a rubber mat that has been worn out by the knees of a Christian who has been praying that God would bring people to train them. Just maybe, you are the answer to their prayers. …
“I’m not suggesting that you not use the training you have,” Lawless told Union students and faculty. “I do want to suggest you might take that training elsewhere — somewhere outside North America. The world waits.”
By Samantha Adams (’13)