BY BRITTON GAIL (@BRITTON_GAIL)
As Americans, zeal for freedom pulsates in our DNA. The establishment of our independence from “the Crown” is built upon the foundations of zealous men who bled and died, believing that the price of their blood for freedom was a worthy and priceless vocation.
Now we look down the corridors of our history, staring at the dark abyss that is Islam. Less than 1% of the American Church involves themselves in the training and sending of laborers to Islam’s war-torn fields. Largely, the American Church has confided her support of the U.S. military with the burden of Islam. Yet, King Jesus is of inexhaustible worth, and because He is inexhaustibly worthy, the Church should not relent in zealous advancement of the Gospel, just as our nation does not relent in zealous defense of its freedom.
There are three realities that we, the church, must learn from the zeal of the military if we are to advance the gospel to the darkest regions where the poison of Islam is swallowed by the masses. We must develop a zeal for the worth of Jesus, for his message to possess many, and for our focus to be on the age to come.
Though there is a certain appeal to join the military on the basis of having a solid career and livelihood, there is a stronger appeal to join out of zeal for America. Even a career-based military decision must be made with a certain level of passion for the country. Zeal must be alive in a person to drive them to lay down their civilian life, travel to hostile territory, and engage in life-threatening conflict. This zeal is born out of a recognition of worth.
As one is not zealous for something unless they find that thing to be of extraordinary worth, the Church will lack zeal for frontier missions to the Muslim world until her eyes are opened to the worth of Jesus in loving not her life unto death. About 2.7 million Americans believe that serving in the armed forces is a worthy cause. Zeal abounds in them because worth has consumed them. As worthy of a cause as a military career is, the greatest injustice the earth faces today isn’t terrorism, but rather the withholding of the Gospel of Christ to a people who have never heard it. Less than 1% of the American Church is willing to take the Gospel to the Muslim world. Considering these embarrassing demographics, the American Church is satisfied to let the military handle Islamic terrorism without a Gospel witness. Zeal for the worth of Christ to be known among the Muslim world is a necessity if we are to be a light to a dark and dying world. Let us become consumed with zeal for the house of God unto the salvation of Islamic peoples.
The narcissistic American Church cries “legalism” at every corner. The Bible has with loud redundancy proclaimed His worth and the joy found in love-based obedience. The flesh and the devil give warrant to fear obedience. There is a great need in the body of Christ for fearless obedience to God’s Word. The emerging generation has been so drenched with narcissism and “do what feels good” philosophical and cultural mindsets that obedience to the Gospel is met with strong cries of “legalism” and accusations of “spiritual abuse” whenever a leader emphasizes on biblical obediences. We have reduced biblical calling and biblical obedience to “do what you want to do” and “do what makes sense to you.” Until zeal for fearless obedience to the Word of God is restored in the Church, there will be a lack of missionary zeal towards our Muslim neighbors.
The U.S. Military is full of zeal for fearless obedience. Every military man and woman knows that the “Chain of Command” is the law of the land. For the combat soldier, many of these commands lead to debilitating injury or death. The soldier has stared death in the face, put one foot in front of the other and fearlessly carried out obedience. My brother and his unit, while in Afghanistan, often found themselves kicking in the doors of people they had never met based on the testimonies of others who declared that these strangers were either working with the enemy or that they had weapons being stored for the enemy. Some were guilty of these accusations, and some were not. During these house to house raids, lives were lost. Every time they raided one of these homes, death was highly likely. They loved not their lives unto death.
If the Church is to be a people who care about the cause of Christ in this generation, we must be a people, like saints of past generations, that are zealously willing to give up our lives. Christ is worthy of His Church going door to door with His glorious Gospel, at the risk of their very own lives, for the sake of the having a vessel to fall on deaf ears. Zeal must consume the heart of the American Church for the Muslim world. Until we possess zeal to be willing to give all that we have for His name’s sake, we will not reach the Muslim world with the Gospel.
According to Jesus Christ, relationship with the Muslim world was worth hanging on the cross for. According to Jesus Christ, the Muslim world is worth us bearing a cross, even unto death. Come now, oh America, come and die with Jesus for the sake of His glorious Gospel. Replace your slippers with steel toed boots. Replace your soft American dream for pioneering glories. Come now, oh American Church, let us endeavor in the joyful task of hand delivering more Bibles to our Muslim neighbors than our soldiers can carry guns, bullets and bombs. Christ is worthy of missionary zeal to the Islamic world; even unto death.
Britton Gail and his family give leadership to an FAI outpost in a Muslim-majority country, living to give a witness of Jesus to the unreached and unengaged. Britton is a contributing writer to FAI Publishing, encouraging those with access to the Gospel to share their treasure with those who don’t. He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.