BY JORDAN SCOTT
Sometimes to follow the Lamb wherever he goes means being led like sheep to the slaughter (Romans 8:36). The shores of lands stained with martyr’s blood are calling out for reinforcements, for more missionaries who love Jesus enough to give a witness, even if it costs them their lives. To those who would receive him, he has given the right to become children of God (John 1:12), and he decided to send us to them with his good news. And sometimes they don’t like it. But we must remember that it is the good leadership of Christ to bring us as sheep in the midst of bloodthirsty ravenous wolves.
Therefore let those who suffer according to God’s will entrust their souls to a faithful Creator while doing good - 1 Peter 4:19
“For to this you have been called, because Christ also suffered for you, leaving you an example, so that you might follow in his steps. He committed no sin, neither was deceit found in his mouth. When he was reviled, he did not revile in return; when he suffered, he did not threaten, but continued entrusting himself to him who judges justly.” - 1 Peter 2:21-24
Jesus suffered unjustly, according to God’s will, by the hands of men who hated him. He did not threaten them, but he entrusted himself to God and left us an example to follow. The crucifixion of Jesus was according to the foreknowledge and definite plan of God (Acts 2:23) and God did not intervene. If they persecuted Jesus this way, they will likewise persecute us in the same. If they hated him in whom there is no fault, they will surely hate us (John 15:18-25).
“Remember the word that I said to you: ‘A servant is not greater than his master.’ If they persecuted me, they will also persecute you. If they kept my word, they will also keep yours.’ - John 15:20
“Indeed, the time is coming when whoever kills you will think he is offering service to God… I have said all these things to you to keep you from falling away.” (John 16:2).
There is a correlation between our fear of martyrdom and us falling away from Christ. People are so afraid of death that we would rather disobey our Maker than leave America with the gospel. But what if we feared God more than we feared death? What if we did not fear men who can kill the body and after that have nothing more that they can do, but rather feared him who can destroy both body and soul in Hell (Luke 12:4-5)? Hell is real and Jesus is beautiful, we should not withhold that good news from people, just because someone might kill you. That’s not a good reason to disobey the Bible.
We need a bigger vision of God, one that is fitting to his inherent greatness. A vision that will bend our minds around his objective beauty and compel us by love for that man to go anywhere and do anything for the sake of his name; to follow him wherever he goes. And he is going to some pretty difficult and dangerous places and he wants us to be with him where he is.
"Behold, I am sending you out as sheep in the midst of wolves, so be wise as serpents and innocent as doves.” – Matthew 10:16
His exhortation to be wise was given because he is sending us out as defenseless sheep among bloodthirsty wolves. The call to be wise is not a call to avoid wolves, it is a call to be wise while we are in their midst. We need to stop running away from the Shepherd when he leads us into danger.
We don’t avoid going to the Middle East because it’s too dangerous, we avoid going because we love God too little (Matthew 10:37-39). Let’s look at him, see him, and ask him to show us his unchangeable beauty. And when we see him as he is, we will obey him for all he’s worth. Let’s look at Jesus and agree with the Moravians when they say, “Our Lamb has conquered; let us follow him.”
Even as sheep among wolves!