Ebola is in Dallas– can you believe that?
A Liberian man came to Dallas while infected and has spread it to many others! My soul, what’s next? My prayers have been going up for West Africa that somehow this plague can be contained and stopped before millions die. Now it has come to Dallas! The world has become a very small closet filled with many people from multiple cultures, unable to speak to one another in a common tongue, coughing, and spewing death upon each other.
The Ebola threat is real but it is also symbolic of the world we live in as the young 21st Century advances into the unknown. While we sat comfortably in our easy chairs watching the news about West African Ebola, we never imagined it could come OUR town! Now that the threat is nearby, we are REALLY concerned, as well we should be.
As a missionary, I am ever thinking of what God is doing among the Nations. Maybe we who have a “world consciousness” see the vast world as smaller and nearer than others. What is going on in Africa can and does affect us in our town USA.
Which reminds me of the warning the Apostle Paul gave the Romans saying,
“Work while it is day, for the night is coming when no man can work.”
In my lifetime I have seen entire nations that were open to the Gospel become closed doors. Then, I have seen those closed doors become open windows that briefly let in the light of the Gospel. For example, in Kenya and Tanzania in the early 1970’s there were NO Maasai churches. That culture was closed to the “white man’s religion.” Then miraculously, God opened the door and the Maasai people slowly by slowly began to receive the Gospel. In my lifetime, I have seen China go from a closed society of strict atheistic communism to a nation with the fastest growing church in the history of the Christian faith. These examples show me that God is working among the nations to bring glory to His Son. It also tells me that there are “seasons” of divine opportunity that we must see and seize for the time and opportunity will not always be there.
Africa has seen an explosion of the Gospel going forth since the Europeans left and took their denominational religion with them. Once the African’s took charge of the Gospel, he “Africanized it” and took it to the streets and millions have come to faith in Christ. Africa has seen an open door for the Gospel for many years now. However, that can change very quickly. With radical Islam on the march, doors are closing to the Truth of God’s Son. In Iraq, ISIS has killed hundreds of Christians and thousands have fled into Turkey, leaving churches and their way of life behind. Christians in Iraq have “shut down.” Iraq is now a closed door. It is happening in Sudan, in Kenya, Tanzania, and anywhere the Islamist gain a foothold. We have lost Somalia and portions of Ethiopia. Doors that were once open, have now closed.
Even a plague like Ebola can close doors to the Gospel. As more and more foreign mission volunteers become fearful, they will stop coming to the mission field. The weak hearted will not dare to live dangerously in the center of God’s will. Only the brave and intrepid soul will go thru closing doors. Who is willing to go to Liberia or Sierra Leone these days? Ebola has closed those doors for maybe years to come. So, we must live today as though there is no tomorrow. We must toil in God’s garden harvesting His wheat from among the tares, working while it is DAY! Much of Africa is still an open door and ours for the taking! We must seize it! Then, one day, we will stand before the King of Kings, and present our trophies to Him, hearing Him say, “well done, my son, well done!”
Still strong in battle,