Privileged More Than We Know :: Gospel Fellowship Association Missions

Privileged More Than We Know

Forrest McPhail
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You are reading this because you are one of the most privileged people on this earth. No, I am not talking about your relative wealth or the privileges of your citizenship. I’m not referring to your ethnicity or your social status. I’m thinking about those many life privileges you have enjoyed that are unknown to much of the world today.

Stewards of God's Gifts

Jesus told a parable of a nobleman who gave his servants varying amounts of resources to steward in his absence. Take a moment and read the parable in Matthew 25:14-30

One of the lessons there is that we are stewards of God’s gifts. When you think of yourself, are you accustomed to thinking you are like the servant given five talents? Let’s step back and understand what gifts you and I have received of God.

Literacy and Language

Are you literate? Since you are reading this, the world of literature is at your disposal in both the print and digital realms. You can read the Word of God and any available study helps. Not only this, but you have at least passable reading comprehension skills, the ability to read and Privileged_ArnoldKids_reading_Calvin.jpgglean from what you read. It is said that 773 million of earth’s population is still illiterate, and a vast number beyond this are functionally; they might be able to read words, but they are unable to read and then understand what they read. If you can read and do so with comprehension, you are many leagues ahead of those who cannot.

Are you fluent in English? English is either your first language or you are relatively fluent in English to read this article. That being the case, the vast number of Christian writings are at your disposal. English has by far the most Bible translations and paraphrases (about 900!), while some peoples don’t even have one Bible translation yet! Then there are commentaries, theology books, biographies, Christian history, blogs, podcasts, etc. Half of all internet content is in English and Chinese, English leading Chinese by 6%

Christian Resources

There are far fewer Christian resources available in the major languages such as Hindi, Bengali, and Japanese. People whose mother tongue is one of those relatively “unimportant” languages on the world stage have little available to them. The Christian resources that exist are usually translated from a major language. This means those resources are often poorly translated and/or written for another cultural audience, which limits it relevance. Those who speak English have a far greater opportunity to hear, read, or listen to the Gospel than those who do not.   

A Second- or Third-Generation Christian?

Are you a second-generation Christian? Third? Or even fourth? If so, chances are that you came to Christ while you were young and you grew up in church. You have been taught the Word of God from your earliest memory. You have heard perhaps thousandsPrivileged_ArnoldSinging.jpg of Bible lessons or sermons. You have enjoyed the examples of strong Christians. You may have had the privilege of belonging to local churches that faithfully taught sound doctrine and prepared you for life in a godless world. Perhaps Christian school or homeschooling with a Christian worldview curriculum added even more opportunities to learn God’s truth and how to apply it to life. Maybe you enjoyed Christian camps, retreats, and numerous other activities. You may have had all of this and then went on to a Christian college or university. Do you realize how absolutely staggering such a combination of Christian privileges this is in the history of Christianity, even in the modern world?

Precious few Christians alive today experience an outpouring of Christian life privileges such as these! Many are first-generation believers attending small local congregations, few of which benefit from the ministry of a godly, knowledgeable pastor. Few have grown up under Christian parents. Many endure a hard life as part of a persecuted minority. Their language and culture limitations have greatly hindered their privileges.

What Will You Do?

What will you do to help underprivileged believers have opportunity to read and study the Word of God in their own languages? “But we must all stand before the judgment seat of Christ. We will give an account of every deed that we have done, whether it be good or bad” (see 2 Corinthians 5:10). This judgment will include sins of omission, the failure to give back to the Lord a good profit on His investment in us for His glory.

A Debtor to the Lost

Who will invest by learning the language and culture of those who are gospel-deprived, dedicating themselves to being instruments in God’s hands?

Who will give themselves to ensuring that Christian resource-impoverished believers will have Christian helps that are written for their own context and needs?  

Who will commit themselves to pray and give of their possessions to enable those willing to go?  

Who will teach God’s people literacy or sign language so that they can have the treasure of the written Word?

Have you despised your privileges? Have you been wasting the wealth of spiritual blessing that has been bestowed upon you?

Wake up, brothers and sisters! Open your eyes to see the unusual outpouring of grace that you have known! Understand that you are a debtor to the lost. You are a debtor to the churches in need around you. You are a debtor to the international church with far less spiritual privileges.  

Privileges bring responsibility: “To whom much has been given, much shall be required” (see Luke 12:48). You are a steward of extravagant grace. Be a faithful steward and you will hear from our Lord, “Well done, good and faithful servant” (see Matthew 25:14-30 and Luke 19:11-27).