Papua New Guinea
Sep 9, 2017

Josh's story

Living for Another Time and Another Place

Kingdom of Light or Darkness

As a teacher, one of the greatest joys is seeing the light come on in a student’s mind. While talking to one of my Bible class students about the Kingdom of God, I got to see just that. We discussed what it means for Christians to have a King and to be citizens of another “country” while living in a fallen world. This concept of being a Kingdom citizen took hold of his mind. He started applying it immediately to how he was growing. He began to recognize that there were things in his home culture that he could not take part of because he knew it was contrary to God. Now it made sense to him that he was a pilgrim in this world. He had another King, and he was living for another time and place. Our 30-minute class turned into an hour of discipleship and fellowship as fellow citizens of God’s kingdom. Oh the joy!

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On the other end of the spectrum, this last month I witnessed the despair of death for people with no hope. Late one Saturday evening, a man came asking if I could use my truck to help his clan go several miles to pick up a dying relative from a nearby government health facility. With Mr. Berbin’s help, we navigated the treacherous road at night to find this dying man and take him home. I was not completely ready for what I would see. Death in a culture with no hope for eternal life is something words cannot fully describe. The family members began to wail as the dying man was carried to the back of our pickup with a blanket. He was naked, exposed, helpless, lifeless, and surrounded by mourners who could do nothing for him but cry. There was no consolation. I listened to agonizing cries the whole drive back. When I finally reached the relative’s house, the whole clan poured out to receive him and followed in a procession of knowing grief. They knew that his life would soon be gone forever.

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"Death in a culture with no hope for eternal life is something words cannot fully describe. "
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I learned he passed away early Sunday morning.

After the evening service, the same man who had asked me to drive for them asked me to preach the Gospel to his grieving clan. I gave the message of hope by flashlight, but the light of the Gospel stood in starker contrast to the spiritual darkness around me than my flashlight did to the darkness of the night. I could give them no comfort for the loss of this man. I could only tell them they need not fear death if they but trust in Jesus to save them from their sin. But this is God’s work. I could no more turn the light on their hearts than I could raise the sun to give them light. I prayed as I walked home. 

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One mind was illumined to a future in a Kingdom of hope; and one mind to a future in an unknown, black world of death. The difference was Christ. Christ has the power to overcome death. Christ has the power to grow a young Christian. And in the middle of it all was me, a nobody from the other side of the world with a funny accent and white skin. This work is beyond me. But it is not beyond my God. AlI have to do – all I can do – is be faithful in what He has called me to do and pray. 

Look around you. You are rubbing shoulders everyday with eternal beings. God has a message to give every one of them. If you are a Christian, you have the glorious opportunity to be His mouthpiece. God knows you can’t change them. But He can. Just be faithful to do what He has told you to do and then pray. I warn you, once you enter this work of eternal things, everything else you are doing will start to look as unimportant as it really is.

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"If you are a Christian, you have the glorious opportunity to be His mouthpiece. "