|Volume 24 Number 3 March 2022
Here Am I! Send Me
Ernest S. Underwood
First Corinthians 14:15 states, “What is the conclusion then? I will pray with the spirit, and I will also pray with the understanding. I will sing with the spirit, and I will also sing with the understanding” (NKJV). We learn in this passage that as we worship God in our prayers and in our songs, we should and must offer such worship in spirit and in truth, making sure that we do so both with the proper spirit and the proper understanding. If we are truly the children of God, we will always desire to offer our prayers and sing our praises in a deep, spiritual consciousness of what we are saying in our prayers and what we are expressing in our songs. Notice carefully and thoughtfully some of the lyrics of the songs that we often sing.
“Into our hands the gospel is given”
“Send the light”
“Are you sowing the seed of the kingdom, brother?”
“Ring out the message”
“Throw out the lifeline”
“O, spread the tidings round”
“Arise! The Master calls for thee, the harvest days are here”
“Far and near the fields are teeming with the waves of ripened grain”
“Hark, tis the Shepherd’s voice I hear… bring them in”
“Lead me to some soul today”
“Rescue the perishing… snatch them in pity from sin and the grave”
“Seeking the lost, yes, kindly entreating”
“The blessed gospel is for all”
“Ye are the light of the world”
“You never mentioned Him to me”
“Here am I! Lord, send me”
That last song is taken from Isaiah 6:8 where we have the following statement: “Also I heard the voice of the Lord, saying: ‘Whom shall I send, And who will go for Us?’ Then I said, ‘Here am I! Send me.’”
Jesus told His disciples, “And Jesus came and spoke to them, saying, ‘All authority has been given to Me in heaven and on earth. Go therefore and make disciples of all the nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, teaching them to observe all things that I have commanded you; and lo, I am with you always, even to the end of the age.’ Amen” (Matthew 28:18-20). Mark recorded the following words of Jesus: “And He said to them, ‘Go into all the world and preach the gospel to every creature. He who believes and is baptized will be saved; but he who does not believe will be condemned’” (Mark 16:15-16). In 2 Timothy 2:2-3, we read, “And the things that you have heard from me among many witnesses, commit these to faithful men who will be able to teach others also. You therefore must endure hardship as a good soldier of Jesus Christ.”
Neither Jesus nor the apostle Paul, nor any other person in the Bible, ever stated that the fulfilling of these commands would be a rose-petaled path of ease and comfort. No faithful Christian will view them as such. This means that every Christian who reads the words of this article is duty-bound to use whatever talent or talents he or she may have to take the Gospel to the lost in the world. Of course, since we all have different talents, we will more than likely use them in the most appropriate and effective way that we can. This also means that one may go, another may send, and all will do what it takes to get the work done that the Lord has given us to do.
Look at the list of the songs above. Go to the songbook that the congregation where you are a member uses and find as many of these songs as you can. In a Bible class, in worship services and in your home, sing the songs that you know. Now ask yourself the question, “Do I truly possess the sentiments of the lyrics of those missionary songs?” The point I am trying to make is that each of us has the responsibility to do our very best to teach the lost the saving Gospel with the hope that our student will obey it and come into a saved relationship with Jesus Christ Who died for us.
Yes, we are aware that not all can actually go in person. I know personally that there are those who for one reason or another cannot just up and move to another country. Again, I know some who have that ability to move to such a country, and the ability to do the great work that is needed in a long-term situation.
First, we need those who will prepare themselves to go. This involves, in most cases, leaving familiar “Bible-belt” locations and going to an area of the world where the Gospel has not been taken and to plan on spending two or three years in that one area that a preacher or teacher chooses to evangelize. Second, these men and their families most likely will not have the financial ability for such an endeavor, and so, they will need to be suitably supported for the length of their two, three year or longer stay.
Those who are willing to go must be absolutely true to themselves and to those who willingly support them. Above all, one must be faithful to God and to His Word in the way that one lives and in the way that he teaches. People to whom you go to evangelize must see in you the One whom you proclaim, and they must hear from you only what appears in God’s Word. Everyone going about to evangelize must remember that they are servants of God, bearing the responsibility to faithfully proclaim God’s Word and no other.
In addition, foreign missionaries must also remember the reason they are abroad and commit themselves to the work for the Lord. They ought not spend the support they receive for preaching and teaching instead for merely touring and shopping. Missionaries go overseas to work!
Regarding those who are willing to sacrifice to send out missionaries, elders or men if there are no elders must investigate the lives and the work responsibilities of those who seek support. Though it is not something that any faithful Christian approves, there are some who say they want to go to do mission work who are not worthy of such support. Some such are those who, being tired of what the Word of God teaches, seek ways to bring in some of the doctrines of the denominational organizations (women leadership, instrumental music, etc.), anti-ism and such like. If after such investigation a man and his family are faithful to the Lord in their lives and work, then sacrifice and give them as much as you are able. This way, both will be following the sentiments of the songs listed and of God’s Word.
Brethren, the majority of the world is lost in sin. Many people have never heard the truth, the Gospel of Jesus Christ, preached or taught even one time. Many may have heard the false doctrines of men, but such doctrines, regardless of which denomination teaches it, have never saved anyone, and they never will. If your mission field is in your home county or state, then get busy and do your best to proclaim the Gospel to as many as you possibly can.
A note of caution: Don’t be like some told me as we were planning to move to Russia. When I announced our plans to move to Russia, “Well, I am glad that it is you who is going and not me. I don’t want to ever leave the Bible Belt.” Again, when I was raising support for us to go on another extended mission work, the elders of a distant congregation told me: “Yes, we have $91,000 in the bank, but we are saving it for a ‘rainy day’ and will not be able to support you at this time.” With either of these attitudes that some of our brethren have, we will never be able to go or to send. I earnestly pray that the attitude of all who read this will be like that of the prophet Isaiah, “Here am I! Send me.”
Parents, Are You Home
Bible Schooling Your Children?
Mark T. Tonkery
Due to the pandemic, most parents with school-aged children have been introduced to the world of homeschooling, like it or not. Even before the pandemic, many Christian families chose to homeschool their children, and they feel their children learn better in this type of an environment. Regardless of how parents choose or are compelled to educate their children, it is vital that all parents home Bible school their children. This is especially important since the pandemic has interfered with our regularly scheduled children’s Bible classes.
The Bible teaches us that it is our job and responsibility as parents to train our children in the ways of the Lord. Deuteronomy 6:5-7 teaches us, “You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, with all your soul, and with all your strength. And these words which I command you today shall be in your heart. You shall teach them diligently to your children, and shall talk of them when you sit in your house, when you walk by the way, when you lie down, and when you rise up” (NKJV).
Then, in the New Testament, Ephesians 6:4 commands, “And you, fathers, do not provoke your children to wrath, but bring them up in the training and admonition of the Lord.” Further, we learn in 2 Timothy 1:5 and 2 Timothy 3:15 how Timothy was taught the Scriptures from his youth by his mother and by his grandmother.
Josh McDowell once wrote, “God emphasizes the importance of parents teaching the Bible to their children. The church and Christian school [Bible School as well] cannot be used to escape from this responsibility.” Please do not misunderstand; I am very happy that we have Bible classes for our children, and we have great Bible class teachers who do a wonderful job at teaching the Bible. Yet, they cannot take the place of parents in teaching the Bible and God’s truths.
Children watch and learn from their parents every day. They know what we believe and how we live out the teachings of the Bible – or not. They know if we lie or cheat, pray, or read our Bibles. So, are we home Bible schooling our children? Here are some suggestions on ways we can teach our children the Lord’s Word at home.
Parents, we cannot leave our child’s Bible education to chance. Are you home Bible schooling your children?