Our 2020 Missions Conference begins this Sunday. This year, our theme has been "Continue in the Word." Together, we have continued to read, study, print, and deliver God's Word throughout the year thus far. Even this month, our church celebrated 200 million copies of Scripture printed at BPS since 1973.
So we have been faithful with God's Word thus far, but we must continue in the Word. This means that God desires that we will continue printing God's Word. But it also means that there is more for us to do than we have done to this point. For this reason, our Missions Conference will focus on Bibleless languages and Unreached People Groups. Why? Because God desires more of us as we continue in His Word.
One truth we all can appreciate about Paul is that he continued in the Word. He was faithful to read it, preach it, and deliver it. In fact, Luke wrote this about Paul's team: "And as they went through the cities, they delivered them the decrees for to keep, that were ordained of the apostles and elders which were at Jerusalem. And so were the churches established in the faith, and increased in number daily." (Acts 16:4-5). Paul delivered the Word of God, and then the churches were established. That's a significant truth.
In another passage, Paul gave the richest definition of the "gospel" found in Scripture. Here's how Paul defined it: "For I delivered unto you first of all that which I also received, how that Christ died for our sins according to the scriptures; And that he was buried, and that he rose again the third day according to the scriptures:" (1 Corinthians 15:3-4). For Paul, it wasn't enough to possess the gospel; he was also responsible to deliver it to those who still lacked it. Even more striking is this truth: Paul was ashamed that some people still lacked an opportunity to hear the gospel. He wrote this to the Corinthian church: "... some have not the knowledge of God: I speak this to your shame." (1 Corinthians 15:34).
The "some" who do not yet have the gospel may be people speaking a Bibleless language. The "some" might be a mother or a teen living among an Unreached People Group. The "some" might be our very neighbors who are living right next door to us. The question is this: Will we deliver the gospel to them? If we are to take seriously God's command to "continue in the Word," then we must also follow the example of Paul and faithfully deliver God's Word in whatever places we frequent and wherever we journey.
Written by Edward Barclay