Published August 25, 2011
Last week I had the joy of participating in the Presidentís Generosity Summit banquets held at Tabernacle Baptist Church in Cartersville, Second Baptist Church in Warner Robins, and Morningside Baptist Church in Valdosta. These were wonderful meetings that were born in the heart of our President, Dan Spencer, who gave a wonderful challenge at each event. We were also pleased to have with us Dr. Ken Hemphill who brought an incredible message from the book of Malachi.
During my remarks at the banquets, I reminded all of us that it is very important that we reach our Jerusalem for Christ. Truly we are commanded to take the Gospel into all the world and it is our joy to do that through the Cooperative Program. At the same time, we must never overlook the lost people who live in the shadows of our churches.
It was in this vein of thought that J.J. Bennett the former executive secretary of the Georgia Baptist Convention who served around the turn of the 20th Century wrote these words:
ďIt is reported that during the recent Titanic disaster, a vessel equipped with the Marconi system of wireless telegraphy passed within a few miles of the ill-fated ship. It was near enough to have rescued every passenger aboard, but passed on all unmindful of the lives going down within easy reach.
We ask, and rightly so, why was it? The answer comes that the passing vesselís instrument for receiving messages was so keyed as to receive only calls from distances of 100 miles or more. I am not posted on wireless telegraphy and this may be only a newspaper report, but it is a pathetic illustration of what is taking place with us every day in the Lordís work.
How many of us are there who really feel that we are interested in worldwide missions but whose hearts are so keyed as to receive only calls from afar while hundreds of thousands of our fellow beings within the limits of our own states are passing through this bitter experience of life-wreck and soul-disaster without response or seeming care from us, though we are so near?Ē
We have learned that in our state there are approximately 7.1 million people who have not professed Jesus Christ as their Savior. We have a huge mission field all around us. Since this is our mission field, the one God has placed us in the middle of, we must be determined with all that is in us to reach every last single lost Georgian that we can possibly reach.
This will require the greatest effort possible on the part of every one of us. We are being told through the census statistics that by 2020 our lost population will stand at 8.1 million. We donít have the luxury of standing around and waiting for time to pass without being faithful.
God has called us to go and to give in order to reach a lost generation. Letís do it enthusiastically whether near or far away!
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