From the Renovaré Newsletter Archive

The selection below is from a October 2000 Renovaré newsletter. Download a PDF of the original newsletter.

Each of my letters to you this year has centered on some aspect of the Reformation of the Heart” – a reformation centered upon our actual obedience to Jesus Christ as the result of our personality being increasingly transformed by the power of God. It is this world-wide reformation that I believe we are in the beginning stages of right now and which will intensify as the century progresses.

In the last Perspective I made the case that Jesus is the unique Savior of the world, the divine Son, the second person of the Trinity; further, that he is the divine Logos who is present everywhere and is not blotted out nor overwhelmed by the powers of darkness, that he is the true light which enlightens every person coming into the world, and that the saving light of Jesus Christ reaches out to all peoples, even those who have never heard his name. If all this is true, then why is evangelism and missions necessary? In April I promised to address this question in the next Perspective.”

So then, why are we to go into all the world and preach the gospel if, as we have seen, all peoples have a knowledge of God, and, through the saving light of Jesus Christ, they can be pleasing to God without any special revelation (Ps. 19; John 1:9, 14:6; Acts 10:34 – 35; Rom. 1:20, 2:6 – 29)? Because, very simply, though they knew God, they did not honor him as God or give thanks to him, but they became futile in their thinking, and their senseless minds were darkened” (Rom. 2:21). Our world, you see, is full of rebels against God and failures before God. For every rare person who, without human aid, turns toward the light of Jesus Christ there are thousands, perhaps millions, who walk in darkness, and do not know the way to go, because the darkness has brought on blindness” (1 Jn. 2:11).

This is why the great Apostle Paul is so insistent upon the necessity of human messengers to make the good news of the gospel clear and compelling: How can they call on one in whom they have not believed? And how are they to believe in one of whom they have never heard? And how are they to hear without someone to proclaim him? And how are they to proclaim him unless they are sent? As it is written, How beautiful are the feet of those who bring good news!’” (Rom. 10:14 – 15).

All people are equally loved by God, and he is constantly, lovingly reaching out to all human beings. And to love God is to share this love of his for all people alike, and to reach out to them – constantly, lovingly – as God does.

Therefore, for as long as there are people who walk in darkness and do not do what is true” (1 Jn. 1:6) there will be the need – nay, the necessity – for evangelism and mission.

Peace and joy,

Richard J. Foster

Text First Published October 2000