As members of the Orthodox Presbyterian Church (OPC), of course, we work together with the denomination as a whole to spread the gospel and make disciples. The OPC’s ministry, called Worldwide Outreach, is three-pronged: church planting, sending out foreign missionaries, and providing biblical resources and training. Through its Committee on Home Missions and Church Extension, the OPC seeks to assist presbyteries in planting churches that will preach Christ and show love.
“Jesus died for sinners. Can’t we live for them?” Charles Spurgeon asks this incisive question in the December 7 meditation of his well-known Morning and Evening. Spurgeon’s devotional writings, especially when rephrased into modern English, often give me the pastoral encouragement and challenge that I need to hear. This meditation’s striking call to rescue the perishing is no exception. Here is my paraphrase of it:
“I try to find common ground with everyone, doing everything I can to save some.” (1 Corinthians 9:22 NLT)
The Apostle Paul’s great aim wasn’t just to instruct. It wasn’t just to improve. It was to save. Anything short of this would have disappointed him. He wanted to see people renewed in heart, forgiven, sanctified—in short, saved. Have we aimed our Christian ministries at anything less than this? Then let’s amend our ways. What good will it be at the great Last Day to have instructed and moralized people if they appear before their Judge unsaved? Our clothes will be red with blood if we’ve sought inferior objects through life (see Jer. 2:34; Ezek. 33:1–6)—if we’ve forgotten that, above all else, people need to be saved.
Paul knew the ruin of the human condition by nature. So he didn’t try to educate them. He tried to save them. He saw people sinking into hell. So he didn’t talk about refining them. He talked of saving them from the wrath to come. To bring about their salvation, he gave himself up with tireless zeal to spreading the gospel. He devoted himself to warning and beseeching people to be reconciled to God (see 2 Cor. 5:18–21). His prayers were persistent. His labors were ongoing. To save souls was his consuming passion, his ambition, his calling.
He became a servant to all people. He toiled for them. He felt a woe within if he did not preach the gospel (see 1 Cor. 9:16).