I think it might be due to the last fourteen months in the study from the book of Acts and reflecting on Paul, one of the greatest of all missionaries.
As a young man he was a religious fanatic, Born in exile in Tarsus and he went by the name Saul, he was a Pharisee full of zeal and knowledge of the scripture, studied in Jerusalem under one of the leading rabbis of his day, Gamaliel.
Saul was convinced that what the early Christians believed,that Jesus of Nazareth was Messiah was blasphemous, so he persecuted them. He approved of the stoning of the first martyr, Stephen.
Then, on his way to Damascus to imprison those who believed in Christ, Acts 9:3-5 records “3 Now as he went on his way, he approached Damascus, and suddenly a light from heaven flashed around him. 4 And falling to the ground he heard a voice saying to him,“Saul, Saul, why are you persecuting me?” 5 And he said, “Who are you, Lord?” And he said, “I am Jesus, whom you are persecuting.
His conversion was started and soon to be completed and Jesus the Lord, Messiah and redeemer of all mankind chose Saul to become the apostle to the Gentiles Eph. 1:11 – “having been predestined according to His purpose” and as Acts 9:15; 22:21), to all the nations of the world, and not just to the Jewish Nation,
After this encounter, Paul enabled the early Church understand the full implications of the mystery of God’s becoming man, namely to redeem all human beings through faith in the Son of God. The Gentiles did not first have to become Jews. Faith alone saves.
Paul taught that embracing every nation and transcending every culture was at the core of the Gospel message because Christ died for each and every person, so that each of us might share in the fullness of eternal life.Transformed by his personal encounter with the Risen Lord and his theological training under Gamaliel helped him to lay out the full implications of the Christian faith for the early Church. On one occasion, he even challenged Peter, whose walk was not in conformity with the Gospel Peter himself preached (cf. Gal. 2:11)
At the core of Paul’s preaching was the Crucified Christ,he was acutely aware that Christ had died for him personally, and for each human being, equally personally. This was the message he preached from Jerusalem to Rome and to the ends of the earth.The agony of the Cross reveals the power of God’s love, That the Father loves us enough that ” God so loved the world, that he gave his only Son, that whoever believes in him should not perish but have eternal life” (John 3:16).
The triumph of God’s love over sin and evil was manifested in the Resurrection and is now present in his Body, the Church. By persecuting the Church, Saul was persecuting Christ himself. The Risen Christ’s presence in the Church is real. Therefore The core mission of the Church is to preach the message of faith in season and out of season, so that people might know what God has done for them, how much God in Christ loves them, how they might find hope and joy in their lives. The urgent mission of the Church should be to do as Paul would have done I guess that is what is gnawing at me over the last few weeks, sometimes I do not understand our complacency in the face of the present lack of concern for the lost.
The culture of “me” has become so prevalent because we have lost our zeal for Christ, lost our zeal for souls. My prayer is that we renew our zeal.
We cannot limit our reach to our own local Church. We cannot ignore the fact that the greater part of the world’s population does not know Christ. Countless people do not know about Christs love for them. They have not encountered him so as to allow him to transform their lives
Because we who believe no longer consider it our urgent responsibility to be missionaries to a lost world what then is our calling ? Paul would say: to preach Christ Our Saviour, in season and out of season so that others will be converted to the Risen Lord and encounter Him in His Church.
1 Corinthians 9:14-27 really lays out where my head has been and the battle within,
“15 But I have made no use of any of these rights, nor am I writing these things to secure any such provision. For I would rather die than have anyone deprive me of my ground for boasting. 16 For if I preach the gospel, that gives me no ground for boasting. For necessity is laid upon me. Woe to me if I do not preach the gospel! 17 For if I do this of my own will, I have a reward, but if not of my own will, I am still entrusted with a stewardship. 18 What then is my reward? That in my preaching I may present the gospel free of charge, so as not to make full use of my right in the gospel. 19 For though I am free from all, I have made myself a servant to all, that I might win more of them. [ emphasis mine]
OK, I feel better , Good night all