What If?

Dr. Don Sisk

Many years ago I was reading a prayer letter from a missionary in the Dominican Republic. In the last paragraph the missionary wrote these words, “Alexis asked me a couple months ago, ‘What would have happened to me and all the people in our church if you had not come to the Dominican Republic?’” What if he had not gone? What if the missionary had decided to do something other than going to the Dominican Republic and preaching the Gospel?

I have often thought, “What if the Lord Jesus Christ, after counting the cost of man’s salvation, had decided to stop short of the Cross?” Thank God He did not! The Bible says in Hebrews 12:2, “Looking unto Jesus the author and finisher of our faith; who for the joy that was set before him endured the cross, despising the shame, and is set down at the right hand of the throne of God.” We praise God for the great salvation that we have. It cost Jesus His very life. It cost God His only begotten Son. It is free to us, but it is not cheap.

What if every Bible-believing church in America took seriously the Great Commission? Jesus said in Mark 16:15, “Go ye into all the world, and preach the Gospel to every creature.” I praise God for churches all over the world that have taken seriously God’s Great Commission to us. This was His last command; it should be our first priority. We can get so involved in so many things that we fail to do the one thing that God has commanded us to do. We are to make Him known to “every creature” in our generation.

Approximately 80% of the independent Baptist churches in America do not have a missions conference. That is—they do not have a time during the year that is set apart for the emphasis of worldwide evangelization. I am aware that we need to emphasize world evangelization every Sunday; however, churches that are being used by God to make an impact in world missions set aside some time every year when missions is the main emphasis.

What if every Bible-believing, fundamental Baptist gave something every week to missions above his tithe and offering? In recent days, many churches have used what we call “grace-giving” or “faith-promise giving” to encourage their members to give something every week, above their regular offering, for worldwide evangelization. The average Baptist in America gives less than $20 per year for missions above his tithe. This is less than 50 cents per week. What if everybody took seriously God’s command to evangelize the entire world?

What if there was a great emphasis on world evangelization in all of our Christian schools, our Bible colleges, and our seminaries? What if our teachers and administrators had as their goal to train people to evangelize the world in our generation? What a great difference this would make. Our missions organizations would be flooded with mission candidates.

What if God’s people took seriously the prayer requests of our Lord Jesus Christ? After looking at the multitudes of hurting people, Jesus said to His disciples, “The harvest truly is plenteous, but the laborers are few” (Matthew 9:37). When Jesus Christ made that statement, there were only 250 million people on the face of the earth. Today, there are over six billion people. While the harvest field is much larger today than it was when Jesus walked upon the face of the earth, the force of laborers has not increased in proportion. The problem is not with the harvest; the problem is a lack of laborers.

After making that great statement, Jesus commanded His disciples, “Pray ye therefore the Lord of the harvest, that He would send forth laborers into his harvest.” What if you and I would go before God daily and pray to Him that He would send forth laborers into this great harvest field?

Many people are fearful of praying that God will send forth laborers. Their fears rest in the fact that they, themselves, are not willing to go to the mission field, and that if they prayed, God might lay the mission field on their hearts. Someone has well said, “We should not pray unless we are willing to be the answer to God’s prayer.” Many times a Christian has become burdened for a mission field. As he begins to pray for that particular field, God lays on his heart the need for him to go. Years ago I was in a conference where a pastor was praying that God would send some of his people to the mission field. On Saturday evening he asked me to go to his home. He expressed to me that no one in the church had come forward to go to the mission field, but he said, “I believe that God is calling me and my family.” Thank God they went.

Many years ago, a pastor and I were eating lunch in a beautiful Christian home. The mother said to the pastor, “Pastor, every year at missions conference I get very nervous. I am fearful that God will call one of my children to the mission field. I do not know that I could bear to let them go.” Someone may say, “Brother Sisk, isn’t that rather normal?” It may be normal, but it is not Christian. I cannot help but remember John 3:16, “For God so loved the world that he gave His only begotten Son….” The world is waiting to hear the glorious Gospel. You and I need to be praying that the Lord of the harvest would send forth laborers into His great fields. We should be willing for God to use us and our loved ones anywhere in this life. What if I really did all that I could and gave as I should and prayed as God has commanded me? What kind of an impact could I have on worldwide evangelization?

Thank God, the missionary went to the Dominican Republic, and Alexis and his friends were saved. Thank God, Jesus Christ went all the way to Calvary and suffered, bled, and died so you and I could be saved from our sins. My constant prayer is that we will not come short of that which God has for each of us.