What is the need of the hour? I don’t believe it is any of these. I am convinced that the God of the universe is in control, and He will supply all these needs in His own way and in His own time, all else being right.
The need of the hour is an army of soldiers dedicated to Jesus Christ, who believe that He is God, that He can fulfill every promise He ever made, and that nothing is too hard for Him. This is the only way we can accomplish what is on God’s heart—getting the gospel to every creature.
In 1948 in Europe I met for three days with a group of twenty-five German fellows. I talked to them every evening for three hours, laying before them the great commission and the idea that not only did Germany need to hear the gospel, but that Germans themselves needed to obey the great commission by sending out missionaries.
Every once in a while a hand would go up. One of them said, “But Mr. Trotman, you don’t understand. Some of us right in this room don’t even own an Old Testament. We only have a New Testament.” But I pointed out, “When Jesus Christ gave these commands, they didn’t have even a New Testament.”
Later another spoke up. “But Mr. Trotman, we have very few good evangelical books in this country, like you do in America.” I asked, “How many books did the disciples have?”
Scattered through our nine hours together were other protests: “In America you have money.” “You have automobiles; we have bicycles.” “In America you can hear the gospel any day.” Every excuse was brought up. Each time I replied, “But the twelve apostles didn’t have that either, and Jesus sent them out.”
Finally, near the end, one fellow who was a little older than the rest, and who had an almost bitter expression on his face, rose and said, “Mr. Trotman, you in America have never had an occupation force in your land. You don’t know what it is to have soldiers of another country roaming your streets. Our souls are not our own.” I reminded him of the Roman soldiers who occupied Palestine at the time Jesus Christ and His disciples lived.
Then it dawned on me that when Christ sent out His men, they were in a situation so bad that there could never be a worse one; no printing presses, no automobiles, no radios or television, no telephones, no church buildings.
He left them with nothing except a job to do. But with it he said, “All power is given unto me in heaven and in earth. Go ye therefore. . . .”
What does the therefore mean? It means “I have the power to give you the order, and I have the power to back you to the hilt.” Christ has all power. Not just in heaven, but also on earth. Not part of the power, but all power, which means power over the Romans, and power over Communists, and power over every nation on earth.
Jesus Christ had said earlier to this same little group, “Verily, verily, I say unto you, he that believeth on me, the works that I do shall he do also; and greater works than these shall he do.”
Do you believe this? Or does it make you stop and wonder? Could it be true that the Son of God would say to human beings, “The things I do, you shall do, and greater things than these you shall do”?
Discipleship Journal, Issue 61 (January/February 1991) (NavPress, 1991).