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Who Will Go For Us?

By Albert Gardner

religion, articles, christianity

Isaiah answered, "Here am I; send me." It is the plan of God for one person to teach another person about God and his will. That is the significance of the question in Isaiah 6:8, "Whom shall I send, and who will go for us?"

Surely the God who spoke the world into existence could, if he wanted to, give his message to the people in some direct way. He talked directly to Adam and Moses.

It is the divine plan for the world-wide commission to be done by people. "For we have this treasure in earthen vessels, that the excellency of the power may be of God, and not of us" (2 Cor. 4:7).

When the Lord appeared to Saul and was asked by him what to do, he was told to go into the city and someone there would tell him what to do. Jesus knew the answer, but he didn't tell him. The reason, of course, is that the gospel treasure is in earthen vessels. Ananias was sent to tell Saul what to do.

Cornelius was told by an angel to send for Peter who would tell him what to do to be saved. Why didn't the angel tell him what to do? Angels have not been charged with preaching the gospel-people have.

Before our Lord went back to heaven, he gave the charge to the apostles to preach the gospel to every creature. The treasure was in the hands of men and he would not take it away by sending angels to do the work or by the direct dealing of the Holy Spirit.

The reason God placed gospel preaching in the hands of men is so all could understand this unparalleled power was from God and not from men. "It pleased God by the foolishness of preaching to save them that believe (I Cor. 1:21). Though some look down on gospel preaching, it still pleases God, for he has chosen to save sinners by the power of the gospel. The greatest work in the world is having a part in preaching the gospel which will save sinners.

All who preach admit the power is not theirs but is from God. "For I am not ashamed of the gospel of Christ: for it is the power of God unto salvation to every one that believeth; to the Jew first, and also to the Greek" (Romans 1:16).

"Who will go for us?" This question comes ringing through the ages and demands an answer from each of us. Will you go? What will you tell Jesus? Will you send?

One may ask, "Where must I go?" The answer is: "The field is the world," so anywhere people are is the place to go. It is not essential that one do foreign work to fit into God's plan.

When you hand a tract to someone, invite people to Bible study and worship, and show someone the filmstrips, you are doing what the Lord wants you to do. Each local church needs a strong pulpit and classes and a diligent, persistent outreach program. Every person in the community has a right to hear the gospel in a clear unmistakable way. That is a most important human right.

Local evangelism is dependent on the local church. If we don't go, no one will. What about foreign evangelism "Who will go for us?" Not everyone can or should go, but in view of the fact that Jesus said, "Teach all nations," don't you think someone should go? If you can't go, will you send?

Does the church where you worship support foreign preaching of the gospel? This will not take away from the local work but will enhance it. When we begin with the world-wide view for gospel preaching, it will include your city. Preachers who have good acceptable reasons for not going to another country themselves should be very strong in supporting and sending others. There must be senders as well as those sent.

Some who can't go permanently could go for a month on a campaign. I went to Africa on a campaign in 1970. Afterwards, my family lived in Ghana four years. Since that time, I have made eleven trips to India.

I assure you great things will happen.

The local church won't die while you are gone but will grow because they will be having a direct part in what we have been preaching all these years. You will grow out of the experience. And souls will be saved because you went.

Not every place is as unconcerned and disinterested about spiritual matters as they likely are in your town. Tracts collect dust in our racks, but there are places where you can give away as many tracts as you can carry, and they will be read. There are places where people will sit on the ground and listen as long as you want to preach. How would you like a "vacation" like that for a month?

I have preached in many places where the gospel had never been preached and no one was planning to come. Had I not gone, the people would not have heard. Because I went, many have obeyed the gospel and will be in haven because brethren were willing to send.

Is it easy? No; it is hard. Make no mistake about it. The bugs are bad; sometimes the beds are dirty; the smells are awful; the mosquitoes practice up on what they do best till I get there; the food is strange; and I can't drink the water.

Friends, I am an American and like comfort as much as you do, so it is not always pleasant. I don't like the tears at the airport. There is always the danger of travel. The question still rings, "Who will go for us?"

Nothing we give up for just a few days can compare with the sacrifice of Christ. He gave up the glories of heaven; for thirty-three and a half years he came and lived among sinners. He lived above sin, though he was tempted in all points like we are. He was rejected, condemned, betrayed, forsaken, and nailed to the cross for all of us. When I think of his sacrifice, I don't mind a few mosquito bites.

Published October 1992