We have many photographs of congregations from the Texas District in action—each one seeking to reach its unique community with the Gospel of Jesus in an effective way. Why? Why work so hard at it? Why not just relax and be comfortable? Why make the effort to reach those who don’t know Jesus?
Of course, there is a point in which we CAN relax. Our eternal salvation is assured because of the death of Jesus for our sins and because his resurrection is a guarantee of our own. That’s the Good News.
It is Good News. And it’s the most important news in the world. Nothing is more important to each person than where he or she spends forever. Nothing. This is true whether an individual realizes it or not. We know the way to an eternity in paradise—it’s a gift from God! It costs us nothing because it cost Jesus everything—His very life.
Our congregations, our homes, our places of work, our schools are surrounded by people—likely tens of thousands of them, regardless of where you live in Texas—who do not trust in Jesus and are on their way to an eternal destiny apart from him.
The fact that everyone has an eternal destiny—somewhere—is the motivation!
Francis Pieper, revered seminary professor and fourth president of The Lutheran Church—Missouri Synod put it this way:
“…every phase of the Christian life, all its activities and all its sorrows are brought into the light of Judgment Day and the glory then to be revealed. Because they are waiting for their Lord, Christians are diligent in good works…especially in preaching the Gospel…it is the blessed hope of heaven which shapes a Christian’s life on earth into the right form. This hope insures the happy life of a Christian; this is the key to a successful ministry.” (Christian Dogmatics, Vol. III, p. 85, emphasis added)
St. Paul describes getting out of his comfort zone to reach those far from God like this: “I have become all things to all people, that by all means I might save some.” 1 Cor 9:22
As those whose eternal destiny is assured, how will we respond?
Jon Braunersreuther, D. Min.
Director of Districtwide Strategy
Mission Strategist—Area D