“Woe for me if I don’t preach the Gospel,” said Apostle Paul in 1 Corinthians 9:16. He is a man who understood his responsibility to reach non-believers with the Gospel of Jesus Christ. Despite the persecution he faced, Paul was obedient to the world of our Lord Jesus Christ who commanded His disciples to “Go and make disciples of all nations,” Mathew 28:19. I wonder how many of us are heeding the Lord’s command to preach the Gospel.
In my recent trip to Nigeria, I came across persecuted Christians who are ready to pay the ultimate price for evangelizing to Muslims. Pastor Luka (name changed for security reasons), has lived among Muslims for several years preaching the Gospel to the lost. His church has been demolished twice by his Muslim neighbors.
His persecutors even tried to kill him. In 2011, his home was surrounded by Muslim mob. More than 100 Muslims came with the intention to kill him. It was truly miraculous how the Lord saved him. The pastor told me:
“The Muslims found me but couldn’t kill me. I heard them saying to each other, ‘What are we doing? [The pastor] is just walking away. Why don’t we apprehend him?’”
Of course they don’t have the answer to that question—it was divine intervention that saved the pastor. After hearing his story and seeing his demolished church, I asked him, “Pastor, your life and the life of your family is in danger. Why don’t you leave this area? I was astounded by his response:
“If God calls you for the ministry, it is not about what you want anymore. You must obey and do what God tells you to do. I actually want to go to other places to do evangelism. Anywhere I want I could go. My [relatives] recently asked me to leave the area, but I said no. If the time I will die here come, I must die here. If God doesn’t allow me to die here, I must go to another place. Whatever God says, I must obey.”
What a great man of God! May the Lord help us to cherish our callings the way Pastor Luka do.