“Until…the Whole World Hears” — Conference Theme
Two years ago we asked Shannon Forest Church to respond to the call, to push the button, to “Go,” and thereby commit to the call. Last year we asked our members to “move 24 inches,” from head to heart, becoming an Acts 1:8 church—witnesses in Greenville, South Carolina, United States, and the Ends of the Earth. This year we use the words of a Christian song, “Until the Whole World Hears” as an anthem in hopes to mobilize hearts, hands, and feet of Shannon Forest Presbyterian Church.
What is God’s mission? What is his heart for the world surrounding us including the Upstate of South Carolina? His commission calls us to “make disciples” (Matt 28:19). We have been given the precious “message of reconciliation” (II Corinthians 5:19). God is in the business of redeeming others to himself. He is most glorified as redemption plays itself out in our lives and as we partake in the beautiful mystery of the Gospel transforming lives. The Gospel is his mission.
How are we to ready ourselves? As a solider prepares for battle, we too must prepare and mobilize against the powers of darkness. We must display constant vigilance through daily prayer and devotion. As we become aware of the immediate need surrounding us, we must in turn become doers of the Word, not just hearers (James 1:22). We are the ambassadors (II Corinthians 5:18-20) of life to a dying world. We are Christ’s light beckoned to pierce the darkness (Matthew 5:14). We are “fishers of men” (Matthew 4:19) casting nets into the depths surrounding us. Like John the Baptist, we are voices in the wilderness saying “prepare the way for the Lord” (Luke 3:4-6; Isaiah 40:3).
According to a recent survey, forty-one percent of the world has yet to hear. We are to take up our spiritual megaphones: to live the Gospel, to cry out in our wilderness--our cubicles, our streets, and even to the farthest corners of our world. This anthem is a calling towards perseverance—to persist until the world hears. Therefore we realize that the mission of the Church is far from over (Isaiah 40:5). It is the eternal tune of redemption we are called to sing to others.
Not only must we go--committing fully in our hearts to the Gospel. Not only must we move from head to heart--becoming his witnesses. We must take up his mission for a lost world, ready ourselves, and persevere in shining his light until the whole world hears!