God's Time Is Now
"I have become all things to all men so that by all possible means I might save some. I do all this for the sake of the gospel, that I may share in its blessings."1
I don't think it was an accident that the first book ever printed mechanically was the Bible. It was printed in 1455 or 1456 by Johannes Gutenberg, the German who invented the first printing press with movable type—an invention that revolutionized worldwide communications. For several hundred years following, the Bible was the most printed book in the world.
Today the commercial world, false cults, pornographers, and political groups are taking the fullest possible advantage of super high-speed computer controlled printing presses to publish and promote their messages either for good or evil. They are doing the same with the Internet and e-mail—and every other means of modern communication.
I believe God gave Gutenberg the ability to invent movable type and the printing press primarily to print the Bible so people worldwide could receive the gospel and Word of God in their own language. The same goes for radio, television, film, the World Wide Web of the Internet, and every other God-given modern means of communication—perhaps today more than ever—to reach a lost and dying world with the gospel in preparation for Christ's possible soon return. Jesus indicated that when the gospel was preached [proclaimed] in all the world then the end would come.2
Like the printing press of old, today the Internet has absolutely revolutionized worldwide communications—it is the most economical way ever to reach millions world-wide with the gospel. ACTS alone in the past month has seen visitors to our websites from more than 194 countries and territories, and at the time of writing, in the last four months we have received 1,095 salvation and re-commitment to Jesus Christ responses from 77 countries. People need the Lord, but it is your and my responsibility to take God's message of salvation to them, and invite them to make a commitment of their life to Jesus Christ.
Unfortunately, in Christendom we are mostly using all these modern and incredible means of communication to talk to ourselves. There's nothing wrong with this except that the balance is way out of proportion. Furthermore, almost all of the money given to churches is spent on ourselves with only an average of 5 percent being spent on missions. Also, take the average church website and you will be hard pressed to find a presentation of the gospel. They are mostly an electronic bulletin board for church members.
And yet, as the late Oswald J. Smith of Canada said, "The supreme task of the church is the evangelization of the world." And this is certainly in direct harmony with Jesus' commission to his followers to "go into all the world and preach [communicate] the Good News to everyone, everywhere."3 This is God's plan and the wisest thing we can do is to get in on his plan and what he is doing in the world today.
And how can you and I do this? It's incredibly simple and we'll answer this question in tomorrow's Daily Encounter.
Suggested prayer: "Dear God, I don't ask that you bless my plans, but please help me to be a part of your plans and what you are doing in the world today. And please use me to be an effective witness for the gospel in everything I do. Thank you for hearing and answering my prayer. Gratefully, in Jesus' name, amen."
1. 1 Corinthians 9:22-23 (NIV).
2. Matthew 24:24.
3. Mark 16:15 (NLT).