Student Writer: Jeremy Bell
I am grateful to attend a school like Southeastern Baptist Theological Seminary where their mission ‘seeks to glorify the Lord Jesus Christ by equipping students to serve the church and fulfill the Great Commission.’ This mission statement does not exist in order to look good on the top of a syllabus or be sent out to prospective students. When Southeastern says they seek to glorify Christ by equipping students in order to fulfill the Great Commission, they mean it.
In April, I had the privilege to participate with a team of students and professors from Southeastern to take the good news of King Jesus to Japan. I did not know what to expect from this journey, but I was reminded that we serve a mighty God. God reminded me that Jesus said, “All authority on heaven and on earth has been given to me” (Matt. 28:18), and with this truth believers have the confidence to “make disciples of all nations” (Matt. 28:19). I would like to share three insights from this experience that drove these truths deeper into my heart.
First, the universal truths of Scripture are for all believers across the globe. God speaks through his Word, and He showed me that other people groups have a longing to see the Japanese come to faith in Jesus Christ. We met a couple from Singapore in Ueno Park while we were out making contacts with Japanese people for our IMB missionaries. The couple from Singapore was in Japan to spend the week prayer walking for the Japanese to place their faith in Jesus Christ. We told them we were there with the same motive. We held hands in that busy park in Tokyo as brothers and sisters in Christ, to plead with God to save this people group for his glory. I still get goosebumps thinking about God’s divine orchestration of events for that sweet moment of unity with our brother and sister from Singapore. Brothers and sisters in Christ, in the words of that old hymn, “What a mighty God we serve!”
Second, God orchestrates moments that the name of Jesus may be proclaimed in the most unlikely places. We went to visit a Buddhist temple in Tokyo on the rainiest day of our trip. Before we entered the temple, we went to an adjacent building that overlooked the temple in order to pray over the people. I remember praying Psalm 67 over the temple as we prepared to enter through the gates. The moment we entered through the gates junior high students approached us to ask two questions, “Why are you in Japan? Why are you at the temple today?” We had the opportunity to tell these students that we were in Japan to let the Japanese people know that Jesus loves them. Think about this. We were at a temple that promotes idolatrous worship. But, the God of glory is greater than stone and precious metals. He used His people to reveal Himself to a group of students that had been assigned by their teachers to ask those two questions. Coincidence? I think not! “Let the peoples praise you, O God; let all the peoples praise you” (Psalm 67:3)!
Third, I have a greater love for God’s sovereignty, but a greater burden for unreached people groups like the Japanese. God opened my eyes to the lost peoples that still must be reached with the eternal truths of the gospel. My prayer is Luke 10:2, “The harvest is plentiful, but the laborers are few. Therefore, pray earnestly to the Lord of the harvest to send out laborers into his harvest.” Maybe God will use this post to inspire you to pray for more laborers to go among an unreached people group like the Japanese. Maybe God will inspire you to go and labor among those that have never had the chance to hear the good news of Jesus Christ’s death, burial, and glorious resurrection. Would you even be open to accepting the call to have beautiful feet and take the good news (Romans 10:15)? May we all be obedient and faithful where we are now, but always be willing and obedient to go if that is God’s will for our lives.
I am thankful for Southeastern Baptist Theological Seminary that makes every classroom a Great Commissions classroom. My prayer and hope is that this blog article will encourage you to pray for the Japanese and the unreached around the globe. I hope that all of us will adhere to these encouraging words from Paul, “Only let your manner of life be worthy of the gospel of Christ . . . . standing firm in one spirit, with one mind striving side by side for the faith of the gospel” (Philippians 1:27).
The Great Commission Studies (CGCS) is the hub of Southeastern’s Great Commission efforts, helping develop students and faculty members who are Great Commission servants of their local churches. The CGCS serves the Southeastern community in four major areas: academics, research, mobilization, and convention relationships.