Need an idea for a sermon about missions? Here is one
"If God's love is for anybody anywhere, it's for everybody everywhere." -- Edward Lawlor, pastor, evangelist and Nazarene General Superintendent
Lawlor's declaration about "everybody everywhere" evokes several Bible verses. For starters, it calls to mind the "whosoever" of John 3:16.
"Everybody everywhere" also reminds me of Romans 10:13-15: "For, Everyone who calls on the name of the Lord will be saved.' How, then, can they call on the one they have not believed in? And how can they believe in the one of whom they have not heard? And how can they hear without someone preaching to them? And how can anyone preach unless they are sent?"
In that passage, the Apostle Paul's progression from the prophet Joel's words "everyone who calls"1 to his own logical question, "How can they hear?" is clear. Those rational, systematic steps which Paul took with Joel's words need to taken with Lawlor's words as well. If Lawlor was right and the Gospel is for everybody everywhere, then don't we believers need to say, "Okay. How do we get the Good News to everybody everywhere?"
Edward Lawlor's walk certainly matched his talk. He was an untiring evangelist and church planter who had spent time evangelizing among the indigenous peoples of Canada. He eventually became a Nazarene district superintendent and then was asked to form a denominational Department of Evangelism. In 1968, he was elected as a Nazarene General Superintendent which meant he had responsibilities for Nazarene outreach in areas around the globe.
Lawlor's saying about the Gospel being for "everybody everywhere" evokes what pioneer Nazarene leader Phineas F. Bresee had said about the time of Lawlor's birth: " We are debtors to every man to give him the Gospel in the same measure in which we have received it."
We must not simply nod in agreement with Lawlor's slogan and then turn around and excuse ourselves by saying, "Reaching people at the ends of the earth is not what I'm called to do. It is not my responsibility." We must accept our Lord's call to be involved in some way so that everybody everywhere can indeed hear the Good News.
-- Howard Culbertson
1"Everyone who calls on the name of the Lord will be saved." -- Joel 2:32More mini-essays in the "Slogans to awaken the Church" series
Mark 16:15 -- Tell everyone everywhere.
World missions history resources: Black Americans involvement in world missions Missions history crossword puzzle Historic world missions slogans Doing missions well: Missionary biographies Brief overview of missions history Monastic missionary strategy Nazarene Missions International history PowerPoint: Epochs of world mission history World evangelism from 1600 to the present Missions history syllabus Year-by-year timeline of world missions outreach Today in missions history Evangelizing the Vikings William Borden's story