Many years ago, when we were raising support to church plant in Kazakhstan, we were doing a presentation for a local church when one of the members asked, “Why? Why go to Kazakhstan? Why not just stay here and minister here? There is plenty to do here.” My response was simply, “Acts 4:12.”
Act 4:12 states, “Salvation is found in no one else, for there is no other name under heaven given to mankind by which we must be saved.”
I still believe that. Now more than ever…because His love and grace has been so life changing for me.
I believe Jesus is the way and the truth and the life and no one comes to the Father except through Jesus. Anyone who knows Jesus, knows the Father (John 14:6-7). Since this is true, then we should share about Jesus has much as we can.
We are commanded to love God and love our neighbor (Matthew 22:37-39). We are taught that pure religion is caring for those in distress (James 1:27). Jesus taught and modeled love, compassion, grace, kindness. We should follow His teaching and example. But loving only through acts of kindness is not enough. At some point, we need to share Jesus.
Now in our 22nd year of cross-cultural ministry, I am more convinced….
- Good deeds are not the Redeemer.
- Jobs are not the Healer.
- Food banks are not the Creator.
- Government is not the Prince of Peace.
- English classes are not the Messiah.
- Schools are not the Answer.
- Kids programs are not the Friend.
- Church is not the Rock.
- America, as great as our nation is, is not the Resurrection and Life.
I am not the Savior.
Jesus Is. And anything we do should point to Him.
Yes, we need to be kind to the needy, serve the vulnerable, and work towards redeeming our culture. But doing good is not enough. Our compassionate ministry should point to Jesus.
Refugees need Jesus. And if bringing them to America gets them closer to the message and reality that Jesus loves them, a lot, then bring them on. But if bringing them here means we put them in the worst communities in America, which the resettlement process does, and then do some really nice things for them here and there, then refugees will not be entirely better off. They will be better off, but not entirely. A lost person with some nicer things than what they had overseas is still lost.
Refugee resettlement and what is best for our nation is complicated.
But God keeps it simple for us. If people pursue the Father through Jesus…they will have life (John 10:10). If they seek first His Kingdom and Righteousness…all these things (His care) will be added unto them (Matthew 6:33). If they trust the Father, He will direct and provide (Proverbs 3:5-6).
The best thing we can do for a refugee? Acts 4:12. Jesus. There is no other name where refugees can be saved.
So here is your action item: Share Jesus. Share with invitations and meals and help and compassion. But also share with words. Someone around you needs to hear that Jesus loves them, a lot. And it might even be a Muslim refugee.