Investing for Eternity

by Larry Malone

Most Americans will agree that over the last few years the stock market has been on an unpredictable roller coaster ride, with financial investments ranking toward the bottom of the curve.

Although most of us continue to seek to prepare for the future, we must conclude that the future finally rests in the hands of the One who is the Giver and Taker of life. Proverbs 23:4-5 states: "Labor not to be rich: cease from thine own wisdom…. For riches certainly make themselves wings; they fly away as an eagle toward heaven."

The best decision any Christian can make is to invest in things eternal. In His final commission and command, Jesus instructed His church to: "Go ye therefore, and teach all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost: Teaching them to observe all things whatsoever I have commanded you: and, lo, I am with you alway, even unto the end of the world" (Matt 28:19-20).

Church planting is the key to evangelizing the unreached peoples of the world and AMG's National Worker Program is one of the best ways this can be accomplished. A national worker is a man or woman ministering in his or her own country. These men and women dedicate themselves to proclaiming the glorious good news of the gospel. Most are evangelists and church planners, while some serve in schools, hospitals, youth work, childcare, and camp ministries. Others minister through newspaper and radio evangelism. In every case, the main purpose is to model and proclaim the love and salvation of the Lord Jesus Christ.

Cross-cultural missions are becoming involved in more and more countries around the world, to enable the gospel of Christ to find its way into the hearts of the lost. But today it is very difficult—sometimes impossible—to get entry visas into some countries. And when permission is granted, some missionaries are restricted and forbidden to share their faith.

In countries such as these, there are tremendous advantages to working with national workers. National workers:

• Are able to witness in many countries that restrict or prohibit foreign missionaries.

• May be imprisoned for their work on behalf of Christ, but cannot be expelled from their country as easily as a foreign missionary.

• Know the language and the customs of the people to whom they minister.

• Can be supported for a fraction of what it costs to support a foreign missionary.

• Receive $50 to $500 a month, depending on their family needs, their ministry, and their country of service. However, for only $50 a month you can participate in the ministry of a national worker.

More than 3 billion people in the world are waiting to hear the gospel of Jesus Christ, according to World Help. Eighty-seven percent of these unreached peoples live in countries closed to traditional North American missionaries.

Millions will continue to die unreached unless we take seriously our Lord's last command and invest in souls, which will last for eternity.

Our Lord said it so simply: "Lay not up for yourselves treasures upon earth, where moth and rust doth corrupt, and where thieves break through and steal: but lay up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where neither moth nor rust doth corrupt, and where thieves do not break through nor steal" (Matt. 6:19-20).

When you get to heaven you will find that your investment has reaped eternal dividends: People whose lives have been changed by the grace of God.

Larry Malone is manager of  international ministries for AMG International.

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