En Español, por favor…This is a cry that we hear on a daily basis as missionaries reaching the Spanish here in the US. Please speak in Spanish. I am reminded that it is necessary to consider the fact that not everyone speaks English. I am also reminded that this doesn’t relieve us of our duty concerning reaching these people. The Great Commission that is given to the Church in Matthew 28 does not stipulate only a certain language group.
Paul reminds the good folks in the Church at Philippi that there is a day coming that “every knee shall bow….. And that every tongue should confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father”.
“To the glory of God the Father” is a very strong statement made by the Apostle. When the day comes that we (as Christians) stand before the Lord it will be a great day and truly it will be to God’s glory as the ransomed are called home; but the other side of the coin is that there will be those that will have to confess that Jesus Christ is Lord that will not be to the glory of God the Father. This will be those who have not trusted Christ as Saviour. Also, it will be those who haven’t heard the Gospel because it wasn’t in their native tongue therefore they are not able to understand the Gospel. In chapter 2 and verse 11 we are drawn to the word “tongue”. The word tongue literally means language! Paul reminds the Church that we have a responsibility to reach people because of this day and reminds them of the day when everyone will bow before the Lord.
Leading up to these two verses, Paul begins in chapter 1 with his greeting to the Church and then on to describe his joy through tribulation, then we come to verse 27. Chapter 1:27 gets a lot of attention these days and is well published as a goal, however, there is not much followup to the preceding verses.
It is my heart’s desire to point out a few truth’s that will help the Church reach it’s people groups with out any Spiritual Discrimination:
1. Paul charges the Church to be UNYIELDING in verse 27 – Paul says that our conversation (our lifestyle) becomes the Gospel of Christ. The only way this is possible is to be unyielding to the pressures of the world. Our lives are to become as Christ.
2. Paul charges the Church to be UNDIVIDED in verse 27 as well as thrice in 2:2 – As our life becomes as Christ we are commanded to be of one Spirit, One Mind and of One Accord!
3. Paul charges the Church to be UNAFRAID in verse 28 – As adversity comes into the life of the Christian we learn that it comes because of our Salvation. Paul reminds them that this is the same thing that happened to him.
4. Paul charges the Church to be UNDERSTANDING in how this can be accomplished in 2:1-8. He gives the COMMAND to have the mind of Christ, he shows them the CONDITION that Christ took on the form of God, he shows the COUNTENANCE of Christ in His humility and he reminds them of the CONFORMATION in Christ going to the cross to do the will of the Father.
5. Paul charges the Church to be UNIQUE in accepting their responsibility in 2:9-13. With the reminder of verses 10 and 11 Paul then turns to the personal responsibility of the believer in reaching people. In verse 12 Paul charges the believer to “work out your own salvation with fear and trembling” with the knowledge that they had just received. As we gain an understanding that we are responsible for reaching ALL PEOPLE it should serve as a reminder that there is a day coming that we will give an account for those things “done in the body”. We have the promise in verse 13 that all of the power of heaven is available to us as we yield to every impulse of the Spirit of God.
Now, we have the Scripture that carries the command that we are to carry the Gospel to the countries of the world. With that comes language barriers. In the day of technology that we live in, the Gospel is readily available for a lot of those that surround us on a daily basis. Yes, there are languages that do not have the Gospel, this is being worked on by those that God has called and gifted to do so. We are responsible for what we can do. In doing so, God has brought a tremendous amount of people groups to our front door. Let’s reach them!
The United States is now the SECOND largest Spanish speaking country in the world. We have a great opportunity to reach these folks on a daily basis. As our Jerusalem changes, our command and commission doesn’t. Here are a few things that you may want to do to begin to reach the Spanish in your area if you haven’t begun already:
1. Use bilingual tracts for group and individual soul-winning. Target neighborhoods and communities where the housing is predominantly Spanish speaking.
2. Have a Spanish emphasis day. Inviting your Spanish Community in to be recognized.
3. English classes for Spanish speaking people, using the Bible as the text book.
4. Spanish speaking Bible study, using interpreters or a trusted individual that is attending to interprete. Grow this Bible study into a Sunday School and eventually into regularly held services.
Most of all, pray for these as well as others that may not speak English as their first language. Our desire is to see everyone come to Christ as Saviour. If there is anything we can ever do to be help, please do not hesitate to contact me directly.
Our prayer is that God would use each of us to reach those He brings before us each day.