“Where are your men?” When I graduated from the University of Oklahoma back in 1996, my good friend Todd Stewman told me that later in life, when our paths would cross, he would want to know how I would answer that question. You see, for the previous four years I had been one of Todd’s “men.” I had learned to study the Bible in his Bible Study. I had learned to lead my future wife by watching him interact with his wife through their engagement and early married years. I had gained a vision for God’s work around the globe through his challenge to participate in summer mission trips. I learned the value of male friendship through interaction with the other men in his small group. For four years, God had used him in a significant way in my life, and Todd was trusting that the things he had entrusted to me would continue to flow through my life to others. In fact, as I was heading into ministry, Todd wanted to make sure that at every point in my life I would have some “men” I would be investing these same things in.
There were several of us who were in Todd’s small group who also received the same challenge. Rob’s “men” are tribal people for whom he is translating the Scriptures into their own language for the first time. Bob’s “men” are his congregation at a church plant in the American heartland. My “men” are the people of Wildwood Community Church. And these are just some of the people from Todd’s small group.
The reason we have all taken Todd’s charge so seriously is not because we simply love him. We do love Todd, but this mission to share God’s love with others goes way beyond any single person. In fact, it goes all the way to the top. Jesus Christ is on a mission in this world moving toward people. As Jesus is moving toward people, drawing them into a relationship with Himself, He is revealing truth about God to them and redeeming them from their sins. If any would believe in Him, they would experience the blessings of our Gracious God.
Jesus Christ’s pursuit of humanity and His attempt to gather his “men” and “women” from all peoples is a mission that He has been on from the beginning of time. Jesus pursuit of humanity began when humanity left the Garden of Eden. He preserved humanity in the time of Noah. He began a strategy to bless the world through the descendants of Abraham. He continued His revelation through the nation of Israel. He became incarnate in Palestine and lived and died to redeem sinful humanity. He continues to pursue mankind through the work of His Church worldwide today. And, in the future, even in the time of judgment, He will continue to pursue mankind to the very end.
In Revelation 11, during a period of protracted judgment upon the earth during the end times, Jesus will send out two witnesses to share the truth about Christ with the world amidst this time of great distress. Jesus holiness demands that the world be judged, however His compassion is continuing His mission of revealing and redeeming right up to the very end. These two witnesses will spend three and a half years prophesying on the earth concerning the reality of our God. The presence of these men at the end of times is a reminder of the enduring mission of Christ in the world. His desire is not to obliterate people, but to save them, therefore He continues to have His followers invest in their “men” with a desire that people would believe in His name and be saved.
Jesus is never without testimony in this world. Jesus is never without compassion in this world. Never. Revelation 11 is a reminder of that. Of course, not everyone embraces the compassion Christ is willing to offer (as evidenced by the killing of the two witnesses in Revelation 11:7-10), but it is extremely significant to note that He is still offering it.
Do you want to be a part of what God is doing in this world? Do you want to have a life of eternal significance and see God use you to do amazing things? Then let me ask you a question . . . “Where are your men?” Who is it that you are sharing Christ’s love with? Who is it that you are pointing toward the Savior? What Christians are you in community with that you are sharpening as “iron sharpens iron?” What non-Christians are you pursuing in an intentional way? That is the mission Christ is on in the world, and if we want to be with Him, we should join Him in this effort and allow Him to reach others through us. This does not have to be a vocational effort . . . there are “men” in every walk of life and in every neighborhood in the world. He is reaching out. Will we?