April 2012 Press toward the Mark
He is Risen
“He is not here; He is risen,”
proclaimed the angel on the day of Christ’s resurrection. We continue to proclaim the same message
today, because people for whom Christ died and rose again still need to hear
and obey this message. Additional media
and venues expand our delivery of this message, but the message remains the
It remains the same because the
need of all humanity remains the same, and the remedy for humanity’s need
remains the same. All of humanity has
sinned against holy God. This sinful
rebellion against God resulted in every human’s judgment and damnation. Therefore, everyone is spiritually lost and
separated from God. Death is the penalty
for sin. It is the unavoidable result,
because when one sins against God that person walks away from life. Death is the only other path available when
one departs from life. The ultimate end
for this condition is hell. All who die
physically without a remedy for their spiritually lost condition will remain separated
forever from God in hell.
The remedy for all humanity is the
death, burial, and resurrection of Jesus: the Gospel or good news. Jesus died for us. He took our place and suffered for us. He paid the penalty in full. No one can add nor subtract from the payment
by Jesus for our sins. His burial
verifies that He really did die. The
angelic announcement of His actual, physical resurrection verifies that the
Father accepted the payment by Jesus.
Had Jesus not been an acceptable and sufficient offering for our sin, He
would remain in the tomb to this day.
However, He arose. We know that
our sin debt has been paid. All the
claims and promises of Jesus can be accepted and trusted for His resurrection
verifies that He is the Christ, the son of the living God: Redeemer, Savior,
King of Kings, and Lord of Lords.
Since the only remedy for the universal
problem of humanity’s sin problem is the Gospel. All of humanity needs to hear the
message. As believers in the Gospel,
that is our mission and ministry. We are
ambassadors of Christ with the mission from our Master to tell the good news to
the whole world. For those of us in
Ohio, the world begins in our state but it does not end there. We share the responsibility for telling the
The 2020 vision for Ohio Southern
Baptists directs us to concentrate on Ohio.
Because He is risen, let us press toward the mark of having one million
members in 2,020 Southern Baptist congregations by the year 2020.
While we are primarily responsible
for Ohio, that does not excuse us from the responsibility of telling the whole
world about Jesus. God gave Southern
Baptists a unique plan to fulfill this responsibility: the Cooperative
Program. Since 1925, Southern Baptists
have been able to share in taking the Gospel to the whole world through the
Cooperative Mission Program. Tithes and
offerings from members of a Southern Baptist church support the ministry of
their local church. Their local church
sends a percentage of their undesignated receipts to the Cooperative
Program. The Cooperative Mission Program
funds the work of the state convention and world-wide missions beyond the state
Overseas and home missions have
occupied the priority positions for Cooperative Mission Program ministries
beyond the state convention. Today, the
Cooperative Mission Program provides the backbone support for Southern Baptist
missionaries in over 130 countries around the world. Here at home, the Cooperative Mission Program
enables missionaries to minister in every state and territory of the United
States. The Cooperative Mission Program
enables Southern Baptists to take the Gospel around the world every day of the
Other ministries receive
Cooperative Mission Program support.
These ministries support our world-wide mission thrust: executive
committee of the Southern Baptist Convention, mission boards, seminaries, and
several commissions. While Southern
Baptists are doing many godly and righteous ministries through the auspices of
the Cooperative Mission Program, the main purpose remains taking the Gospel to
the whole world.
As we celebrate the Resurrection
this season, let us renew our commitment to taking the Gospel to the whole
world: Ohio and beyond. April is
designated as Cooperative Program month.
Please take this opportunity to share our global mission vision and plan
with your church during the weeks ahead.
When your church engages budget planning, please pray earnestly about
increasing your participation in global missions through your Cooperative Mission
Program giving. Let us Press toward the
Mark of global missions, because HE IS RISEN!