Sunday, 29 November -0001 18:42

From the Editor

Written by George Bok
"Let us go forth therefore unto him outside the camp, bearing His reproach." Hebrews 13:13.

The above text speaks to us of suffering. When we read this verse in the context, we see Jesus who suffered outside the gate to sanctify the people by His blood. The death of the Son of God was unique, it was a substitutionary death, and this is a suffering we cannot enter. Christ's death is not only a substitution but also a pattern. Mark 8:34 states, "If any man would come after me, let him deny himself and take up his cross and follow me. Dietrich BonhoefferÕs famous lines are absolutely biblical: "The cross is not the terrible end to an otherwise God-fearing and happy life, but it meets us at the beginning of our communion with Christ. When Christ calls a man He bids him come and die." Some suffering is the calling of every believer, but especially of those God calls to bear the Gospel to the unreached.

Peter says that Jesus left us an example that we should follow in His steps. We have to follow Jesus outside the camp. Outside the camp means to be outside the borders of safety and comfort. Therefore this text is especially a missionary text. Outside the camp are the "other sheep" that are not of this fold. Outside the camp are the unreached nations. Outside the camp are the places and the people who will be costly to reach and will require a sacrifice. But this is our calling.

Charles Wesley gives an example of how one might obey Hebrews 13:13 and go "outside the camp." On July 18, 1738, two months after his conversion, he did an amazing thing. He spent a week witnessing to inmates at the Newgate Prison with a friend. One of the men they spoke to was a black slave who had robbed his master. He was sick with a fever and was condemned to die. Charles and his friend asked if they could be locked in overnight with the prisoners who were to be executed the next day (outside the camp). That night they brought the Gospel to the prisoners. They told the men that One came down from heaven to save lost sinners. They described the sufferings of the Son of God, His sorrows, agony and death. The next day the men were loaded onto a cart, ropes were fastened around their necks and they were executed. The fruit of Wesley and his friendsÕ night-long labour was astonishing. Here is what Wesley wrote:

They were all cheerful; full of comfort, peace and triumph;
assuredly persuaded Christ had died for them, and waited to
receive them into paradise... The black... saluted me with his
looks. As often as his eyes met mine, he smiled with the most
composed, delightful countenance I ever saw. When the cart drew
off, not one stirred, or struggled for life, but meekly gave up
their spirits. I spoke a few suitable words to the crowd; and
returned, full of peace and confidence in our friendsÕ happiness.
That hour under the gallows was the most blessed hour of my life.

We can see two things in this story. One is the astonishing power of Wesley's message about the truth and love of Christ. All the condemned persons were converted. The other thing is that Wesley went to prison that night. Why? God put it in his heart. And Wesley yielded. There are many different and radical things God is calling His people to do for the cause of world missions. Let us learn to listen to the leading of the Spirit to see where "outside the camp" is for us. Let us remember in prayer our missionaries, radio pastors and all who labour in bringing this glorious message to this lost world.

In the following reports we may read of our part in this work that the Lord has entrusted to us.

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