guest article by Bill Robinson
When Peter went to Cornelius he was not being sent to the inner city but to a man who needed to hear the gospel. When Philip was sent to the Ethiopian Eunuch, he was not being sent to a societal reject, but to a man who needed to hear the gospel. When Paul preached to Lydia, he spoke to a woman of means, who heard the word with a realness and openness and trusting faith because she saw her true reality, she needed to be saved! What man or woman is there, regardless of where they live or what they don’t have, who doesn’t need to hear the gospel and be saved?
The fields ARE white unto harvest and wherever God’s people are planted and living faithfully in the rule (kingdom) of God they seek the marginalized. The example of our Lord seeking the lost was not limited to a particular place (i.e. inner city) or type of person (i.e. marginalized). The truth is we will never see the marginalized, as Jesus saw them, until we see the truly marginalized as those yet in their sins! For all those yet in their sins are truly living life in a hard way, being desperate and homeless in eternity, existing in the shadows and darkness of this world. Until we see the truly marginalized for who they really are (those in sin), we will miss great opportunities to reach people regardless of their standing in society or where we find them. Jesus came to seek the lost without qualification of their location for they were the marginalized – like sheep without a shepherd (Matthew 9:35-36).
I am thankful any time and for every place wherein the gospel is preached to those in sin! However, it is a bit misguided and self-righteous to think we are some how more spiritually-minded and more attuned to the Lord because we are preaching the gospel in the inner city or because we go abroad to developing nations to spread the gospel. The world is the field and where ever God’s people are planted they can bear fruit preaching the gospel to any and all who are yet in their sins. Cornelius called his friends and near kinsman to hear the word. Can we do any better than exhaust the opportunities in our own families and neighborhoods? It is, after all, where we have the greatest influence!
— Bill Robinson