“The world’s greatest problem is lostness.”

Paul Chitwood, International Mission Board (IMB) president

These words were offered as over 8,100 messengers gathered at the annual Southern Baptist Convention this past week to conduct what must be the largest business meeting in the church world. In fact, with all the media reports about the lively debate and characterizations of individuals on various sides of the issues facing our beloved convention, these words were some of the clearest and most powerful words uttered.

Dr. Chitwood was leading a commissioning service of 52 new missionaries being sent out to various places around the world. Some of these men and women were going to places where there is freedom to proclaim Christ, while some were going to places so dangerous that their names were changed and they spoke behind a screen concealing their faces. Throughout the presentation of these faithful servants of Christ, I was filled with thankfulness that someone once told someone who told someone who told me about the saving purpose and work of Jesus. I am so thankful that in God’s grace toward me, a sinner, that no one was trying to make me a better person or fix the myriad of issues that could have easily been discerned and observed in my life. No, it was through the preaching of the Gospel that God opened my eyes to see and my ears to hear and my heart to believe on Jesus unto salvation. Why would God do this? Because my greatest problem was lostness! 

I am so thankful for those who obediently follow God’s call to the nations as well as those who follow His call across the street to their neighbors or across the hall to their coworkers. EBC family, I pray that this week as you look upon the world around us you won’t be drawn to the false conclusion that what people need is another program and initiative. No, it is my prayer that you and I would see the people around us and know that their greatest problem is lostness and that the only way out of lostness is through faith in Jesus Christ! EBC family, Montgomery’s greatest problem is the same problem as the rest of the world, lostness! Therefore, may we be faithful in addressing the most pressing and most significant problem of our day by telling others the good news that Jesus Christ has come to save sinners!!

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