Devoted to the Propagation and Defense of New Testament Christianity
December 13, 1951

The Difference


The Jews, particularly in ancient times, never thought of spreading their religion. It was to them a treasure, a privilege, a blessing, something exclusively and peculiarly their own, not to be shared with the heathen nations around them. By their religion they were set apart from the rest of the world, God's chosen people. When finally, owing chiefly to political circumstances, the Jews had to admit strangers to some of the privileges of their religion, they regarded them not as souls saved, won, gained, born again into a new brotherhood, but rather as aliens and proselytes—not to be trusted, as their saying way, until the twenty-fourth generation!

But the religion of Christ was cosmopolitan from the very first. He himself was without national prejudice or bias, loving all men without regard to race or condition. In his last words he instructed his apostles to "teach all nations," bearing witness of him in Judea and Samaria, and to "the uttermost parts of the earth." He was color-blind so far as human beings were concerned, loving the ignorant savage of the African jungle with the same tender compassion he felt for the most cultured and enlightened.

It was not many years after this until the church had spread into all the kingdoms of earth. The many nations represented in the Roman Empire, who could never have united on Judaism or paganism, were worshipping in peace and harmony in the local congregations, calling one another "brother" with total disregard for the barriers and shibboleths of nationalism and tribal loyalties. Truly, the "middle wall of partition" had been broken down; in Christ there was unity, harmony, and peace.

The churches of Christ today, true to the life and teaching of their founder, make no distinction whatsoever between men. All men are created of God. God's love goes out to black, yellow, brown, or red with the same fervor and measure as to the white. The gospel is for the whole wide world—not for Jews alone, nor for Americans alone, nor for whites alone. Christ died for all; and all who will may come to him for salvation.

In the jarring clash of strident nationalisms, when sense and sanity seem to have fled the world, it would be good for every humble Christian to think once again of the world-wide nature and character of "that calling wherewith he is called." If Christ loved the Russian peasant enough to die for him, we who follow Christ ought to love him enough to try to take the gospel to him. If Christ could die for the diseased and filthy beggar lying beside the gutter in the streets of Calcutta, how can we go our smug and complacent way giving never a care nor a thought to telling him of Christ?

It must bring real satisfaction to all of us to realize that in spite of problems and mistakes the gospel is being preached today to more peoples than at any time in centuries. And it has the same glorious power to save in our day that it had in the days of yore. A Roman soldier hearing the gospel from the lips of Paul could know the joy of salvation; the same gospel brings the same joy to a bewildered and priest-ridden peasant toiling in the vineyards of Italy today. It is God's power to save. Salvation is not in human schemes and plans and institutions, but in Christ. Let that never be forgotten! And let every child of God dedicate himself anew to the great task of preaching Christ to all the world.

— F.Y.T.