suffering for no name

I was in Pakistan a few weeks ago – always amazing, always challenging, always humbling.

I couldn’t help but wonder, as I preached, about the spiritual condition of the people who listened…how many of the people there bore the name of Jesus Christ, as designated by the word Christian (though it is worth noting that was not one Jesus himself was too keen on using), and actually suffered as “Christians”, yet did not know him?

As an evangelical I am keen on people getting born again (a term Jesus himself did use, and seemed to approve of). So what if these people in Pakistan were suffering and yet did not know the God for whom they suffered?

Did the church in the west learn at least one thing through the highly successful Alpha courses – that many of the people who come week in week out are living in desperate need of discovering the reality of the life and love of God in Jesus Christ?

The Church it would seem needs Jesus just as much as the world we preach to does.