Having worked as a missionary before coming to law school, I particularly enjoy talking to others about the Great Commission. And when I do, I often hear people talk about how they are not “called” to that kind of thing. I understand where they are coming from – after the first mission trip I ever went on, in which I worked in the slums of Lima, Peru, I was very adamant that I was not “called” to that kind of work. It is not my intention to question what God is telling others; however, I honestly believe that we use spiritually sounding excuses like these when it comes to obeying the very clear commands of Christ. For many of us, the issue is not so much whether or not we have received a special calling, but rather whether or not we are walking in obedience to what Scripture already commands us to do.
In regards to spreading the word of God throughout the world, what calling do we really need beyond Mark 16:15 (“Go into all the world and preach the gospel to all creation”)? When it comes to caring for the poor and hurting, should not Jeremiah 22:3 (“Do what is just and right. Rescue from the hand of his oppressor the one who has been robbed. Do no wrong or violence to the alien, the fatherless or the widow, and do not shed innocent blood in this place”) be all we need? In the face of these commands, how can we expect to stand before God and say that we were not called? We would do well to remember the words of William Booth, the founder of the Salvation Army – “‘Not called!’ did you say? ‘Not heard the call,’ I think you should say. Put your ear down to the Bible, and hear Him bid you go and pull sinners out of the fire of sin. Put your ear down to the burdened, agonized heart of humanity, and listen to its pitiful wail for help. Go stand by the gates of hell, and hear the damned entreat you to go to their father’s house and bid their brothers and sisters and servants and masters not to come there. Then look Christ in the face — whose mercy you have professed to obey — and tell Him whether you will join heart and soul and body and circumstances in the march to publish His mercy to the world.”