We cannot fail. Granted, there are difficulties. The mosquitoes love foreign blood. In contrast to the mild, cool, wonderful weather of Berkeley, Taipei's humidity and constant heat are a force to be reckoned with. Also, more than half the team cannot speak, understand, nor read Chinese. And those that can often find it hard to put majestic truths of the gospel into understandable Chinese. We're also young, mostly inexperienced, and in much need of that which can only be earned by years of suffering.
But beyond the physical inadequacies are the spiritual lacks. We do not always have the heart of Paul to say, ' "I have great sorrow and unceasing grief in my heart. For I could wish that I myself were accursed, separated from Christ for the sake of my" (Ro 9:2-3) fellow man.' Nor do we have the wisdom of Christ to have a perfect answer to every question or accusation. Nor do we always have the Father's pleasure in the possibilities of sinners repenting (Eze 18:23). Nor do we have the Spirit's power to create light out of the darkness of stone hearts (2 Cor 4:7). Nor do we love the lost, so much so that we would weep over their unbelief and hardness of heart. Nor do we present the gospel perfectly or with the same power as Christ Himself. We are inadequate evangelists.
Even more so, my team members and I are sinners, and wretched ones at that. The temptation to become apathetic, to go the easy route of leaving the NTU campus early to enjoy the air conditioning of church, to go home rather than pressing on for fifteen more minutes to share with one more person, is incessant. We often contradict our message with our hypocrisy. We fail to love one another as Christ loved us (Phil 2:1-5). We do not encourage our pastor-teacher Matt as well as we ought. We are like those who forget what they look like in the mirror, and become merely hearers rather than doers (Jas 1:22-24).
Oh. And there's always Satan, whose entire purpose and will is to bar sinners from seeing God's majesty and repenting on their faces in awe of the Holy One of God, in order that they may enter into a purchased, blood-stained relationship with the living God. The enemy has set up a rampant system of sensual materialism, the love of money, and pagan worship in manmade temples of manmade statues with a manmade system that God hates, and it has gripped and consumed the entire nation.
And still, I say, we cannot fail.
God is sovereign, has marked out those whom he will save (Rev 13:8), and nothing, not the apathy of men, not the hardness of heart, not the foolish speculations and myths and lies and idols, not our sin nor shortcomings nor unpreparedness, not men's scorn of His word, not geographic, linguistic, or cultural boundary will prevent Him from working out His plans. There are other sheep that Christ must bring into His fold (Jn 10:16). In the last days, all the works of men will burn under the truth and wrath of God (2 Pe 3:10). History, from past and to the very end, is written by God in unchangeable resolution.
God will build His church, and the forces of Satan and His angels and those of His darkness will not overpower it (Mt 16:18). Christ will get His glory, from every tongue, nation, and people (Rev 5:9), even from those under the earth (Phil 2:10). Not one letter nor one stroke of the pen will pass away; everything Christ said will happen exactly as He said it would (Mt 5:18; Mt 24:35; Mt 16:17; 1 Pe 1:24-25). We cannot fail because God will not let His glory be given to another (Is 42:8, 48:11) . We cannot fail because He is the supreme, the all powerful, the only divine, YHWH, LORD of the heavens and the earth and all they contain (reference: the entire Bible). We cannot fail because Christ will not.
Yes, there is much suffering to be filled up (Col 1:24). Yes, we have not studied the Word of God in all its fullness so that we will have every answer to those who ask (1 Pet 3:15). Yes, we are sinners (Ro 3:23). Yes, Satan has been given dominion of the world (Eph 6:12).
Yet, our power, our guarantee, our hope, our confidence, our success is the Christ. Our joy and job? Preach the gospel to all we meet, because His fame must be made known as a testimony against those who will not believe (Lk 9:5), and a gospel message with the power to save those who do believe (Ac 4:12). We suffer through trial because our Savior has already suffered for our sins (Phil 3:10-11). We grow and are sanctified by God Himself (Phil 2:12-13), learning and applying His word to more accurately reflect our Savior. We strive by His might to make His power perfected in weakness (2 Cor 12:9). And, we confess our sins to our Savior (1 Jn 1:8-10), and put to death the deeds of the flesh (Ro 7:18), thankful that we have a great high priest (Heb 4:14-16) who intercedes for us.
Lord Jesus, You have made us Your ambassadors (2 Cor 5:20), even though we are weak, foolish, base, and despised (1 Cor 1:26-29), apart from You. Missions and evangelism is the most fruitless and pitiful task if You do have not promised to work through us. May Your work and Your love through us reveal Your glory among the nations.
Let everything that has breath praise the Lord!