Life is fleeting. In a very short time we will all give an account before Jesus Christ, not only as to how well we have obeyed the command to make disciples of all nations but also, as to how well we have endured our sufferings.
Many of the peoples of the world are without any indigenous Christian movement today. Christ is not enthroned there, his grace is unknown there, and people are perishing with no access to the gospel.
Most of these peoples do not want you to come. At least they think they don’t. They are hostile to Christian missions. And so the Lord still says, “Behold, I am sending you out as sheep in the midst of wolves. . . . some of you they will put to death. You will be hated by all for my name’s sake. But not a hair of your head will perish” (Matthew 10:16; Luke 21:16-18).
Is Jesus calling you fall like a grain of wheat into some distant ground and die, to hate your life in this world and so to keep it forever and bear much fruit?
Judson wrote to missionary candidates in 1832:
“Remember, a large proportion of those who come out on a mission to the East die within five years after leaving their native land.
Walk softly, therefore; death is narrowly watching your steps.”
The question, then, is not whether we will die, but whether we will die in a way that bears much fruit.