"Come be a nobody for Christ." That is the invitation Michael Oh, the Executive Director of the Lausanne Movement, extended to the audience at the English track of the Korean World Missions Conference on Wednesday at Azusa Pacific University.
Oh is a missionary serving in Nagoya, Japan. He is the founder of a ministry called Christ Bible Institute and the Christ Bible Seminary, the largest seminary in Japan. He is also the Executive Director and CEO of the Lausanne Movement, an organization founded by Billy Graham with a vision to advance global mission.
People seem to think that there are two types of Christianity, Oh said.
“There’s normal Christianity where you go regularly to Sunday service, occasionally go to bible study, and pray. Maybe you don’t get tattoos and earrings,” Oh described. “Then there’s radical Christianity where you actually pay attention to how Jesus lived and the teachings of Scripture, bearing the cross and sharing the gospel.”
“I invite you to be a part of the normal radical Christian life,” he continued. “Because there’s only one version of Christianity. Normal Christianity is radical. Anything else flows from a false, neutered gospel.”
Being a nobody in the eyes of the world begins with realizing that you are already somebody to God, Oh said.
“Never stop seeing yourself as God sees you. He loves you as much as he loves Jesus. He sees your life as joyfully as if the life of Jesus was lived out by you. Christ’s righteousness is your righteousness. Christ’s sonship is your sonship,” he continued.
This is the radical love that gives radical power for Christians to live the radical Christian life, Oh said, and it’s possible for Christians to go out and be nobodies because they are seen as somebodies to God.
Oh describes missions as “simply doing what God has called you to do where there are few Christians” and in the words of John Piper, Christians are called to either “go, send, or disobey.”
Obeying this call involves forsaking the comforts of the American Dream, Oh explained.
“Jesus is calling for his people to be nobody, to forsake the American dream. He is calling for people who don’t mind if they aren’t recognized, as long as Jesus is exalted,” Oh said. “Jesus didn’t die so we can live the suburban life and go to church on Sunday. He’s calling for godly, capable, and wise nobodies.”
“We’ve been given one life,” Oh reminded the audience. “And the measure of our lives is the glory Jesus Christ receives from our lives. Ultimately, life is not about us. It’s not about money, security, and living a quiet life while going to church. It’s about God and he deserves to hear from the servants for whom he died, ‘I’d do anything for you.’”
“Did Jesus die so we can be comfortable? So that we can pursue the American dream?” Oh asked the audience. “You can be somebody, comfortable, recognized, and build your own kingdom.”
“Or you can be a nobody for Jesus Christ. I invite you to be a nobody for Jesus.”