Unfinished: Believing is Only the Beginning by Richard Stearns
When Jesus Christ left, he sent his followers with an essential mission into the world. He tasked them to preach change into the world by demonstrating God’s love and to proclaim the gospel. However, these missions still remain unaccomplished. Richard Stearns in his revolutionary book Unfinished: Believing is only the Beginning takes us through an incredible journey to revive Christ’s mission and the lushness of God’s intent in our lives today. The purpose of this paper is to explore Stearns’s intent in writing the book and the principles derived from the book.
Stearns’s Intent in Writing the Book
It is true to say that each Christian’s generation necessitates an awakening call that acts as a reminder of how discipleship is a demanding and staid mission. Apparently, by reading his book, it can be said that Stearns’s work is that alarm, which is proved by his intentions of writing the book as discussed herein.
To start with, the author’s aim was to remind believers why they are here, what their purpose in life is, to show their place in the wider chronicle which God is writing, as well as to display how their faith impacts their professions. Stearns writes that the only way that people can find their genuine purpose is by discovering the exceptional responsibility God created for them. To support this, Stearns shares with the readers his incredible journey across the world. Through the journey, he revealed that he had interacted with thousands of people, many of who shared their experiences with him, including their lives and how they had tried to actualize their faith. However, throughout these interactions, Stearns realized that there was something common that could be drawn from their lives and experiences. These people yearned to discover the significance and purpose of their lives with Christ because they felt their purpose of existence was incomplete. Whether male or female, young or old, rich or poor, they felt the need to connect to God’s calling. In view of this understanding, Stearns emphasizes such point: significance and purpose of life are only found by understanding God’s intent in our life and aligning ourselves to follow his teachings. It is clear that our purpose in life does not depend on our families, work, money, accomplishments or education. Relatively, it is our commitment to follow Jesus that brings value and everything else that pertains to it.
Secondly, Stearns wrote his book with the intention of helping believers rediscover the vital mission that Christ intended for them in today’s world. He argues that Jesus Christ gave this same assignment to his disciples just before he ascended to heaven. It was radical and has been broadly termed as the ‘Great Commission’ in the New Testament. The disciples were sent into the world to preach forgiveness and repentance, thus building a new kind of world order – the God’s kingdom. This kingdom would be a blessing to humanity regardless of race, power, dominion and politics; it will be built on Christ’s love, compassion, truth and forgiveness.
Lastly, Stearns aims at telling the readers that merely believing in God is not adequate. Christians must be ready to make disciples, trust God in everything and be bold. For instance, the very first disciples were unstoppable; they were radical and spearheaded the gospel uprising through the Roman Empire. In 300 years, they conquered and changed the world through divine purpose. According to them, the gospel was priceless and more important than anything else. Along the way, many of these believers were martyred; however, others arose and took lead of spreading the good news. Sadly, about 2000 years after the death of Christ, the Christian ministry has lost its touch and the urge to influence the world. They have lost the sense of the big picture, and God’s kingdom seems to have lost its purpose.
Principles Drawn from the Book
Through his book, Stearns includes important information about Christianity, faith and Christians’ unfinished mission in proclaiming the gospel. He argues that God created individuals uniquely, in his image and likeness, and for a certain reason. God does not force people into his mission, but rather invites them. He always gives individuals life significance, meaning and fulfillment.
Another principal drawn from the book is that people do not need to be smart to influence the world, or to travel from one nation to the other. A wealthy, poor, influential or little known individual can each change the world regardless of who they are. They only need to heed the call, willingly accept the invitation and be prepared for all that might happen. Accepting the call of Jesus and proclaiming the gospel involves sacrifice considering that nothing comes at a low price.
In addition, Stearns challenges Christians to be strong believers as faith entails many things. These encompass their conduct and proclaiming the gospel among others. It also essentially involves leaving everything else and following Jesus Christ to join the great commission. It is a great call to leave family ties, material possessions and follow only him. Thus, individuals will become complete and live in accordance to God’s ultimate purpose.
Moreover, God’s purpose upon individuals’ life is another principle. Stearns provides numerous examples of Christians and believers who served God wholeheartedly. Ordinarily, these Christians are just like all of us. They left behind their wealth and relations to follow Jesus Christ and inherit God’s kingdom. Stearns craftily goes further than just advising believers on what they ought to do; it is their time to relive God’s intent and his purpose upon their lives.
In conclusion, Stearns puts forth that there is a correlation between human’s incomplete purpose in life and God’s unfinished work. The current paper has investigated Stearns’s intent for writing his book as well as the principles that can be drawn from it.