Can Tom Cruise Do The Impossible?
Tom Cruise has now been in five Mission Impossible films. That’s right, five times he has completed impossible missions … which makes me wonder if the makers of the films need a dictionary — or in the words of Inigo Montoya (from the movie The Princess Bride): “I do not think that word means what you think it means”.
So, it is inconceivable that Tom Cruise can literally do the impossible … but did the Apostle Paul also need a dictionary? For in Romans 15:19 he says —
“from Jerusalem and round about as far as Illyricum
I have fully preached the gospel of Christ.”
Illyricum was where current day Albania and (the former) Yugoslavia are. So Paul says to the Roman Christians that from Israel, up through Lebanon and Syria, through Turkey, and then across in Greece and the former Yugoslavia he has “fully preached the gospel of Christ”. These countries had a population of tens of millions of people at that time. Now, Paul preached the gospel to a lot of people … but not to tens of millions. So was his claim wrong?
No, Paul wasn’t wrong. What he means is that in each of these countries he had proclaimed the gospel, people became Christians and thus churches were started.;
he then helped these churches to grow in the faith, and be equipped for them to share the gospel with other people in their town or city and the towns and cities around them; Paul also often sent some of his co-workers (e.g. Timothy or Titus) to continue the gospel work where churches had been started.
So … Paul: started churches, and further equipped churches, so they could see other churches begun. He was a pioneer evangelist, church planter, pastor and one-man missionary sending agency. But while the ministry of Paul (and his co-workers) ensured the spread of the gospel in all those countries, Paul says that was all ultimately the work of Christ through him (verse 18).
So, no, Tom Cruise can’t do the impossible, but Christ has, can and will. So maybe someone should make a movie about the Church and call it Mission Impossible
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