Jesus commanded, “Go into all the world and preach the Gospel” and “make disciples of all nations” (Mk 16:15; Mt 18:19). These simple yet vital instructions define the primary life-mission for every Christian.
Christ has commissioned us as His ambassadors and witnesses to the world. Thus, as His devoted followers, we are to actively share the Gospel and make disciples; and help to equip and send others.
So how are we, as the Body of Christ, doing with our mission to reach beyond our borders and take the Gospel into all the world? Well, let’s just say there is still much to be done!
It is a joy and privilege to offer someone the incredible news of our Savior. But often, our circle of influence may not reach beyond our own city.
THE BIG PICTURE
Today, there are still vast population segments in our world that have never even heard the name of Jesus, let alone been given a clear presentation of salvation.
Missiologists estimate there are still roughly 7,000 people groups without a witness of Christ, and no indigenous (local) community of Christians to evangelize them.
Incredibly, for almost half of these people groups, there is no coordinated effort to reach them (“unengaged”). There are no missionaries or planned outreach, no churches planted, and no Christian materials or Bibles in their mother-tongue languages.
In total, almost 2 billion people today need someone from outside their own people group to bring them the Gospel; then disciple them and equip them to reach their own people group.
FLESH AND BLOOD
Sending Bibles or printed materials is good; but it does not help the 1+ billion people who are illiterate. The internet is useful; but not for the 3 billion people who cannot access it (many of whom live among the unreached). And for the majority of the unreached, the preferred learning mode is oral, not written.
So what does this tell us? That God still needs people – those who are willing to obey Christ’s call and commission – to personally GO to unreached people groups.
Jesus did more than send messages to the world. He came in the flesh and dwelt among us in living, bodily form. He was seen, touched and heard. He gave up His own life so that others might be saved and have eternal life.
Then Jesus asked His disciples to do the very same, to go and lose their life for His sake. And as His disciples today, we are also called to go into the world, represent Christ and make disciples of all nations.
Simply stated, discipleship means to walk with them until they can walk with Him. This takes time and relationship, and may not sit well in our fast-paced, instant-results culture. But God will not conform His already-revealed ways to suit our lifestyles.
Making disciples involves going to and living among people, sharing God’s Word and Christ’s salvation, and walking together in mutual support of the Spirit’s ongoing transforming work in their hearts and in ours.
IT’S ABOUT THE ONE
Missionary service does not seem as popular a message from pulpits today. Yet the Bible reveals that people are destroyed because of a lack of knowledge (Hosea 4:6a). Millions upon millions are perishing without Christ – eternally destroyed – yet so many are unaware that this is so.