We say that the world is getting smaller – because travel and communication make it seem so, making distant places more accessible…but I still feel like the earth is rather big – and so many people (roughly 7 billion according to Wikipedia) live in it! In different countries – with all different cultures and languages! And SOOO many of them don’t have a Bible in their language (according to Wycliffe about 350 million!) or haven’t even heard about Jesus!
In Matthew 28,18-20 Jesus says “All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to me. Therefore go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, and teaching them to obey everything I have commanded you. And surely I am with you always, to the very end of the age.” And when sending out the 72 to preach and heal the sick in Luke 10,2 he says “The harvest is plentiful, but the workers are few. Ask the Lord of the harvest, therefore, to send out workers into his harvest field.”
So we’re called to:
1. PRAY for the countries/people groups! The people – the harvest – the workers!
2. GO ourselves!!! Maybe God calls you to serve RIGHT WHERE YOU ARE or maybe he’s asking you to go somewhere else on the map…PRAY ABOUT THAT TOO – but no matter where you are, obey Jesus’ command and tell some of the world’s 7 billion population about Jesus!
You might say – whoa…but there’s SO many people…I don’t know them…don’t know how to start…well guess what – God knows EACH ONE OF THEM by name! And loves them. And asks you to love them too. And don’t worry too much about what to say – I mean YES it is good to be prepared! Like it says in 1 Peter 3,15 “…Always be prepared to give an answer to everyone who asks you to give the reason for the hope that you have. But do this with gentleness and respect…” So it is good to be prepared – how would you explain someone the gospel without your typical Christian jargon? In five minutes? How could you share in two minutes what God has done in your life? But in the end we can also trust that the Holy Spirit will guide us! Like Jesus said to his disciples in Luke 12,11-12 “When you are brought before synagogues, rulers and authorities, do not worry about how you will defend yourselves or what you will say, for the Holy Spirit will teach you at that time what you should say.” In the same way the Holy Spirit also guides us when talking to people!
Let the whole world hear what God has done for us, and praise him for his goodness! Let them hear of how God so loved the world that sent his one and only Son Jesus Christ to live a perfect life as man on earth and yet to die the death of a criminal – taking on himself the punishment for our sins – for all the things in our lives that dishonour God, the many times we’ve broken HIS ten commandments – Jesus’ death gives us life because he did not remain dead but rose again from the grave – conquering the power of sin and death! And offering us forgiveness for sins and the gift of eternal life – if we repent, turn our back on our sinful lives and put our trust in Jesus, commit our lives to HIM!
“Give praise to the Lord, proclaim his name;
make known among the nations what he has done,
and proclaim that his name is exalted.
Sing to the Lord, for he has done glorious things;
let this be known to all the world.” Isaiah 12, 4-5
What challenged me too in respect to this topic was reading on the website of the Joshua project (http://joshuaproject.net/great-commission-statistics.php) about the statistics of unreached people groups – and of how we tend to invest a lot in areas where there already are a lot of followers of Christ or invest in tending the church, “tending the flock”…To be honest, I do not know how they come by the statistics, but in the end it I feel it isn’t so much a question of whether five thousand of five million in a certain region have never heard about Jesus – if we remember the parable of the lost sheep, the shepherd left the 99 to go seek the ONE lost sheep! So even ONE lost sheep is worth saving!
Let’s be challenged. Let’s be obedient. Let’s be ambassadors of Christ and fishers of men =)