Gail and I have raised our two daughters to live like sent ones. From the time they were toddlers we would bring them with us on overseas mission trips. Both girls have traveled abroad independently and with their families. They now work in the secular world using their gifts to serve others as medical professionals. They are wholeheartedly devoted to Jesus and deeply involved with their local church outreach. We are blessed to watch God working in each of their lives.
Carolyn, our oldest, recently wrote this devotional for her church blog site. It inspired and challenged us to hear her heart for reaching the world with the Gospel. Be blessed as you read.
For the Scripture says, “Whoever believes on Him will not be put to shame.” For there is no distinction between Jew and Greek, for the same Lord over all is rich to all who call upon Him. For “whoever calls on the name of the Lord shall be saved.”
How then shall they call on Him in whom they have not believed? And how shall they believe in Him of whom they have not heard? And how shall they hear without a preacher? And how shall they preach unless they are sent? As it is written:
“How beautiful are the feet of those who preach the gospel of peace,
Who bring glad tidings of good things!”
But they have not all obeyed the gospel. For Isaiah says, “Lord, who has believed our report?” So then faith comes by hearing, and hearing by the word of God. Romans 10:11-17
Imagine what it would be like to know Jesus but live out your faith without a community of believers to “do life with.” Imagine you heard about Jesus but you didn’t have a Bible translated in your language. Imagine your faith in Christ meant you lost everything- your friends, your family, your job, perhaps even your life. Imagine you never had the chance to make that kind of sacrifice because no one ever told you about Jesus. Imagine no one ever told you about Jesus because no one you encountered knew Him either.
According to 2018 statistics from the Joshua Project, globally there are 4,380 unreached people groups comprised of over 3.1 billion people. That is over 40% of the global population! Over 95% of unreached people reside in a rectangle between 10 and 40 degrees latitude spanning across Africa, Asia, and the Middle East called the 10/40 window. The organization defines unreached people as “a people group among which there is no indigenous community of believing Christians with adequate numbers and resources to evangelize this people group without outside assistance.”
Jesus’ command to go and make disciples of all nations wasn’t only an assignment for 11 men on a mountain in Galilee (Matthew 38:18-20). As disciples of Christ, it is ours as well. If you have been saved, you have been sent.
Paul asks, “How then will they call on him in whom they have not believed? And how are they to believe in him of whom they have never heard? And how are they to hear without someone preaching? And how are they to preach unless they are sent?” Those questions are as valid for us today as they were for the church in Rome.
2000 years after the death and resurrection of Jesus Christ, there are 3.1 billion people around the world who haven’t heard this good news. They haven’t had an opportunity to confess and believe in Jesus because they haven’t heard. They are sons and daughters, sisters and brothers, mothers and fathers, friends and neighbors. Like you and me, they are sinners in need of a savior. Just as there is no distinction between Jew and Greek, there is no distinction between us and them- Christ’s blood was shed for all.
We are not all called to cross the globe and bring the gospel to those who have never heard, but some of us are. Will you join with me in praying for workers for the harvest (Matthew 9:37-38)? Will you join with me in asking God, “where are you calling me?” Will you join with me in surrendering your preferences and being open to going where God calls you knowing He promises that He will be with us?
- What role is God calling you to play in the Great Commission?
- How can you reach unreached people in your current community? (Consider immigrants, refugees, international students)
- Consider committing to regularly for at least 1 unreached people group.
Let us pray:
Lord, as I consider these statistics, help me remember that each number represents a person dead in their trespasses whom you desire to make alive in Christ. You are not willing that any should perish but that all should reach repentance (2 Peter 3:9). Give me eyes to see the lost and the unreached as you see them and love them as you love them. Give me wisdom and discernment to understand my specific assignment in the mission to go and make disciples of all nations. Lord, use me to reach the unreached.