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Sermon No: 727-The Great Commission



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SERMON TOPIC: The Great Commission

Speaker: Gavin Paynter

Language: ENGLISH

Date: 24 July 2011

Topic Groups: MISSIONS, GREAT COMMISSION, EVANGELISM

Sermon synopsis: Often people ask, 'What prophetic event remains unfulfilled to prevent the return of Jesus?'
Well consider this prophecy by Jesus.
In Matthew 24:14, speaking prophetically Jesus said that 'this gospel of the kingdom will be preached in the whole world as a testimony to all nations, and then the end will come.'
Q: Now, has the whole world heard the gospel?
Q: Do all people have the Bible in their own language?
So while we all look forward to the return of Jesus, WE HAVE UNFINISHED WORK.
'We talk of the Second Coming; half the world has never heard of the first.' (Oswald J. Smith)
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THE GREAT COMMISSION

GO AND MAKE DISCIPLES OF ALL NATIONS…

Often people ask, “What prophetic event remains unfulfilled to prevent the return of Jesus?”

Well consider this prophecy by Jesus.

In Matthew 24:14, speaking prophetically Jesus said that “this gospel of the kingdom will be preached in the whole world as a testimony to all nations, and then the end will come.”

Q: Now, has the whole world heard the gospel?

Q: Do all people have the Bible in their own language?

So while we all look forward to the return of Jesus, WE HAVE UNFINISHED WORK.

“We talk of the Second Coming; half the world has never heard of the first.” (Oswald J. Smith)

UNFINISHED WORK

In what is known as “The Great Commission”, after his resurrection Jesus instructed His disciples.

“Therefore go and make disciples of all nations…” (Matt 28:19-20)

“Go into all the world and preach the good news to all creation.” (Mark 16:15)

“… you will be my witnesses … to the ends of the earth.” (Acts 1:8)

Now ask yourself:

Have we gone to all the world - the ends of the earth?

Has the good news been preached to all creation?

Are there disciples in all nations?

UNFINISHED WORK

6,82 billion people are alive today (2011) in 236 countries in 16,701 people groups. 1

There are still 1.8 billion people (2007) who have never heard the good news of Jesus Christ. 2

1 SOURCE: Joshua Project http:// www.joshuaproject.net/ great-commission-statistics.php 2 David B. Barrett and Todd M. Johnson, Status of Global Mission, 2007 (International Bulletin of Missionary Research 31, no. 1), 8.

UNFINISHED WORK

That’s 1/ 3 of the world’s population – 1 in 3 people

Unreached

Gospel available to 72%

DEDICATED CHRISTIANS

NOMINAL CHRISTIANS

NON-CHRISTIANS

10%

22%

40%

UNEVANGELIZED

28%

Two-thirds of people today do not know the Saviour. This includes 1.35 billion Muslims, 888 million Hindus, 388 million Chinese folk-religionists, 386 million Buddhists, 262 million ethnoreligionists, 106 million New-Religionists, 26 million Sikhs, 15 million Jews, and 154 million atheists. 1

1 David B. Barrett and Todd M. Johnson, Status of Global Mission, 2007 (International Bulletin of Missionary Research 31, no. 1), 8.

Bible Translations: There are 6,800 languages with no Scripture translations and no access to the Bible; 5,100 languages with partial Scripture translations; 4,100 languages with indirect access to complete Scripture translations; and 2,600 languages with direct access to complete Scripture translations. 1

Unreached Cities: 1,670 metropolises have not been reached with the good news of Jesus Christ. 2

1 David B. Barrett and Todd M. Johnson, eds., Status of Global Mission, 2006, in the Context of 20th and 21st Centuries, International Bulletin of Missionary Research (January 2006).

2 David B. Barrett and Todd M. Johnson, World Christian Trends AD 30-AD 2000: Interpreting the Annual Christian Megacensus (Pasadena, Calif.: William Carey Library, 2001)

UNFINISHED WORK

God has not commanded us to go into “most of the world”, but into “all the world”. In Rev 7:9-10 we are told that the redeemed gathered before God’s throne consist of “every nation, tribe, people and language.”

“The Great Commission is not an option to be considered; it is a command to be obeyed.” (Hudson Taylor)

Despite Jesus’ command to evangelize, 28% of all humans have never even heard of his name.

This is a big improvement from the 58% in 1900, but an increase from the 24% in 1980. 1

Currently about 87,000 are evangelized per day. 1

1 SOURCE: World Christian Encyclopedia, David Barrett, George Kurian, Todd Johnson, Eds. 2001, p. 2: 538.)

UNFINISHED WORK

THE FIELDS ARE

WHITE FOR HARVEST

(John 4:35-36)

Q: Why is the work unfinished?

A:

UNFINISHED WORK

Ignorant Christians who are unaware of the Great Commission.

Disobedient Christians who don’t take the Great Commission seriously.

Lack of resources

Uneven distribution of resources

Opposition from atheistic and pagan governments

The large amount of nominal Christians

Ignorance

Indifference

Hyper-Calvinist fatalism

Rise of self-centred, self-absorbed materialistic gospel

Laager mentality of some Christians

IGNORANCE & DISOBEDIENCE

Q: Why are many professing Christians unconcerned about the great Commission?

A:

648 million Christians today (called Great Commission Christians) are active in Christ’s world mission; 1,352 million Christians ignore this mission. 1

GREAT COMMISSION CHRISTIANS

In 1900: 14% of all Christians

In 2005: 32% of all Christians 2

While this is a move in the right direction, it still means that two thirds of professing Christians do nothing about this command of Jesus.

1 Table 1-1 in World Christian Trends, William Carey Library, David Barrett & Todd Johnson. 2 International Bulletin of Missionary Research, 1/ 05, David Barrett and Todd Johnson, p. 29.

IGNORANCE & DISOBEDIENCE

14%

32%

Many Christians are what we term “nominal Christians”. Paul defines this best in 2 Timothy 3:5 as people “having a form of godliness but denying its power”.

As such, nominal Christians have no passion for the lost:

The reason some folks don’t believe in missions is that the brand of religion they have isn’t worth propagating.

“If we have not enough in our religion to share it with all the world, it is doomed here at home.” (David Livingstone)

“Where passion for God is weak, zeal for missions will be weak.” (John Piper)

(1.a) NOMINAL CHRISTIANS

(1.a) NOMINAL CHRISTIANS

kingdom. It seems a poor empty life to live for the sake of self. Let us seek to be useful. Let us seek to be vessels meet for the Master’s use, that God, the Holy Spirit, may shine fully through us.” (19th century evangelist D. L. Moody)

“The saddest thing one meets is a nominal Christian.” (Amy Carmichael – 20th century missionary to India)

“If I know my own heart today, I would rather die than live as I once did, a mere nominal Christian, and not used by God in building up His

Many Christians are unaware of the challenge of the unreached and of their obligation to the lost.

(1.b) IGNORANCE

Remember ignorance is no excuse – it is our duty to be aware of the facts and to read God’s Word so that we know what is expected of us.

Prov 24:11-12 Deliver those who are being taken away to death, And those who are staggering to slaughter, Oh hold them back. If you say, “See, we did not know this,” Does He not consider it who weighs the hearts? And does He not know it who keeps your soul? And will He not render to man according to his work? (NASB)

The above passage was quoted by Hudson Taylor in the recruiting of workers in the early days of the China Inland Mission.

(1.b) IGNORANCE

Many that are aware feel it is not their responsibility. Let these willingly ignorant Christians note:

“People who don’t believe in missions have not read the New Testament. Right from the beginning Jesus said the field is the world. The early church took Him at His word and went East, West, North and South.” (J. Howard Edington, Senior pastor of Orlando’s First Presbyterian Church)

“If God wills the evangelization of the world, and you refuse to support missions, then you are opposed to the will of God.” (Oswald J. Smith)

(1.b) IGNORANCE

“Some retorted upon me, `There are heathen at home; let us seek and save, first of all, the lost ones perishing at our doors.”’ We must evangelize our home front first, before we worry about the rest of the world. Aren’t there millions of sinners living all around us? Isn’t it logical and right to preach to them first?’ “This I felt to be most true, and an appalling fact; but I unfailingly observed that those who made this retort neglected those home heathen themselves. They would ungrudgingly spend more on a fashionable party at dinner or tea, on concert or ball or theatre, or on some ostentatious display, or worldly or selfish indulgence, ten times more, perhaps in a single day, than they would give in a year, or in half a lifetime, for the conversion of the whole heathen world, either at home or abroad.” (John G. Paton – Missionary from Scotland to the South Sea Islands)

HOW WILL THEY HEAR?

Other Christians are indifferent to the plight of the unsaved – as long as they are okay.

“The opposite of love is not hate, it’s indifference.” (Elie Wiesel – Holocaust survivor and author)

“Today Christians spend more money on dog food than missions.” (Leonard Ravenhill)

“How do Christians discharge this trust committed to them? They let three-fourths of the world sleep the sleep of death, ignorant of the simple truth that a Saviour died for them. Content if they can be useful in the little circle of their acquaintances, they quietly sit and see whole nations perish for the lack of knowledge.” (Adoniram Judson, Missionary to Burma, present-day Myanmar)

(1.c) INDIFFERENCE

Hyper-Calvinists fatalistically assert that God’s intention to destroy some is equal to His intention to save others. This view holds that it is pointless to tell the ‘non-elect’ to repent and believe the gospel.

A typical Hyper-Calvinist website misapplies the Scripture in Ephesians 2:1 and says the following:

A dead man can’t do anything… He’s “dead in trespasses and sins”. He has no spiritual life. All the evangelising in the world will do him no good!

We may ask then why Jesus gave his disciples a Commission if it was unnecessary or fruitless? Why too did the early church bother to go out and evangelise the known world?

(1.d) HYPER-CALVINISM

It’s just as well that William Carey, the “father of modern missions”, didn’t listen to the rebuke given to him arising from this twisted way of understanding God’s grace.

William Carey became involved with the Particular Baptists (Hyper-Calvinists). At a ministers’ meeting in 1786, Carey raised the question of whether it was the duty of all Christians to spread the Gospel throughout the world. An elder pastor, J.R. Ryland, allegedly retorted: “Young man, sit down; when God pleases to convert the heathen, he will do it without your aid and mine.” 1

1 Source: www.biographybase.com

(1.d) HYPER-CALVINISM

William Carey (1761–1834)

To the Hyper-Calvinist who thinks God will do all the work:

Paul says of the unsaved, “how can they hear without someone preaching to them?” (Rom 10:14)

Matt 10:5-8 These twelve Jesus sent out with the following instructions: “… Freely you have received, freely give.”

Paul didn’t expect God to do the work without us:

Rom 15:20-21 It has always been my ambition to preach the gospel where Christ was not known, so that I would not be building on someone else’s foundation. Rather, as it is written: “Those who were not told about him will see, and those who have not heard will understand.”

HOW WILL THEY HEAR?

Other Christians have been taught a self centred gospel and although they have access to resources – they use all these resources on themselves – to build more extravagant church buildings - when others don’t even have the gospel in their language or someone to preach to them.

95% of Christian ministers focus on their own people. 1

Of the 5% who become missionaries 80-90% focus on ethne (people groups) which are already majority Christian. 1

Only 2.5 – 4% of missionaries are focused on the 25 – 28% of the world who are unreached. 1

1 SOURCE: Stan Park, Ethne ’06

(1.e) SELF-CENTRED GOSPEL

To the indifferent and materialistic Christians:

God doesn’t bless us to increase our standard of living, God blesses us to increase our standard of giving.

“God is not glorified when we keep for ourselves (no matter how thankfully) what we ought to be using to alleviate the misery of unevangelized, uneducated, unmedicated, and unfed millions.” (John Piper)

1 John 3:17 If anyone has material possessions and sees his brother in need but has no pity on him, how can the love of God be in him? 18 Dear children, let us not love with words or tongue but with actions and in truth.

HOW WILL THEY HEAR?

The word ‘laager’ is Afrikaans in origin and refers to an improvised mobile military formation used by the Voortrekkers, whereby they would arrange ox-wagons into a circle as a form of defence for themselves and their animals.

Some Christians are so shocked by the evil in the world that they are just waiting for Jesus’ return without doing anything in terms of completing the Great Commission. They simply want to gather in a ‘laager’ and “hold out” till Jesus comes back.

(1.f) LAAGER MENTALITY

To the “Laager mentality” Christians:

Why simply wait for Jesus’ return when he said the gospel must first be preached to “all nations” before the end comes? (Matt 24:14)

When Jesus spoke of the nobleman (representing himself) who went to a faraway country to receive a kingdom, and then to return – the servants were told to “Occupy till I come.” (Luke 19:12-13 KJV)

“No pastor is fully obedient to Christ if he does not lead his church to pursue the Great Commission by making disciples both locally and around the world.” (Bill Lawrence, President of Leader Formation International)

HOW WILL THEY HEAR?

Rom 10:13-15 for, “Everyone who calls on the name of the Lord will be saved.” How, then, can they call on the one they have not believed in? And how can they believe in the one of whom they have not heard? And how can they hear without someone preaching to them? And how can they preach unless they are sent? As it is written, “How beautiful are the feet of those who bring good news!”

HOW WILL THEY HEAR?

After the wonderful promise “Everyone who calls on the name of the Lord will be saved”, Paul asks 4 questions:

How can they call on the one they have not believed in?

How can they believe in the one of whom they have not heard?

How can they hear without someone preaching to them?

How can they preach unless they are sent?

So we need people to go and people to send (support).

HOW WILL THEY HEAR?

“The Gospel would save them if they heard it and accepted it, but it is not the ignorance or rejection of the Gospel which destroys them, it is the knowledge of sin.” (Robert E. Speer)

“The gospel is only good news if it gets there in time.” (Carl F. H. Henry, 1913–2003, an American evangelical Christian theologian who served as the first editor-in-chief of the magazine Christianity Today)

“Today 5 out of 6 non-Christians in our world have no hope unless missionaries come to them and plant the church among them.” (David Bryant)

HOW WILL THEY HEAR?

Untold millions remain untold.

“It is to be kept in mind that the generations of men do not wait for the convenience of the church in respect to their evangelization. Men are born and die whether or not Christians are ready to give them the Gospel. And hence, if the church of any generation does not evangelize the heathen of that generation, those heathen will never be evangelized at all. It is always true in the work of evangelization that the present can never anticipate the future, and that the future can never replace the past. What is to be done in soul saving must be done by that generation.” (J. Oswald Sanders, director of the OMF, formerly China Inland Mission)

HOW WILL THEY HEAR?

How can we reach them?

Sending and supporting missionaries.

Printing Scripture and Christian literature in the vernacular (i.e. mother tongue).

Internet – The rise of the internet and mass media have led to the wide dissemination of the gospel by new means.

Radio/ TV: Regular listeners to Christian programs over secular or religious radio/ TV stations rose from 22% of the world in 1980 to 30% in 2000. 1

1 Table 1-1 in World Christian Trends, William Carey Library,David Barrett & Todd Johnson.)

HOW WILL THEY HEAR?

Matt 9:36-38 When he saw the crowds, he had compassion on them, because they were harassed and helpless, like sheep without a shepherd. Then he said to his disciples, “The harvest is plentiful but the workers are few. Ask the Lord of the harvest, therefore, to send out workers into his harvest field.”

“Jesus was moved with compassion concerning the miseries of men. He saw them as lost, hungry, sick and bewildered. And just as His Father’s heart had been moved in love to send Christ into the world to redeem them, so our Lord’s own heart was moved in compassion toward them.” (G. Christian Weiss)

2) LACK OF RESOURCES

Since the time of Jesus, 36.8 billion people have been born on the Earth. i.e. 1 in 6 of all the people born are alive today! This presents us with a unique opportunity for evangelism.

THE HARVEST IS PLENTIFUL

MILLIONS OF PEOPLE

“We have a need for 200,000 new missionaries for a new millennium so that everyone in the world should receive the Gospel and that a church should be planted in every people group.” (George Verwer, founder of Operation Mobilization)

“As we seek to find out why, with such millions of Christians, the real army of God that is fighting the hosts of darkness is so small, the only answer is – lack of heart. The enthusiasm of the kingdom is missing. And that is because there is so little enthusiasm for the King.” (Andrew Murray)

THE WORKERS ARE FEW

“I believe that in each generation God has ‘called’ enough men and women to evangelize all the yet unreached tribes of the earth… Everywhere I go, I constantly meet with men and women who say to me, ‘When I was young, I wanted to be a missionary, but I got married instead.’ Or, ‘My parents dissuaded me,’ or some such thing. No, it is not God who does not call. It is man who will not respond!” (Isobel Kuhn, missionary to China & Thailand)

THE WORKERS ARE FEW

This is not only our best shot at the global harvest; it’s our only shot. When it comes to your target and the direction of your life’s influence, aim well.

“Our God of Grace often gives us a second chance, but there is no second chance to harvest a ripe crop.” (Kurt von Schleicher)

“I am driven to keep going for Christ by the filling of the Holy Spirit and the knowledge that the harvest is not forever. It will soon be past.” (Bill Bright)

We have eternity to tell of victories won for Christ, but we have only a few hours before sunset to win them.

THE TIME IS LIMITED

Christian giving

Average Christian gives 1.8% of their income.

5% of Christian giving goes to missions ($15 billion).

More is lost to embezzlement ($16 billion) than is given to missions (so ensure that you give to people or institutions where there is good financial accountability).

Of mission funds - between 0.1% and 1.66% is focused on unreached.

SOURCE: Stan Park, Ethne ’06

FINANCE

“A person must overeat by at least $2 worth of food per month to maintain one excess pound of flesh. Yet $2 per month is more than what 90% of all Christians in America give to missions. If the average mission supporter is only 5 pounds overweight, it means he spends (to his own hurt) at least 5 times as much as he gives for missions. If he were to choose simple food (as well as not overeat), he could give 10 times as much as he does to missions and not modify his standard of living in any other way!” (Ralph Winter 1)

1 The U.S. Center for World Mission was founded by Dr. Ralph D. Winter and Roberta Winter in 1976, headquartered in Pasadena, California.

HOW WILL THEY HEAR?

What can I do?

“If you want the Kingdom speeded, go out and speed it yourselves. Only obedience rationalizes prayer. Only missions can redeem your intercessions from insincerity.” (William Carey)

“This generation of Christians is responsible for this generation of souls on the earth!” (Keith Green, 1953–1982, an American gospel singer)

YOU CAN GO

“Not every believer has the missionary gift, but every Christian is called to some kind of involvement in missions. We are called to advance the gospel in some way and to participate in the fulfilling of God’s purposes in our generation.” (David Shibley)

While not all can go into fulltime local evangelism or foreign missions, you can ‘send’ or mobilize. By ‘sending’ I don’t mean simply delegating some unwanted task to another – ‘senders’ have the responsibility to:

Pray

Encourage

Support financially

YOU CAN SEND

Rom 12:6-8 We have different gifts, according to the grace given us. If a man’s gift… is encouraging, let him encourage; if it is contributing to the needs of others, let him give generously…

We saw how Paul said “How can they preach unless they are sent?” This shows the importance of the home support base for missionaries.

“To understand the role of mobilizers, think of World War II as a parallel. Only 10% of the American population went to the war. Of those, only 1% were actually on the firing lines. However, for them to be successful in their mission, the entire country had to be mobilized!” (Phil Parshall)

YOU CAN SEND

Always bear in mind though that not only financial resources are needed. Jesus made it clear that the power needed to fulfil this Great Commission would come from the infilling of the Holy Spirit:

“But you will receive power when the Holy Spirit comes on you; and you will be my witnesses in Jerusalem, and in all Judea and Samaria, and to the ends of the earth.” (Acts 1:8)

And so too, intercessory prayer is vital:

“I am convinced that when we stand before God… we will discover that every soul ever brought to a knowledge of Christ was in some way related to intercessory prayer.” (Dick Eastman – author and president of Every Home for Christ)

YOU CAN SEND

3) UNEVEN DISTRIBUTION OF RESOURCES

The 10 countries with the largest total population (Wikipedia):

Approximately 4.03 billion people live in these ten countries, representing 58.7% of the world’s population as of Nov 2010

No

Country

Population

% of world population

1

China

1,345,290,0

19.4%

2

India

1,210,193,422

17%

3

USA

311,813,000

4.5%

4

Indonesia

238,400,000

3.38%

5

Brazil

194,983,000

2.81%

6

Pakistan

176,709,00

2.55%

7

Bangladesh

164,425,000

2.37%

8

Nigeria

158,259,000

2.28%

9

Russia

141,927,297

2.05%

10

Japan

127,380,000

1.84%

World Population, % in a Given Country

0

5

10

15

20

25

China

India

USA

Indonesia

Brazil

Pakistan

Russia

Bangladesh

Japan

Nigeria

Mexico

Germany

Viet Nam

Philippines

Egypt

Iran

Turkey

Ethiopia

Thailand

France

Britain

Italy

Congo-Zaire

Ukraine

South Korea

Myanmar

Colombia

South Africa

Spain

Poland

Argentina

Tanzania

Algeria

Canada

Kenya

Sudan

Morocco

Peru

Uzbekistan

Venezuela

North Korea

Nepal

Iraq

Afghanistan

Taiwan

Romania

Malaysia

Uganda

Saudi Arabia

Ghana

Mozambique

Australia

Sri Lanka

Yemen

Kazakhstan

Syria

Madagascar

Mali

Cuba

Cambodia

Niger

Belgium

Portugal

Tunisia

Dominican Republic

Haiti

Azerbaijan

Somalia

Israel

Papua New Guinea

Mongolia

Namibia

Comoros

Maldives

Saint Helena

Source: Barrett, David, and Todd Johnson. World Christian Trends AD 30 – AD 2200. Pasadena, CA: William Carey Library, 2001. (WCT)

If resources were distributed equally, they would be distributed according to:

1) China

2) India

3) USA

4) Indonesia

5) Brazil

28) SOUTH AFRICA

Source: Barrett, David, and Todd Johnson. World Christian Trends AD 30 – AD 2200. Pasadena, CA: William Carey Library, 2001.

Actually Western countries have the most Christian resources and pastors - while most other countries have little or nothing.

World Christian Finances, % in a Given Country

0

5

10

15

20

25

30

35

USA

Germany

France

Italy

Britain

Brazil

Spain

Canada

Mexico

Argentina

Switzerland

Netherlands

Australia

Belgium

Russia

Austria

South Korea

Sweden

Denmark

Japan

Norway

Poland

South Africa

Philippines

Ukraine

Peru

Chile

China

Ireland

Puerto Rico

Indonesia

India

Taiwan

Nigeria

Dominican Republic

El Salvador

Egypt

Malaysia

Myanmar

Kenya

Cuba

Congo-Zaire

Saudi Arabia

Israel

Uganda

Papua New Guinea

Sudan

Thailand

Ghana

Ethiopia

Namibia

Botswana

Netherlands Antilles

Haiti

Madagascar

Pakistan

Viet Nam

Iran

Iraq

Turkey

North Korea

Bangladesh

Morocco

Azerbaijan

Algeria

Nepal

Tunisia

Cambodia

Niger

Mongolia

Yemen

Afghanistan

Bhutan

Comoros

Maldives

Sahara

23) SOUTH AFRICA

1) USA - 34.1%

2) Germany - 10.6%

3) France - 6.8%

.....

28) China - 0.4%

31) Indonesia - 0.2%

32) India - 0.1%

Lowest Ratio (less than country’s portion)

Highest Ratio (more than country’s portion)

< 1.0 (less than country’s fair share per person)

= 1.0 (fair share per person)

> 1.0 (more than country’s fair share per person)

Data Source: World Christian Trends, Barrett & Johnson

RATIOS OF COUNTRIES’ PORTIONS OF THE WORLD’S CHRISTIAN (PERSONAL OR CHURCH) INCOME ON A PER PERSON BASIS

7.4 x proportional

share

0.51 x proportional share

0.017

0.0083

0.049

1.3

0.0018

Afghanistan 0.000072 x proportional share

Concentration in West: While there are 4,000 Christian radio/ TV stations using 300 languages with a regular audience of 600 million people (98 percent of whom are Christians), 1,800 of those stations broadcast in English to Christian audiences. 1

1 David B. Barrett and Todd M. Johnson, World Christian Trends AD 30-AD 2000: Interpreting the Annual Christian Megacensus (Pasadena, Calif.: William Carey Library, 2001)

Q: For every $1 of Christian giving to all causes how much goes to financing pioneer church planting among unreached peoples?

A: Half a penny

IMBALANCE IN FINANCES

Over 80% of all cross-cultural foreign missionaries minister among nominal Christian peoples.

For every million unreached Muslims there are less than 3 missionaries.

SOURCE: Joshua Project

IMBALANCE IN MISSIONARY DISTRIBUTION

World Population

Foreign Missionaries

SOURCE: Operation World, State of the Gospel, YLG 2006, Malaysia

IMBALANCE IN MISSIONARY DISTRIBUTION

“If 10 men are carrying a log - 9 of them on the little end and one at the heavy end - and you want to help, which end will you lift on?” (William Borden, as he reflected on the numbers of Christian workers in the U.S. as compared to those among unreached peoples in China.)

“No one has the right to hear the gospel twice, while there remains someone who has not heard it once.” (Oswald J. Smith)

“Believers who have the gospel keep mumbling it over and over to themselves. Meanwhile, millions who have never heard it once fall into the flames of eternal hell without ever hearing the salvation story.” (K.P. Yohannan, founder of Gospel for Asia Bible Society)

IMBALANCE IN MISSIONARY DISTRIBUTION

The number of missionaries among the unreached remains very low.

Christian

Evangelized

Non-Christian

No Access

15,000

25,000

22,000

10,000

100,000

300,000

50,000

200,000

300,000

9%

36%

55%

2%

25%

73%

24%

40%

36%

1900

1925

1950

1975

2000

2025

2050

From: Justin Long, www.Momentum-Mag.org, Aug. 2007 Source: World Christian Encyclopedia

% UNEVANGELIZED PER COUNTRY

From: Operation World, State of the Gospel, YLG 2006, Malaysia

From: Operation World, State of the Gospel, YLG 2006, Malaysia

MISSIONARY PRESENCE

There is enough evangelistic activity to reach the whole world:

Enough activity for every one in the world to hear a 1-hour presentation of the Gospel every other day all year long.

Over 1,43 billion hours of evangelism generated by Christians every year: personal witness, radio, TV, Internet, literature, etc.

But this evangelistic activity is unevenly targeted: mostly at other Christians.

As many as 86% of all Muslims, Hindus and Buddhists do not personally know a Christian.

From: Justin Long, www.Momentum-Mag.org, Aug. 2007 Source: World Christian Encyclopedia

EVANGELISTIC ACTIVITY

Not all of this imbalance in missionary effort is simply disobedience or lack of strategizing on the part of Christians.

Restricted Access (Unevangelized): There are 38 closed countries in the “unevangelized” world, meaning that foreign evangelicals have either restricted or no access to enter. This includes 85 anti-Christian megacities. 1

Restricted Access (Evangelized): There are 31 closed/ restricted-access countries in the “evangelized non-Christian” world, including 180 non-Christian megacities. 1

Closing Doors: At the annual ratio of 4 to 3, more countries are newly closed to foreign missionaries than are newly opened to them. 1

1 David B. Barrett and Todd M. Johnson, World Christian Trends AD 30-AD 2000

UNBELIEVERS’ OPPOSITION

As Jesus commanded us to make disciples of all nations, the logical thing to do is to identify those nations or people groups that have not yet been discipled. As “Great Commission Christians” we need to know where these people are located, so that our efforts in completing the mission will not just be busy but effective.

Most of these unreached people live in an area of the world nicknamed the “10/ 40 window.”

This is the rectangular area of North Africa, the Middle East and Asia between 10°N and 40°N latitude.

The 10/ 40 Window includes the majority of the world’s Muslims, Hindus, and Buddhists. It holds an estimated 4.08 billion individuals in approximately 7,027 distinct people groups.

THE 10/ 40 WINDOW

THE 10/ 40 WINDOW

40° N

10° N

Of the 16,701 total people groups, 6,933 are identified as unreached using Joshua Project criteria, totalling 2,828,714,000 individuals. Of these 6,933 groups, 5,925 are in 10/ 40 Window countries. That means 85% of all unreached people groups are in the 10/ 40 Window. 1

Of the 6,933 Unreached people groups, about 3,537 (51%) are small groups under 10,000 in population (or population unknown) and all these groups total less than 8,000,000 individuals. Of the remaining 3,396 unreached groups, about 1,319 are under 50,000 in population. That leaves 2,077 Unreached groups 50,000 and over in population. A vibrant church in a large group may take the gospel to a number of smaller satellite people groups that have ethnic similarities. 1

1 SOURCE: Joshua Project

THE 10/ 40 WINDOW

Unevangelized Population

(in millions)

Majority of the Unevangelized World

1

India

344,000,000

2

China

262,000,000

3

Pakistan

144,000,000

4

Indonesia

68,600,000

5

Iran

48,700,000

6

Thailand

34,100,000

7

Algeria

32,900,000

8

Morocco

30,900,000

9

Bangladesh

30,000,000

10

Afghanistan

26,000,000

From: Operation World, State of the Gospel, YLG 2006, Malaysia

COUNTRIES WITH THE MOST UNREACHED PEOPLES

India

China

Pakistan

Bangladesh

Nepal

India

2332

2082

China

499

406

Pakistan

401

386

Bangladesh

370

336

Nepal

315

292

Country # Peoples # Unreached

Peoples

From: Operation World, State of the Gospel, YLG 2006, Malaysia

Just like a successful investment requires allocation of the most resources to areas where there is the highest return, effective Great Commission outreach requires focusing effort where there is the maximum return.

The total cost of Christian outreach averages $330,000 for each and every newly baptized person. 1

It costs Christians 700 times more money to baptize converts in rich World C countries (Switzerland) than in poor World A countries (Nepal). 1

1 SOURCE: Table 1-1 in World Christian Trends, William Carey Library,David Barrett & Todd Johnson.)

MAXIMUM RETURN

David Barrett on Good Missions Stewardship

“Dollar for dollar and hour for hour, the harvest coming from the 10/ 40 Window nations outstrips that from the rest of the world 100 to 1,” Barrett says. “That is, if the same money and time spent to win one person to the Lord in the West were put to use in the 10/ 40 Window nations, the effort would yield a harvest of 100 souls added to the kingdom of God. It is 100 times more cost effective, therefore, to reach those in the 10/ 40 Window. But for a sizable number of ethnolinguistic groups, cost-effectiveness reaches 1000 times more than in Western countries.” 1

1 World Christian Encyclopedia

MAXIMUM RETURN

Lowest Priority

Highest Priority

GREAT COMMISSION PRIORITIZATION OF COUNTRIES

Note: Most of the purple nations are (small) islands

Data Source: Advocates for the Unreached

COUNTRY GREAT COMMISSION STATUS / PRIORITIZATION

The 3 most cost-effective countries over 1 million in population for Christian outreach are all in Africa:

Mozambique

Ethiopia

Tanzania 1

The 5 megapeoples most responsive to the gospel are:

Khandeshi (India)

Awadhi (India)

Magadhi (India)

Bai (China)

Berar Marathi (India) 1

MAXIMUM RETURN

1 Ibid

Data Source: World Christian Trends, Barrett & Johnson

COST EFFECTIVENESS OF WORLD MISSIONS BASED ON COST TO LEAD TO BAPTISM OF A NEW CONVERT

$1,551,000

$130,000

$15,800

$9,800

$40,800

$171,800

Afghanistan $30,400

Mozambique $1,400

MOST COST-EFFECTIVE

< 6,700

6,700 - 13,900

13,900 - 34,200

34,200 - 53,150

53,150 - 99,300

99,300 - 174,700

174,700 - 325,600

325,600 - 542,000

542,000 - 1,108,000

> 1,108,000

LEAST COST-EFFECTIVE

To Hudson Taylor there was “no dream that must not be dared”; no risk that must not be taken, if it came in line of duty; no obstacle that could not be surmounted, if the call of God demanded. “Faith,” he asserted, “laughs at impossibilities, and obedience raises no questions.” 1

“There is nothing in the world or the Church - except the church’s disobedience - to render the evangelization of the world in this generation an impossibility.” (Robert Speer, leader in Student Volunteer Movement)

1 Hudson Taylor: The Man Who Believed God, written by Marshall Broomhall

IS THE TASK TOO GREAT?

Never concede to doing something so small that it could be accomplished entirely in your lifetime. Be a part of something that began before you were born, and will continue onward toward the fulfilment of all that God has purposed to accomplish.” (Ralph Winter, Founder/ Director of the US Center for World Mission)

“Start something so big, that only God can finish it.”

John Wesley: “Give me 100 men who love only God with all their heart and hate only sin with all their heart, and we will shake the gates of hell and bring in the kingdom of God in one generation.” 1

1 Source: thinkexist.com

IS THE TASK TOO GREAT?

COPYRIGHT INFORMATION

Unless otherwise stated, Scripture quotations are taken from the NIV:

THE HOLY BIBLE, NEW INTERNATIONAL VERSION®, NIV® Copyright © 1973, 1978, 1984, 2011 by Biblica, Inc.™ Used by permission. All rights reserved worldwide.

Scripture quotations taken from the NASB:

New American Standard Bible®, Copyright © 1960, 1962, 1963, 1968, 1971, 1972, 1973, 1975, 1977, 1995 by The Lockman Foundation Used by permission. (http:// www.Lockman.org)




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