Missions For Today!
You and I have just been given one of the greatest privileges anyone has enjoyed in the past 1,000 years. We have carried the torch of the light of Jesus Christ into a new millennium. Only one other generation of Christians was ever given that honor!
Although our society is in a moral free fall, and hangs only a thread away from cosmic chaos, in many ways the light is brighter than it was ten centuries ago.
The speed of church growth and world evangelization is unprecedented. Unreached people groups are being penetrated with the Gospel.
Truly, a global awakening has begun, and you and I are a part of it!
Today’s global uncertainties call for a fresh commitment to Christ and His honor worldwide. The world is in serious peril. Top secrets have fallen into the hands of terrorists and rogue governments creating the threat of nuclear war. Disease and tribal conflicts are ravaging Africa. Paul warned, “In the last days, perilous times will come…” Jesus said that signs of his coming would be wars, international conflict, famine, false messiahs, earthquakes, and strange signs in the skies…(weather patterns, etc)
So what should be our position as we attempt to bring closure of the Great Commission?
A Great Commitment to the Great Commission will make Great Christians and a Great Church!
According to the words of Paul in Ephesians 3:10, God the Father desires to destroy principalities and powers in heavenly places by His `manifold’ wisdom. Manifold means ‘variegated or multi-colored’!
The family of God is made up of every color, tongue and ethnicity. More than ever, the face of a Christian in the world is more likely to be brown or black than white. It is through this diversity that God has chosen to reveal His grace and conquer the forces of evil! 1 John 2:2 NIV “He is the atoning sacrifice for our sins, and not only for ours but also for the sins of the whole world.”
It is estimated now that there are over 650 million evangelical Christians worldwide, and for the first time in history, there are more Christians today in the southern hemisphere than in the northern hemisphere.
Habakkuk 1:5 “Look at the nations and watch- and be utterly amazed. For I am going to do something in your days that you would not believe, even if you were told.”
God’s promise to bless ‘all the families of the earth’ first given to Abraham 4,000 years ago, is becoming a reality at a pace ‘you would not believe’. Biblical faith is growing and spreading to the ends of the earth as never before in history!!
One out of every 8 people on the planet is a practicing Christian who is active in his or her faith.
More missionaries are now sent from non-Western churches than from the traditional mission sending bases in the West. The Protestant growth rate in Latin America is well over 3 times the biological growth rate. Protestants in China grew from about one million to over 80 million believers in less than 50 years, with most of that growth occurring in the last few decades. In the 1980s, Nepal was still a staunch Hindu kingdom with only a small persecuted church. Today, there are hundreds of thousands of believers, and churches have been started within each of its more than 100 distinct people groups.
Of the 11 largest mega-congregations in the world, 10 are in the city of Seoul, South Korea. Seoul hosts the largest Pentecostal, Presbyterian and Methodist congregations in the world and the second-largest Baptist. With over 15,000 missionaries, the Korean Church sends the second-highest number of cross-cultural workers to other parts of the world.
In 1991 only 5% of all Asian Americans were born again, but in 2001, the number had increased to 27%...That’s a 500% increase in one decade! It’s also estimated that in Korea, 30% of the population are born again…However, Korean Christians in the US number 75% of their population!!
Every Home For Christ has claimed 26 million decisions for Christ, and over 4 billion people have now seen the Jesus film with over 128 million recording conversions to Christ!
This is an hour of unprecedented hunger for God!—
There is a cry for spirituality that’s the greatest in 50 years!
What role has God called us to play in the end-time harvest? Has He brought us to the Kingdom for such a time as this?
America’s Gift to World Missions- Visionaries!
These are mission leaders who will train and equip the national pastor and apostolic leader to reach his region. (Of the 2 million national pastors in developing nations, only 5% have any formal training). This model of training nationals to reach nationals has been originated and used by the Holy Spirit for several decades with tremendous results worldwide. While many factors are involved in fulfilling Christ’s command to get the Gospel to every person and disciple all peoples, this seems to be the quickest, most cost efficient and culturally sensitive way to fulfill the great commission. One of the best and most strategic investments we can make is to equip and empower those best positioned to finish the job!
Pastors and Church leaders must lead the way---Make yours an apostolic/missions church! Joshua 3:15, 16 “Now the Jordan is at flood stage all during harvest. Yet as soon as the priests who carried the ark reached the Jordan and their feet touched the water's edge, 16 the water from upstream stopped flowing…” Leaders must get their feet wet!! Get out front and lead!!
God is supremely interested in the honor and exaltation of his son to the ends of the earth. Isaiah 9:6, 7 “For to us a child is born, to us a son is given, and the government will be on his shoulders. And he will be called Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace. Of the increase of his government and peace there will be no end. He will reign on David's throne and over his kingdom, establishing and upholding it with justice and righteousness from that time on and forever. The zeal of the LORD Almighty will accomplish this.”
World Missions Predictions ---
1. The church is entering season of Spiritual Harvest. David Barrett says that 190 million people now see their ministry as intercession. No longer are self absorbed Christians pleading for cars, homes and material things, but are asking that Christ be exalted among the nations.
2. Increased Conflict for the Church. Don’t fear…persecution always causes church growth. Form the Day of Pentecost until now, it’s been true. Tertullian wrote, “The blood of the martyrs is the seed of the church”.
3. Young leaders will be mentored by fathers and seasoned leaders.
4. Lines between evangelicals and charismatics will blur. Church planting, worship and the power of the Spirit all work in harmony to transcend barriers of doctrine.
5. Matthew 24 will become more pronounced. Disasters, religious deception, ethnic uprisings, famine, disease. But the Gospel will progress at lightning speed!
6. More interconnection among the Body of Christ. Internet, text, travel, email, technology…
Today’s uncertainties call for a fresh commitment to Christ and His honor worldwide!! A Great Commitment to the Great Commission will make Great Churches and a Great Fellowship!
---With Thanks to Dr. David Shibley