Friday, February 29, 2008

Until All Have Heard

People. They are everywhere. They are tall and short; fat and skinny; fed and starving; sheltered and homeless; clean and filthy; well and sick, dark and light; rich and poor; evangelized and lost. And they are ALL eternal.

Definition: people group- A people group is a collection of people who share a common culture, language and sense of identity.

According to the Joshua Project there are 27,000 cataloged people groups in the world. (Read this article for more info!) This is a high number based on all of the following distinctions that a people group could possess:

  • Language / Dialect
  • Ethnicity
  • Religion
  • Caste
  • Culture
  • Education
  • Politics
  • Ideology
  • Historical enmity
  • Customs
  • Behavior
Definition: language-1. a body of words and the systems for their use common to a people who are of the same community or nation, the same geographical area, or the same cultural tradition, 2. Communication of thoughts and feelings through a system of arbitrary signals, such as voice sounds, gestures, or written symbols.

There are 6,912 know languages in the world. The International Bible Society states that the Bible has only been translated into 392 languages. That means 6,520 people groups do not have God's Word in their heart language. Some may be able to read a cousin translation or a second langauge, but that would be like an American reading a Spanish Bible. It is not the same.

Definition: missions- to make God known where He has not been previously known. There are two types of missions- 1. local (sharing the gospel with your own people) and 2. cross-cultural (sharing the gospel with someone of another culture).

The end of Romans 10 is one of the hallmark "missions" passages of the Bible. There are many more (like Jesus' command in Matthew 28), but a few verses in Romans 10 are key! Paul is writing with a heart for HIS people, the Israelites, but the principles fit us all!

v14: How, then, can they (the 27,000 people groups of 6.1 billion individuals worldwide) 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?

v17: Consequently, faith comes from hearing the message, and the message is heard through the word of Christ (the Bible is the Word of Christ and 6,520 languages lack the Word!).

Definition: mobilization- act of assembling and putting into readiness for war or other emergency: "mobilization of the troops" (mobilize-to assemble or marshal (armed forces, military reserves, or civilian persons of military age) into readiness for active service.)

Many missions organizations have adopted the word mobilization. It is active equipping and encouraging people to get involved in spreading the gospel at home and around the world. Many people think of missions as two things-
1. going to a dangerous country and dying for Jesus
2. giving money

Those are both good and needed, but they are only a small part of what missions TRULY is. God has called all of us where we are do tell people of Jesus. If we love Him we will want others to love Him. If you are a believer then you should want to be apart of missions somehow!

Definition: method- a procedure, technique, or way of doing something, esp. in accordance with a definite plan

If we want to see all peoples come to know and love Christ then we need a plan! We need to know our own gifts, callings, limits and abilities in world missions. There are 6 ways that you can be involved:

1- Learn
2- Pray
3- Send
4- Welcome
5- Go
6- Mobilize

I am going to take 6 posts and expound on each. This is my heart because I have tasted the grace of God and I want the nations to treasure Him- through me and YOU!


Augustinian Successor said...

Is this an OMF website or what?

Wow ...

Kathie said...

We just had our missions conference and someone suggested that those of us who stay "home" and pray for those on the field are "intersessory missionaries" (not sure I spelled that correctly) It gave me a different perspective as I pray for our missionaries.