There are presently 7.3 Billion people in the world. By the year 2050, it’s projected that there will be over 9 billion. Did you know that out of these 7.3 Billion people, half of them have never heard the gospel? It is quite extraordinary to think that 2,000 years after Christ was on the earth, his followers have failed to reach out to half of the world.
Here in America, it’s hard to believe that so many people out there have never heard about Jesus. Don’t they have bibles, internet and television? The answer is often no
There is an area in the world called the 10/40 Window. The 10/40 Window is an area of the world that contains the largest population of non-Christians in the world. The area extends from 10 degrees to 40 degrees north of the equator, and covers the Middle East, Asia, and Northern Africa. An astonishing 97% of ALL unreached people groups live there.
While this may seem unbelievable to you, is it really so hard to believe that in places like China, North Korea, Morocco, Algeria, Saudi Arabia and Yemen, that people have never had the opportunity to hear about Christ? In all of the countries I just mentioned, it is actually illegal to preach the gospel. Proselytization often means jail time or worse, so most Christians are too scared to risk their lives so that others might hear about Jesus.
Initially, I found this quite hard to believe, too, but then I went to some of these countries and experienced it firsthand. The first time I ever encountered people who were totally unknowledgeable about Christ was in Cambodia in 2007. We were in Phnom Penh and a few small villages conducting free medical clinics for people. The medical clinic included something called a spiritual clinic, where we offered to pray for people. We were astonished to see that so many people didn’t even know what prayer was. When they asked us who we were and where we were from, we told them that we were Christians from the U.S. sent to show them the love of Jesus. They then asked us who Jesus was because they had never heard of him. Unbelievable.
In Israel and Palestine, Morocco and India, I experienced the same thing. Person after person had no idea who Jesus was. This was surprising in Morocco and Palestine since Jesus (Issa) is an Islamic prophet mentioned extensively in the Qu’ran. However, most Muslims there had never even read the Qu’ran, which explained why they didn’t know who Jesus was.In Bangladesh, people knew Jesus was a prophet from the Qu’ran, but that was the extent of what they knew. Upon returning from these countries I am always heavily disturbed.
How is it possible that over 3 billion people in the world have NEVER HEARD THE GOSPEL?! Wasn’t the last command that Jesus gave us to go into all the world and preach the gospel? If I remember correctly, Jesus said:
“I have been given all authority in heaven and on earth! Go to the people of all nations and make them my disciples. Baptize them in the name of the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit, and teach them to do everything I have told you. I will be with you always, even until the end of the world.” – Matthew 25
“Go into all the world and preach the Good News to everyone. Anyone who believes and is baptized will be saved. But anyone who refuses to believe will be condemned.” – Mark 16:15-16
“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
Every time I read these verses, the expression #EPICFAIL comes to mind. Jesus told us to do ONE THING before he left, and we have failed!
Most of the time, we are too caught up in our own American lives to realize that BILLIONS of people are dying without Christ because we have failed to tell them. Their blood is LITERALLY on our hands. I say this to all of you in an effort to challenge you.
You don’t have to pray and ask God if you should preach the gospel. It has already been commanded for us to do so.
However, you should pray about WHERE to preach the gospel. While over 3 billion unreached people live across the world, millions live right here in our back yard. While it’s true that people here have access to hear the gospel if they really want to, we need to help them get to the truth. I challenge each of you to seriously pray and ask God to open the doors for you to travel oversees to be a light and show Christ’s love. You can use almost any gift or talent to show Christ’s love and make a difference. The best decision I have ever made (aside from accepting Christ as my Savior) was to go on my first missions trip to Brazil in 2005. That trip changed my life, challenged my faith and led me to where I am today. These days, I simply continue to travel the world (mainly the 10/40 window) and anxiously await God’s call for Jason and I to go full time.
After reading this, you may be asking yourself this question:
What can I do?
There are three main ways that Christians can take action:
1.) GO! Every year, churches and missions ministries all over the world take teams to the neediest parts of the world to spread the love of Christ. I’m sure even your own church offers these possibilities. If not, take a look at organizations such as Operation Mobilization (I went to Morocco with them), YWAM (Youth With a Mission), Youth For Christ, Adventures in Missions, and many many more. I am always encouraging Christians to go on missions trips because these trips will change your life and revolutionize your relationship with Christ! One of the most amazing feelings in the world is directly fulfilling scripture and telling someone about Jesus for the very first time.
2) GIVE! If you can’t go on a missions trip anytime soon, you can help sponsor someone who is. You can either sponsor someone who is going by donating any amount of money to their upcoming trip OR you can also give directly to their organization. If you need some recommendations, message me and I will refer some reliable organizations to you.
3.) PRAY! The strongest offensive tool Christians possess is prayer. God moves mightily through prayer, so pray for the lost to find Christ, missionaries to be mobilized, needs to be met and anything else that comes to your mind.
Two suggestions for how you can pray:
There is a book entitled Operation World that has stats on every country in the world, including its biggest needs and how you can pray for that country. Buy the book, choose one country per night and pray over it. This makes a big impact for the kingdom and gives you a special love and burden for that country.
Put the names of all 10/40 Window countries (or every country in the world) in a Ziploc bag or paper bag and pick one every night/morning to pray for. This is a simple, yet effective way to pray for the world. I’ve done both of these things and they’ve been great. They opened my eyes to many of the needs around the world.
As we get to the end of this post, I close with these two questions:
The call to go and shine the light of Christ has already been made. How will you respond?
When we face Jesus and he asks us what we did for him, are you confident in your answer?
Think and pray on these answers and allow them to challenge you in your faith.
Until next time…