This is part of our Q & A Series. If you have a question you would like for us to try to answer, contact us!
Q: Why don’t you stay here in America and reach people here?
There are plenty of people who need Jesus in this country.
A: First let me say, that we as the church should always be looking out for where God is working, wherever we are in the world, and join Him in that work.
We have all been called as ambassadors of Jesus Christ calling men everywhere to be reconciled to God because of what Jesus has done.
This is step one.
But just like in any natural army, there are those who serve in different capacities, but their goal is the same. Ultimately, they should all be working hard to ensure victory over the “enemy.” ( In missions work, our enemy is not flesh and blood.) Some work in supply, some maintain the home base, and others are scouting out new territories.
In the same way, God calls frontier missionaries and equips them for work on the forward edge. They require a special commission and have the capacity to do what many who serve in the army are unwilling to do. However this does not make them any better than others serving in the army. Their function is different, but without the support of the home base, the supply line, and so on, they would not be able to carry out their mission.
-John Falconer once said, “I have but one candle of life to burn, and I would rather burn it out in a land filled with darkness than in a land flooded with light”
I would rather preach to someone who has never heard the Gospel once than to one who has “heard it all a million times” and has yet to believe. Don’t get me wrong. I didn’t receive Jesus and change my life the first time I heard the message, so I certainly don’t have anything against fellow believers who are going after souls in the “Post Christian” society of America that is growing more pluralistic and humanistic with each passing day. I am simply compelled to the places where the people have little to no access to the Gospel and I believe there should be more people like me! May God raise up both!
The imbalance of the Gospel message in the world has been a growing burden in my heart over the years. As a wise man once said, “The things that anger you are the things that you are assigned to change.” When God puts a healthy and holy anger in your heart, it is a clue to your calling.
The Apostle Paul felt some of these same things.
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.” This is why I have often been hindered from coming to you. Romans 15:20-22
Now while Paul waited for them at Athens, his spirit was stirred in him, when he saw the city wholly given to idolatry. Therefore disputed he in the synagogue with the Jews, and with the devout persons, and in the market daily with them that met with him. Acts 17:16,17
Lastly, I believe that we as Americans really don’t understand what we have in regards to access to the Gospel compared to many other parts of the world. Especially with the recent advances of satellite TV, broadband Internet, and millions of Christian books and CD’s, each American more than has the chance to run across the preaching and demonstration of the true Gospel many times in his life. Yet in many places of the world, there is not even one life giving reproducing church anywhere.
Think about it this way, in America, Bible based tracts are looked down on as an archaic way to do outreach, even in the church. Yet in some parts of the world, tracts may still be the only way some one ever gets the opportunity to hear the gospel! A little goes a long way in the unreached places of the world, if a little is done well.
If you wanted a Bible in America how difficult would it be? If you really wanted one and couldn’t afford it, somebody somewhere, at any church in any city in the US, would go out of there way to make sure you had one. You could always pick one up from your local hotel the next time you’re on vacation. Bible societies would send you one if you wrote and asked for it.
Most of us have lost more Bibles than most of the world has handled in their lifetime! In many places, people still don’t have access to the scripture in their language. A large percentage of the world is illiterate and couldn’t read if they wanted to.
Who will go to them? Who will finish the task given to us by Jesus Himself?
K.P. Yohannan, founder of Gospel for Asia Bible Society once said, “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.”
You may have thought that every Christian is called to be a missionary. Consider this thought from C. Gordon Olson,
“If every Christian is already considered a missionary, then all can stay put where they are, and nobody needs to get up and go anywhere to preach the gospel. But if our only concern is to witness where we are, how will people in unevangelized areas ever hear the gospel? The present uneven distribution of Christians and opportunities to hear the gospel of Christ will continue on unchanged.”
All believers are called to be a witness for Jesus. We are all called to be ambassadors of reconciliation. But there is still a specific call of God to be sent. There is a call to go and preach Christ where He has not yet been named.
This quote from Oswald J. Smith has challenged me since I first heard it-
“No one has the right to hear the gospel twice, while there remains someone who has not heard it once.”