Truths That Are Hard To Hear
Paul said, “How can they be saved unless they hear?”
Three-and-a-half years ago, when I told my church, friends, and family that I was leaving a great church and ministry to go to the nations, people said to me, “What about the poor people in America? There are people who need Jesus in America also. Why do you have to go to the other side of the world?”
My answer was direct: “Because in America, EVERY SINGLE HUMAN has access to the Gospel, and the majority have heard the Gospel or portions of it. It’s on TV. It’s podcast all over. It’s on the radio. You’ve gotta pass dozens of church buildings to get anywhere!“
Ask yourself this question: If four groups had been lost in the wilderness, and three of the groups had been found and given access to food and water and were no longer in the wilderness, to which group would you give priority? Three groups have had food and water for the last four days, but there’s one group that’s still lost. They have no food, no water, no shelter. Who needs help the worst? Who should the resources? Who needs the food? Water? Medication? Whose need is the greatest?
This next part is difficult to say because it is a fact, yet it is ignored by a massive portion of the church. Pastors often close their eyes to this. Ninety-seven percent of missionaries working with more than 99% of the money designated to missions have been working and using that money to read the 4.6 billion people who have full access to the Gospel message. If those 4.6 billion people have not received the message by now, it’s on them! The blood is not on your hands. They have heard the Gospel. They have full access. Seventy-two percent of that 4.6 billion have received enough that they are no longer considered unreached anymore and no longer need help. Twenty-five percent have full heard and have full access but mostly rejected the Gospel.
I speak to God’s church here: There is a group of people where the blood is on your hands. There are 3.1 billion people with ZERO ACCESS to the Gospel. Of this 3.1 billion people, about half of them have been able to hear the Gospel a time or two–not because they have access, but because courageous men and women (many of whom have died or been imprisoned) have been taking them the Gospel. Those men and women have done this at a great price to themselves and their friends and family.
Three percent of missionaries, working with LESS THAN ONE PERCENT of the money designated to missions, have faithfully been bringing the gospel to those 3.1 billion unreached.
Many are doing what we do: training up the nationals to go places we cannot. The Gospel coming from indigenous leaders, filled with the Spirit and power, spilling over with the Word, can move throughout the unreached like an unbridled fire if the church will get its focus in the right place. How exciting! We are living in days that would make Paul, Peter, and John jealous with godly jealousy!
Blood is not on our hands from any of those 4.6 billion people who choose to go to hell. It is sad that so many have not yet believed when 99% of the funding and 97% of the workers have been poured into those areas. They have chosen not to hear, but there are 1.6 billion people who have never even ONCE heard the name of Jesus. Church, let us make sure that we are not at fault for that!
Right now, we have a problem. The blood of these 1.6 billion unreached people is on the hands of the churches in the West because for two-and-a-half decades, we have been taught about the unreached and how poorly we are using money, pouring it out to reach those who have chosen to reject the Gospel instead of using it to reach those who have never heard.
There are 1,000 missions organizations for every ONE unreached people group in the world. WHAT?! That is down-right sinful. But let’s not talk about the past. Let’s repent as a church. Starting now, hold missions organizations accountable. Don’t give to missionaries who work for organizations that only work almost entirely with other Christians. That is not missions!
Doing benevolent work among the poor is not missions–even the world does that. Paul said, by the Spirit, how can they be saved if they haven’t heard? That is on us! Don’t give most of your support to those who have already heard. Ken is 90% saved. Even if their theology is not perfect, neither is ours. Much of South America is already reached, and we spend billions there, trying to convert Catholics into Protestants. Wow! How about we go and convert sinners–the one who don’t know Him–to Jesus first?!
You don’t have look hard. We are already reaching 11 countries with the Gospel, and in the next 15 months we will send out 1,000,000 books in 10 languages to 26 countries. We will have trained and sent out over 100 missionaries from unreached placed to either return to their unreached home countries or to places that are unfamiliar to them. The harvest is truly great! We just need laborers! Will you come, or will you send someone in your place? Don’t wait for your church to organize it! Make it happen!
Give directly to your missionary instead of giving through your local church so that 100% goes to your missionary. You will build a relationship with people who are like-minded.
Consider giving money instead of going on a trip. Short-term trips can be helpful if it gives you a heart for the world, but if you just keep going on short-term trips, and the missionaries set everything up and create a place for you to do ministry but you aren’t breaking new groups and making a big difference and you aren’t giving financially to a ministry. . . well, look at it this way: Would they benefit more from a group of 10 spending $30,000 to come see them and work with them for a week or from you sending $30,000 for them to do the work that they do every day? The short-term mission trips are important if the end result is to get the church sending finances or to add missionaries down the road or to bring attention to the work. If you’re just coming on a bunch of trips to get to do ministry and see new places, it’s better to send the finances straight to the missionaries and let them change the world with the funds.
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President, Agape International
Until Every Tribe Has Heard