1. Seeing as how Jesus is glorious…
If the Bible is true about who Jesus is, then He is part of the everlasting Godhead, who existed before the creation of the world and through whom all things were created. He is the cosmic King of everything that was, everything that is, and everything that will be. He triumphed over and destroyed death by taking on human flesh, being put to death and then coming back from the grave after three days. Soon, He will return to make everything new again. He reigns from the right hand of God the Father, and His kingdom, and His church, cannot fail in the pages of human history.
2. Seeing as how the great Mission of God in the world is for the nations to hear of the glory of Jesus and His gift of salvation…
Isaiah 49:6 is the Old Testament blueprint that leads directly to the gospel going out to all the nations in Acts 13:44-49. What is the common theme? The unflinching, amazing, intense, awe-inspiring glory of Jesus. It was always too small of a thing just for the Lord to restore Israel. In His redemptive plan, He has always had the entire world in mind.
3. Seeing as how because God’s Mission in the world is for the nations, the gospel came to us…
I cannot thank the Lord enough that I grew up in a country and in a time where I had access to the good news that Jesus bore my sin so that I could have a new life in Him. Other faithful believers in the past carried that message to other countries in other parts of the world. I am now a follower of Jesus as a direct result. That’s the same story for most of us believers, is it not? Don’t others deserve that opportunity as well?
4. Seeing as how we have been sent out to the other nations…
I have heard it said that God’s plan in the world is at the very least a command. Yet we cannot brush past that least part. Jesus sent his disciples out into all the world to preach the gospel to all people, demonstrating that it was His desire that the whole world would hear. (Re: The Great Commission)
5. Seeing as how a great multitude of humanity still yet has no reasonable ability to hear of the glory of Jesus and His gift of salvation…
The statistics are heart-wrenching. Here are only a few of the ones that continue to wreck me:
Around 42.6% of the world’s people groups are still yet considered “Unreached”. That means that there are few evangelicals and few who even identify as Christian. Also, there is little, if any, history of Christianity. (Source: https://joshuaproject.net/people_groups/statistics)
Currently, only around 3% of all Christian cross-cultural missionaries are even trying to reach Unreached people groups. (Source: https://youtu.be/WrHC7hXNoV8)
There are 3124 people groups in the world who are still unengaged. No one is trying to reach them. Around 271 million people. And nobody is even planning to try to reach them with the gospel right now. (Source: https://peoplegroups.org/)
Many Unreached people groups do not even have the entirety of the Bible in their heart language. According to Wycliffe Bible Translators, that amounts to close to 1.5 billion people. It helps to write out this number: 1,500,000,000 people. That’s close to five times the population of the United States. (Source: https://wycliffenz.org/about/our-work/bible-translation-statistics/)
6. Seeing as how there is no other name by which people on earth can be saved…
Jesus made it clear that it is only through Him that people can be eternally saved. We cannot afford to bury or minimize this truth. If 42.6% of the world lives in an Unreached people group, we believe based entirely on Jesus’s teaching that if they die without hearing of and accepting his gift of salvation, they will spend an eternity in Hell where there will be weeping and gnashing of teeth.
7. Seeing as how we in America are currently living in a time of freedom to move about in the world without much distraction…
Not long ago, I was able to listen through a series of in-depth podcasts on World War 1. It was an absolutely awful moment of history, and it took a horrific toll on the world. Of course, shortly after that, humanity would endure World War II, then the Korean War, then Vietnam.
Comparatively speaking, we now live in a time of much greater peace. There will always be wars in our broken world; however, now seems to be a key moment in human history in which we ought to be pressing outward as quickly and as diligently as we can.
There are no guarantees that this era of relative peace will continue for any definite period of time. Nevertheless, as long as we have the ability, I firmly believe that we should make the most out of it. The US Passport is quite powerful. Air travel has never been more convenient. Furthermore, the Internet has given us many tools that can assist our efforts in living among and in ministering to other people groups.
8. Seeing as how we are living in a nation with vast wealth and resources…
In 2017, the United States had a Gross Domestic Product of $17.2 trillion (2nd out of 196 countries). The Gross National Income per capita was $55,351. All in all, America consistently ranks among the wealthiest nations in the world. Compared to many of the Unreached and Unengaged places in the world, that wealth is exponentially compounded. It is not for a lack of money that the task goes unfinished, at least as far as the US is concerned.
9. Seeing as how we can do more with what resources and people we do have within the Free Will Baptist denomination…
When the Free Will Baptist International Mission (FWBIM) board went through a financial crisis a few years back, I did a bit of research to see just how much the average person would have to give in order for them to meet their ideal budget needs. The results were shocking.
It’s difficult to get an accurate number of the denomination membership because of non-reporting churches. But, according to Dr. Eddie Moody at this past year’s leadership conference, in 2018 there were approximately 158,000 people who identified under the National Association of Free Will Baptists. It’s a ballpark figure, but for the task at hand, it serves as a good point of reference. (source: 2019 FWB Leadership Conference)
In order to reach the International Missions 2020 budget goal of $7.5 million, that amounts to $47.46 a year per person in the denomination. Even if you divided the number of Free Will Baptist people in half to account for possible membership attrition, those who don’t have steady jobs, are under hardship or are a non-supporting part of a family, the amount per year would still only be around $95 (per 79,000 people). That’s less than $8 a month to meet our current budget. (source: https://nafwb.org/site/wp-content/uploads/2019/06/2019-Digest-of-Reports.pdf)
Considering all of the points before, most notably that Jesus is glorious, can’t we do much more? This amount doesn’t even scratch the surface of causing us any discomfort in most of our budgets at all. If we were to double that amount, we could then double our outreach efforts. If we quadrupled it, with roughly half of our denomination giving $384 a year, we could do even more.
My aim in bringing this information forward is not to shame our denomination for not doing enough. In fact, we even seem to already be in a season of increased giving to FWBIM, with the great news that we had more than $600,000 at the end of 2019! That surplus helped to erase the deficits in missionary accounts, thank the Lord! I hope that these numbers help to show just how much we can still yet do in our denomination in service to God and His great mission in the world! (The latest FWBIM update can be viewed here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ufqKSfK3wRE)
10. Seeing as how we have the triune LORD on our side, fighting for us, in our service for His kingdom and glory…
If GOD is for us… How can I possibly do this one justice? Do we not have all of the resources we need at our disposal in the presence and in the power of the omniscient, omnipresent, omnipotent GOD who is over all creation? The Father has sent us to make Jesus’s glory known! Jesus is our kind and loving, yet fierce and mighty king, at whose whim and will we ought to move, and He promised His followers that He would be with them always! The Holy Spirit comforts us in our trials, encourages our hearts, produces Spiritual fruit, and wants nothing more than to see Jesus glorified.
What then shall we say to these things? If God is for us, who can be against us? He who did not spare his own Son but gave him up for us all, how will he not also with him graciously give us all things? Who shall bring any charge against God’s elect? It is God who justifies. Who is to condemn? Christ Jesus is the one who died—more than that, who was raised—who is at the right hand of God, who indeed is interceding for us. Who shall separate us from the love of Christ? Shall tribulation, or distress, or persecution, or famine, or nakedness, or danger, or sword? As it is written,
“For your sake we are being killed all the day long;
we are regarded as sheep to be slaughtered.”
No, in all these things we are more than conquerors through him who loved us. For I am sure that neither death nor life, nor angels nor rulers, nor things present nor things to come, nor powers, nor height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God in Christ Jesus our Lord.Romans 8:31-39
11. Seeing as how we are not starting from scratch, but we are building on the work of all of those who have labored before us…
All of the history of the church has built up to the present, and the torch is now ours. Men and women, even in our own denomination, under much greater stress and under much more dire circumstances have not wavered in pushing outward with the great message that Jesus has conquered death and hell. Let’s pick that torch up in this time and bear it proudly.
This has everything to do with what we think about Jesus. It all comes back to number one. Is He glorious? Worthy? Precious? Sovereign? Does He reign? Is He coming back? Do you love Him? Will you obey Him? Do you trust Him? Will you joyfully be a part of His great plan where every nation, tribe, and tongue will be gathered together around the throne, singing “Worthy is the Lamb that was slain!”?
Let’s go, let’s give, and let’s pray for Christ’s great kingdom to come in all of the world. Jesus is glorious, and His glory is for the nations.