Now that we have formed the concept of "unengaged and unreached people groups" (see previous blogs), I want to help build a passion in each of us for getting the gospel to these people in the most effective way possible.
When God set Saul apart and called him (now Paul) to be a minister of the gospel, the clarity of that call did not come all at his conversion. It grew over time. The last time he recounts his conversion to King Agrippa, he tells it different than the two times before. The Lord said to Paul "I am sending you to open their eyes (the Gentiles), so that they may turn from darkness to light and from the power of Satan to God, that they may receive forgiveness of sins and a place among those who are sanctified by faith in me" (Acts 26:17-18). WHAT A PURPOSE TO LIVE FOR!
I believe that Paul's dramatic conversion had much to do with how he understood his call to preach the gospel to those in darkness. We don't need to have the same type of conversion to gain the passion Paul had. "Remember that you were at that time separated from Christ, alienated...strangers...having no hope and without God in the world. But now in Christ Jesus you who once were far off have been brought near by the blood of Christ" (Ephesians 2:12-13). This truth works in us to cause a deeper response to "GO" (Mt. 28:19). To carry the gospel to the unengaged or unreached is not the result of human skill or education, it is "the gift of God's grace which was given to me (us) by the working of HIS power" (3:7).
Is your passion for carrying the gospel to the unengaged or unreached growing? We invite your comments or statements of what God is doing in your life.
We want to use the next day or two to give a better understanding of the foundation of our passion in this ministry. It springs from all of Scripture and our purpose that God be praised and glorified through us, but in particular, Matthew 14:14 and Ephesians 3:8-10. In addition, there are facts about the nations of the world ("ethnos" or people groups) that are helpful to understand how important this passion is. We will start with the "unengaged people groups" and borrow from the Joshua Project to help gain this understanding.
An unreached people group is one which has no active church planting underway. According to the IMB Global Research Office, "A people group is engaged when a church planting strategy, consistent with evangelical faith and practice, is under implementation. In this respect, a people group is not engaged when it has been merely adopted, is the object of focused prayer, or is part of an advocacy strategy." At least four essential elements constitute effective engagement:
After spending time in prayer, Jesus was faced with making a decision between going to those who were looking for Him, or preaching to those who had not heard. Jesus said to His disciples, "Let us go on to the next towns, that I may preach there also, for that is why came out" (Mark 1:35-39). We must follow His example and carry the gospel to those who have not heard.
Please pray for the early state licensing we are allowed to print books GPHC in a Asia country.
1. On the approval permit printing and publishing books GPHC. An application to the state agency was sent for their approval for printing and distributing books GPHC nationwide last week. The State will accept and respond with a "Yes" or "No" on January 5, 2015.
2. Pray for 4 training courses; the location, training and number of participants pastors, leaders, deacons and members, of church attendance. (190 members).
3. Praying for God to open His doors so that we can work together to train 4 groups + 1 group of "Antioch" GPHC of leaders.
This opportunity has at it's heart the gospel reaching unengaged and unreached people groups in places that are experiencing persecution. Please be diligent in prayer!
"In little more than ten years, Paul established churches in four provinces of the Empire, Galatia, Macedonia, Achaia and Asia. Before AD 47 there were no churches in these provinces; in AD 57 Paul could speak as if his work there was done, and could plan extensive tours into the far west without anxiety lest the churches which he had founded might perish in his absence for want of his guidance and support."
"Missionary Methods - St. Paul's or Ours" by Roland Allen, Eerdmans, 1962, page 3.
Until every unengaged or unreached people group has heard the gospel of Jesus Christ, our work is not finished. What is your next "tour" to the those who have never heard? If you can't go - Send someone!
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