I heard the commentary from Dr. Harold Sala of Guidelines.org below on the radio this morning, and thought it was worth sharing.
As Jesus approached Jerusalem, knowing that He would give His life for the sins of the world, He sought to dispel the idea that the kingdom of God was going to be established on earth in the next few days or weeks. He said simply, “For the Son of Man came to seek and to save the lost” (Luke 19:10). That was it! Now we are considerably downstream from that day. Our world’s population has exploded, and now some 2,000 years later the importance of reaching the lost seems to have been lost amidst our affluences and the culture of “me and us first.”
The reality is that only 4% of the 420,000 considered to be missionaries today are working among the unreached found primarily in China, India, the Middle East and in countries that are hostile to Christians. Yet those who live in countries that are nominally thought of as Christian who do not have a relationship with Jesus Christ are just as lost as those considered pagan who have never heard the name, Jesus Christ.
The late Oswald J. Smith, pastor of a great church in Toronto, used to tell the story of the feeding of the 5,000 when Jesus took a little boy’s lunch and fed 5,000 people, but Smith said, “Now suppose that the disciples had taken the loaves and fishes and passed them out among the first row of hungry people, then the second row, and then stopped and went back to the first row and gave them a second helping, and the same thing for the next row.” Making his point, Smith then asked, “How long would it be until people in the back rows started calling out, “How about us? Don’t we count? Have you nothing for us?”
If you take the Bible seriously and believe what Jesus said, you have to acknowledge that there are but two groups of people, those who are “saved” and those who are lost. There is no third category. Even a casual reading of the New Testament brings rational individuals to conclude that Jesus came on a mission and was willing to give His life to accomplish the purpose for which He came. He not only talked of heaven but He talked of hell as well, using the garbage dump outside the city to illustrate it’s ferocity.
Vast numbers of people are somewhat familiar with John 3:16. But what immediately followed was a statement saying, “For God did not send His Son into the world to condemn the world, but in order that the world might be saved through Him.”
Concurrent with the population explosion have been discoveries that allow us to communicate with vast numbers of people the world over—the internet, Facebook, broadcasting, television, and the printed page. While nothing is more powerful than face to face communication, we at Guidelines are using every available resource to proclaim the Good News. Visit our website at guidelines.org to see how we are striving to reach the unreached.
But you don’t have to travel over 5000 miles of ocean to reach the unreached. Start with your neighborhood, your friends, and even your family. Would you classify them as unreached?
A late night comedian had a Christian on his program and asked him if he believed in hell. When he said that he did, the comedian asked what he was doing to try to reach his friends. When his guest hem-hawed and really said nothing he said, “You Christians must really hate someone, if you believe he would go to hell, and you don’t tell him how to be saved.” He was right.