Posts belonging to Category Missions



Missions as the Test of Our Faith

“Missions are the test of our faith that the gospel is true.”
    – Lesslie Newbigin, The Gospel in a Pluralist Society, p. 127

HT: Of First Importance

Building a Vision for World Missions

John Piper offers the following five points for building a vision of world missions in our church congregations.

  1. We must build our missionary vision on the Word of God. “When we choose and send missionaries, let us send those who can preach and teach the truth about God with an understanding of central biblical doctrines. The apostles built their lives and missions on these great truths. So should we.”
  2. World missions is God’s work through us. “We speak and we do. But in and through us God speaks and God does, or all is in vain. We rely on Him. Our job is to obey and be faithful and trust Him. Just as Paul wrote in 1 Corinthians 3:6–7: ‘I planted, Apollos watered, but God gave the growth. So then neither he who plants nor he who waters is anything, but only God who gives the growth.'”
  3. The aim of world missions is the worship of God. “The reason the universe exists is that creatures might have the joy of worshiping God. Therefore, missions exist where worship doesn’t. Missionaries are seeking to awaken worship for the true and living God through His Son, Jesus Christ.”
  4. The way to do world missions is to go to unreached peoples. “The way to do world missions is not to settle down with the peoples that already have churches (even if they are across the ocean), but to keep going to the unreached peoples until all the peoples are reached and have their own Christ-worshiping churches.”
  5. God calls some to be wardens of the mission who watch over it from home. “You have three possibilities in world missions. You can be a goer, a sender, or disobedient. The Bible does not assume that everyone goes. But it does assume that the ones who do not go care about goers and support goers and pray for goers and hold the rope of the goers. Paul was linked with many churches, and they sent support to him over and over again. So it should be with every church and its missionaries.”

These are all great points, but I especially appreciate the emphasis on the Word of God in missions and going to the unreached peoples. What are some key components of world missions for you?

7 Believers in Sichuan Mongol

Map of China

I prayed yesterday for seven evangelical believers in Sichuan Mongol. I don’t know much about them. I don’t know if they are men, women or children. I don’t know if they have contact with each other. God knows. I simply prayed.

The Sichuan Mongolians of China were yesterday’s unreached people group of the day from the Joshua Project. They have a population of 33,000 of which 0.1% is Christian and 0.02% is evangelical. That works out to about thirty-three Christians, seven of whom are evangelical.

Of course I prayed for all the Christians, as well as for the people of Sichuan Mongol in general. But I especially prayed for seven evangelical believers living among an unreached people group of 33,000 — that God would encourage them, strengthen them in their faith, and help them as they seek to share the good news of Jesus with others.

“Buddha Did Nothing”

The leader of Gospel for Asia’s ministry in Myanmar spoke Friday at GFA’s “Renewing Your Passion” Conference in Dallas Texas. The people of Myanmar (formerly Burma) have suffered greatly since Cyclone Nargis struck the region in May.

The cyclone took an estimated 350,000 lives. More than 100,000 are still missing. But life was not much better for those who survived. More than 1.6 million homes were destroyed and 1.3 million acres of fertile crop land were damaged as the cyclone swept across an area known as “the rice bowl of Myanmar.”

“In some affected areas, the dead are more than the living,” the missionary noted. There was no way to bury the vast number of dead, so their corpses litter the waterways and landscape.

Then GFA missionaries and volunteers showed up with emergency food and supplies. The missionary leader himself was on the crew of volunteers who helped serve food to survivors who took refuge at the GFA Bible College in Yangon (Rangoon). He, and every other missionary who served with him, were letting their lives preach the sermons during those days.

The people in this majority Buddhist country were stunned at the love these Christians showed to them. Two families who went without food for seven days after the storm articulated their thoughts about Jesus to the missionaries who brought them food.

“Buddha did nothing while we were suffering. But your Jesus loves us,” the missionary reported. “Now every Sunday they are coming to church and worshipping the Lord.”

Nepal Open to the Gospel

From the Christian Post: Former Only Hindu Country Opens to Christianity

The world’s former only official Hindu country is now open to the preaching of the Gospel, a Christian missionary working in the country shared this past weekend with joy. Formerly, Christians were reportedly arrested and imprisoned for preaching the Gospel in Nepal …

But in April, Nepal held its first election for a new legislative assembly, and in May lawmakers legally abolished the monarchy and declared the country a republic. The king was previously considered to be a god. Newly elected officials also promised to allow religious freedom in the government. Now, Gospel programs are aired over the same government-owned radio stations that used to carry reports of Christians being arrested.

Jesus in China – A FRONTLINE/World Report

Jesus in China – Tonight at 9 p.m. ET on PBS:

A massive wave of Christianity has been sweeping across China in recent years, and the Chinese ruling party, officially atheist, is now struggling to figure out how to control it. In “Jesus in China,” a joint project of FRONTLINE/World and the Chicago Tribune, reporter Evan Osnos investigates one of the fastest growing Christian populations in the world, and how it could potentially transform China at this explosive moment in the country’s development.

You can read the accompanying Chicago Tribune article here: Jesus in China: Christianity’s rapid rise

See related post:  Praying for China with Randy Stonehill

Gospel Presentations in 25 Different Languages

Grace Community Church recently put free Gospel presentations in 25 different languages on their website.

Grace Community Church has several different approaches for the kind of cross-language evangelism that Los Angeles requires. We have evangelistic Bible studies taught in nine different languages. We have teach ESL (English as a second language) classes that serve as a connection for people in our community. The idea is that they join our ESL class, and then get connected to the appropriate Bible study.

We also offer Gospel presentations on CD in the 40 most common languages in our area. We give these away Sunday mornings from a table at our church. We have found they are popular and helpful, as people take them to give to neighbors and co-workers that don’t speak the same language.

We have recently put those gospel presentations on-line, for free. So, if you know someone who is more comfortable in another language, and you are looking for a way to present them the Gospel, see if their language is on our site. You can make your own CD for them, or you can email them the link. (Source: Pulpit Magazine)

This sounds like a great resource. A big thanks to the good people at Grace Church for making these available online.

Technology Extends the Bible’s Reach

The Washington Post has an interesting article on how Christian groups are using technology to bring the Bible to the more remote regions of the world.

RONG DOMRIEX, Cambodia — Tel Im, a barefoot 13-year-old, sat cross-legged on a bamboo bench, eager for her reading lesson … Six months ago, Im couldn’t read a word and had never heard of Jesus. Now, thanks to a literacy program run by the local chapter of an international Bible group, she has a book — the Bible — that she can read, and she says she wants to become a Christian.

Using technological devices ranging from simple cassette tapes to solar-powered audio players and an iPod-like gadget called the Bible Stick, Christian groups are spending hundreds of millions of dollars a year to make one of the world’s oldest books accessible in remote corners of the planet.

Complete versions of the Bible can now be downloaded onto cellphones in parts of Africa. To reach those who can’t read — nearly one-fifth of the world’s population, according to the United Nations — Christian groups are rapidly increasing production of audio and video versions.

HT: Between Two Worlds

Maps of the World’s Religious and Imperial History

Here are two fascinating flash video maps from the Maps of War website. The first map shows how the geography of religion has evolved over the centuries. Pay special attention to Christianity’s explosive growth that began with the rise of modern missions in the 1700-1800’s.

                                            History of Religion

                      (5000 years of religious history in 90 seconds)

The second map traces the major empires of the world showing who has controlled the Middle East over the course of world events.

                              Imperial History of the Middle East

                      (5000 years of imperial history in 90 seconds)

HT: World on the Web

Related post: Map of the World’s Religions

Free Audio Book Download: The Life of David Brainerd

If you enjoy listening to audiobooks, you might want to check out this deal. Each month, ChristianAudio.com offers a free audiobook download. This month’s free selection is The Life of David Brainerd (unabridged), by Jonathan Edwards (run time 9 hours, 55 minutes; normally $25.98). Use this coupon code – OCT2007 – to download the book for free this month only. Here is a description from the site:

Though he was orphaned at age fourteen, repeatedly struck with debilitating illnesses, and unfairly expelled from college, Brainerd allowed nothing to deter him from serving God wholeheartedly. He traveled thousands of miles by horseback across treacherous terrain to preach the gospel to remote Indians. His calling required a rugged man—he even slept outside in the cold without cover—yet he constantly displayed a gentle and meek love for people entirely different from himself. Their benefit ultimately brought about his early death at the age of twenty-nine. Like an invigorating shower, the listener will be rejuvenated by Brainerd’s life-giving devotional insights, refreshing clarity of purpose, and heartwarming preaching. This book offers not only a captivating story, but an uplifting buoy for those who are weary, distant, or discouraged.

First Missionary to China

Two hundred years ago today, on September 7, 1807, the first Protestant missionary set foot on Chinese soil. John Piper writes:

His name was Robert Morrison. He was a Scottish Presbyterian, and except for one furlough, he spent the next 27 years in China. Persevering against the hostility of official opposition and the resistance of foreign merchants, Morrison baptized the first Chinese Protestant Christian, Cai Gao, on July 16, 1814. After the baptism of Cai Gao, Morrison wrote prophetically in his journal, “May he be the first-fruits of a great harvest, one of millions who shall come and be saved on the day of wrath to come.”

Piper goes on to share about the great harvest of believers that has taken place in China over the past two hundred years and continues to grow. He also shares the dream of many Chinese believers to take the gospel into Muslim lands in a campaign called “Back to Jerusalem.”

I am inspired by Morrison’s perseverance in sharing the gospel for nearly seven years before baptizing his first convert. Piper draws a further lesson from Morrison’s life:

One of the lessons to draw from this anniversary of the arrival of Protestant Christianity in China is that we cannot measure the significance of our lives in our own lifetime. Robert Morrison could not see what we see. It is astonishing.

Finally, Piper recommends a four-part video series issued in 2003, called “The Cross: Jesus in China” which interviews many leaders of the current revival in China. The videos are available for free download at ChinaSoul. I encourage you to visit the Desiring God website to read the full article on China and missions.

Map of the World’s Religions

Welcome to the blog! I invite you to check out my book, The Bible Memory Version.

Here is an interesting map of the world’s religions. (Click map for larger view.)

Map of the World’s Religions
                Source: The Atlas of Faiths; Encyclopedia Britannica (2003)

Each colored section on the map corresponds to the majority religion by population for that region. Here are some of the colors and the religions they represent:

  • Blue = Muslims
  • Yellow = Roman Catholics
  • Orange = Protestants
  • Red = Christians from various churches
  • Purple = Indigenous religions
  • Dark red = Orthodox Christians
  • Light blue = Mormons

I thought this was an interesting overview of how the different religions are concentrated in various parts of the world. As a Christian it is also a good reminder of the importance of world missions and our responsibility in spreading the good news about Jesus Christ.

“For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life.” (John 3:16)

“And we have seen and testify that the Father has sent his Son to be the Savior of the world.” (1 John 4:14)

Recommended Books on World Religions:

           
 

HT: Brad Wright


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