Missions Launch

Helping those who help the world

What About Those Who Have Never Heard?

by Carol Grace |

Should I Go?, Spiritual Issues, Theology

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Photo by Katie Tegtmeyer

For those of us interested in missions, the answer to this question is of utmost importance.  After all, missionaries are usually motivated by 2 main factors, obeying the commands of Christ and concern for the lost.  So, if the lost are just fine never hearing about Jesus, then 1 of our top motivating factors would be removed. Of course, since Jesus commands it, some would still go, but it would definitely be less motivating if the lost can get to heaven while we stay home.  

On the other hand, as Christians we certainly can wish that there was some other way for people to be saved besides someone telling them. After all, there are 2 billion people still who haven’t heard, and it sure doesn’t seem like there are enough missionaries right now to reach them all. It is horrifying to think of all those people who don’t have the same chance that we have, who don’t have the good news.

Also, there are some interesting stories out there of God reaching out to the unreached Himself. In many unreached countries and Muslim areas there are many many documented cases of people seeing or hearing of Jesus first in a dream. It does seem like those people are then led to find Christians to speak with or literature and films about Jesus that help them understand, but it also seems like there are some who come to faith only through their dream.

But still, the question remains…

What happens to those who have never heard?

There are some great articles out there that shed insight and give biblical foundations on this question.  

There is one point, however, that several authors, including John Piper and David Platt, point out – no one is innocent. People aren’t going to hell for rejecting Jesus. People are going to hell for their sins. Jesus is the only way to save them from their sins.

Also, it is important to remember that God desires for none to perish.

With these 2 points in mind, here are some interesting articles on the topic that include some slightly differing viewpoints.

Bible.org

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This article lays out a very simple biblical foundation of verses on the topic.

 

Desiring God

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This is a John Piper article that comes to this conclusion: “Missions is what the truth demands.”

 

Small Town Pastor

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This blog lists 5 different views on the subject with a list of famous Christians who adhere to each view.

                     

Shoreline Church

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This article by Steven Binos addresses people coming to faith without missionaries.

 

What do you think?

Please tell us what you think. What motivates you to go? What do you think happens to those who have never heard? Please send us a comment, and we will post it to the article.

Are You Ready to get Radical?

by Melissa Chang |

Missions Books, Should I Go?

radical by david plattI was tooling around on Twitter and came across a huge buzz about a new book from a young preacher named David Platt. The first thing I came across was a short but extremely powerful video promoting the book. Instantly I was hooked and intrigued. I ended up not only ordering the book, but downloading the free first chapter and reading it in about 30 minutes. I couldn’t put it down. It was so full of intense, honest, and heart wrenching truths about following Jesus, missions, and how some of us have become just too comfortable.

Personally, I had never heard of David Platt before, so started looking online to find more about him. During my research I found videos of sermons he has delivered, and now I am even MORE intrigued. This man is speaking truth, he is speaking of missions, and he is speaking of the radical call of Jesus. He also mentions how he believe that we have placed a Christian spin on the American dream and are no longer worshiping the radical Jesus of the Gospel. He says that we have redefined the teachings of Christ to be more comfortable and less radical then Jesus really is calling us to be.

The chapter I read was excellent and thought provoking – hopefully it will be life changing. I placed my order and can’t wait for it to arrive. You can check out your copyof the book, Radicalhere.

And if you have a moment, check out these videos. You won’t regret it.

Radical promo video

David Platt discusses Radical

Excerpt of David Platt sermon at the SBC Conference 09

Have you read it yet? What did you think?

March of the Unqualified

by Carol Grace |

Should I Go?, Spiritual Issues

Think you have to be perfect to be used by God? A lot of people are disqualifying themselves and waiting and waiting until they are perfect until they allow themselves to be used by God. However, there are a couple of problems with that logic.

First of all, no one on this earth will ever be perfect. If you are waiting for that, you will be waiting till the day you day.

Secondly, it’s not your strength but God’s Spirit that will perform his work. He just needs those that are willing, and He will take care of the rest. He can even use your mistakes to accomplish His will.

Thirdly, if you look at the Biblical “greats” of the Bible who did amazing things for God, you will see that they all had tons of flaws, imperfections, and sins… yet God used them anyway.

Watch this video from Igniter Media for a great reminder that God doesn’t use the qualified, but the willing.

If you want to find more great videos, Igniter Media has many to choose from on their website.

Mission Trip Possible: Reason #12 to Go

by Lori McCarthy |

Should I Go?

crossWhen I’m standing face to face with Jesus, I want to hear the words, “Well done, good and faithful servant!”

I often wonder what it will be like when I’m standing face to face with Jesus.  What will I say?  Even more importantly, what will Jesus say to me?  After reading over the Parable of the Talents found in Matthew 25:14-30, perhaps like me you want to hear him say, “Well done, good and faithful servant!”  (Matt. 25:21 NIV)

The Parable of the Talents is about a man who was going on a journey.  While he was away, he entrusted his property to his servants.  To one he gave five talents, to another he gave two talents, and to the third he gave one talent.  When he returned, he found that the servant whom he had entrusted with the five talents immediately put the money to work for him and gained him five more talents.  The one he gave the two talents to had earned him two more talents.  But the servant he gave the one talent to went away and hid his talent in the ground. 

In return for their hard work, the first two servants were rewarded with the words, “Well done, good and faithful servant!  You have been faithful with a few things; I will put you in charge of many things.  Come and share in your master’s happiness!”  (Matt. 25:23 NIV)

Instead the other servant who hid the one talent in the ground until his master returned heard these words, “You wicked, lazy servant! …You should have put my money on deposit with the bankers, so that when I returned I would have received it back with interest.” (Matt. 25:26-27 NIV)

Each of us has been entrusted us with the incredible honor, as well as responsibility, of making disciples of all nations.  But first we must be willing to do our part if we want to hear the words, “Well done, good and faithful servant!”  (Matt. 25:21 NIV)

Photo by midiman

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To see the full list of reasons, Click Here.

Mission Trip Possible: Reason #11 to Go

by Lori McCarthy |

Should I Go?

christmas gift

We should go because we’re so grateful for what Jesus has done for us that we want to share the good news with others.

In tough times like these, sometimes it becomes a challenge to think of things to be grateful for. Even so, if we’re born-again Christians, we are told that in everything we are to give thanks. If nothing else, we should especially be grateful for what Jesus has done for us. Let us remember this holiday season that we have been given the most precious gifts of all – the gift of salvation and the promise of eternal life in heaven with our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. In fact, we should be brimming over with such gratitude that we want nothing more than to share the good news of Christ with others.airblown inflatables canada

In essence, we want to share the good news with others because we want them to have what we have. As most of us can attest, it’s not about religion; nor is it just about salvation or life after death. Most of all, what we want them to have is a personal relationship with Jesus Christ, the Lover of our souls. 

There really is no better way to show our appreciation than by going on a mission trip, where we are given the unique opportunity to serve others in need and to tell them what Jesus has done for us. Then we may tell them how they can also receive the free gifts of salvation and eternal life simply by believing that Jesus died on the cross and rose again. More importantly, we may tell them how they can also have a personal relationship with The One who sticks closer than any brother.

This holiday season, why not consider showing your appreciation for what Christ has done by going on a mission trip? You’ll be forever grateful for the experience, and life will never be the same again.

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To see the full list of reasons, Click Here.

Mission Trip Possible: Reason #10

by Lori McCarthy |

Should I Go?

i feel the need for speedWe should go to speed up the day of Jesus’ return.

Ever wish you could speed up the day of Jesus’ return?   There is a way you can. 

In Matthew 24:14, we learn that the “gospel of the kingdom will be preached in the whole world  as a testimony to all nations, and then the end will come.” (Matt. 24:14 NIV) 

In other words, we can speed up the day of Jesus’ return by taking the good news of Christ to all nations.   But how do we do that?   It’s simple really.  Become a missionary.

Of course, most of us can’t travel to every nation on the earth to share the gospel.  However, just think what a difference we could make if all of us just picked one country to travel to.    

It is currently estimated that in 2008 from there were over 173,000,000 Christians in the United States alone.* Just think what we could do if only 10% of Christians in America decided to take the gospel to just one country that’s never heard the gospel before?  What a difference we could make!

Even if you can’t travel to another country, there are also numerous other ways you can help.  For instance, you can provide financial support to help send someone else on a mission trip.  In addition, there are many ways you can get involved in local mission outreach groups, such as volunteering at your local homeless shelter, soup kitchen, or crisis pregnancy center right in your own backyard.  The age of the Internet has also opened up a wide opportunity to spread the gospel throughout the entire world. 

Meanwhile, every nation, tribe, and tongue must have the chance to hear the gospel before Jesus returns.  We can’t do everything, but we can do something.  Let’s not refuse to do the something we can do until the day of Christ’s return. 

*Stats can be found here

Photo by Amnemona

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To see the full list of reasons, Click Here.

Mission Trip Possible: Reason #9 to Go

by Lori McCarthy |

Should I Go?

playing in leavesWe should go because the Lord promises we will be blessed beyond all measure.

Did you know that when we go on a mission trip, God promises to bless us beyond all measure?  It’s true. 

In Luke 18:29-30, Jesus said, “I tell you the truth.  No one who has left home or wife or brothers or parents or children for the sake of the kingdom of God will fail to receive many times as much in this age and, in the age to come, eternal life.”  (Mark 10:29-30 NIV)

That’s right.  Whatever we leave behind for the sake of the gospel, Jesus promised that we will receive back many times over while we are still on this earth and when we finally get to heaven. 

Another promise can be found in the book of Matthew, where Jesus said, “Seek first his kingdom and his righteousness, and all these things will be given to you as well.” (Matt. 6:33 NIV)  In other words, in everything we are to put him first, and all of these other things will be given to us as well. 

When Joshua was getting ready to lead the Israelites into the Promised Land, God promised, “As I was with Moses, so I will be with you.”  (Joshua 1:5 NIV) We can be sure that wherever we go to follow God, He will be right there with us by our side.

Of course, we aren’t saying that all mission trips are going to be without their trials and tribulations, but God does promise that after it all, we will be blessed.  Some mission trips will involve miracles and amazing highs with God. Others might involve times of intense struggle and hardship. But even after all of these, there are often amazing spurts of spiritual growth and strengthening of faith that cannot be replaced.

So become a missionary.  Be a blessing to others, and God promises you will be blessed beyond all measure as well.

Photo by dianneb59@sbcglobal.net

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To see the full list of reasons, Click Here.

Mission Trip Possible: Reason #8 to Go

by Lori McCarthy |

Should I Go?

Kenyan OrphanageWe should go because it often benefits us more than the people we are ministering to.

Perhaps you’ve decided to go on a mission trip for the sole purpose of benefiting someone else.  However, did you know that going on a mission trip often benefits us more than the people we are serving?  

That’s because when we help others, it makes us feel better about ourselves.   It makes us feel that we are significant, that we have a reason for being here, and that what we are doing truly matters in this world.  In essence, when we are helping others, we are also helping ourselves, which is the number one benefit.

Simply put, when we have our minds on other people, it helps us get our minds off of ourselves.  Instead of being selfish or feeling sorry for ourselves, we are forced to put other peoples’ needs ahead of our own.   Putting other peoples’ needs first helps get our minds off of our own troubles because we learn that there is always someone who has it worse or is in greater need than we are, which is benefit number two. 

Finally, when we witness firsthand the work that the Lord is doing in other people’s lives, it makes our faith soar to new heights.  Our faith soars knowing that we’ve played a small part in something greater than ourselves, a part of what God is doing around the world.  As we’re relying on God to accomplish our mission and seeing him at work in the world around us, we realize the full extent of God’s faithfulness and our spiritual walk grows to a much deeper level.   We develop a new sense of boldness, and God is able to use us all the more to impact our world.

So become a missionary, and reap all of the rewards of sharing the good news of Christ with others.

Photo by greg westfall.
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To see the full list of reasons, Click Here.

Mission Trip Possible: Reason #7 to Go

by Lori McCarthy |

Should I Go?

saluteWe should go because it was Jesus’ last command.

“Are you guys ready? Let’s roll.”

Those were the famous last words of Todd Beamer just before Flight 93 went down near Shanksville, PA on September 11, 2001.

To this day, Todd Beamer’s courageous words still echo in our minds just before he chose to risk his life storming the cockpit to overcome the terrorists who had hijacked the plane that fateful day. However, how many of us recall what Jesus’ last words were after he chose to give his life for all and then reappeared to his disciples?

“Go and makes disciples of all nations.” (Matt. 28:19 NIV)

What most of us fail to realize is that these weren’t just Jesus’ last words. They are a command. Actually they were Jesus’ final command to us, an advance directive which I believe we all need to take special note of. We need to take special note because they were important enough to be Jesus’ final words to us. I believe that there’s a special reason why Jesus saved his Great Commission for last.

It was as if he was saying, “You have seen what I have done. Now go and do the same. Go and make disciples of all nations. Baptize them in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit, just like I’ve done with you. And teach them to do all that I’ve commanded of you.”

In addition to this final command, Jesus also cared enough to leave us with these final parting words before he ascended to heaven:

“And surely I am with you always, to the very end of the age.” (Matt. 28: 20 NIV)

Therefore, we need not fear when it comes to fulfilling the Great Commission because Jesus has already assured us that he’ll always be with us, even to the very end.

Are you ready to roll?  Let’s go!

Photo by Thunderchild tm
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To see the full list of reasons, Click Here.

Mission Trip Possible: Reason #6 to Go

by Lori McCarthy |

Should I Go?

fishingWe should go because the need is so great.

I never thought of going on a mission trip before until this past year – when I first began to see things from God’s perspective. For years I never gave a second thought to the scripture where Jesus told his disciples, “the harvest is plentiful, but the workers are few.” (Mt. 9:37 NIV) I preferred just to skip right over that passage thinking others would be there to fill in the gap for me.

However, did you know that there are still areas in the world where the gospel has never been preached? In fact, there are currently 6641 unreached people groups in the world today. Most of them fall within the 10/40 window, a term first coined by Luis Bush in 1990 referring to those regions of the eastern hemisphere located between 10 and 40 degrees north of the equator including the Sahara, Northern Africa, and much of Asia. These regions include nations that are primarily Muslim, Hindu, Buddhist, Animist, Jewish, and Atheist countries. Currently 95% of our missionaries are sent to areas that have already been reached for the gospel of Christ, which means that only a small percentage (5% or less) are actually going to areas which remain unreached today.

Isn’t it our duty to make sure that everyone gets a chance to hear the gospel? If so, then we must ask the “Lord of the harvest to send more workers to the harvest field” (Mt. 9:38 NIV) until the good news of Jesus Christ is preached to all people, including those groups that haven’t been reached yet.

There are so many fish, and not enough fishermen. Perhaps like me you’re reading this and you hear the still, small voice of Jesus calling you, “Come, follow me, and I will make you fishers of men.” (Mt. 4:19 NIV)

Photo by neloqua
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To see the full list of reasons, Click Here.

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