Missions – Obeying the Great Commission 

By Not Known

Back in 1997 there were a number of Christian organizations which had set a goal of reaching the world for Christ by the year 2000. Ten years have passed since then.  

The Jesus film project had reported, “several billion people across the globe had viewed that film and more than 225 million men, women and children had indicated decisions to follow Jesus.” In fact it has revealed that in every four seconds … about 21,000 people per day, 630,000 per month and more than 7.5 million per year have seen that movie.  

Wycliffe Bible Translators have reported that more than 700 Scripture translations are now available to people across the world. Meanwhile, more than 1,300 translation programmes are currently in progress. Yet, even though there had been a rapid progress of making the Bible available to people in the world, the numbers are still daunting.  There are in excess of 6,900 languages spoken in this world.  More than 2,000 languages are still without any Bible.

Out of these, we are talking about 6.72 billion people in this world today and many will never even have heard of the Bible or watched the Jesus film before they die.

Statistically, the Joshua Project (a ministry of the US Center for World Mission) reported that there are 16,567 people groups in this world and that 6,838 of them are classified as unreached peoples (extremely difficult to reach with the gospel) – roughly about 2.74 billion of them.

To reach the whole world within a specified time frame is not a new idea. Justin Long pointed out that there have been more than 1,240 (and increasing) such movements since the time of Christ. Have any of these succeeded?  

You may ask, why? Partly, this is because the number of non-Christians keeps growing… at a rate of more than 150,000 per day or about 50 million each year. Theoretical percentages may be presented in an optimistic light, but in terms of sheer number it seems too formidable for us even to think about it. The task keeps getting bigger, but the resources and the momentum are also getting greater than ever. The biggest obstacle is really with us: Christians.

Do we even pause to give a thought to this task? Do we even ask ourselves, what part do I play in fulfilling the Great Commission that our Lord has entrusted into our hands? Or is it like what James Engel has said once, is this just a great commotion instead of being the Great Commission. The final question has to be: Am I obedient to the calling of our Lord?

Rev Peter Poon