In this day and age, it is rather difficult to believe that there are still unreached people groups in the world that have not heard about Jesus. When we think “unreached” our minds automatically think of tribes in far off lands ensconced deep within the bowels of steamy, tropical forests where sunlight gets filtered out through the thick canopy of leaves crowning enormously tall trees and where large beetles and snakes abound. We think of people isolated in arid lands with dust constantly blowing in their faces, or those on top of tall mountain ranges and who speak not the language we speak.
People who are isolated and lost.
Thinking about them depresses us and we, sooner than later, stop thinking about them. The truth is, what can we really do about them? Geographically, it is impossible. And honestly, not everyone is called to go out seeking the isolated in every nook and cranny of this planet. Let’s ignore the fact that there are those who are trying to seek out the nooks and crannies of other planets. That makes everything way too complicated.
So then, if we know it is not our calling to go seeking under rainforest canopies and arid landscapes for people who have not yet heard about Jesus, is our job to go and make disciples done? Should we just sit down, clasp our hands and wait for Jesus to come again?
The truth, as I am learning more and more, is that there are unreached people groups everywhere. In cities, in villages, in schools, in universities, in work places, in community centers, in suburbia, in Manhattan, in Hollywood, on cruise ships, on planes, trains and everywhere. We believe that everyone knows about Jesus. And yes, everyone knows of Jesus. But, not everyone knows what He has done for them. Personally. Ask someone you think knows about Jesus what he/she knows of Jesus and you would be surprised by the answer. Many people know bits and pieces, but so much of the bits and pieces are tainted by cultural concepts, upbringing or the media. Having lived in two different countries that profess Catholicism to be the main faith, I have found that even regular church going catholics really do not know the gospel or how to receive the free gift of salvation.
Unreached people groups right under our noses.
When my husband and I ask people if they know Jesus, everyone here tells us that they do. My next question is normally, “Do you know what He has done for you?” and a majority will tell me that He has been good to them, He has given them this or that, healed them, helped them in one way or another and then some might say that He is the Son of God. But very few tell me that He died on the cross to save them. Or they know that He died on the cross, but they don’t know why He did. Some might know. However, none of them know how to receive His gift of salvation for themselves. Many think that it is automatic, not knowing that they have to make the decision to receive it for themselves. Many will not acknowledge their need of a Saviour. And some will.
The bottom line is they had no understanding of what Jesus had done for them on the cross. They are an unreached people.
Does your neighbour know about what Jesus has done for them on the cross? Your co-worker, school mate? Do they have the peace that Jesus gives that surpasses all understanding? Do they have the assurance that when they die, they will be with the Father? How will they know if they have not heard? How will they hear if no one tells them? Don’t assume that they know. Most likely, what they know is not the truth of what the Word says.
Tell them. By the way you live and by your words. They need to know that it is not because you are good and behave well that you will get to heaven. They need to hear the good news that Jesus is the One who saves. I have heard some sayings that say to not preach with words but with our actions. We need to do both. We need to live lives that are obedient to the Word of God even as we share with others the good news. And the fact that we can be obedient to the Word is not because of our own efforts but rather the power of the Holy Spirit in us that enables us.
Go make friends, comfort the brokenhearted, rejoice with those who rejoice and cry with those who mourn, get to know people, go out for coffee and share with them Christ in you, the hope of glory. The One who loves them more than anyone else does. More now than ever, they need Him.
“But how can they call on him to save them unless they believe in him? And how can they believe in him if they have never heard about him? And how can they hear about him unless someone tells them?” ~ Romans 10:14