Monday, October 17, 2005

Where are the Robin Hoods?

Fact: Jesus isn't coming back until all nations have had a chance to hear and respond to the gospel.
How do we know this? First all, he said so in Matt. 24:14, "This gospel will be preached as a testimony to all nations, then the end will come." Secondly, Rev. 7:9 says that around the throne are peoples from every tribe and tongue. So let's get this into our heads. JESUS AIN'T COMING BACK TILL ALL THE ETHNIC PEOPLES HEAR THE GOSPEL. Now, can anyone tell me what implication that has for those who want Jesus to come back? Well, from my understanding, we should get our butts in gear and preach to the unreached.

But who are the unreached? Missiologists define them as people groups that do not yet have a church planted among them. Fine and well, but all too often this definition means those peoples who don't have many Christians. But, let's examine what 'unreached' really means. It seems to be, by the very semantics of the word, 'unreached' means those groups who have yet to have been reached with the gospel. It does not mean those with minimal exposure to the gospel, but those without any exposure to the gospel. So, Han Chinese, Thais, Cambodian, Indonesians, for the most part, are not unreached - they simply don't have many Christian converts. As long as one person from an ethnic group has heard the Gospel, they are reached. Now, that only leaves those small and neglected tribes out there in the jungles who are largely uncivilized. They are the ones truly unreached and untouched by the gospel. You would think hoardes of missionaries would be clamouring for the chance to reach these groups, but not so.

I think we're totally missing the point altogether. We spend all our money and efforts plugging away at the millions of 'unreached' in Asian countries trying to get the numbers up, when it's not numbers of individuals that is most critical per se, but varieties of peoples. While we try our darndest to evangelize those groups who already have converts in their number, entire tribal groups in the Amazon and Papua New Guinea are so far from the Gospel, that they don't have a single word of the Bible written in their native language nor the luxury of hearing Jesus' name ring in their ears even once. The languages of these people are not being heard in heaven, and Jesus isn't coming back until they are.

If the truths of the gospel were to be put in economic terms, the rich are getting richer and the poor are getting poorer. Why is so much being done to feed those who already have so much while generation after generation of genuinely unreached tribes perish? 2000 years of feeding the fat cats at home when we were supposed to be going to the farthest end of the earth - we ought to be ashamed.

Robin Hood was one who stole from the rich and gave to the poor. We need more of those in missions today. Once all the nations have been accounted for, then work on getting the numbers and the quality up. Doesn't this make sense?

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