I heard a minister recently talking about the rapture and trying to make the point that every prophecy necessary to the return of Christ has already been fulfilled. One of his points was that the Gospel has already been preached in all the world according to the promise of Jesus in Matt 24:14 (And this gospel of the kingdom shall be preached in all the world for a witness unto all nations; and then shall the end come.), “Now” he said, “We’re just waiting for Jesus to come back.”
If you are one of those standing in line waiting for the rapture like a ride at Disney World, consider these statistics on world evangelism that I have collected from a variety of sources. As you read these keep in mind that in the United States there is 1 ordained minister for every 200 people. Yet…
– For every million unreached Muslims there are less than 3 missionaries.
– In Afghanistan there are 17 million people, 48,000 mosques…but not a single church.
– In Turkey there are 44 million people, but less then 200 Christians
– In India alone 500 million people have yet to hear the Gospel
– 30% of the world’s population (more than 2 billion people) have had virtually no exposure to the Gospel.
– The New Testament has been translated into the mother tongue of over 80% of the world’s population. However the remaining approximately 20% will require over 5,500 new translations.
Jesus said, “Go therefore and make disciples of all nations” (Matt 28:19). The word, “Nations” is “Ethne” in the Greek meaning ethnic people groups. Yet…
– There are an estimated 6,700 unreached or nearly unreached people groups.
– The countries with the most unreached people groups in descending order; India, China, Pakistan, Nepal, Bangladesh.
– 98% of all unreached people groups are located in the “10/40 Window”.
THE GREAT COMMISSION IS STILL UNFULFILLED! Oswald Smith said, “We talk of the Second Coming; but half the world has never heard of the first.” Regardless if you are “pre-trib”, “post-trib”, “mid-trib” or some other “trib”, we must all confess that there is something desperately wrong with this type of doctrinal philosophy that makes us happy to escape with our own hides while the world burns and billions of people are lost. Where is the heart of Jesus in that? “…that none would perish, but that all would come to repentance.”
Here’s some food for thought; Jesus died more then 2,000 years ago. If it was God’s ultimate goal to rapture us all out of this “old god-forsaken world”, then why are we still here? What are we still waiting for? One person told me, “Jesus is building my mansion in heaven.” Really? It took him 6 days to create the entire cosmos, yet he’s been hung up with your “mansion” for 2,000 years? Not likely.
Heb. 10:12, 13 says, “but He, having offered one sacrifice for sins for all time, SAT DOWN AT THE RIGHT HAND OF GOD, waiting from that time onward UNTIL HIS ENEMIES BE MADE A FOOTSTOOL FOR HIS FEET.” Since we are his hands and feet, then He must be waiting for…us. If He is waiting for us, and we are waiting for him, it would seem we are at an impasse. This is why Jesus told his disciples, “GO” into all the world and preach the Gospel. No more waiting and debating…just Go and PREACH.
“In the vast plain to the north I have sometimes seen, in the morning sun, the smoke of a thousand villages where no missionary has ever been” — Robert Moffat
The first word of the Great Commission is, “GO…”When Jesus used fishing as a metaphor for Evangelism, he revealed to us something about his chosen model and paradigm. What does evangelism mean to Jesus? To be a “fisher of men” implies releasing the moorings from the bollard, pulling back the anchor, pushing away from the shore and launching out into the deep. “The Son of Man”, He said of Himself, “Has COME to SEEK…” Now, to us He says, you “GO” and seek.
Juxtapose the Jesus way to the preferred method of most Christians today. It is what I call “Spider web Evangelism” because as the spider loiters in her web, many Christians crouch in their churches every Sunday waiting and praying that some hapless sinner might wander in so that the pastor can pounce on them. But the word, “GO” necessarily implies action, initiative and movement. There is no way to “Go” while we stay! To “GO” requires less talk and more walk, less intention and more action. There is no shortcut, free-ride or easy way to evangelism. Ultimately we will either “GO” to win the lost or we will supplement our sedentary fruitlessness with a myriad of programs, seminars, conferences, excuses and explanations. In the end we may discover that working so hard to appear artificially effectual was a greater expenditure of energy than actually going would have been.
D.L. Moody once attended a convention in Indianapolis on mass evangelism. During a break in the meeting he decided to put principle into practice. He went out to the street corner, stood on a box and began to preach. A crowd gathered to listen and soon they were blocking traffic. Moody had a solution to this dilemma. He invited all the sinners to follow him into the convention center where he would continue his preaching. Soon the convention delegates began to return only to find their seats filled with unwelcome, unregistered street people. Being forced to stop preaching, Moody concluded his message by saying, “Now we must close, as the brethren of the convention wish to come and discuss the topic, ‘How to reach the masses’.
When Jesus commissioned His disciples He didn’t spend much time teaching techniques and procedures for winning the lost. Instead He summed up the heart of evangelism with a two-letter word. Jesus came from Heaven to earth to win us, now we must go to win others. ”Go into all the world and preach the Gospel”.
Meetings in Kansas City at the International House of Prayer that have been happening since November ’09, known as the IHOPU Student Awakening, have resulted in the baptism of over one thousand people that had either just been converted to Christ or not yet been baptized, since they began the meetings in November. According to an IHOP leader (quoted from the March 27th meeting):
From the time that we started in November until now, we have baptized 1,259 people.
You can watch the meetings live, and view past webcasts and testimonies, by clicking here.
Meanwhile, at meetings of the likes we can barely fathom in America, over half a million people gave their life to Jesus over the course of just a few days in Nigeria! According to Evangelist Daniel Kolenda:
Just a few days ago we held a mass Gospel Campaign in the city of Numan, Nigeria. Over the course of 5 days more than 800,000 people attended the meetings and 557,860 decisions cards were registered from those professing their newfound faith in Christ.
What does a meeting like that look like? Below is a picture from Day 3 of the CFAN Crusade:
God is on the move in Kansas City, Nigeria, and around the globe!
Idolatry in the West is often subtle, taking the form of addictions, money, power, etc… but in some parts of the world, the ancient forms of idolatry spoken of by the Old Testament prophets are still being practiced, and as people come to the Lord, they literally cast their idols and ritual instruments away from them to be burned!
Daniel Kolenda described for us the atmosphere of curses and idolatry in Afikpo, Nigeria, where he and Reinhard Bonnke preached in October:
We were in a city called Afikpo in Nigeria. It is a remote African village that has been steeped in idolatry, occultism and witchcraft for many generations. The Animists were really the most powerful contingent in the region and also very violent. They had many bizarre and superstitious beliefs that led them to bury and burn people alive for various reasons as well as extremely brutal puberty rites. The witchdoctors kept the people in fear and manipulated and extorted from them through fear. They also were known to kill missionaries, including one top Nigerian bishop who recently came to Afikpo and was killed by the animists who cut him into little cubes.
During five different meetings, Evangelists Reinhard Bonnke and Daniel Kolenda preached the blood of Jesus, repentance, redemption, and actively confronted and broke the curses and idols of the region. Here is part of Kolenda’s account of what happened and its significance:
Every night I called for the people to bring any items associated with idolatry, witchcraft, or occultism to be burned. It’s hard to explain the significance of this. The people are morbidly afraid of the witch-doctors. They believe that if they disrespect these “sacred” items, they will come under a curse or even drop dead. To bring them to be burned publicly is an incredible statement of defiance towards their traditional beliefs and faith towards God. That is what it really is more than anything… a statement; to the people, to the witch-doctors, to the principalities, to God and to themselves, that they are through with these occultic beliefs and practices. It is powerful. This same thing was done in Acts 19 by Paul.
Every night the people brought piles of these items to be burned. The flames would leap 15 feet and higher into the air as these things went up in smoke and then the people would dance until the dust from the field filled the air like a thick fog. The people were rejoicing with great joy that freedom had come to their city.
Following are a picture and video of this momentous event taken by Daniel Kolenda:
The unparalleled freedom that comes through casting aside and even destroying the idols that stand between us and an uninhibited heart-connection to Messiah comes with a joy and lightness that is difficult to imagine until we follow through on our commitment to having no other gods before Him. Is there anything that we have been holding onto that steals our hearts away from devotion to the Lord? Is living wholly for God and receiving true satisfaction and freedom something which is worth exchanging for the bondage and addictions of the idols in our lives? May we take courage from our African brothers and sisters in the Lord, and burn the idols in our lives.
Daniel Kolenda, a new writer here at VOR, is a fifth generation Pentecostal preacher who received a calling to take the gospel to the nations as a young boy. In 1997 his life was radically changed after an extraordinary encounter with God’s power at the Brownsville Revival. After attending the Brownsville Revival School of Ministry and Southeastern University, Daniel began to travel with evangelist Reinhard Bonnke as an assistant, seeing multiplied thousands of people physically healed and put their faith in Jesus. He is now on the senior leadership team for Christ For All Nations, and regularly preaches at CFAN crusades.
What does an African CFAN crusade look like? The following video shows the crowd at a meeting in Nsukka, Nigera during a message from Dan on who Jesus is (an estimated 300,000 people were in attendance):
I was raised in a pastor’s home. In fact I am a fifth-generation pastor’s kid. I cannot remember a time in my life when I did not love Jesus. I was born again when I was 6 years old and have followed Him ever since.
What do you believe God has called you to do?
As a young boy I felt the calling to preach the Gospel. I used to ride on my bicycle from house to house knocking on doors and witnessing to anyone who would listen. As a teenager I started street preaching. Today, I do the same thing I have always done, just on a larger scale. Along with the preaching of the Gospel, I have a desire to inspire and equip people to do the same. This is done through conferences, writing and any other means available.
What drives you?
I just want to hear Jesus say, “Well done”.
You preach to hundreds of thousands of people at Reinhard Bonnke’s gospel crusade events in Africa. Describe what that’s like.
Contrary to what many people imagine, I do not feel nervous at all. Instead there is an overwhelming sense of responsibility. To stand before half-a-million people and realize that, for many, I might be the last chance they have to find the “Narrow Gate,” is a sobering reality. But when I hear the massive crowd praying with me, receiving Jesus, many with tears, I feel as though all of Heaven is watching and listening. It is without question the greatest privilege in this world to lead millions of people to Jesus. My eyes well up with tears just thinking about it.