Over 3 billion.
It’s a number I have been contemplating over recently. It’s huge. It’s 3,000,000,000 and more. That’s nine zeros plus digits. We can’t even think about that many people in one location. Two-thousand people in a church is huge. Three billion is more than enormous. It’s Massive.
That number represents how many have not heard the gospel today. I had to ask myself this week, what have I done to bring this number down? Not much. What have I done to share the gospel? Not much. What have I done to save my friends, neighbors, and co-workers from eternal punishment in hell? Not much. In fact, I would daresay that we all have not done much in the mission that we have been commanded to accomplish. In fact, not much might be an understatement in describing our efforts. It seems that we have decided to sit in our own churches, perhaps give money to missions, and feel that we are doing our part in the mission of sharing the gospel around the world. Perononally, we believe we have not been called to missions or evangelism — that’s for others. Yet how can we be so blind? How can we believe we have been “called” to apathy, or “called” to not share the gospel, or “called” to sit at home while we pray God doesn’t send us into the mission field?
What Are We Doing?
Why are we not all praying as believers that God would send us out into all the earth? Why do we not understand the command — not “call” — that Jesus Christ has given us? It is a call to “go into all the world” and to share the gospel and “make disciples”? What have we missed? How can we sit satisfied in our church pew while over 3 billion people are dying and going to hell? Too many sit around worrying about the tribe in Boombaya who have never heard the gospel and wondering if they are going to hell and if they are innocent before God. It is simple: they are without excuse (see Romans 1.) They have rejected God and are in fact heading to hell — and what are we doing to save them? There are those here in the United States who have not heard the gospel — what are we doing to save them? We must stop worrying and start preaching to a dying world.
Grasp the Gospel
Sadly, this number of 3 billion is not overwhelming to us. The mission does not seem urgent. 3 billion dying does not seem serious in our comfortable state. What is wrong with us? Why is it that the church here in the United States is not exploding as the church in China is? Perhaps it is simply this: we have decided that we no longer need to hear the gospel each and every day.
“To preach the gospel to yourself,” says Jerry Bridges in his book The Discipline of Grace, “then, means that you continually face up to your own sinfulness and then flee to Jesus through faith in His shed blood and righteous life. It means that you appropriate, again by faith, the fact that Jesus fully satisfied the law of God, that he is your propitiation, and that God’s holy wrath is no longer directed toward you.”
When we understand this, and when we do it each day, it will not only change our lives — it will change the world. Just think of the early Christians. A small group — smaller than any megachurch. They changed their world not through television, or radio, or the internet. I’m not saying those are bad in any way, but if we just think — they changed the world because the went. They were commanded to go and go they did. They transformed their Judea, their Jerusalem, their Samaria, their world. We can do the same by starting here in the hardest region on earth by sharing with those who will we see on a daily basis. We need to have a passion for seeking and saving the lost. It starts with preaching the gospel to yourself, then to others around the world. Just one person can change the world.
We can do it.