Reaching the least reached
Why does Hills Bible Church exist? What has our Lord called us to do? What will we corporately give account to Him for?
Our vision statement says, we exist to glorify God by making, maturing, and multiplying disciples of Jesus Christ in our local communities and to the least reached peoples of the earth.
This visionary action statement relies heavily on the authoritative charge that Jesus has given to His people in Matthew 28:18-19, where He said:
All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to me. Go therefore and make disciples of all nations ….
And as Pastor Craig has pointed out time and again in his messages this year from the book of Acts, Jesus, just prior to ascending (Acts 1:8), repeated this commission with the words:
But you will receive power when the Holy Spirit has come upon you, and you will be my witnesses in Jerusalem and in all Judea and Samaria, and to the end of the earth.
But we can go back even further to the great promise to Abraham that his descendants would become God’s blessing to all the families/nations of the earth. This promise of God to Abraham is described by Paul (Galatians 3:8) as ‘the gospel preached in advance to Abraham’ as God foretells how the Gentiles as well as the people of Israel would be part of His blessed people in Christ Jesus (Galatians 3:14).
So, Scripture is clear that on God’s heart is the advance of the Gospel of Jesus and His Kingdom to the ends of the earth to fulfill His promise to bless all the families of the earth. It will happen and we are a part of this great Mission of God. Our HBC vision statement recognizes this responsibility.
Much has already been accomplished in bringing the Gospel to the lost nations. Many of the unreached peoples identified in previous generations now have vibrant churches led by indigenous leaders. This fruitfulness has come because of the sacrificial commitment of the churches around the world who prayed and then sent from their own people pioneer missionaries. Some of those pioneers didn’t do so well. Some were unable to adapt, or they became sick, some even died. Yet others by faith were able to connect with the local culture in ways that made communication meaningful, and, through their lives and their words, the Gospel flowed into a new sphere. And God made it grow.
Yet, there is even a more difficult challenge for our generation. The ‘low hanging fruit’ has been harvested. The ‘high hanging fruit’ is still awaiting the Gospel to reach them and the obstacles are immense. The hindrance is not necessarily geography or even language, it’s primarily cultural distance from those who believe. How do you reach a poor Muslim woman in the slums of one of the great mega cities like Jakarta? How do you impact a Hindu businessman in the heart of India? How do you bridge the gap of understanding and centuries of family and religious tradition?
It’s obviously beyond our ability to figure it all out, so thankfully the Holy Spirit is leading this mission and He is not daunted by the task. But we must be in step with Him, heeding the words of Jesus who said to His early followers (Luke 9:23-25):
If anyone would come after me, let him deny himself and take up his cross daily and follow me. For whoever would save his life will lose it, but whoever loses his life for my sake will save it. For what does it profit a man if he gains the whole world and loses or forfeits himself.
May we be found faithful in whatever the Holy Spirit asks of us in this great mission to the nations.
Check out this short video about the task of modern missions: