Summary: A sermon on missions and the local church.
Missions is Our Primary Orientation
Series: First Things
We said that the Bible is our ultimate authority. Therefore
1. we will trust it and teach it as absolute truth.
2. we will submit to it and evaluate our thoughts and plans, our behavior, words, and church (in all its aspects) by it.
We said that the Gospel is our primary message. Therefore:
1. we will pointedly preach repentance and forgiveness of sin in Jesus Christ alone.
2. we will be a soul-winning church.
We said that Discipleship is our primary purpose. Therefore:
1. we will focus on helping Christians grow up spiritually.
2. we will invest in small groups and one-on-one mentoring.
67% of the world’s population does not identify as Christian.
According to the Joshua Project, 40% of the world’s population live in unreached people groups.
66,000 people die everyday in unreached people groups.
If the world were a village of 100 people:
• 60 would be from Asia
• 12 would be European in origin
• 15 would have come from the Western Hemisphere (9 Latin Americans, 5 North Americans, and 1 from Oceania)
• 13 would be from Africa
3. Source: UN Department of Economic and Social Affairs, Population Division, "World Population Prospects: The 2000 Revision."
Sex / Gender:
• 50 would be female
• 50 would be male
4. Source: U.S. Bureau of the Census International Data Base, Table 094 : Midyear Population by Age and Sex 2001.
• 80 would be non-white
• 20 would be white
5. Source: U.S. Bureau of the Census International Data Base, Table 001 : Total Midyear Population 2001, assuming the populations of South America, Asia, and Africa are "non-white" and those of North America, Europe, and Oceania are "white."
• 67 would be non-Christian
• 33 would label themselves as "Christian"
6. Source: Britannica Book of the Year 1999, "Religious Population of the World, 1998," reprinted at infoplease.com , using numbers from the "Christians" heading only for the Christian percentage.
Life and death
• 1 would die within the year
• 2 would give birth within the year
7. Source: U.S. Census Bureau, World Vital Events Per Time Unit 2001.
Center of population:Two-thirds of the world’s population -- more than 3.2 billion people -- live in the 10/40 Window.
Unreached and unevangelized: 95% of the people living in the 10/40 Window are unevangelized. Many have never heard the Gospel message even once. There are either no Christians or not enough of a Christian movement in many cultures of the 10/40 Window to carry out vibrant near-neighbor evangelism. If those groups are to be evangelized, believers will need to leave their own culture to enter another where they will seek to plant the gospel. Such cross-cultural evangelism is required because there are people groups with no church movements that are understandable or relevant to them.
The statistics of the numbers of non-Christians can be staggering [ fate of the unevangelized? ]
• 865 million unreached Muslims or Islamic followers in 3330 cultural sub-groupings
• 550 million unreached Hindus in 1660 cultural sub-groups
• 150 million unreached Chinese in 830 groups
• 275 million unreached Buddhists in 900 groups
• 2550 unreached tribal groups (which are mainly animistic) with a total population of 140 million
• Forming a smaller -- though important -- unreached group are the 17 million Jews scattered across 134 countries
• Good news: Missions researcher David Barrett says the country with the most rapid Christian expansion ever is China where there are 10,000 new Christian converts every day.
1A. The birthplace of missions is the local church.
1B. The local church was commissioned to take the Gospel. Matthew 28:18-20 NKJV And Jesus came and spoke to them, saying, "All authority has been given to Me in heaven and on earth. (19) Go therefore and make disciples of all the nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, (20) teaching them to observe all things that I have commanded you; and lo, I am with you always, even to the end of the age." Amen.
2C. It’s reach is the entire world. Luke 24:47 NKJV and that repentance and remission of sins should be preached in His name to all nations, beginning at Jerusalem.
NOTE: Missions is the sending forth of commissioned ministers to evangelize the lost and establish local churches.
NOTE: The local church is more than merely a convenient way to refer to a group of Christians.
2B. Missions is the outgrowth of healthy ministry.
2A. The “regions beyond” are the mission field. Acts 1:8 NKJV But you shall receive power when the Holy Spirit has come upon you; and you shall be witnesses to Me in Jerusalem, and in all Judea and Samaria, and to the end of the earth."