Her wizened face expressed bewilderment; “I don’t understand, who are you talking about?” I was taking a stroll with some of our team members in the outskirts of Bali’s capital, Denpasar. This was the third person I had stopped to talk with and her answer proved to be the same as the previous two responses.
“Have you ever heard of a person called Jesus?”
This lady and numerous others, who I conversed with during my early morning walk, do not live in some remote jungle village, cut off from modern communications. In fact, satellite dishes were located nearby. I tried to explain the Gospel the best I could to her, speaking in English through an Indonesian translator, who in turn translated my words into the Balinese language. We prayed, but I left our brief encounter staggered by the enormity of the task to bring the Gospel to “every creature” (Mark 16:15). Paul wrote that God was in Christ reconciling the world to Himself, not imputing the world’s sins and trespasses to them, and He has committed to us the word of reconciliation (see 2 Corinthians 5:19). Notice God has not committed the task to angels or to a few uniquely chosen people; we are to give the world this word of reconciliation. He has committed this word to “us”, that is us the believers, we who have received Jesus Christ.
It’s time to expose the myth. As I travel across America, Canada and Europe I hear the notion that there is no urging because the whole world is evangelized and everyone has heard the Gospel. Usually people base this idea on their perception that since the Gospel is preached on satellite TV that means that everyone in the world has heard it. Heads up everyone! Less than 5% of the world’s population has English as their mother tongue. Thank God for the reach of TV, radio and every other means of mass communication, but to get the Gospel to every person it will take a lot more.
Are you willing to allow yourself to be inspired for this task? Jesus so inspired the apostles that every one of them was ready to give their life for the proclamation of the Gospel. The apostle Paul and his team members were like people possessed with their assignment. The apostle wrote, “I am a debtor to the Greek, to the Barbarians, to the Romans, both to the wise to the unwise” (Romans 1:14).
Don’t believe the myth that everyone has heard the Gospel. There are still many who have not heard the name of Jesus, estimates range from 1-2 billion. Then, in addition, there are one or two billion more who have only received an institutionalized view of the Christian religion, but never heard the Good News of what God has done in Christ. How do we respond? Get involved in sharing Jesus wherever you can! Invest your money into the Gospel! Pray that the Gospel will have free course! Send others, who are able to go, where maybe you yourself cannot go!
– Peter Youngren