Michael Oh, Lausanne Movement Executive Director, shares on the topic of the world apart from the Gospel to begin week 3 of the Lausanne Global Prayer Focus. Learn more at http://www.lausanne.org/pray.
Why do we care that there are people without the Gospel? The reasons are varied, and in some cases obvious. As we contemplate three of them, let’s also be motivated to increase our prayers for the world without the Gospel. John Piper has written, “Mission exists because worship does not,” making the point that one day, all mission will cease, but that worship of God will resound throughout Eternity. Mission serves worship; it is the winning of worship for God from all nations. It is the heralding of the good news that Jesus is Davidic King, that his reign has begun, and that soon his reign will reach its full power as promised throughout the Old Testament when he comes again. Therefore, we call people around the world to submit to and give due worship to King Jesus. This desire to see God glorified by all nations, to see Him receive the worship due him should compel believers to make him known throughout the earth.
We also care that the world is without the Gospel because men and women without Christ are facing an eternity of suffering apart from God. More than any other suffering taking place on the planet, the thought of an eternity without God should break our hearts. Just as Paul’s heart for his fellow Israelites who didn’t know Christ was filled with “great sorrow and unceasing anguish,” (Romans 9:2) and just as God desires that none “should perish, but that all should reach repentance” (2 Peter 3:0), the heart of every believer should be stirred for those who are without the hope of Christ. Remembering that we too were once lost, without hope, and in need of a Savior should fuel our desire to see the Gospel go forward.
Finally, we care that the world is without the Gospel of God not only because we are concerned about eternal suffering, but also with present suffering. We see a world of man-made systems and worldviews that allow, if not actually promote, exploitation and violence against men and women, young and old. Only when the Gospel breaks forth in the hearts of people will true, lasting, God-honoring care for humanity be possible. There is no other worldview than the biblical one which declares, “God made us in his image. He loves us. Don’t ruin the image of God or exploit those made in his image!”
As we lift up our eyes from looking inward – being people shaped by the Gospel – and look outward at the world without the Gospel, pray that the Lord will break into your own heart and give you a heart like his for the world. Pray, too, that he would use you in his plan for redeeming men and women who will join in the eternal song of praise to the Lamb who purchased us all with his blood. (From Lausanne).
P.S: By the way this Sunday is the Global Prayer Day 2013 and Pentecost Day at the same time! Would you join us in praying for the nations; and the advance of world missions? Thank you- Joey.Z