Fellow Servant & Pilgrim,
HE IS NOT HERE! HE IS RISEN! THE RESURRECTED CHRIST IS RISEN INDEED! BLESSED ASSURANCE—JESUS IS STILL ALIVE!
The “last day” outpouring of the Spirit is upon us—all around the world we are reading and hearing reports that speak of a resurrected Christ, the “King of kings and Lord of lords” still actively pursuing “other sheep” through His dedicated servants! Today, approximately 254 plans to evangelize the world by 2000 A.D. are still in force—down from 788 global plans throughout history (Missions Frontiers 1-2/89). Missions leaders, including Dr. J. Philip Hogan, Director of Foreign Missions of the Assemblies of God, are now talking seriously about “closure”—finishing the task of world evangelization before the Second Coming of Christ … “and this Gospel of the Kingdom shall be preached in all the world for a witness unto all nations (“ethnos”—where we get the word ethnic—a “people group”—16,000 yet need to hear the claims of Christ) and then shall the end come!” Truly, we are in the DECADE OF THE HARVEST!
Does the prospect look possible? From this verse, “closure” and the Second Coming of Christ are inseparably linked together. Oh, that the Church would hasten His coming!
According to Dr. David Barrett, a world renowned missiologist, the following statistics are noted in the Missions Frontiers and International Bulletin magazines:
- 4,000 sending agencies
- 56 global ministries
- 262,300 foreign missionaries (approximately 69,000 from N. America)
- 45 million computers are being used for mission service with 56 global networks for mission exchange of information and targeting mission fields
- “Power evangelism” has spread globally (57,000 Christians are being baptized in the Holy Spirit daily—he lists 351,166,600 Pentecostals/Charismatics worldwide—others say around 270 million!)
- 8 billion dollars are given yearly to foreign missions
Negatively, he states ecclesiastical crime has risen to dangerous levels, internal squabbles plague most branches of the Christian world, and only 1% of the entire Christian’s total income benefits the non-Christian world (International Bulletin, 1/89, p. 20)! Statistics by Fred Cottriel, Secretary of Foreign Missions Relations of the Assemblies of God, states that 80% of the foreign missions giving through the Assemblies of God is carried by 20% of our Fellowship with a total outlay of about 5% of the churches’ total income. Only 30% of our churches have missions conventions. The World Mission Teams’ Status Report on the Great Commission (1987) calculates that by 2000 A.D., it would take 1.6 to 8 trillion dollars to reach an estimated 3.9 billion people for Christ, at the rate of Church growth (78,000 daily) and the daily foreign mission costs of $3,288,000. This would require our total U.S. foreign missions budget for 1,333 years! Money alone, however, is not the answer.
In January 5-8, 314 mission leaders from 50 countries who met in Singapore said it could be done! This conference precedes the Manila Lausanne II Conference coming in July (theme: Calling the whole Church to take the whole Gospel to the whole world). Their sole aim was to plan for the completing of the task by 2000 A.D. By then there will be 6 billion people in the world, 433 “megacities” with populations over 1 million, 22 of which will have populations of over 10 million, with New Age cults and Eastern religions now embracing 20% of the world’s population, and Christians spread over 20,000 denominations!
G. Edward Nelson, previous long-time secretary of Foreign Missions of the Assemblies of God, recounts in Mountain Movers (8/88) that the first World Missionary Conference in Edinburgh in 1910 heard the cry, “Let the world hear, but once!” He states that the reason for the decline of the missionary thrust was that the leadership of that time ignored what we believe to be the Indispensable: “Not by might, nor by power, but by my Spirit, saith the Lord of hosts” (Zech. 4:6). They called for “the best minds” to do the task of world evangelization rather than men and women ordained and set apart by the Spirit of God in the power of His gifts and ministries. Emphasis was now to “Christianize” in social and humanitarian reform. The lost-ness of man was relegated to material and physical needs rather than to his eternal separation from the heart of a loving God!
His Commission is still to the whole world … with or without a visa! His truth is marching on! Ralph Winters, director of the U.S. Center for World Mission in Pasadena, states, “… in 40 A.D. there were 40,000 non-Christians for each committed Christian believer. In 1900 there were only 100 per believer. In January 1989 there are less than 10 non-Christians per evangelical believer (only six in Unreached Groups)” (Missions Frontiers, 1/89, p. 3). Propelled by the love of Christ and empowered by His Spirit, we can together fulfill His purpose and call to us all!
I close with a statement by J. Philip Hogan in the same August, 1988 issue of Mountain Movers,
Can you begin to imagine what would happen if 120 or more Assemblies of God organizations around the world joined their talents, their personnel, and their resources for a common, directed effort to win souls and establish churches? Can you begin to imagine what would happen if this vast throng of 22 to 24 million Spirit-anointed people caught a common Holy Ghost compassion for the lost of this world and were divinely inspired to finish the task of evangelizing the world before A.D. 2000? Can you imagine what would happen if 11,000 U.S. Assemblies of God churches began to fervently pray to this end?
We now have the technological capability to reach every lost person on earth. We now have the urging of the Holy Spirit to try. And we now have a deadline. Will you help us?
Amen! May the God of all grace fill your hearts with His truth and love, comfort your hearts during your moments of despair and frustration, inspire you to preach and teach this eternal Word in the power of the Spirit, infuse you with boldness and wisdom as you care for His flock, and cause you to know Him more intimately through which His Life and Ministry will flow. You are in our hearts and prayers! Jesus is Lord! Maranatha!
Serving Christ as Lord by His sovereign grace,
Dr. Reuben & Carmen Sequeira
II Thess. 2:16,17