Examples of People and Movements Towards Reaching the World
As you read this, you may be thinking, “None of this would ever work.” The world could never be reached with the gospel, but the Bible does say that before the end, the gospel would be preached to every nation. There has been many people and organizations that have stepped out in faith and taken God at His word to see the world reached in this generation. We will look at several of these and see how God used them to make an impact on the world!
The First Century Church
Christ had spent three years of His life pouring into His disciples and followers. He then died and rose again, then ascended to heaven. As He ascended, He left His disciples, followers and every Christian a command to obey. That is to take the gospel to the whole world. As you look at the first century church, you could say they did more for world evangelism than any succeeding generation. What is sad about this is how limited their travel and abilities were to get the gospel to places and yet, they went. The task of world evangelism is not complete and will not be complete until we get serious about the need in the world! Let’s look at the early church and how God used it in such a great way to reach the world with the gospel.
- First there was a calling out for separation from ordinary lifestyles— They were set apart for a specific purpose and task. They gave up their lives in order to serve Christ. They gave up all for Christ. Today, so many Christians never give up their life. They still say, “I will follow Christ,” but do what they want to do. Truthfully, we should give up our lives and die to ourselves and follow after Christ!
- They had a close attachment to Christ— Many of the early Christians spent three years traveling around and ministering with Christ. They were attached to Christ and grew by being close to Him. They detached themselves from everything else and attached themselves to Christ and His teachings. If we truly attached ourselves to Christ instead of the world, we would be drawn closer to Him and to the truth that the world is in need of the gospel. As we draw close to Christ, His love constrains us to go forth and preach the gospel! We must detach from the world and attach our lives to Christ!
- They were taught brotherly love by Christ— He had taught them not only to love Him but to love one another. The Christian life is a life of love—Loving Christ and loving the brethren. The love these men had for each other was cultivated by close fellowship with each other. Today, we rarely have time to fellowship with each other and cultivate our love for one another because it’s all about me and what I need and not about what others need. We must put our needs aside and start loving one another, so we can encourage each other to good works and reaching the world with the gospel!
- They were taught and shown how to have faith— Christ taught them and showed them that faith was a key in the Christian life. They must live lives of faith in order to see the power of God on their lives. This faith carried the early church to the ends of the earth. This faith kept the church going in spite of persecution. We need to learn today to live lives of faith. To know what faith is and to have faith in God. If we realize that faith is as necessary today as it was in the early church, we could and can once again see God move in the way He did in the early church!
- They needed continued and united prayer— After Christ ascended, they spent ten days in purposeful and powerful prayer before Pentecost happened. They prayed and prayed and prayed in unity, and God responded by sending His Spirit upon them and using them to reach thousands with the gospel! We must have an outpouring of prayer today. Praying for the power of God on our lives, for God to raise up laborers and for us to see the world reached with the gospel! It does us no good to do all the rest without prayer. Oh, may we be praying Christians and praying churches!
People say it is not possible to see God work like He did in the early church, but we still serve the same God. The Bible says in Hebrews 13:8, “Jesus Christ the same yesterday, and to day, and for ever.” God has not changed. We have changed. But if we would get back to giving our lives to God, living a life of faith and seriously praying, we could see the same power they saw at Pentecost! It starts with you, as an individual. We must get our hearts right and seek to see God in our lives before we can see the world reached with the gospel. The missionary problem is a personal problem and starts at the individual level!