When I took Kairos*, one of our lessons shared the response of an Asian man who, upon hearing the Good News of Jesus, was transformed. His initial reaction was one of celebration and thanksgiving, that travelers literally crossed the world in order to share with his community the life-changing message of Jesus. But as he pondered more and more about the history of the church and the history of missions in particular, he turned to the missionary band that had brought the message of Jesus to his village. He had but one question: “How long have you known?” Gradually he put two and two together. he figured out that Jesus had come 2000 years ago and that the community of Christ had been crisscrossing the planet for hundreds of years, yet, this was his first chance to hear. Honestly, he was a bit ticked that it had taken so long. He asked, “What about all of my family members who have already perished without knowing the Gospel?”
It’s a good question, right? In fact, we should probably ask of one another, “How long have we known… and who have we told?”
The way I see it, we honestly can’t afford to lose even one additional soul in attrition at our churches throughout this land or any other. It doesn’t matter to me if we prioritize going to the shores of countries, or going inland to the interiors of nations. It doesn’t matter if we go to people groups, or if we’d rather talk about a church in every village of 1000 people or more. No matter how we slice it, we’d better get serious about finishing the task of sharing Christ’s story of redemption or there are going to be a multitude of people asking, “How long have you known?”
So the question is – what would it take for you and your family to get involved? And if you got involved, what might you be able to do? Pray? Welcome diaspora/refugees/immigrants to your community in Christ’s name? Help send a missionary to an unreached tribe or nation? …or go yourself, in the Name of Christ, to carry the Gospel firsthand? Time could be short. And even if the world doesn’t end for a while, each person’s life is significant. What first step might you take to begin multiplying disciples and churches around the world? To whom much is given, much will be expected. Let’s roll.
*Kairos is a mobilization course by Simply Mobilizing. Learn more at https://simplymobilizing.us/kairos-course/. Another such course can be found at https://momentumyes.com/.
If I’m not mistaken, this story is from the ministry of Hudson Taylor, and written in “The China Inland Mission and China’s Open Century”, not sure which volume. The Chinese man asked Taylor, “If your people have known this Good News for so many hundreds of years, how come it has taken you so long to come here?” A really challenging question, not just for Hudson Taylor, but for all of us!