A Day for the Unreached
Pentecost! What a glorious day!
Jesus’ disciples, his closest friends and followers, were all gathered together when the promised Holy Spirit came and filled them with God’s power! They spilled out onto the streets, speaking in languages that were not their own but could be understood by people from every nation.
Crowds gathered, Peter started preaching, and before you know it, another 3,000 people came to faith in Jesus!
Pentecost is about more than numbers; it’s about Spirit-filled mission.
Already a celebration on the Jewish calendar, Pentecost drew people from all over the known world to Jerusalem— “devout men from every nation under heaven” (Acts 2:5). Add in travelers, businesspeople, Roman officials, Jewish religious leaders, and the pilgrims to the Temple, and you had the perfect hotspot for spreading good news.
At least 16 people or linguistic groups are listed in Acts 2:8-11. They came from Asia (Minor and Major), Africa, and Europe. They spoke languages that ordinary fishermen from Galilee may never have heard of—let alone be able to speak to them with power and joy to communicate the hope of Christ.
Those who heard and believed in Jesus that day were the first to carry Good News to the least-reached. After all, beyond the small band of Jesus followers in Jerusalem—everyone and everywhere was “unreached”!
Today, a third of us on this planet are without the Good News of Jesus Christ.
A third of us. One in three. Around three billion people. And 7,419 people groups or 42% of the 17,468 groups in our world. Unreached!
People who have not yet heard the message of salvation and hope that Peter preached. They are waiting for someone to speak to their heart, mind, and soul, to bring the Gospel in a way they can understand and embrace. Poverty, politics, culture, prejudice, geography, language, accessibility, belief systems, isolation—so many factors keep people from hearing, understanding, and accepting Christ’s offer of salvation and eternal life.
While the challenge seems enormous, God’s people are working diligently to accomplish the task. Individuals, churches, and agencies are aligned in their vision to take the Gospel to every people and language. Many missions-minded agencies, including Global Disciples, work in concert as the Alliance for the Unreached. Together, we mark Pentecost as the International Day for the Unreached. This year, that’s Sunday, May 28.
Just as Peter and the disciples presented Jesus Christ to people “from every nation under heaven” that day, we want to do all we can to do the same for those still waiting.
One simple step is awareness—getting the word out, helping our brothers and sisters in Christ understand that so many people live without knowledge or access to the saving grace of Jesus. We use a simple mark of three lines as a reminder. Check out A Third of Us to learn more and join the movement.
Another step is prayer. Never underestimate what God will do when His people pray! Just ask Peter and the disciples. Pray for God to move among least-reached people. Pray for the Spirit to draw them to Christ. Pray for God’s people to engage with them, no matter where they are. Pray for organizations and agencies focused on taking the Gospel to the ends of the earth. Many resources are available to help—including several from Global Disciples here.
Next is understanding. Learn more and get to know the unreached peoples of the world. Remember, they are real people who face the challenges of life everyday as you do, but without knowing Jesus. Get to know their names, what they face, where they live, how they can be reached, etc. A good place to start is Joshuaproject.net (they even have an app!).
The Alliance for the Unreached also offers a Great Commission Action Guide. Something you can use personally, with your family or a study group, and with your church. The sign-up form is at the bottom of this page.
Finally, don’t be discouraged by the task. Today, by conservative estimates 3,000 people an hour are coming to faith in Jesus, every day, all over the world! That exceeds Pentecost by 69,000 people each day!
God has promised—in fact, he’s even given us a sneak peek—that one day, there will be people from every tribe, and language, and nation before His eternal throne in worship and praise (Revelation 7:9-10). His promises are true and trustworthy; they never fail.
Here and now, in our day, we live on mission to bring people to Jesus Christ, so they can be part of that eternal celebration. So, for now, we remember Pentecost, and celebrate the power of God poured out to reach the unreached.
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Subscribe to Global Disciple’s Stories between now and May 28, 2023, and be entered in the drawing to win one of 10 copies of the book, Ordinary Disciples, Extraordinary Influence—signed by the authors! Names will be drawn on May 2 (for all April entries), and May 30 (for all May entries).
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