The first scourge is Covid-19. As of this writing, over one-half million individuals have the disease and 25,000 have died from it, with numbers rising daily. An unseen enemy stalks the earth.
- The response: The entire world is in a panic and chaos reigns. Fear grips the globe. Schools, churches, and businesses have closed. Wall Street and Main Street are suffering, and massive sacrifices are being made to stop the spread of the disease. Social distancing is the new norm. Governments and media from around the world are focused on the situation.
- The result: Unintentional physical death and economic destruction.
There is a second scourge far greater than the first: abortion. Over 42 million abortions took place in the world in 2019, with just under one million happening in the U.S. Since Roe v. Wade in 1973, 62 million abortions have occurred in America. Each unborn baby already has unique DNA, making him/her distinct from the mother. A child that God destined before the foundation of the earth is callously killed, and in many cases for convenience’s sake.
- The response: Half the world doesn’t care that life is snuffed out in a mother’s womb. Pro-life legislation is far removed from most governments’ actions and many church parishioners vote for their pocketbooks over biblical values.
- The result: Intentional physical death.
But there is a third scourge far greater than the other two: failure of Christians to “go” and reach the unreached with the gospel. There are 17,000 people groups in the world of which 7,000 are unreached (less than two percent evangelized) and 1,500 of those are completely unengaged (no missionary, no Bible in their language, no Christian witness). Approximately, 7.7 billion people are alive today; 42 percent are unreached or totally unengaged. Approximately 200,000 people enter eternity every day; almost half of which never heard the gospel message once!
- The response: Less than 2 percent of Christian global missions resources (human and financial) go to these areas of the world. The vast majority of Christian resources goes to local outreach, where everyone already has adequate access to the gospel. Comfort, security, materialism, and apathy has desensitized the American church to this greatest of all scourges.
- The result: Intentional eternal death.
Three scourges—all worthy of addressing. However, the third scourge which impacts eternity the most receives the least amount of focus and effort. I’m reminded of two quotes that apply:
“I believe that in each generation God has called enough men and women to evangelize all the yet unreached tribes of the earth. It is not God who does not call. It is man who will not respond!” –Isobel Kuhn, missionary to China and Thailand
“Somewhere along the way we have subtly and tragically taken the costly command of Christ to go, baptize, and teach all nations and mutated it into a comfortable call for Christians to come, be baptized, and listen in one location.” –David Platt, pastor and author
***Our author, Bob Stock, is a layperson and chairman of the missions committee at Raleigh First Assembly in Raleigh, NC.