My dear friends, I have often been challenged by the necessity of the Gospel to be shared among the nations. As many of you know, I have a heart to share the Gospel to the people of Japan. In a recent article written by a missionary in Mongolia, a question asked by a young pastor:
“If Jesus came 2000 years ago, why has it taken so long for our people to hear about him? What about my father, my grandfather, my ancestors?”
These words pierce my heart and they challenge my very existence and purpose as a disciple of Jesus. Yet, this is not the first time I’ve heard this question asked. I’ve heard it asked by many throughout the world – why has it taken so long for the news of Jesus Christ to reach them… … …2000 years after he came? History is full of examples of people who have sought after the truth and they have been denied. Here are just two examples:
Mongolia: In the 13th century, Kublai Khan (c. 1260-1294) issued a request to Pope Gregory X to send him 100 missionaries. Nobody ever went. By the 16th century, they had converted to Buddhism. What would have happened, if missionaries went to Mongolia at the request of an emperor?
Japan: At the end of World War II, General Douglas MacArthur was involved in the rebuilding of the Japanese government system with influential ties to the Japanese Imperial system. MacArthur sent a request for 1,000 missionaries, a request that was largely unanswered. As such, the potential impact upon a volatile generation of Japanese was lost. Now, the Japanese Church struggles with Christianity making up less than 1% of the population (and decreasing).
“Japan is a spiritual vacuum. If you do not fill it with Christianity, it will be filled with Communism. Send me 1,000 missionaries.” (General Douglas MacArthur)
Jesus Christ came to the world 2000 years ago and today, there is much to be desired for those who have yet to hear the good news of the Gospel…let alone hear the name of the Saviour, Jesus.
How, then, can they call on the one they have not believed in? And how can they believe in the one of whom they have not heard? And how can they hear without someone preaching to them? And how can they preach unless they are sent? As it is written, “How beautiful are the feet of those who bring good news!” (Romans 10:14-15)