quinta-feira, 14 de abril de 2011


“It Is a Privilege”
We began Gospel for Asia without any kind of plan for regular
involvement, but God soon gave us one. On one of my first
trips, I went to Wheaton, Illinois, where I called on almost all
the evangelical mission leaders. A few encouraged me—but not
one offered the money we then needed desperately to keep
going another day. The friend I stayed with, however, suggested
we start a sponsorship plan through which North American
families and individuals could support a native missionary
regularly. It turned out to be just what we needed.
The idea—to lay aside one dollar a day for a native evangelist—
gave us an instant handle for a program anyone could
understand. I asked everyone I met if he or she would help
sponsor a native missionary for one dollar a day. Some said yes,
and that is how the mission began to get regular donors.
Today, this pledge plan is still the heart of our fundraising
efforts. We send the money—100 percent of it—to the
field, sponsoring thousands of missionaries each month in
this way.
Because I was sending all the pledge money overseas, we
still were faced with the need to cover our overhead and living
expenses here in the United States. Time and time again—just
when we were at our lowest point—God miraculously intervened
to keep us and the ministry going.
One Sunday when we were down to our last dollar, I drove
our old $125 Nova to a nearby church for worship. I knew no
one and sat in the last row. When it came time to take the offering,
I quickly made an excuse to God and held on to that last
“This is my last dollar,” I prayed desperately, “and I need to
buy gas to get back home.” But knowing God loves a cheerful
giver, I stopped fighting and sacrificed that last dollar to the
As I left the church, an old man came up to me. I had never
seen him before and never have since. He shook my hand silently,
and I could feel a folded piece of paper in his palm. I knew
instinctively that it was money. In the car, I opened my hand to
find a neatly folded $10 bill.
Another afternoon, I sat grimly sulking on our sofa in Eufaula.
Gisela was busy in the kitchen, avoiding my eyes. She said nothing,
but both of us knew there wasn’t any food in the house.
“So,” said a coy voice from the enemy, “this is how you and
your God provide for the family, eh?” Up until that moment, I
don’t think I had ever felt such helplessness. Here we were, in
the middle of Oklahoma. Even if I had wanted to ask someone
for help, I didn’t know where to turn. Things had gotten so low
I had offered to get a job, but Gisela was the one who refused.
She was terrified that I would get into the world of business and
not have time to work for the native brethren. For her there was
no choice. It was to wait on the Lord. He would provide.
As the demonic voice continued to taunt me, I just sat still
under the abuse. I had used up my last bit of faith, declaring a
positive confession and praising God. Now I sat numb.
A knock came at the door. Gisela went to answer it. I was in
no mood to meet anyone. Someone brought two boxes of groceries
to our doorstep. These friends had no way of knowing our
need—but we knew the source was God.
R e v o l u t i o n i n Wo r l d Mi s s i o n s
During those days, our needs continued to be met on a dayto-
day basis, and I never had to borrow from the missionary
support funds. I am convinced now that God knew the many
trials ahead and wanted to teach us to have faith and trust in
Him alone—even when I could not see Him.
In some way, which I still do not really understand, the trying
of our faith works patience and hope into the fabric of our
Christian lives. No one, I am convinced, will follow Jesus very
long without tribulation. It is His way of demonstrating His
presence. Sufferings and trials—like persecution—are a normal
part of the Christian walk. We must learn to accept them joyfully
if we are to grow through them, and I think this is true for
ministries as well as individuals. Gospel for Asia was having its
first wilderness experience, and the Oklahoma days were characterized
by periods of the most painful waiting I had ever faced.
We were alone in a strange land, utterly at the end of our own
strength and desperately dependent on God.
Speaking engagements were hard to come by in the early days,
but they were the only way we could grow. Nobody knew my
name or the name of Gospel for Asia. I still was having a hard
time explaining what we were all about. I knew our mission in
my heart, but I hadn’t learned to articulate it yet for outsiders. In
a few short months, I had used up all the contacts I had.
Setting up a speaking tour took weeks of waiting, writing and
calling. By the winter of 1980, I was ready to start my first major
tour. I bought a budget air ticket that gave me unlimited travel
for 21 days—and somehow I managed to make appointments
in 18 cities. My itinerary would take me through the Southwest,
from Dallas to Los Angeles.
On the day of my departure, a terrible winter storm hit the
region. All the buses—including the one I planned to take from
Eufaula, Oklahoma, to Dallas—were cancelled.
Our old Nova had some engine problems, so a neighbor
“ I t I s a P r i v i l e g e ”
offered to let me use an old pickup truck without a heater. The
vehicle looked as if it could not make it to the next town, let
alone the six-hour drive to Dallas. But it was either the pickup
or nothing. If I missed my flight, the tightly packed schedule
would be ruined. I had to go now.
Doing the best I could to stay warm, I put on two pairs of
socks and all the clothing I could. But even with the extra protection,
I was on U.S. Highway 75 only a few minutes when it
appeared I had made a terrible mistake. A freezing snow covered
the windshield within minutes. After every mile I had to stop,
get out and scrape the windows again. Soon my feet and gloves
were soaked and frozen. I realized that the journey was going to
take a lot longer than the six hours I had left. In my worst scenario,
I saw the newspaper headlines reading “Preacher Freezes
to Death in Winter Storm.” My head dropped to the steering
wheel, and I cried out to God.
“Lord, if You want me to go—if You believe in this mission
and in my helping the native evangelists—please do something.”
As I looked up, I saw a miracle on the windshield. The ice
was melting rapidly before my eyes. Warmth flooded the truck.
I looked at the heater, but nothing was coming out. Outside, the
storm continued to rage. It kept up all the way to Dallas, but the
truck was always warm, and the windshield was always clear.
This miraculous start was only the beginning of blessings. For
the next 18 days, I gained new sponsors and donors in every
city. The Lord gave me favor in the eyes of all I met.
On the last day of the tour, a man in California came to the
pastor and said that God had told him to donate his second car
to me. I cancelled my airline reservation and drove all the way
home, rejoicing in the car God had provided. I received new
inspiration and instruction from God as I drove.
I followed this pattern for the next few years, surviving from
R e v o l u t i o n i n Wo r l d Mi s s i o n s
one meeting to the next, living out of the trunk of the car and
speaking anywhere I could get an invitation. All our new donors
and sponsors came from one-on-one contacts and through
the meetings. I knew there were faster, more efficient ways to
acquire new donors. Many times I studied the mass mailings
and radio/TV broadcasts of other missions, but everything they
were doing required large sums of money, which I did not have
and did not know how to get.
Eventually, we moved back to Dallas. By now I was traveling
full-time for the ministry, and the strain was taking a heavy toll
both on my family and on me. I was starting to burn out—and
I almost hated the work.
Two factors were wearing me down.
First, I felt like a beggar. It is hard on the flesh to be traveling
and asking for money day after day and night after night. It was
almost becoming a sales operation for me, and I stopped feeling
good about myself.
Second, I was discouraged by the poor response—especially
from churches and pastors. Many times it seemed as if my presence
threatened them. Where, I wondered, was the fraternal fellowship
of working together in the extension of the kingdom?
Many days I called on people for hours to get only one or two
new sponsors. Pastors and mission committees listened to me
and promised to call back, but I never heard from them again.
It always seemed as though I was competing against the building
fund, new carpets for the fellowship hall or next Saturday
night’s Jesus rock concert.
Despite the solemn message of death, suffering and need I
was presenting, people still left the meetings with laughter and
gossip on their lips. I was offended at the spirit of jocularity in
the churches: It wounded me. So many times we went out to eat
after I had just shared the tragedy of the thousands who starve
to death daily or the millions of homeless people living on the
“ I t I s a P r i v i l e g e ”
R e v o l u t i o n i n Wo r l d Mi s s i o n s
streets of Asia. Because of this, I was becoming angry and judgmental.
As I felt uglier and uglier inside, depression settled in.
Early in 1981—while driving alone between meetings in a
borrowed car near Greensboro, North Carolina—all the dark
feelings of psychological burn-out crept over me. I had a fullfledged
pity party, feeling sorry for myself and the hard life I
was leading.
With a start, I began to tremble with fear. Suddenly I felt the
presence of someone else. I realized that the Spirit of the Lord
was speaking.
“I am not in any trouble,” He chided, “that I need someone
to beg for Me or help Me out. I made no promises that I will not
keep. It is not the largeness of the work that matters, but only
doing what I command. All I ask of you is that you be a servant.
For all who join with you in the work, it will be a privilege—a
light burden for them.”
The words echoed in my mind. This is His work, I told
myself. Why am I making it mine? The burden is light. Why am
I making it heavy? The work is a privilege. Why am I making it
a chore?
I instantly repented of my sinful attitudes. God was sharing
His work with me, and He was speaking of others who would
join me. Although I still was doing the work alone, it was exciting
to think others would be joining with me and that they too
would find the burden to be light. From that moment until this,
I have not been overpowered by the burden of heading Gospel
for Asia. I find building this mission an exciting, joyful job.
Even my preaching has changed. My posture is different. Today
the pressure is gone. No more do I feel I have to beg audiences
or make them feel guilty.
Because the work of Gospel for Asia—and the whole native
missionary movement—is initiated by God, it does not need
the worries and guidance of man. Whether our goal is to sup-
port 10,000 or 10 million missionaries, whether it is working in
10 states or 100, or whether I must supervise a staff of 5 or 500, I
still can approach this work without stress. For this is His work,
and our burden is easy.
By now we had rented offices in Dallas, and the mission was
growing steadily. I sensed it was time for a big step forward and
waited upon God for a miracle breakthrough. By mid-1981 we
had hundreds of native missionaries waiting for support, and I
realized that we soon would have thousands more. I no longer
could communicate personally with every new sponsor. I knew
we had to use mass media. But I didn’t know where to begin.
Then I met Brother Lester Roloff.
Brother Roloff is now with the Lord, but during his life he
was a rugged individualist who preached his way across five
decades of outstanding Christian service. Near the end of his
life, I approached him for help in our ministry. His staff person,
in arranging the interview, said I would have only five minutes.
To his staff’s astonishment, he gave me two hours of his time.
When I told Brother Roloff about the native missionary
movement, he invited me to be his guest on Family Altar—his
daily radio broadcast. At that time we were helping only 100
native missionaries, and Brother Roloff announced over the air
that he personally was going to sponsor six more. He called me
one of the “greatest missionaries he had ever met” and urged his
listeners to sponsor native missionaries as well. Soon we were
getting letters from all over the country.
As I read the postmarks and the letters, I realized again just
how huge the United States and Canada really are. Brother
Roloff was the first Christian leader I had met who had done
what I knew we needed to do. He had learned how to speak
to the whole nation. For weeks I prayed for him, asking God
to show me how I could work with him and learn from his
“ I t I s a P r i v i l e g e ”
R e v o l u t i o n i n Wo r l d Mi s s i o n s
When the answer came, it was quite different from anything
I had expected. The Lord gave me an idea that I now realize was
unusual, almost bizarre. I would ask Brother Roloff to loan me
his mailing list and let me ask his people to sponsor a native
Trembling, I called his office and asked for another appointment.
He saw me again but was very surprised at my request,
telling me that he had never loaned his list to anyone—even
his best friends. Many agencies had asked to rent his list, but he
had always said no. I thought my cause was lost, but he said he
would pray about it.
The next day he called me back, saying that the Lord had
told him to give us his list. He also offered to write a letter of
endorsement and interview me again on the radio broadcast at
the same time the letter went out. Elated, I praised God. But I
soon learned that this was only the beginning of the miracle.
The list was a fairly large one, and printing a brochure, my
letter and his letter, together with the mailing, would cost more
money than we had. There seemed to be only one way to get it.
I would have to borrow—just this once—from the missionary
funds. I figured it out again and again. If I worked it just right,
I could get the money to the field with only a few weeks’ delay.
But I had no peace about the plan. I had always used the funds
exactly as designated.
When the time came to send the regular monies to the field,
I told our bookkeeper to hold the money for one day, and I
prayed. Still no peace. The next day I told her to hold the money
for another day, and I went back to prayer and fasting. Still no
peace. I delayed it for a third day—and still God would not
release me to use the missionary support funds.
I was miserable. Finally I decided I could not break the trust
of our donors—even for the Lord’s work. I told my secretary to
go ahead and send the missionary money.
I now realize we had gone through one of the greatest tests of
the ministry. This was it, my first chance to get a major increase
in donors and income—but it had to be done with integrity or
not at all.
A half hour after the check had gone to the field, the telephone
rang. It was from a couple whom I had met only once
before at our annual banquet in Dallas. They had been praying
about helping us, and God had laid me on their hearts. They
asked if they could come and talk to me, and they wanted to
know what I needed.
After I explained the cost involved for printing and putting
out the mailing, they agreed to pick up the entire amount—
nearly $20,000. Then the printer became so moved by the project
that he did it for free! Plainly God had been testing me, and
He miraculously showed that if we were obedient, He indeed
would provide.
The artwork went to the printers and soon printed letters
were sitting on skids, ready for the post office. I had prepared a
special radio broadcast to coincide with the arrival of the mailing—
and the broadcast tapes already had been shipped to stations
in many parts of the nation.
Timing was everything. The mail had to go on Monday. It was
Friday, and I had no undesignated money in the general fund
for the postage. This time there was no question of borrowing
the missionary money. It stayed right where it was.
I called a special prayer meeting, and we met that night in the
living room of our home. Finally the Lord gave me peace. Our
prayers of faith would be answered, I announced. After everyone
had gone home, the telephone rang. It was one of our sponsors
in Chicago. God had been speaking to her all day about giving
a $5,000 gift.
“Praise God,” I said.
That mailing incident proved to be another turning point in
“ I t I s a P r i v i l e g e ”
R e v o l u t i o n i n Wo r l d Mi s s i o n s
the history of Gospel for Asia. We received many new sponsors—
a double increase in the number of evangelists we were
able to sponsor.
In later years, other Christian leaders, like Bob Walker of
Christian Life Missions and David Mains of Chapel of the Air,
would help us in similar ways. Many of the people who joined
our ministry through those several early mailings have since
helped expand the ministry even further, giving us a base of
contacts from every state in the Union.
God had given us a clear message for the Body of Christ—a
call to recover the Church’s missionary mandate. In every place,
I preached this same message—a prophetic cry to my brothers
and sisters in Christ on behalf of the lost millions in the
Two-Thirds World. Through it, thousands of believers started
to change their lifestyles and conform to the demands of the
A New Day in Missions
Several hundred dedicated believers now were supporting
native missionaries. But despite this aura of success, many things
broke my heart, especially the condition of American Christians.
What had happened to the zeal for missions and outreach that
made this nation so great? Night after night I stood before audiences,
trying my best to communicate the global realities of our
planet. But somehow I was not getting through. I could see their
unfulfilled destiny so clearly. Why couldn’t they?
Here were people of great privilege—a nation more able,
more affluent and more free to act on the Great Commission
than any other in all of history. Yet my audiences did not seem to
comprehend this. Even more confusing to me was the fact that
in personal dealings I found my hosts to be basically fair, often
generous and spiritually gifted. Like the church in first-century
Corinth, they appeared to excel in every spiritual blessing.
Why then, I asked the Lord, was I failing to get through? If the
native missionary movement was really the will of God—and I
knew it was—then why were the people so slow to respond?
Something obviously had gone wrong. Satan had sprung a
trap, or perhaps many traps, on the minds of Western Christians.
Plainly they had lost the Gospel mandate, abdicating the heritage
of missionary outreach, the call of God that still rests on
this nation.
In my prayers I began to seek a message from God that would
bring a change in lifestyle to the American Church. It came over
a period of weeks. And that message came loud and clear:
Unless there is repentance among Christians—individually and
in concert as a community of believers—an awesome judgment
will fall on America.
I was certain then, and still am today, that God’s loving
hands of grace and forgiveness remain extended to His people.
Two reasons, it appeared to me, were the cause for the current
malaise that has fastened like cancer on American believers.
The first is historical. The second is the unconfessed sins related
to three basic iniquities: pride, unbelief and worldliness.
Historically, the Western Church lost its grip on the challenge
for world missions at the end of World War II. Ever since that
time, its moral mandate and vision for global outreach have
continued to fade. Many average North American believers can
hardly pronounce the word missionary without having cartoon
caricatures of ridiculous little men in pith helmets pop into
mind—images of cannibals with spears and huge black pots of
boiling water.
Despite a valiant rear guard action by many outstanding
evangelical leaders and missions, it has been impossible for
the Western missionary movement to keep up with exploding
populations and the new political realities of nationalism
in the Two-Thirds World. Most Christians in North America
still conceive of missions in terms of blond-haired, blue-eyed
white people going to the dark-skinned Two-Thirds World
nations. In reality, all of that changed at the end of World
War II when the Western powers lost political and military control
of their former colonies.
When I stand before North American audiences in churches
and mission conferences, people are astonished to hear the real
facts of missions today. The frontline work of missions in Asia
R e v o l u t i o n i n Wo r l d Mi s s i o n s
has been taken over almost completely by indigenous missionaries.
And the results are outstanding. Believers are shocked
to learn that native missionaries are starting hundreds of new
churches every week in the Two-Thirds World, that thousands
of people a day are being converted to Christ, and that tens of
thousands of well-qualified, spiritually able men and women
now are ready to start more mission work if we can raise their
In India, which no longer permits Western missionary evangelists,
more church growth and outreach are happening now than
at any point in our history. China is another good example of the
new realities. When the communists drove Western missionaries
out and closed the churches in 1950, it seemed that Christianity
was dead. In fact, most of the known leaders were imprisoned,
and a whole generation of Chinese pastors was killed or disappeared
in communist prisons and torture chambers.
But today communication is open again with China, and
over 500,000 underground churches reportedly have sprung up
during the communist persecution.1 Estimates of the number of
Christians today in China vary widely, but responsible authorities
place it around 50 million, compared to 1 million when
Western missionaries were driven out.2 Again, all this has happened
under the spiritual direction of the indigenous church
From a historical perspective, it is not difficult to trace how
Western thinking has been confused by the march of history.
In the early 1950s, the destruction of the colonial missionary
establishment was big news. As the doors of China, India,
Myanmar, North Korea, North Vietnam and many other newly
independent nations slammed shut on Western missionaries,
it was natural for the traditional churches and denominational
missions to assume that their day had ended.
That, of course, was in itself untrue, as evidenced by the
A N e w D a y i n Mi s s i o n s
growth of evangelical missions in the same period. But many
became convinced then that the age of missions had ended forever.
Except for the annual missions appeal in most churches,
many North American believers lost hope of seeing the Great
Commission of Christ fulfilled on a global scale. Although it
was rarely stated, the implication was this: If North American or
Western European-based mission boards were not leading the
way, then it could not happen.
Mission monies once used to proclaim the Gospel were
more and more sidetracked into the charitable social programs
toward which the new governments of the former colonies were
more sympathetic. A convenient theology of missions developed
that today sometimes equates social and political action
with evangelism.
Many of the Western missionaries who did stay on in Asia
also were deeply affected by the rise of nationalism. They began
a steady retreat from evangelism and discipleship, concentrating
for the most part on broadcasting, education, medical,
publishing, relief and social work. Missionaries, when home in
the West, continued to give the impression that indigenization
meant not only the pullout of Western personnel but also the
pullout of financial and other assistance.
In the meantime, the debate among Western leaders about
the future of missions has raged on, producing entire libraries
of books and some valuable research. Regrettably, however, the
overall result on the average Christian has been extremely negative.
Believers today have no idea that a new day in missions has
dawned or that their support of missions is more desperately
needed than ever before.
True, in many cases, it no longer is possible, for political
reasons, for Western missionaries to go overseas, but American
believers still have a vital role in helping us in the Two-Thirds
World finish the task. I praise God for the pioneer work done
R e v o l u t i o n i n Wo r l d Mi s s i o n s
by Hudson Taylor and others like him who were sent by believers
at home in the past. Now, in countries like India, we need
instead to send financial and technical support to native evangelists
and Bible teachers.
Imagine the implications of being involved in the work of the
Great Commission, of getting your church and family to join
with you in supporting native missions.
Picture this very possible scene. You finish your life on this
earth. You arrive in heaven. There, enthroned in all His glory,
is our Lord Jesus Christ. The other saints and martyrs you have
read about are there: Abraham, Moses, Peter and Paul, plus great
leaders from more recent times. Your family and loved ones who
obeyed the Gospel are also there. They are all welcoming you into
heaven. You walk around in bliss, filled with joy and praises. All
the promises of the Bible are true. The streets really are gold, and
the glory of God shines brightly, replacing the sun, moon and
stars. It is beyond the power of any man to describe.
Then, scores of strangers whom you don’t recognize start to
gather around with happy smiles and outstretched hands. They
embrace you with affection and gratitude.
“Thank you. . . . Thank you. . . . Thank you,” they repeat in a
chorus. With great surprise you ask, “What did I do? I have never
seen you before.”
They tell you the story of how they came to be in heaven,
all because your love and concern reached out to them while
they were on earth. You see that these persons come from
“every tongue and tribe,” just as the Bible says—from India,
Bangladesh, Bhutan, Sri Lanka and Malaysia.
“But what exactly did I do?” you ask. Then, like a replay of a
videotape, your mind goes back to a day in your life on earth
when a local mission coordinator came to your church. He told
you about the lost millions of Asia—about the 400 million who
have never heard the Gospel in India alone.3 He told you about
A N e w D a y i n Mi s s i o n s
R e v o l u t i o n i n Wo r l d Mi s s i o n s
the desperately poor native missionaries and challenged you to
support them.
“As a result of your support,” the crowd of Asians continues,
“one of our own—a native evangelist—came to us and preached
the Gospel of the kingdom. He lived simply, just like us, speaking
our language and dressed in our clothing. We were able to
accept his message easily. We learned for the first time about the
love of Jesus, who died on the cross for us, and how His blood
redeemed us from sin, Satan and death.”
As the crowd finishes, several whole families come up to you.
You can see the tenderness and gratefulness on their faces as
well. They join the others, taking you in their arms and thanking
you again.
“How can we ever express our appreciation for the love and
kindness you showed by supporting us on the earth as we struggled
in the service of the Lord? Often we went without food.
Our children cried for milk, but we had none to give. Unknown
and forsaken by our own people, we sought to witness to our
own people who had never heard the Gospel. Now they are here
in eternity with us.
“In the middle of our suffering, you came into our lives with
your prayers and financial support. Your help relieved us so
much—making it possible for us to carry on the work of the
“We never had a chance to see you face-to-face in the world.
Now we can see you here and spend all eternity rejoicing with
you over the victories of the Lord.”
Now Jesus Himself appears. You bow as He quotes the familiar
Scripture verses to you: “I was an hungered, and ye gave me
meat: I was thirsty, and ye gave me drink: I was a stranger, and ye
took me in: naked, and ye clothed me. . . . Verily I say unto you,
Inasmuch as ye have done it unto one of the least of these my
brethren, ye have done it unto me” (Matthew 25:35–36, 40).
Is this just a fanciful story, or will it be reality for many thousands
of North American Christians? I believe it could happen
as Christians arrive in heaven and see how they have laid up
treasure where moth and rust cannot corrupt.
Every time I stand before an audience, I try early in my message
to ask two very important questions that every Christian
needs to ask himself:
• Why
do you think God has allowed you to be born in
North America or Europe rather than among the poor of
Africa and Asia and to be blessed with such material and
spiritual abundance?
• In
light of the superabundance you enjoy here, what do
you think is your minimal responsibility to the untold millions
of lost and suffering in the Two-Thirds World?
You have been born among the privileged elite of this world.
You have so much while others have so little. Think a moment
about the vast difference between your country and the nations
without a Christian heritage.
• One-
fourth of the world’s people lives on an income
of less than $1 a day—most of them in Asia.4 The gross
national income per person in South Asia is only $460 a year.
Americans earn an average of 77 times more5—and Christian
Americans, because they tend to live in the upper half of the
economy, earn even more. In most countries where Gospel
for Asia is serving the native missionary movement, a good
wage is $1 to $3 a day. While much of the world is concerned
mainly about where its next meal is coming from, affluent
North Americans spend most of their wages and waking
moments planning unnecessary purchases.
A N e w D a y i n Mi s s i o n s
R e v o l u t i o n i n Wo r l d Mi s s i o n s
• People
in the United States, Canada, Australia and Europe
enjoy freedom of choice. Political freedoms of speech,
press and assembly, freedom to worship and organize religious
ministries, freedom to choose where and how to live,
and freedom to organize themselves to correct injustices
and problems both at home and abroad are accepted as
• Leisure
time and disposable income, although not written
into law, free citizens of the Western world from the basic
wants that make living so difficult in many other parts of
the world.
• A
large number of service networks in communications,
education, finance, mass media and transportation are
available that make it easy to effect change. Not having
these services available is an enormous handicap to people
in most other parts of the world.
• Finally,
few domestic needs exist. Although unemployment
is a serious problem in some areas, it is many times
higher in nearly every country of the Two-Thirds World.
How many of us can comprehend the suffering of the
millions of homeless and starving people in nations like
Bangladesh? Overseas the problems are on a grand scale.
Some nations struggle to help themselves but still fail woefully.
This list is illustrative of the many advantages of living in the
Western world where benefits have come largely because of a
Christian heritage.
Is Missions an Option?
If the apostle Paul had not brought the Gospel to Europe,
foundational principles such as freedom and human dignity
would not be part of the American heritage. Because the
Holy Spirit instructed him to turn away from Asia and go
West, America has been blessed with its systems of law and
economics—the principles that made it rich and free.
In addition, the United States is the only nation in the world
founded by believers in Christ who made a covenant with
God—dedicating a new nation to God.
Born into affluence, freedom and divine blessings, Americans
should be the most thankful people on earth.
But along with the privilege comes a responsibility. The
Christian must ask not only why, but also what he should do
with these unearned favors.
Throughout Scripture, we see only one correct response to
abundance: sharing.
God gives some people more than they need so that they can
be channels of blessing to others. God desires equity between
His people on a worldwide basis. That is why the early Church
had no poverty.
The apostle Paul wrote to the rich Christians in Corinth,
“For I mean not that other men be eased, and ye burdened:
But by an equality, that now at this time your abundance
may be a supply for their want, that their abundance also
may be a supply for your want: that there may be equality”
(2 Corinthians 8:13–14).
The Bible advocates and demands that we show love for the
needy brethren. Right now, because of historical and economic
factors that none of us can control, the needy brethren are in
Asia. The wealthy brethren are primarily in North America,
Europe, Australia and New Zealand. The conclusion is obvious:
These affluent believers must share with the poorer churches.
“We know that we have passed from death unto life, because
we love the brethren. . . . But whoso hath this world’s good,
and seeth his brother have need, and shutteth up his bowels of
compassion from him, how dwelleth the love of God in him?
My little children, let us not love in word, neither in tongue; but
in deed and in truth” (1 John 3:14, 17–18).
And, “What doth it profit, my brethren, though a man say he
hath faith, and have not works? can faith save him? If a brother
or sister be naked, and destitute of daily food, And one of you
say unto them, Depart in peace, be ye warmed and filled; notwithstanding
ye give them not those things which are needful to
the body; what doth it profit? Even so faith, if it hath not works,
is dead, being alone” (James 2:14–17).
Is missions an option—especially for super-wealthy countries
like America? The biblical answer is clear. Every Christian
in America has some minimal responsibility to get involved in
helping the poor brethren in the Church in other countries.
God has not given this superabundance of blessings to
Western Christians so we can sit back and enjoy the luxuries of
this society—or even in spiritual terms, so we can gorge ourselves
on books, teaching cassettes and deeper-life conferences. He has
left us on this earth to be stewards of these spiritual and material
blessings, learning how to share with others and administer our
wealth to accomplish the purposes of God.
R e v o l u t i o n i n Wo r l d Mi s s i o n s
What is the bottom line? God is calling us as Christians to
alter our lifestyles, to give up the nonessentials of our lives so we
can better invest our wealth in the kingdom of God.
To start, I challenge believers to lay aside at least $1 a day to
help support a native missionary in the Two-Thirds World. This,
of course, should be over and above our present commitments
to the local church and other ministries. I do not ask Christians
to redirect their giving away from other ministries for native
missions—but to expand their giving over and above current
levels. Most people can do this.
Millions of North American and European believers can
accomplish this easily by giving up cookies, cakes, sweets, coffee
and other beverages. These junk foods harm our bodies anyway,
and anyone can save enough in this way to help sponsor
one or even two missionaries a month. Many are going beyond
this and, without affecting health or happiness, are able to help
sponsor several missionaries every month.
There are, of course, many other ways to get involved. Some
cannot give more financially, but they can invest time in prayer
and help recruit more sponsors. And a few are called to go overseas
to become more directly involved.
But I would submit to you that the single most important
hindrance to world evangelization right now is the lack of total
involvement by the Body of Christ. I am convinced there are
enough potential sponsors to support all the native missionaries
needed to evangelize the Two-Thirds World.
The native missionary movement is relatively new, and many
Christians still have not been challenged to participate, but that
is superficial. The real truth is much more basic—and more
deadly. The three major reasons why the Body of Christ falls
short in facilitating world evangelization are the sins of pride,
unbelief and worldliness.
Ask the average Christian why the Lord destroyed Sodom,
I s Mi s s i o n s a n O p t i o n ?
R e v o l u t i o n i n Wo r l d Mi s s i o n s
and he or she will cite the city’s gross immorality. Ezekiel, however,
reveals the real reason in chapter 16, verses 49 and 50:
“Behold, this was the iniquity of thy sister Sodom, pride, fulness
of bread, and abundance of idleness was in her and in her
daughters, neither did she strengthen the hand of the poor and
needy. And they were haughty, and committed abomination
before me: therefore I took them away as I saw good.”
Sodom refused to aid the needy poor because of pride. We are
caught up in a national pride similar to Sodom’s. Yes, selfishness
and perversion come from that pride, but we need to see
that pride is the real root. Deal with that root and you cut off a
multitude of sins before they have a chance to grow.
One night while speaking at a church missionary conference,
I was asked to meet privately with the church council to give
my reaction to a new mission program they were considering. I
already had preached and was very tired. I did not feel like sitting
in a board meeting. The meeting, attended by 22 persons,
began in the usual way, more like a corporate board meeting at
IBM or General Motors than a church board.
The presenter made an impressive, business-like proposal. The
scheme involved shifting “third country nationals” from Asia
to a mission field in Latin America. It was very futuristic and
sounded like a major leap in missions, but warning lights and
bells were going off in my mind. To me it sounded like 19th-century
colonial missionary practice dressed in a different disguise.
The Lord spoke to me clearly: “Son, tonight you must speak
to people who are so self-sufficient they’ve never asked Me
about this plan. They think I’m helpless.”
When the chairman of the church council finally called on
me to respond with my opinion of the proposal, I stood and
read certain parts of Matthew 28:18–20: “All power is given
unto me in heaven and in earth. Go ye therefore, and teach all
nations . . . to observe all things whatsoever I have commanded
you: and, lo, I am with you alway. . . .”
Then I closed my Bible and paused, looking each one in the
“If He is with you,” I said, “then you will represent Him—not
just be like Him—but you will exercise His authority. Where is
the power of God in this plan?”
I did not need to say much. The Holy Spirit anointed my
words, and everyone seemed to understand.
“How often have you met for prayer?” I asked rhetorically.
“How long since you have had an entire day of prayer to seek
God’s mind about your mission strategy?” From their eyes it was
easy to see they had prayed little about their mission budget,
which was then in the hundreds of thousands of dollars.
The discussion went on until 1:30 in the morning, but with a
new sense of repentance in the room.
“Brother K.P.,” said the leader to me afterward, “you have
destroyed everything we were trying to do tonight, but now
we’re ready to wait on God for His plan.”
That kind of humility will bring the Church back into the
center of God’s will and global plan. Churches today are not
experiencing the power and anointing of God in their ministries
because they do not have the humility to wait on Him. Because
of that sin, the world remains largely unreached.
So little of evangelical Christian work is done in total dependence
upon the living God. Like our brothers and sisters in that
big church, we have devised methods, plans and techniques to
“do” God’s work. Those involved apparently sense no need to
pray or be filled with the Holy Spirit to do the work of Jesus.
How far we have drifted from the faith of the apostles and the
prophets! What a tragedy when the techniques of the world and
its agents are brought into the sanctuary of God. Only when we
are emptied of our own self-sufficiency can God use us. When
a church or a mission board spends more time in consultation,
I s Mi s s i o n s a n O p t i o n ?
planning and committee meetings than in prayer, it is a clear
indication the members have lost touch with the supernatural
and have ended up, in Watchman Nee’s words, “serving the
house of God and forgot the Lord Himself.”
Part of the sin of pride is a subtle but deep racism. As I travel,
I often hear innocent-sounding questions such as, “How do we
know that the native church is ready to handle the funds?” or
“What kind of training have the native missionaries had?”
So long as such questions are based on a sincere desire for
good stewardship, they are commendable, but in many cases I
have found the intent of the questions to be much less honorable.
Westerners refuse to trust Asians the way they trust their
own people. If we’re satisfied that a certain native missionary
is truly called to the Gospel, we have to trust God and turn
our stewardship over to him and his elders just as we would to
another brother in our own culture. To expect to continue controlling
the use of money and the ministry overseas from our
foreign-based mission board is an extension of colonialism. It
adds an unbiblical element, which only humiliates and weakens
the native missionaries in the long run.
Christians need to learn that they are not giving their money
to native workers, but God’s money to His work overseas.
Here are some further manifestations of pride: Instead
of glorifying two-fisted fighters in the John Wayne tradition
of American folk heroes, Christians would do well to sit
still until the power of God is manifested in their Christian
Churches need to develop the quiet disciplines they have
lost—practices such as contemplation, fasting, listening, meditation,
prayer, silence, Scripture memory, submission and reflection.
Many Christian leaders are caught up in secondary issues that
sap their time and energy. I will never forget preaching in one
R e v o l u t i o n i n Wo r l d Mi s s i o n s
church where the pastor had turned defending the King James
translation of the Bible into a crusade. Not only does he spend
most of his pulpit time upholding it—but thousands of dollars
go to printing books, tracts and pamphlets advocating the exclusive
use of this one translation.
In the years I have lived and worked in the United States,
I have watched believers and whole congregations get caught
up in all kinds of similar crusades and causes that, while not
necessarily bad in themselves, end up taking our eyes off obedience
to Christ. And in this sense, they become anti-Christ.
Red-hot issues burning across the horizon—such as inerrancy,
charismatic gifts, the latest revelations of itinerant teachers or
secular humanism, or whatever new issue raises its head tomorrow—
need to be kept in their proper perspective. There always
will be new dragons to slay, but we must not let these side
battles keep us from our main task of building and expanding
the kingdom of God.
When I go to Asia, I see our churches and theologians there
being just as violently divided over a different set of issues, and
through this I have come to realize that many times these doctrinal
divisions are being used by the evil one to keep us preoccupied
with something other than the Gospel.
We are driven by powerful egos always to be right. We are
often slaves to a strong tendency to “have it our way.” All of
these are manifestations of pride. The opposite of that is the
servanthood and humble sacrifice commanded by Christ.
Making a sacrifice for one of the unknown brethren—supporting
his work to a strange people in a strange place, using
methods that are a mystery to you—does take humility. But
supporting the native brethren must begin with this kind
of commitment to humility and must continue in the same
spirit. Sadly, our pride all too often stands in the way of
I s Mi s s i o n s a n O p t i o n ?

God Is Withholding Judgment
Beware of boasters. They are usually covering up something.
One of the great boasts of many Western evangelical Christians
is their devotion to the Scriptures. It is hard to find a church that
does not at one time or another brag about being “Bible believing.”
When I first came here, I made the mistake of taking that
description at face value.
But I have come to see that many evangelical Christians do
not really believe the Word of God, especially when it talks
about hell and judgment. Instead, they selectively accept only
the portions that allow them to continue living in their current
It is painful to think about hell and judgment. I understand
why preachers do not like to talk about it, because I don’t either.
It is so much easier to preach that “God loves you and has a
wonderful plan for your life” or to focus on the many delightful
aspects of “possibility thinking” and the “word of faith”
that brings health, wealth and happiness. The grace and love of
God are pleasant subjects, and no one more beautifully demonstrated
them than our Lord Jesus. Yet in His earthly ministry,
He made more references to hell and judgment than He did
to heaven. Jesus lived with the reality of hell, and He died on
Calvary because He knew it was real and coming to everyone
who doesn’t turn to God in this life.
R e v o l u t i o n i n Wo r l d Mi s s i o n s
Believers are willing to accept the concept of heaven, but they
look the other way when they come to passages in the Bible
about hell. Very few seem to believe that those who die without
Christ are going to a place where they will be tormented forever
and ever in a bottomless pit where the fire is not quenched and
they are separated from God and His love for all eternity without
any chance of return.
If we knew the horrors of the potential judgment that hangs
over us—if we really believed in what is coming—how differently
we would live. Why aren’t Christians living in obedience
to God? Because of their unbelief.
Why did Eve fall into sin? Because she did not truly believe
in the judgment—that death really would come if she ate what
God forbade. This is the same reason many continue in lives of
sin and disobedience.
The Great Depression and recent recessions are only a slap on
the wrist compared to the poverty that lies ahead—let alone the
bombs, disease and natural calamities. But God is withholding
judgment now to give us time to repent.
Unfortunately for millions in the Two-Thirds World, it will be
too late unless we can reach them before they slip off the edge
into eternal darkness.
For years I have struggled with making this a reality in our
meetings. Finally I found a way.
I ask my listeners to hold their wrists and find their pulse.
Then I explain that every beat they feel represents the death of
someone in Asia who has died and gone to eternal hell without
ever hearing the Good News of Jesus Christ even once.
“What if one of those beats represented your own mother?” I
ask. “Your own father, your spouse, your child . . . you yourself?”
The millions of Asians who are dying and going to hell are
people for whom Christ died. We say we believe it—but what
are we doing to act on that faith? Without works, faith is dead.
No one should go to hell today without hearing about the
Lord Jesus. To me this is an atrocity much worse than the death
camps of Hitler’s Germany or Stalin’s Russia. As horrible as the
1.3 million abortions are in the United States each year, the
eternal loss of multiplied millions of additional souls every year
is the greatest preventable tragedy of our times.
If only a small percentage of the 80 million people who claim
to be born-again Christians in this country were to sponsor a
native missionary, we could have literally hundreds of thousands
of evangelists reaching the lost villages of Asia. When we
look at the unfinished Great Commission and compare it to our
personal lifestyles—or to the activity calendars of our churches
and organizations—how can we explain our disobedience? We
must see a great repentance from the sin of our unbelief in
God’s judgment.
C.T. Studd, the famous British athlete and founder of
Worldwide Evangelization Crusade, was one who gave up all his
achievements in this life for Christ’s sake. He was challenged to
his commitment by an article written by an atheist. That article
in part said:
If I firmly believed, as millions say they do, that the knowledge
and practice of religion in this life influences destiny in another,
then religion would mean to me everything.
I would cast away earthly enjoyments as dross, earthly cares as
follies, and earthly thoughts and feelings as vanity. Religion would
be my first waking thought and my last image before sleep sank me
into unconsciousness. I should labor in its cause alone.
I would take thought for the morrow of eternity alone. I would
esteem one soul gained for heaven worth a life of suffering.
Earthly consequences would never stay my hand, or seal my
lips. Earth, its joys and its griefs, would occupy no moment of
my thoughts. I would strive to look upon eternity alone, and on
the immortal souls around me, soon to be everlastingly happy
or everlastingly miserable.
G o d I s Wi t h h o l d i n g J u d g m e n t
R e v o l u t i o n i n Wo r l d Mi s s i o n s
I would go forth to the world and preach to it in season and
out of season, and my text would be:
Another iniquity plaguing the Western Church is worldliness.
Once, on a 2,000-mile auto trip across the American West, I
made it a point to listen to Christian radio all along the way.
What I heard revealed much about the secret motivations that
drive many Christians. Some of the broadcasts would have
been hilarious if they weren’t exploiting the gullible—hawking
health, wealth and success in the name of Christianity.
• Some
speakers offered holy oil and lucky charms to those
who sent in money and requested them.
• Some
speakers offered prayer cloths that had blessed
believers with $70,000 to $100,000, new cars, houses and
• One
speaker said he would mail holy soap he had blessed.
If used with his instructions, it would wash away bad luck,
evil friends and sickness. Again he promised “plenty of
money” and everything else the user wanted.
Such con games bring a smile to our lips, but the same basic
package is marketed with more sophistication at every level of
this society. Christian magazines, TV shows and church services
often put the spotlight on famous athletes, beauty queens, businessmen
and politicians who “make it in the world and have
Jesus too!”
Today Christian values are defined almost totally by success
as it is promoted by Madison Avenue advertising. Even many
Christian ministries gauge their effectiveness by the standards
of Harvard MBAs.
Jesus said the heart is where the treasures are kept. So what
can we say about many evangelical Christians? Getting into debt
for cars, homes and furnishings that probably are not needed
and sacrificing family, church and health for corporate promotions
and career advancement—I believe all this is deception,
engineered by the god of this world to ensnare and destroy
effective Christians and to keep them from sharing the Gospel
with those who need it.
“Love not the world,” says John in his first epistle, “neither
the things that are in the world. If any man love the world, the
love of the Father is not in him. For all that is in the world, the
lust of the flesh, and the lust of the eyes, and the pride of life,
is not of the Father, but is of the world. And the world passeth
away, and the lust thereof: but he that doeth the will of God
abideth for ever” (1 John 2:15–17).
The typical media testimony goes something like this: “I was
sick and broke, a total failure. Then I met Jesus. Now everything
is fine; my business is booming, and I am a great success.”
It sounds wonderful. Be a Christian and get that bigger house
and a boat and vacation in the Holy Land.
But if that were really God’s way, it would put some believers
living in anti-Christian and in the Two-Thirds World in a pretty
bad light. Their testimonies often go something like this:
“I was happy. I had everything—prestige, recognition, a good
job, and a happy wife and children. Then I gave my life to Jesus
Christ. Now I am in Siberia, having lost my family, wealth, reputation,
job and health.
“Here I live, lonely, deserted by friends. I cannot see the face
of my wife and dear children. My crime is that I love Jesus.”
What about the heroes of the faith down through the ages?
The apostles laid down their lives for the Lord. Christian
martyrs have written their names on every page of history.
In the former Soviet Union, Ivan Moiseyev was tortured and
G o d I s Wi t h h o l d i n g J u d g m e n t
killed within two years of meeting Jesus. In China, Watchman
Nee spent 20 years in prison and finally died in bondage.
When Sadhu Sundar Singh, born and raised in a rich Sikh’s
home in Punjab, became a Christian, his own family tried to
poison him and banished him from their home. He lost his
inheritance and walked away with one piece of clothing on his
body. Yet, following his Master, he made millions truly rich
through faith in Christ.
The native missionaries supported by Gospel for Asia often
suffer for their commitment also. Coming from non-Christian
backgrounds, they often are literally thrown out of their homes,
lose their jobs and are beaten and chased from their villages
when they accept Christ.
They faithfully serve Christ daily, suffering untold hardships
because Jesus promised His followers, “In the world ye shall have
tribulation: but be of good cheer; I have overcome the world”
(John 16:33). What He promised were trials and tribulations.
But we can face them because we know He already has won
the battle. God does promise to meet our physical needs. And
He does, indeed, bless His children materially. But He blesses
us for a purpose—not so we can squander those resources on
ourselves but so we can be good stewards, using our resources
wisely to win the lost to God’s saving grace.
The Scripture tells us, “Whoso hath this world’s good, and
seeth his brother have need, and shutteth up his bowels of
compassion from him, how dwelleth the love of God in him?”
(1 John 3:17).
As A.W. Tozer, noted Christian and Missionary Alliance pastor
and author, once said,
There is no doubt that the possessive clinging to things is one of
the most harmful habits in life. Because it is so natural, it is rarely
recognized for the evil that it is. But its outworking is tragic. This
R e v o l u t i o n i n Wo r l d Mi s s i o n s
ancient curse will not go out painlessly. The tough old miser
within us will not lie down and die obedient to our command.
He must be torn out, torn out of our hearts like a plant from the
soil; he must be extracted in blood and agony like a tooth from
the jaw. He must be expelled from our souls in violence as Christ
expelled the money changers from the temple.2
Many Western believers are the rich young rulers of our day.
Jesus is saying to them, “If thou wilt be perfect, go and sell that
thou hast, and give to the poor, and thou shalt have treasure in
heaven: and come and follow me” (Matthew 19:21).
G o d I s Wi t h h o l d i n g J u d g m e n t

Why Should I Make Waves?
By the end of 1981, Gospel for Asia appeared to be gaining
acceptance; people from all over the United States and Canada
were beginning to share in the ministry of equipping native
missionaries to evangelize in their own countries.
As Gisela and our office staff in Dallas worked to assign our
new sponsors to native missionaries, I felt led of the Lord to
plan a road tour of 14 Texas towns to meet personally with new
supporters. Calling ahead, I introduced myself and thanked the
people for taking on the sponsorship of a native missionary.
I was stunned by the response. Most of the people had heard
me on the radio and appeared thrilled with the idea of meeting
me. In every town, someone offered me lodging and made
arrangements for me to speak in small house meetings and
churches. People were referring to me in a new way—as the
president and director of an important missionary organization.
Far from being pleased, I was more terrified than ever—afraid
that I would fail or be rejected.
But with the meetings booked solid and the publicity out,
an unreasonable fear took over. A weariness settled upon me.
As the day for my departure came closer, I looked for excuses to
cancel or postpone the whole venture.
“My family and the office need me more,” I argued. “Besides,
I’ll be driving alone. It’s dangerous and difficult—I should really
wait until someone can go with me.”
Just when I had almost talked myself out of going, the Lord
spoke to me in an unmistakable voice during my personal
morning devotion. As on other occasions, it was just as if He
were in the room with me.
“My sheep hear My voice,” said the Lord, using His words
from John 10, “and I know them and they follow Me: My sheep
follow Me because they know My voice.”
I did not need an interpretation; the message was clear. The
trip had been ordained by Him. He had arranged it and opened
the doors. I needed to picture myself as a little lamb and follow
my Shepherd over the miles. He would go ahead of me to every
church and every home in which I would stay.
It turned out to be a heavenly two weeks. In every home and
church, I had delightful fellowship with our new friends—and
we added a number of supporters as a result.
The church in Victoria, Texas, was almost my last stop, and
the Lord had a surprise waiting for me there. But He had to
prepare me first.
As I drove from town to town, I had time alone in the car for
the Lord to deal with me on several issues that would impact the
future of the mission and my own walk with Him.
One issue involved one of the most far-reaching policy decisions
I ever would make. For some years I had suffered deep
pain over what appeared to be massive imbalance between our
busyness with maintaining Christian institutions, like hospitals
and schools, and the proclamation of the Gospel. Both in India
and in my travels around Western countries, I constantly uncovered
a preoccupation with so-called “ministry” activities operated
by Christian workers, financed by church monies, but with
little else to distinguish them as Christian.
Far too much of the resources of North American missions
is spent on things not related to the primary goal of church
R e v o l u t i o n i n Wo r l d Mi s s i o n s
planting. Wagner, in his book On the Crest of the Wave, says, “I
have before me a recent list of openings in a . . . mission agency
which will go unnamed. Of 50 different categories, only two
relate to evangelism, both focused on youth. The rest of the
categories include, among others, agronomists, music teachers,
nurses, automobile mechanics, secretaries, electronics professors,
and ecologists.”1
Social concern is a natural fruit of the Gospel. But to put it
first is to put the cart before the horse; and from experience,
we have seen it fail in India for more than 200 years. It was an
attempt to exclusively concentrate on people’s obvious social
Yet while I realized the intrinsic nature of the Gospel involved
caring for the poor, I knew the priority was giving them the
Gospel. Meeting their needs was a means to share the love of
Christ so they would be saved for eternity.
I did not go this route because I felt other Christian charities
and ministries of compassion were wrong in showing the love
of Christ. No, many were doing a wonderful job. But I felt the
local church should be the center for outreach, and we needed
to bring the balance back.
I did not publicly tell anyone about my decision. I knew this
subject would be controversial, and I was afraid others would
think I was being judgmental, a “fighting fundy” reactionary,
or a fanatic. I only wanted to help the native missionary movement,
and I reasoned that getting into arguments over mission
strategy would be counterproductive.
Then came Victoria, Texas.
My presentation went nicely. I showed the GFA slides and
made an impassioned plea for our work. I explained the philosophy
of our ministry, giving the biblical reasons why the people
of Asia are lost unless native missionaries go to them.
Suddenly, I felt the Spirit prompting me to talk about the
Wh y S h o u l d I Ma k e Wa v e s ?
dangers of the humanist social gospel. I paused for the briefest
moment, then went on without mentioning it. I just did not
have the courage. I might make enemies everywhere. People
would think I was an unloving fool, a spoiler of Christian work
who did not even care about the hungry, naked, needy and suffering.
Why should I make waves? I managed to get through my
presentation, and feeling relieved, I opened up the meeting to
But the Holy Spirit was not about to let me off the hook.
From far in the back of the room, a tall man—at least “six
foot three” as they say in Texas—came walking steadily up the
aisle, looking bigger and bigger as he came closer to me. I did
not know who he was or what he had to say, but I felt instinctively
that God had sent him. When he reached me, he wrapped
a huge arm around my skinny shoulders and said some words
I still can hear ringing today: “This man here, our brother, is
fearful and afraid to speak the truth . . . and he’s struggling with
it.” I felt my face and neck getting hot with guilt. How did this
big cowboy know that? But it got worse, and I was about to see
proof that the Spirit of the living God was really using this tall
Texan to deliver a powerful confirmation and rebuke to me.
“The Lord has led you in ways others have not walked and
shown you things others have not seen,” he went on. “The souls
of millions are at stake. You must speak the truth about the misplaced
priority on the mission field. You must call the Body of
Christ to return to the task of preaching salvation and snatching
souls from hell.”
I felt like a zero, yet this was undeniably a miraculous prophecy
inspired by God, confirming both my disobedience and the
very message God had called me to preach fearlessly. But my
humiliation and liberation were not over yet.
“The Lord has asked me,” the tall man said, “to call the elders
up here to pray for you that this fear of man will leave you.”
R e v o l u t i o n i n Wo r l d Mi s s i o n s
Suddenly I felt like even less than a zero. I had been introduced
as a great mission leader; now I felt like a little lamb. I
wanted to defend myself. I did not feel as if I were being controlled
by a spirit of fear; I felt that I was just acting logically to
protect the interests of our mission. But I submitted anyway,
feeling a little ridiculous, as the elders crowded around me to
pray for an anointing of power on my preaching ministry.
Something happened. I felt the power of God envelop me.
A few minutes later I got up from my knees a changed man,
released from the bondage of fear that had gripped me. All
doubts were gone: God had placed a burden on my life to
deliver this message.
Since that day I have insisted we recover the genuine Gospel
of Jesus—that balanced New Testament message that begins not
with the fleshly needs of people, but with the plan and wisdom
of God—“born-again” conversion that leads to righteousness,
sanctification and redemption. Any “mission” that springs
from “the base things of the world” is a betrayal of Christ and is
what the Bible calls “another gospel.” It cannot save or redeem
people either as individuals or as a society. We preach a Gospel,
not for the years of time alone, but for eternity.
The only trouble with half-truths is that they contain within
them full lies. Such is the case with this declaration issued at
the 1928 Jerusalem Conference of the International Missionary
Council: “Our fathers were impressed with the horror that men
should die without Christ; we were equally impressed with the
horror that they should live without Christ.”
Out of such rhetoric—usually delivered passionately by
an ever-growing number of sincere humanists within our
churches—come myriads of worldly social programs. Such
efforts really snatch salvation and true redemption from the
poor—condemning them to eternity in hell.
Of course, there is a basic truth to the statement. Living this

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