SIDEBAR: Access - Shouldn't Everyone Have a Chance?

Why should missionaries cross the sea when their next-door neighbors don't yet know Jesus?

by Randy Hurst

Why should missionaries cross the sea when their next-door neighbors don’t yet know Jesus?

It’s about access.

The apostle Paul explained the challenge and responsibility faced by the Church, saying: “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? (Romans 10:14,15).

The desperate urgency of those who have never heard and the divine compulsion to tell them determined Paul’s mission. The simplicity of salvation, the urgency of proclaiming the gospel, and the plight of those who had never heard formed the course of Paul’s life and what he believed to be his future ministry.

He fully preached the gospel in unreached regions, not wanting to “build on another man’s foundation” (Romans 15:20).

Of the nearly 7 billion people on earth today, more than 4 billion have not had an adequate witness to the gospel. Of this number, 3.6 billion live in countries that restrict access to Christian missionaries.

How can any of us who have experienced the blessed assurance of sins forgiven and everlasting life be unmoved by the desperate need of those who have never heard? We must do all we can to reach those who have no access to the gospel. Shouldn’t everyone have a chance to call on the Lord’s name and be saved?

RANDY HURST is communications director for Assemblies of God World Missions.