SIDEBAR: The Gospel for Everyone
by L. John Bueno
The New Testament is the record of a mission. That mission, revealed in Jesus coming to earth, is reflected in the lives of Paul and the other apostles. The goal of the mission is this: God intends for the gospel to reach everyone.
We can’t wait for everyone in a city or nation to be reached before we extend ourselves to those who have never heard. If a solid nucleus of believers exists in a particular area, then we need to press forward to reach others who have not yet heard. Increasingly, God is showing us that we must intensify our efforts to take the gospel to unreached areas of the world.
The New Testament church greeted each other with the word maranatha, which means “the Lord is coming.” God gave a sense of urgency to New Testament Christians and to believers at the beginning of the 20th century when our mission came into being. If that urgency doesn’t remain with us today, we will lose God’s perspective. The knowledge that Jesus could come any day should be the impulse for Christians to act upon God’s Word and proclaim His message.
Our mission is urgent, both in its eternal value and in the nearness of its fulfillment. Jesus wants us to look beyond those who are already in the fold and reach out to those who need a clear witness of the Savior.
L. JOHN BUENO, former executive director, Assemblies of God World Missions, Springfield, Missouri