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Developing a Biblical World View

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HARVESTIME INTERNATIONAL INSTITUTE

This course is part of the Harvestime International Institute, a program designed to equip believers for effective spiritual harvest. The basic theme of the training is to teach what Jesus taught,  that which took men who were fishermen, tax collectors, etc., and changed them into reproductive Christians who reached their world with the Gospel in a demonstration of power. This manual is a single course in one of several modules of curriculum which moves believers from visualizing through deputizing, multiplying, organizing, and mobilizing to achieve the goal of evangelizing.

For further information on additional courses write:
Harvestime International Institute
3176 A Via Buena Vista
Laguna Woods, CA 92637 U.S.A.
Harvestime International Institute

 

TABLE OF CONTENTS

How To Use This Manual

Suggestions For Group Study

Introduction

Course Objectives

1. In The Beginning

2. A Divided World

3. Seeing The World As God Sees It

4. The World In The Word:  Old Testament

5. The World In The Word:  New Testament

6. The Church In The World

7. The Waiting World

8. Becoming A World Christian

9. International Intercession .

10. Sharing The Biblical World View

11. Then Shall The End Come

Answers To Self-Tests

HOW TO USE THIS MANUAL

MANUAL FORMAT

Each lesson consists of:

Objectives: These are the goals you should achieve by studying the chapter. Read them before starting the lesson.

Key Verse: This verse emphasizes the main concept of the chapter. Memorize it.

Chapter Content: Study each section. Use your Bible to look up any references not printed in the manual. 

Self-Test: Take this test after you finish studying the chapter. Try to answer the questions without using your Bible or this manual. When you have concluded the Self-Test, check your answers in the answer section provided at the end of the book.

For Further Study: This section will help you continue your study of the Word of God, improve your study skills, and apply what you have learned to your life and ministry.

Final Examination: If you are enrolled in this course for credit, you received a final examination along with this course.  Upon conclusion of this course, you should complete this examination and return it for grading as instructed.

ADDITIONAL MATERIALS NEEDED

You will need a King James version of the Bible.

SUGGESTIONS FOR GROUP STUDY

FIRST MEETING

Opening: Open with prayer and introductions. Get acquainted and register the students.

Establish Group Procedures: Determine who will lead the meetings, the time, place, and dates for the sessions.

Praise And Worship: Invite the presence of the Holy Spirit into your training session.

Distribute Manuals To Students: Introduce the manual title, format, and course objectives provided in the first few pages of the manual.

Make The First Assignment: Students will read the chapters assigned and take the Self-Tests prior to the next meeting. The number of chapters you cover per meeting will depend on chapter length, content, and the abilities of your group.

SECOND AND FOLLOWING MEETINGS

Opening: Pray. Welcome and register any new students and give them a manual. Take attendance. Have a time of praise and worship.

Review: Present a brief summary of what you studied at the last meeting.

Lesson: Discuss each section of the chapter using the HEADINGS IN CAPITAL BOLD
FACED LETTERS as a teaching outline. Ask students for questions or comments on what they have studied. Apply the lesson to the lives and ministries of your students.

Self-Test: Review the Self-Tests students have completed. (Note: If you do not want the students to have access to the answers to the Self-Tests, you may remove the answer pages from the back of each manual.)

For Further Study: You may do these projects on a group or individual basis.

Final Examination: If your group is enrolled in this course for credit, you received a final examination with this course. Reproduce a copy for each student and administer the exam upon conclusion of this course.

Module: Multiplying

Course: Developing A Biblical World View

INTRODUCTION

This course is the first in the Third Module of training of Harvestime International Institute. Module One, entitled "Visualizing," communicates the vision of spiritual harvest. The Module Two courses on "Deputizing" provide basic training to equip you to fulfill this vision. Module Three courses explain how to expand the vision  you have received by sharing with others what you have learned.  You will learn how to train laborers for spiritual harvest who will be able to train others also:

And the things that thou hast heard of me among many witnesses, the same commit thou to faithful men, who shall be able to teach others also.  (II Timothy 2:2)

This continuing cycle of training is called "multiplying" because it multiplies the spiritual labor force.

Developing a Biblical world view is basic to spiritual multiplication. Having a Biblical world view means you see the world on the basis of what is revealed about it in the Bible. You do not look at the world as  politicians, economists, or educators. You do not view the world in terms of your own culture.  Instead, you view the world as God sees it. You begin to understand it from His perspective. To "develop" means to acquire something or to expand knowledge in a certain area. This course  will expand your knowledge of the world in which you live for the purpose of multiplying spiritual laborers.

This course explains the "world view" revealed in the Bible, the written Word of God. It traces the subject from the book of Genesis through Revelation.   It explains God's plan for the nations of the world from the beginning through the end of what we call "time." This course presents the believer's responsibility to the nations by introducing the challenge to become a "World Christian."     

These lessons discuss current global spiritual conditions, stressing the urgent  need to spread the Gospel to unreached people groups of the world. The lessons also focus on the responsibility of the Church in the world and you will begin to see the world as God sees it. But as faith without works is dead (James 2:26), a Biblical world view without personal involvement is also not effective. This course will challenge you to become more than a mere spectator with a Biblical world view. You will be motivated to become a participator who is an active part of what God is doing in the world today.

COURSE OBJECTIVES

Upon completion of this course you will be able to:

                  View the world as God views it.

                  Summarize what the Bible teaches about the world.

                  Demonstrate understanding of the plan of God for the nations.

                  Assume your role in extending the Gospel of the Kingdom throughout the world.

                  Become a "World Christian."

                  Minister through international intercession.

                  Share the Biblical world view with others. 

 

CHAPTER ONE: IN THE BEGINNING

 

OBJECTIVES:

Upon completion of this chapter you will be able to:

                  Write the Key Verse from memory.

                  Identify the Creator of the world and all mankind.

                  Give two reasons for the different stories  of creation that exist throughout the world.

                  Explain why some people refuse to accept the Biblical account of creation.

                  Explain what is meant by a "Biblical world view."

                  Summarize the creative acts of God during the seven days of creation.

                  Explain man's position and purpose in creation.

                  Summarize the story of the "fall of man."

                  Explain the results of the "fall of man."

                  Identify the first Biblical reference about God's plan for the world.

                  Identify the two worlds in which all men live.

KEY VERSE:

In the beginning God created the heaven and the earth.  (Genesis 1:1)

INTRODUCTION

Many people have a limited view of the world.  They are concerned only about their own village, city, or nation. They do not recognize that the area where they live is only a small part of a great planet called "earth."  They do not know about the special plan of God which includes the entire world, people of all races, cultures, and languages.

This chapter introduces the world in which we live.  It starts at the beginning of time to explain the creation of the world and of man who inhabits it.   Chapter Two  continues this introduction as it explains how the world was divided into nations and languages.

MYTHS OF CREATION

In every culture there are different beliefs about the creation of the world.  People have always felt the need to explain how things came to be and from where man came. People in different nations and cultures have developed their own stories or "myths" to explain creation. The various myths about creation have developed for two reasons:

1.  Because people did not have access to the true facts about creation or. . .

2.  Because they chose not to believe the true story of creation when they heard it.

GOD THE CREATOR

The true story of the creation of the world is recorded in the Bible.  Genesis 1:1 summarizes the entire first chapter:

In the beginning God created the heaven and the earth.  (Genesis 1:1)

The God of whom this verse speaks is the one true God.  The Bible is the written record of the acts and words of God.   When we speak of developing a Biblical world view, it means we base our understanding of the world on what is revealed by God in His written Word, the Bible.

Some people choose not to believe the facts of creation presented in the Bible because it means they must acknowledge there is a God. If they accept the fact there is a God, then they must acknowledge His  sovereign rule over them.  They must also believe His Word and do something about their evil lifestyle.   Because people do not want to change their way of life, they choose to deny the Biblical account of creation and the existence of God.

Some people claim the Biblical account of creation does not agree with the facts discovered by scientists who study the earth.  It is true that the Bible does not agree with the theories of some scientists, but a theory is a personal belief or a guess as to how something happened.  It is not a proven fact.  In every challenge raised by scientists, the facts  discovered in their studies have always proven the Bible to be correct in its account of creation. 

CREATION OF THE WORLD

In Genesis we are told the condition of the world when God first performed His creative acts:

And the earth was without form, and void; and darkness was upon the face of the deep. . .   (Genesis 1:2)

The following verses tell the story of God's creation of the world:

                  First day: Light and darkness (verses 3-5).

                  Second day: The firmament (Heaven) separating the waters (verses 6-8).

                  Third day: Dry land and vegetation (verses 9-13).

                  Fourth day: Heavenly bodies; sun, moon, stars (verses 14-19).

                  Fifth day: Inhabitants of the waters and the birds (verses 20-23).

                  Sixth day: Land animals and man (verses 24-25).

The Bible summarizes the creativity of God to reveal that. . .

. . . by Him were  all things created, that are in Heaven, and that are in earth, visible and invisible, whether they be thrones, or dominions, or principalities, or powers; all things were created by Him, and for Him.

And He is before all things, and by Him all things consist.  (Colossians 1:16-17)

CREATION OF MAN

On the sixth day, God created the greatest of all creations.  He created the first man in His own image:

And God said, Let us make man in our image, after our likeness; and let them have dominion over the fish of the sea, and over the fowl of the air, and
over the cattle, and over all the earth, and over every creeping thing that creepeth upon the earth.

So God created man in His own image, in the image of God  created  He him: male and female created He them.  (Genesis 1:26-27)

God created the first man, Adam, from the dust of the ground and breathed into him the breath of life (Genesis 2:17).  God created the first woman from Adam. Read the story of the creation of Eve in Genesis 2:18-25.

GOD'S PURPOSE FOR MAN

Long ago, kings of the world built images of themselves in provinces of their empire to represent them where they could not  personally appear.   Man was created in God's image and placed on earth as His representative.  As a representative of God, man was given dominion over the whole  world  to enforce God's claim to the earth.  Man had dominion over all the plants and animals of the world. 

Man also had a special responsibility.  He was to multiply and fill the earth with other men and women who would reflect the image of God:

And God blessed them, and God said unto them, Be fruitful and multiply, and replenish the earth, and subdue it; and have dominion over the fish of the sea, and over the fowl of the air, and over every living thing that moveth upon the earth.  (Genesis 1:28)

Man is the greatest of all God's creations.  Man was made in the image of God.  He has a living, eternal soul which animals do not have.  He has a spirit and a mind which enables him to learn about and communicate with God.  The Spirit of God actually came down and walked and talked with man in the beautiful  garden in which he lived (Genesis 3:8).

Because of  his special position in creation, man was to reflect the God in whose image he was made.  He was to  communicate with and praise the God who made him:

Even every one that is called by my name:  for I have created him for my glory, I have formed him; yea, I have made him. . .  

This people have I formed for myself; they shall shew forth my praise. (Isaiah 43:7,21)

Adam and Eve were to reproduce and fill the entire earth with people just like themselves… people who were holy, reflected the image of God, and communicated with and praised their Creator.  But something terrible happened to spoil this beautiful plan.

THE FALL OF MAN

Genesis chapter 3 contains one of the saddest stories in the Bible.  It records what has come to be called "the fall of man."  Man was created in God's image.  Just as God has freedom of choice, man had  freedom of choice.  He is free to make his own decisions.

In the Garden where Adam and Eve lived there were many trees, but there were also two special trees.  One tree was called the tree of life (Genesis 3:22).  If Adam and Eve had eaten of the fruit of that tree, they could have lived forever and never died.

But there was another tree in the garden.  This tree was called the tree of the "knowledge of good and evil" (Genesis 2:17). God forbid Adam and Eve to eat the fruit of this tree. He did not want man to experience evil with all of its terrible results so He warned that eating the fruit of this tree would cause death.

But man did not heed God's warning. God had an enemy named Satan. Satan had once been a beautiful angel of God, but decided he wanted to be as great as God. Satan led a rebellion of angels in Heaven.  You can read about this in your Bible in Isaiah 14:12-17.

Satan did not want man to serve God. Satan came first to woman, then to man in the Garden of Eden. He was disguised in the form of a serpent. He tempted them by making false promises. They yielded to the temptation, sinned against God, and ate of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil.

The results of this fall of man into sin changed the whole world. The plants and animals were no longer easy to control.  Man had to struggle for dominion over them. Animals turned wild and fierce and the earth brought forth weeds and thistles. Terrible changes in weather came in the form of floods and similar disasters.

All the evil in the world today--all the plagues, suffering, and tragedies--are results of this first fall of man. Sin entered the world, and along with it, suffering. The punishment of death was brought on man, just as God had warned. All men will experience physical death until the end of time as we know it.

But even worse, man was separated from God by  sin. The image of God that was to be reflected in man was spoiled.  Because of sin, man lost his relationship and communication with God.

A GREAT PROMISE

In this darkest moment of human history, God made a great promise. God said to Satan:

And I will put enmity between thee and the woman, and between thy seed and her seed; it shall bruise thy head, and thou shalt bruise his heel. (Genesis 3:15)

This was the first revelation of a special plan of God. It revealed that a battle would rage throughout the centuries between man and Satan, but God would eventually send someone to crush man's enemy and restore man to right relationship with God. That "someone" was the Lord Jesus Christ. You will learn more about this special plan of God for all mankind as you continue this study.

TWO WORLDS

Genesis 3:15 also reveals another important fact. All men live in two worlds.  We live in the natural world which is made up of continents and countries.  The natural world is that which we can see with our physical eyes. We also live in a spiritual world. You cannot see this world with your physical eyes, but it is just as real as the natural world in which you live.

All men have a natural body which lives in the natural world, but remember that man was created with an eternal soul and spirit. Your spiritual being [soul and spirit] is  part of the spiritual world just as your natural body is part of the natural world. 

In Genesis 3:15, the "bruising" and "crushing" refers to a great battle going on in the spirit world. It is a battle for the heart, mind, soul, and spirit of man.  There is no neutral stand in this battle. All men are divided into two opposing sides. Jesus said:

He that is not with me is against me. . . (Luke 11:33)

To develop a Biblical world view we must understand these basic facts:

1.We must realize all men live not only in the natural world, but also in a spiritual world.

2.The conflict that rages in the spiritual world affects the natural world in which we live. Satan is at work in the spiritual world and we can actually see it in the natural world in evil deeds committed by men and nations.

3. There is no neutral  ground in this great spiritual battle.  We are either for Jesus or against Him. If we are for Him, we believe all that is taught in God's Word and act upon this knowledge. If we do not believe the Word of God and continue to live in our own selfish and sinful ways, we are against Him.

 

SELF-TEST

1. Write the Key Verse from memory.

2. Who is Creator of the world and all mankind?

3. Give two reasons for the different stories of creation that exist throughout the world.

4. Why do some people refuse to accept the Biblical facts of creation?

5. What is meant by a "Biblical world view"?

6. Summarize the creative acts of God during the six days of creation.

Day One:______________

Day Two:______________

Day Three:_____________

Day Four:______________

Day Five:______________

Day Six:_______________

7. What makes man different from all other creatures made by God?

8. Summarize the story of man's fall into sin.

9. What were the results of man's fall into sin?

10. Give the Bible reference which first reveals God's plan for the world.

11. Name the two worlds in which all men live.

 (Answers to tests are provided at the conclusion of the final chapter in this manual.)

FOR FURTHER STUDY

Learn more about the beginning of the world and God the Creator by studying the following verses:

GOD CREATED THE WORLD:

Genesis 1:1-32; 2:3-4; 5:1-2

Nehemiah 9:6

Job 38:1-41

Psalms 74:17; 89:11; 104:1-35; 115:15; 121:2; 124:8; 134:3; 136:6; 148:5

Proverbs 8:23-31

Ecclesiastes 3:11

Isaiah 40:28; 42:5; 43:1,7; 44:24; 45:8,12,18; 48:13; 54:16; 65:17

Jeremiah 10:12; 27:5; 31:22; 32:17; 51:15

Ezekiel 28:13,15

Amos 4:13

Zechariah 12:1

Malachi 2:10

John 1:3

Acts 4:24; 17:24

Romans 1:20

Ephesians 2:10; 3:9; 4:24

Revelation 10:6

GOD SUSTAINS THE WORLD BY HIS POWER:

Psalms 75:3; 95:4

Colossians 1:16-17

Hebrews 1:3; 6:7

II Peter 3:4

Revelation 4:11

 

CHAPTER TWO: A DIVIDED WORLD

 

OBJECTIVES:

Upon completion of this chapter you will be able to:

                  Write the Key Verses from memory.

                  Explain how the world was divided into various language groups.

                  Explain how this division led to the formation of various people groups.

                  Describe how people groups formed nations.

KEY VERSES:

And the Lord said, Behold the people is one, and they have all one language; and this they begin to do: and now nothing will be restrained from them which they have imagined to do. Go to, let us go down, and there confound their language, that they may not understand one another's speech.  (Genesis 11:6-7)

INTRODUCTION

In the previous chapter you learned of the creation of the world and mankind. You also learned of the fall of man into sin. As Adam and Eve began to reproduce and have children these new additions to the human race were born with a basic sin nature. Man was no longer good as God  had  created him. His natural thought and action patterns had become evil. For a while, men and women lived together in one big extended family. But eventually the world became divided into various languages, people groups, and nations.

You learned of one division of the world in the last chapter, the division between the natural and spiritual worlds. But there are other divisions in the world today. The world is divided into different nations, cultures, and languages. The Bible explains how these divisions came to be.

THE PATTERN OF SIN

Genesis 4:1-6:4 describes the pattern of sin as it began to spread throughout the world. Before proceeding with this lesson, read these chapters in your Bible. In these chapters we learn about the first murder, the first lie, and how the wickedness of man grew until every thought, as well as action, was evil. Finally, the whole world was so sinful that God. . .

. . . saw that the wickedness of man was great in the earth, and that every imagination of the thoughts of his heart was only evil continually.

And it repented the Lord that He had made man on the earth, and it grieved Him at His heart. (Genesis 6:5-6)

Because of the rapid growth of sin, God decided to destroy the earth with a flood.  But He saved one righteous man, Noah, and his family. Read the story of Noah and the flood in Genesis 6:8-9:17. After the flood, Noah's family began to reproduce. Almost immediately, the pattern of sin reoccurred.

THE TOWER OF BABEL

To this point in time, the inhabitants of the whole earth were still like one big extended family:

And the whole earth was of one language, and of one speech. (Genesis 11:1)

There was no division of languages or cultures. Nations did not yet exist.  Because man was totally united in language, culture, and custom, he was able to do great things. This united group of people decided to build a great tower, one so tall it would ascend right into Heaven into God's presence. They wanted to make a great name for themselves. Read about the tower at Babel in Genesis 11:1-9.

God knew that with such unity of language and culture, nothing would be impossible to these men. So God "confounded" or confused their language:

And the Lord said, Behold the people is one, and they have all one language; and this they begin to do: and now nothing will be restrained from them which they have imagined to do.

Go to, let us go down, and there confound their language, that they may not understand one another's speech. (Genesis 11:6-7)

This was the origin of the various divisions of languages of the world.  Because people could not understand each other, the building project at Babel stopped:

So the Lord scattered them abroad from thence upon the face of all the earth; and they left off to build the city. (Genesis 11:8)

People began to come together with those to whom they could talk. They organized in groups or tribes of people speaking the same language. As these groups grew, they moved to different areas of the world. Then  these "people groups" became divided from one another not only because of language, but because of geographic conditions. Great mountains and seas eventually separated them.

Eventually, these separated groups began to develop different ways of doing things. They developed distinct cultures and customs. They also developed various religions and worshiped different gods.

Over a period of time, these  groups grew into great masses of people who organized into nations. They set geographic boundaries for their territories, and political and legal systems to govern their residents. This is how the world came to be divided into many nations with differing languages, cultures, and customs.

THE WORLD TODAY

The world today consists of seven major land masses surrounded by water. These land masses are called continents. The names of the continents are North America, South America, Europe, Asia, Africa, Australia, and Antarctica.

Each of these continents is divided into various nations composed of different people groups. Each nation has its own government and legal system for controlling what occurs within its boundaries. 

Within the nations there are other divisions. The nation may be divided into states or provinces. People within nations are also divided into many tribes and people groups. Many people of our divided world have never heard the Gospel of the Lord Jesus Christ. They do not know about the one true God.  They do not have God's written Word in their own language.

 

SELF-TEST

1. Write the Key Verses from memory.

2. Explain how the world was divided into various language groups.

3. Explain how this language division led to the formation of various people groups.

4. Describe how people groups led to the formation of nations.

(Answers to tests are provided at the conclusion of the final chapter in this manual.)

FOR FURTHER STUDY

The following diagram summarizes what you have learned so far about the Biblical world view.

 

CHAPTER THREE: SEEING THE WORLD AS GOD SEES IT

 

OBJECTIVES:

Upon completion of this chapter you will be able to:

                  Write the Key Verses from memory.

                  Identify the "master key" of the Bible.

                  Explain two facts presented in the "master key" of the Bible.

                  Identify a Scriptural reference which explains God's purpose for the world.

                  Use a natural example to illustrate how God views the world spiritually.

KEY VERSES:

Then opened He their understanding, that they might understand the Scriptures,

And said unto them, Thus it is written, and thus it behooved Christ to suffer and to rise from the dead the third day; And that repentance and remission of sins should be preached in His name among all nations, beginning at Jerusalem.  (Luke 24:45-47)

INTRODUCTION

You have learned that believers must see the world as God sees it. This vision of the world will develop only as you learn more about what God says in His Word about the world. This chapter presents a "master  key" for understanding the Biblical world view, discusses God's purpose for the world, and provides a natural example which illustrates how He views the world. Chapters Four and Five continue this study of the world as it is presented in the Word of God in both the Old and New Testaments.

A MASTER KEY

The Bible is composed of 66 separate books. Every book in the Bible contains a  "key" verse. We call it a "key" verse because it works like a key in the natural world.  Just as a natural key unlocks a door, a key verse  unlocks the door to understanding the theme and contents of a particular book of the Bible.

The Bible as a whole also has a master key, a special passage which unlocks the meaning to all the Word of God. This master key permits us to understand the theme and contents of the entire Bible. It enables us to see the world as God sees it. Here is the master key to the Bible:

Then opened He their understanding, that they might understand the Scriptures, And said unto them, Thus it is written, and thus it behooved Christ to suffer and to rise from the dead the third day; And that repentance and remission of sins should be preached in His name among all nations, beginning at Jerusalem.  (Luke 24:45-47)

Note the words "Then opened He their understanding, that they might understand the Scriptures."  This means Jesus was giving His disciples a master key--two basic facts, which would help them understand all of God's Word.  If you do not understand these two facts, you will not truly understand the Word of God.  Here are the keys:

FIRST: "It behooved Christ to suffer, and to rise from the dead."

It "behooved" Jesus to suffer. This means it was necessary for Him to suffer to reconcile sinful man with a righteous God. This is a key truth behind the message of the entire Bible.

God said the wages of sin were physical, spiritual, and eternal death: But of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil, thou shalt not eat of it: for in the day that thou eatest thereof, thou shalt surely die. (Genesis 2:17)

For the  wages  of  sin  is death; but the gift of God is  eternal  life  through Jesus Christ our Lord. (Romans 6:23)

Jesus Christ was made flesh and came into the world to die in the place of sinful mankind:

For as by one man's disobedience [Adam] many were made sinners, so by the obedience of one [Jesus] shall many be made righteous.  (Romans 5:19)

For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in Him should not perish, but have everlasting life. (John 3:16)

 When God looks at the world, He sees sinful mankind in need of a Savior:

For all have sinned and come short of the glory of God. (Romans 3:23)

Through belief in Jesus and repentance from sin, man can be reconciled with God and receive the gift of eternal life.*

SECOND: "That repentance and remission of sins should be preached."

The second part of the master key to Scripture is that repentance and remission of sins must be preached in His name in all nations.  This means believers have an important responsibility:

When I say unto the wicked, Thou shalt surely die; and thou givest him not warning, nor speakest to warn the wicked from his wicked way, to save his life; the same wicked man shall die in his iniquity; but his blood will I require at thine hand.

Yet if thou warn the wicked, and he turn not from his wickedness, nor from his wicked way, he shall die in his  iniquity;  but thou hast delivered thy soul.  (Ezekiel 3:18-19)

Even though Jesus died for all mankind,  everyone is not automatically saved from sin. Each person has a free will and must decide whether or not he will repent [turn from sin] and accept Jesus as Savior.  In order to believe in Jesus and receive forgiveness of sin, people must first come to know about Him:

For whosoever shall call upon the name of the Lord shall be saved. How then shall they call on Him in whom they have not believed? and how shall they  believe in Him of whom they have not heard? and how shall they hear without a preacher? Romans 10:13-14)

To preach repentance and remission of sins is called evangelizing or spreading the Gospel. The subject of evangelizing the world was a constant theme of Jesus' conversation with His followers after His resurrection from the dead.  (See John 20:21; 21:15-17; Matthew 28:18-20; Mark 16:15; Luke 24:44-48.)  When you are talking with someone for the last time, you tend to discuss that which is most important. The final words of Jesus before returning to Heaven concerned evangelizing:

* The Harvestime International Institute course, "Foundations of Faith,"  provides more detail on repentance and remission of sins.

But ye shall receive power after that the Holy Ghost is come upon you: and ye shall be witnesses unto me both in Jerusalem, and in all Judaea, and in
Samaria, and unto the uttermost part of the earth.  (Acts 1:8)

HOW GOD VIEWS THE WORLD

From the master key of the Bible, we learn how God views the World.  He does not look at the world in terms of political boundaries, governments, or cultures. He sees sinful people who need to be reconciled with Him through Jesus Christ. He sees a whole world
that needs to be evangelized.

God views the world with a divine purpose in mind.  It is a purpose and plan for the world that He established before the beginning of time:

Having made known unto us the mystery of His will, according to His good pleasure which He hath purposed in Himself: That in the dispensation of the fullness of times, he might gather together in one all things in Christ, both which are in Heaven, and which are on earth, even in Him.  (Ephesians 1:9-10)

According to the eternal purpose which He purposed in Christ Jesus our Lord.  (Ephesians 3:11)

God's eternal purpose is to gather all sinful people to Himself through Jesus Christ. Through His written Word, He has revealed to us this  purpose which for many years was a mystery.

A NATURAL ILLUSTRATION OF HOW GOD VIEWS THE WORLD

In the Bible, God often uses natural examples to teach spiritual truths. That which is natural is something we can observe with our senses. We can see, hear, taste, smell or touch it. That which is spiritual can only be observed with spiritual senses. So in order to teach a spiritual truth with which we are not familiar, God uses a natural truth with which we are familiar.

In the Bible there is a natural example illustrating how God views the world. Jesus said to His disciples:

Say not ye, There are yet four months, and then cometh harvest?  Behold I say unto you, Lift up your eyes, and look on the fields; for they are white already to harvest.  (John 4:35)

Jesus was not speaking of the natural harvest in the fields stretched before them at the moment  He spoke these words.  He was speaking of a spiritual harvest.  Jesus used the example of the natural harvest to give His followers a spiritual vision of the world.

On another occasion, Jesus clearly stated:

The field is the world. . .  (Matthew 13:38)

Africa, Asia, Australia, North America, South America, Europe, the islands of the sea. . .these are all seen by God as a great harvest field.  As God views the harvest field of the world, He also sees a great need:

. . . The harvest truly is plenteous, but the laborers are few.  (Matthew 9:37)

God sees a great spiritual harvest ready to be gathered. But there are few laborers at work. You will learn more about this great need for workers later in this course.*

* The Harvestime International Institute course, "Strategies For Spiritual Harvest," provides  further teaching

    on this natural parallel of spiritual truth.

SELF-TEST

1. Write the Key Verses from memory.

2. What Bible reference is the master key of the Bible?

3. Explain the two basic facts presented in the master key of the Bible.

4. Give a Scripture reference which explains God's purpose for the world.

5. What is God's purpose for the world as explained in these verses?

6. What natural example is  given in Scripture to illustrate how God views the world?

 (Answers to tests are provided at the conclusion of the final chapter in this manual.)

FOR FURTHER STUDY

In this lesson you learned how Jesus used the natural example of harvesting to illustrate a great spiritual truth.  Use the following references to continue your study of this subject.  Summarize what each teaches regarding the harvest:

Matthew 9:37-38

Matthew 13:3-39

Mark 4:3-32

Luke 8:5-15

Luke 10:2

John 4:35

John 12:24

I Corinthians 3:6-8

II Corinthians 9:6

Galatians 6:7-8

 

CHAPTER FOUR: THE WORLD IN THE WORD: OLD TESTAMENT

 

OBJECTIVES:

Upon completion of this chapter you will be able to:

                  Write the Key Verse from memory.

                  Identify the central message of the Word of God.

                  Summarize the Biblical  world view reflected in Old Testament law.

                  Summarize the Biblical world view reflected in Old Testament history.

                  Summarize the Biblical world view reflected in Old Testament poetry.

                  Summarize the Biblical world view reflected in Old Testament prophecy.

KEY VERSE:

For from the rising of the sun even unto the going down of the same my name shall be great among the Gentiles; and in every place incense shall be offered unto my name, and a pure offering: for my name shall be great among the heathen, saith the Lord of hosts.  (Malachi 1:11)

INTRODUCTION

This chapter and Chapter Five continue the presentation of the Biblical World View through study of selected passages from the Word of God.   You have already learned how God created the world, of the fall of mankind into sin, and  how the world became divided into various nations and languages.  In this chapter you will learn more about what the Old Testament reveals concerning the world. The following chapter  focuses on the subject in the New Testament.

Many believers are not aware of God's eternal plan for the world. God said, "My people are destroyed  for lack of knowledge. . . " (Hosea 4:6). God was not talking about the kind of knowledge one obtains by going to school. He is speaking of spiritual knowledge that helps us understand and participate in God's plan on earth.

A BOOK WITH ONE MESSAGE

The Bible is not a collection of men's ideas about God. It is a message from God to communicate His plans and purposes to mankind.  The Bible includes stories about people of God. These people were set apart by God to bear His revelation to the world.

The Bible includes many promises, prophecies, and verses of comfort and inspiration.  But the entire Bible, from beginning to end, has one central message.  It is the message of God's concern and plan for the salvation of sinful man.

God's purpose from the beginning has been. . . 

That in the dispensation of the fulness of times, He (God) might gather together in one all things in Christ both which are in Heaven, and which are
on earth; even in Him.  (Ephesians 1:10)

The plan of salvation for sinful man, fulfilled through Jesus Christ, has been God's purpose for the nations of the world from the beginning of time.

THE OLD TESTAMENT

The Old Testament contains 39 books which have been divided into four major sections:

                  Law: Genesis through Deuteronomy

                  History: Joshua through Esther

                  Poetry: Job through Song of Solomon

                  Prophecy: Isaiah through Malachi

Following is a summary of what these four sections of the Old Testament reveal about God's plan for the world.

THE BOOKS OF LAW

Genesis Through Deuteronomy

The books of Genesis through  Deuteronomy are called the books of law because they record God's first commandments to man and man's response to these laws.

THE BEGINNING:

Genesis means "beginnings."  The first book of the Bible records the beginning of the world, man, nations, sin, and God's plan of salvation.

As you have learned, man was created in the image of God with the spiritual and moral likeness of God.  As man reproduced, each new person was to fulfill a part in God's plan.  But man fell from moral and spiritual likeness to God when he sinned.  The first revelation of God's plan for the world is given in Genesis 3:15:

And I will put enmity between thee and the woman, and between thy seed and  her seed; it shall bruise thy head, and thou shalt bruise his heel. (Genesis 3:15)

This promise was given in symbolic language. "The seed of woman" was Jesus.  He would bruise the head of the serpent [Satan] who caused man's sin.  Jesus would do this by dying for the sins of mankind, and reconciling man to God.

Six things are revealed from this verse:

1. God is the source of salvation ("And I").

2. Satan is an enemy ("enmity" between the "seed" of man and Satan).

3. The Savior would come with a unique relationship to man. He would be the Son of God, in human form ("her seed").

4. The Savior would suffer ("thou shalt bruise his heel").

5. God would provide for the defeat of the enemy  ("it shall bruise thy head").

6. Salvation would be for all mankind ("all the seed"), descendants of every generation.

The spread of sin which followed man's fall (Genesis 6) was covered in previous lessons. God sent a world-wide flood because of the great wickedness which filled the earth, but He also provided a special plan for salvation (Genesis 8-9).

The ark, in which Noah and his family were saved, was a type or symbol of salvation through Jesus. Jesus would be the spiritual "ark" in which men could find safety from God's judgment for sin.The story of Noah  and the flood (Genesis 6-9) reveals that although God sees the world as sinful and in need of judgment, He also views the world in mercy. He always has provided a way to escape the penalties of sin.

Throughout the Old Testament, this same pattern occurs over and over again. Man sins and God sends judgment for sin. But, in mercy, God always provides a way of salvation.

A SPECIAL NATION:

You learned how the rebellion against God at Babel led to the division of languages and finally to the formation of nations. From the divided world of nations, God selected one nation, Israel, for a special purpose.

The entire nation descended from one man named Abraham. You can read about Abraham, God's promises to him, and their fulfillment in Genesis 11:27 - 25:34. Abraham was chosen to be the "father" [leader] of the nation of Israel. God chose him for a special purpose:

And I will make of thee a great nation, and I will bless thee, and make thy name great; and thou shalt be a blessing. And I will bless them that bless thee, and curse him that curseth thee; and in thee shall all families of the earth be blessed. (Genesis 12:2-3)

And in thy seed shall all the nations of the earth be blessed; because thou hast obeyed my voice. (Genesis 22:18) 

(See also Genesis 26:4 and 28:14)

From Abraham would come the nation of Israel. Through Israel the nations of the world would be blessed by coming to know the true God. The "families" of the earth  also would be blessed. The word "families" refers to the many different tribes and people groups that compose a nation.

The nation of Israel was not chosen for special privileges or because they were better than any other nation. They were chosen for a special purpose. The nation was a minority called to serve the majority.  God chose Israel as the nation through which He could reveal Himself to the world. Israel was the nation from which the Savior, Jesus Christ, would come (Matthew 2:2; John 4:22). This was the nation through which God spoke His written Word to the world (Psalms 147:19; Romans 3:1,2; 9:4).

Israel was also to be God's witness to the nations:

Let all the nations be gathered together, and let the people be assembled: who among them can declare this and shew us former things? let them bring forth their witnesses, that they may be justified; or let them hear, and say, it is truth.

Ye [Israel] are my witnesses, saith the Lord, and my servant whom I have chosen; that ye may know and believe me, and understand that I am He; before me there was no God formed, neither shall there be after me. I even I, am the Lord; and beside me there is no Savior. I have declared, and have saved, and I have shewed, when there was no strange God among you; therefore ye are my witnesses, saith the Lord, that I am God. (Isaiah 43:9-12)

God established with Israel a living relationship known as a covenant. This covenant is an agreement that He is their God, and they are His people.  In the Old Testament God's covenant was with Israel:

And I will take you to me for a people, and I will be to you a God; and ye shall know that I am the Lord your God. . . (Exodus 6:7)

In the New Testament, God established a new covenant with all true believers:

After the same manner also He [Jesus] took the cup, when He had supped, saying, This cup is the New Testament in my blood; this do ye, as oft as ye
drink it, in remembrance of me. (I Corinthians 11:25)

HEIRS OF ABRAHAM:

You will learn later how New Testament believers are called the heirs of Abraham.  An heir is one who inherits what belongs to another. Like Abraham, we are called to bless the world. But the nations and families of the earth will be blessed only if we go to them with the Gospel.

When God called Abraham, he told him to leave the city of Ur and go to the land "I will show you" (Acts 7:2-3). Abraham took his  family and left Ur, but when he came to Haran he settled there (Genesis 11:31). 

Every believer is called to leave spiritual lands, places that hinder God's purpose. Some believers may also be called to leave the natural land of their own birth to reach other nations. Every believer will sometime face a "Haran". This is the place of comfort where you have the option to settle in ease or obey God and forge ahead to participate in His plan. Abraham moved on from the line at Haran. Once he crossed it, he never looked back.

DEVELOPMENT OF THE NATION:

Following the story of Abraham in the book of Genesis, the history of the growth and development of the nation of Israel is recorded in the remaining books of law.

God used Israel to reveal His plan for the world:

Genesis 50:20:  In Egypt, God raised  up Joseph to preserve the nations.

Exodus 8:22:  God brought Israel out of Egypt to demonstrate He was God of the earth. 

Exodus 9:29:  The plagues in Egypt were designed to reveal God's power.

Exodus 33:16: God's presence with Israel demonstrated His reality to the nations.

Exodus 34:10: God was  continually  at work in Israel so all people among  whom they dwelt would see the work of the Lord.

Leviticus 20:23:  Israel was to be an example to the nations and not follow their evil ways.

Leviticus 19:24:  Israel was to share the love of God with other nations.

Numbers 14:21:  God's plan was that the earth be filled with His glory.

Deuteronomy 4:27; 7:6; 14:2; 26:19:  God selected Israel as His witness, but because of sin they would later be scattered and suffer at the hands of their enemies.

Deuteronomy 18:9; 30:19: God warned Israel not to follow the ways of other nations and called them to choose the way of life.

Deuteronomy 28:9-10:  God's desire was that  through Israel all peoples of the earth would recognize His power. 

THE BOOKS OF HISTORY

Joshua Through Esther

To the world, Israel is an insignificant people. But the Biblical view of Israel is quite different. It is the nation through which  God works to reveal His plan for the world. The Old Testament books of history record the experiences of Israel as they served in this capacity. When Israel was obedient to God, she was delivered from the hand of enemies. This served as a witness to the saving power of God. (See Psalms 66:1-7; Isaiah 52:10). When Israel was disobedient to God, the judgments He sent were also a witness to His reality (Psalms 145:17). Whether God dealt with Israel in love or judgment, He continued to reveal Himself through them to the nations of the world.

Here are some references from the books of history that will increase your understanding of God's plan for the world:

Joshua 2:11; 3:11: God is Lord of all the Heaven and earth.

Joshua 4:23-24: God dried up the Jordan River so the  people of the earth might recognize His hand.

Joshua 23:3,9,12,13: God warned Israel to be separate from the heathen nations and serve as His witness among them.

 Judges 2:21-22:  God tested Israel to see if they would do as He commanded them. The book of Judges records their repeated failures to do so.

Ruth 1:16: The God of the Jews was to  become the God of the Gentiles also.

I Samuel 17:46:  When David met Goliath, he  claimed  victory so all the earth would know there was a God in Israel.

II Samuel 22:50-51:  God was praised by David so that all nations would glorify Him.

I Kings 8:23,43:  After the Kingdom of  Israel was established, King Solomon asked that "all people on the earth may know Thy name, so fear Thee, as do Thy people Israel."

I Kings 8:43,53,60:  These verses reflect God's continued desire that the earth come to the knowledge of His plan.

II Kings 19:15-19:  Deliverance was sought so that all the earth would know the true God.

I Chronicles 16:23-24,31:  God's glory was to be  declared among the nations.

I Chronicles 16:35:  Deliverance from the heathen  is sought so God will be glorified.

II Chronicles 6:32-33:  All peoples  of  the earth should have opportunity to know God.

II Chronicles 6:14; 20:6; 32:13:  God is exalted as the one true God of the world.

II Chronicles 16:9:  God views the world with a special desire in His heart.

Ezra 1:2; 5:11: Cyrus was to build a temple at Jerusalem to honor God before all the earth.

Nehemiah 6:16: The purpose of  Nehemiah's  project was greater than building a wall.  It was to demonstrate the reality of God's power and the certainty of His plan.

Nehemiah 9:6-7: God is proclaimed as Lord of all the earth.

Esther 4:14: Esther was raised up for the special purpose of preserving the nation of Israel which Satan planned to destroy.

THE BOOKS OF POETRY

Job Through Song Of Solomon

The books of Job, Psalms, Proverbs, Ecclesiastes, and the Song of Solomon are known as the books of poetry because they are written in poetic style.  The world is an important theme in these poetic books.

In the Book of Psalms references are made to the nations and peoples more than 200 times. Expressions like "all the earth," "all the people,"  "all peoples,"  "all flesh," "everything that hath breath," "all the ends of the earth,"  "all the people of the earth," "the eyes of all," and the "heathen"  occur repeatedly in this book.

Psalms presents the earth as belonging to the Lord, with everything under His control (Psalms 24:1). It exalts God as the Most High over all the earth (Psalms 38:10; 97:9). It presents Him as judge of the earth (Psalms 149:7), while yet providing mercy through salvation (Psalms 119:64). The sinful condition of the nations is described in Psalms 2. In Psalms 67, the hope of salvation is extended to all nations.

The "For Further Study" section of this chapter provides a complete listing of the subject of the world as it is discussed in Psalms.

Here are some key verses from the other books of poetry:

Job l and 2: Describes the conflict raging for the heart, mind, and soul of man.

Job 9:24; 12:23; 38:1-41: Although conditions on earth are presently evil, God has not lost control of His universe.

Proverbs 2:22; 10:30; 11:31: Describe present wicked conditions on the earth.

Proverbs 14:34:  Righteous and sinful nations are contrasted.

Proverbs 3:19; 8:23-31: Exalt  God as Creator of Heaven and earth.

Ecclesiastes 1:4; 3:11: Present the Lord as Creator and  God of the earth.

Ecclesiastes 7:20; 8:14; 10:7: Focus on the present condition of man and the world.

Ecclesiastes 12:7: Reveals the eternal nature of the  spirit of man.

Ecclesiastes 3:14: Stresses the certainty of God's plan.

These verses are only examples of God's plan for the world as it is revealed in these books. See the "For Further Study" section of this chapter for additional verses about the world in the books of poetry.

THE BOOKS OF PROPHECY

Isaiah Through Malachi

The books of Isaiah through Malachi are called books of prophecy. They record the prophecies given by God through anointed men of Israel. These prophecies explained future events in God's plan for the world. Throughout these books, the worldwide aspect of the Savior's work is emphasized. Jesus would come not for the people of Israel alone, but for the entire human race.

CROSS-CULTURAL MINISTERS:

Two of the prophets, Daniel and Jonah, ministered in cross-cultural settings. 

Daniel was a witness to God while serving as a counselor and official in Babylon. God delivered
Daniel from death  to reveal Himself as God of the earth (Daniel 6:27). The Book of Daniel records many revelations from God concerning the future of the world.  This book is related to the book of Revelation in the New Testament which provides additional information of God's plan for
the nations.

The purpose of God's plan is summarized in this verse in Daniel:

And there was given Him [Jesus] dominion, and glory, and a kingdom, that all people, nations, and languages should serve Him; His dominion is an everlasting dominion, which shall not pass away, and His kingdom that which shall not be destroyed. (Daniel 7:14)

Jonah was a Jewish  missionary called to preach redemption to the evil Gentile city of Ninevah. He fulfilled his mission reluctantly. The book of Jonah is important because it reveals God's purpose to bring salvation to all nations, not just the nation of Israel.

Israel hated the people of Ninevah. At first, Jonah refused to go preach to them. But after further dealing from God, he went and preached repentance, although he offered no guidance on how to repent. They had to guess at what to do, as the king's decree reflects (Jonah 3:8-9).

Instead of rejoicing at their repentance, Jonah complained and argued with God (Jonah 4:2). The last words of Jonah recorded in Scripture are "I am angry enough to die" (Jonah 4:9). The book of Jonah has no conclusion. The final questions (Jonah 4:9-11) are given no answer. We leave Jonah waiting for God to come around to His way of thinking. God is still waiting for a host of people who are much like Jonah. They sit at ease in their comfortable houses, just as Jonah sat in his shaded seat. They fail to understand and refuse to participate in God's plan for the world.

THE BOOK OF ISAIAH:

Isaiah is an excellent example of the emphasis on God's plan for the world which is revealed in the books of the prophets:

Isaiah 17:12-13; 24:5-6;:  Describes the condition of  the world before God.

Isaiah 40:12; 42:5; 44:24; 45:8,12,18; 48:13:  Exalts God as Creator of heaven and earth.

Isaiah 14:12:  Reveals Satan as the enemy of the nations.

Isaiah 37:20, 64:4:  Stress the purpose and greatness of God's plan for the world.

Isaiah 65:17; 66:22:  Reveal God's future plan for the world.

Isaiah 40:15:  God's view of the nations.

Isaiah 45:22; 51:6:  The appeal goes to the nations to look to God for salvation.

Isaiah 43:8-12:  Israel was God's witness among the nations.

Isaiah 52:13-15:  The servant mentioned in this passage is Jesus.  He would suffer for the redemption of the world.  The kings of the Gentile or heathen nations would hear the Gospel in astonishment.  Christ's death was to be for all peoples and nations of the earth.  His Gospel was to be proclaimed to all regions of the world.

Isaiah 54:1-5:  The "seed" here means  Israel's spiritual seed, including Gentile believers who would come to a saving knowledge of Jesus.  The appeal to "enlarge your dwelling" meant to expand to receive children of God from among the heathen.

Isaiah 42:1-10:  God would deal mercifully with the nations.  He would not give up, no matter how trying or how long the time before they would respond.  Many of the "isles" referred to by Isaiah still wait for His law.  Verse six speaks of the Savior through whom the redeemed of all nations shall be bound together.

Isaiah 49:6-12: The restoration of  Israel  was a small thing compared to God's great purpose in the world.  His purpose was that the whole earth would come to know and worship Him in spirit and truth.

Isaiah 56:7:  God's house was to be a house of prayer for all the nations.

Isaiah 59:16 - 60:5:  This passage reveals that although spiritual darkness would cover the earth because of sin, Jesus would arise with light and healing.  This holy light would be reflected throughout the entire world.  The Gentiles would come to this light from the most remote parts of the earth.

Isaiah 2:4,19,21; 5:26; 11:4; 13:11,13; 24:1,19,21; 25:7; 26:21; 34:2; 64:2:  All these verses predict God's judgment on the nations.

Isaiah 2:2;  6:3; 11:9;  52:10; 55:5; 60:2; 61:11; 66:1,18:  All speak of a time when the earth will be filled with the knowledge of the Lord.

THE OTHER PROPHETS:

Here are some key passages from the other books of the prophets:

Jeremiah 1:5:  Jeremiah was called as a prophet to the nations.

Jeremiah 9:24:  God shows loving kindness, judgment, and righteousness in the earth.

Jeremiah 23:5:  Prediction of the judgment and justice to be executed on earth by Jesus.

Jeremiah 18:7-10:  Provides a clear choice for all nations.

Jeremiah 27:5; 32:17; 51:15:  Exalt God as creator of the earth.

Jeremiah 31:7: God is to be published and praised among the nations.

Jeremiah 4:2; 33:9:  The nations will glory in God.

Jeremiah 5:9; 6:19; 7:28; 9:9; 10:10,11,25; 12:17; 23:5; 25:14,31; 51:25:  All speak of God's judgment upon evil nations of the world.

Jeremiah 16:19-21:  God's purpose for the nations to be achieved through Israel.

Jeremiah 33:9:  All nations of the earth will hear of the Lord.

Lamentations 3:37-39:  God will punish man for sin.

Lamentations 4:20:  Although we live among the heathen, we are under the shadow of God.

Ezekiel 20:41; 36:23; 38:23; 39:7,21:  All these  verses reflect God's  desire to make His name known among the nations of the world.

Hosea 1:10; 2:23: In the places where God has not been known, He will be revealed.

Joel 1:15:  Joel warned of  the "day of the Lord," which is the time of His judgment of the nations. He called for universal repentance.

Joel 2:28-32; 3:9-12:  Although all nations will experience God's judgment, they will also experience the gift of the Holy Spirit and the peace that will follow.

Joel 3:14:  Describes the multitudes of the world yet unreached for God.

Amos 4:13:  Amos joins with the other prophets in declaring God's Lordship over the earth.

Amos 9:11-12:  God will raise up all nations called by His name.

Obadiah 1:1:  God has sent His messengers among the nations.

Obadiah 1:15:  The day of judgment will come on the heathen.

Micah 4:1-3; 5:15; 7:16:  God will judge the nations.

Nahum 1:5:  All earth will come under control of God.

Habakkuk 15; 3:12:  God will work great wonders to reveal Himself to the heathen.

Habakkuk 2:4:  Establishes  the  principle  of justification by faith.

Habakkuk 2:14; 3:3: Predict a day when the earth will be filled with the glory of the Lord.

Zephaniah 3:6,8:  God will judge the wicked nations of the earth.

Haggai 2:7,21,22: God will shake the nations  to  draw them to Himself.

Zechariah 12:1: God is presented as Creator of man's spirit.

Zechariah 4:10: God's attention is  focused on the world.

Zechariah 12:10; 13:1,6,7: Predicts the death of Jesus  for the sins of the world.

Zechariah 14:8-9:  God will become king over all the earth.

Malachi 1:11: God's name will be praised among all nations.

From these sample passages you can see it is impossible to analyze all the prophets teach about the plan of God for the world in this limited space. In the "For Further Study" section of this chapter you will find all the references about the world from the Old Testament prophets to permit you to continue this study.

TRANSITION TO THE NEW TESTAMENT

The Old Testament ends with the book of Malachi. The New Testament begins with the book of Matthew. In the next chapter you will begin study of the Biblical world view as it is reflected in the New Testament.

In the Old Testament, God's plan was to use Israel to draw all nations to Himself. By living a life in the presence and fear of God, they were to draw nations like a great magnet to Jerusalem and to the Lord.

In the New Testament, after Israel's rejection of Jesus, a new group of people is raised up. That group is known as the Church which is composed of all born-again believers. Through the Church, God now is at work to reveal Himself to the world.

But the method is different. In the Old Testament, the nations were to come to Jerusalem to learn of the Lord. In the New Testament, the Church is sent out from Jerusalem to the nations.

 

SELF-TEST

1. Write the Key Verse from memory.

2. What is the central message of the Word of God?

3. Summarize the Biblical world view reflected in the books of Old Testament law.

4. Summarize the Biblical world view reflected in the books of Old Testament history.

5. Summarize the Biblical world view reflected in the books of  Old Testament poetry.

6. Summarize the Biblical world view reflected in the books of Old Testament prophecy.

 (Answers to tests are provided at the conclusion of the final chapter in this manual.)

FOR FURTHER STUDY

Use the following list of Scriptures to continue your study of the Biblical world view in the Old Testament.  The list includes references to the world, heathen, nations, and Gentiles [which means all nations other than Israel].

Genesis:  6:5-7,11-13,17; 8:17,22; 9:1-2,11-17; 10:32; 11:1,8,9; 12:2,3; 13:16; 14:19,22; 17:4-6,16,20; 18:18; 21:13,18; 22:18; 26:4; 28:14; 46:3        

Exodus:  8:22; 9:14,16,29; 19:5,6; 32:10; 33:16; 34:10

Leviticus: 20:23

Numbers:  14:21

Deuteronomy:  3:24; 4:27,39; 7:6; 9:4; 10:14; 14:2; 15:6; 18:9; 26:19; 28:1,10; 30:19

Joshua:  2:11; 3:11; 4:24; 23:3,9,12,23

Judges:  2:21-23

I Samuel:  8:5

II Samuel:  7:23; 22:50

I Kings:  8:23,43,53,60; 11:2

II Kings:  5:15; 17:11,15; 19:15,19

I Chronicles:  16:14,23,24,30,31,35; 17:21; 29:11

II Chronicles: 6:14,33; 16:9; 20:6; 32:13

Nehemiah:  1:8; 5:9; 6:16; 9:6

Job:  9:24; 12:23; 19:25; 37:6,12; 38:4

Psalms: 2:1,2,8; 8:1,9; 9:5,8,15,17,19,20; 10:16,18; 18:7,43,49; 19:4; 22:27-29; 24:1; 25:13; 33:5,8,10,12,14; 34:16; 37:9,11,22; 44:2,11,14; 46:2,6,8-10; 47:2,3,7-9; 48:2,10; 49:1; 50:1,4,12; 57:5,9,11; 58:11; 59:5,8,13; 65:5,9; 66:4,7; 67:2,4,6,7; 68:8,32; 69:34; 72:8,11,17,19; 73:12,25; 74:12,17,20; 75:3,8; 76:8,9,12; 77:18; 78:55,69; 79:6,10; 80:8; 82:8; 83:4,18; 86:9; 89:11; 90:2; 93:1; 94:10; 95:4; 96:1; 99:1; 102:15,19,25; 104:5,9,13,14,24,30,32,35; 105:7; 106:27,34,35,41,47; 108:3,5; 110:6; 111:6; 112:2; 113:4; 114:7; 115:2,15,16; 117:1; 119:64,90,119; 121:2; 124:8; 126:2; 134:3; 135:6,7,10,15; 136:6; 138:4; 146:6; 147:8,15; 148:11,13; 149:7

Proverbs:  2:22; 3:19; 8:23,26,29,31; 10:30; 11:31; 14:34

Ecclesiastes:  1:4; 3:11; 5:2,9; 7:20; 8:14,16; 10:7; 11:2; 12:7

Isaiah:  2:2,4,19,21; 5:26; 6:3; 11:4,9,12; 12:5; 13:11,13; 14:12,26; 17:12,13; 23:9; 24:1,4-6,19-21; 25:7,8; 26:2,9,21; 34:2; 37:16,20; 40:12,15,17,21,28; 41:9; 42:4,5,10; 44:24; 45:8,12,18,22; 48:13; 49:6; 51:6,13,16; 52:10; 54:5; 55:5,9; 60:2; 61:11; 64:2,4; 65:1,17; 66:1,18,22

Jeremiah:  1:5; 4:2; 5:9; 6:19; 7:28; 9:9,24; 10:2,10-12,25; 12:17; 16:19; 18:7-9; 22:29; 23:5,24; 25:14,15,17,31,32; 27:5; 29:14; 31:7,10; 32:17; 33:9; 36:2; 46:28; 49:14; 51:15,20,25

Lamentations:  4:20

Ezekiel:  5:5-8; 16:14; 20:41; 36:24; 38:23; 39:7,21; 43:2

Daniel:  4:35; 6:27

Hosea:  2:23; 6:3; 9:17

Joel:  2:17,19,30; 3:2,11,12

Amos:  4:13; 9:8,9,12

Obadiah:  1:1,15

Micah:  1:2,3; 4:2,3,7; 5:4,15; 6:2; 7:16

Nahum:  1:5

Habakkuk:  1:5; 2:14,20; 3:3,6,12

Zephaniah:  2:3,11; 3:6,8,20

Haggai:  2:7,14,21,22

Zechariah:  1:10,11,15; 2:8,11; 4:10; 12:1,3,9; 14:2,3,9,16

Malachi:  1:11

 

CHAPTER FIVE: THE WORLD IN THE WORD: THE NEW TESTAMENT

                                                  

OBJECTIVES:

Upon completion of this chapter you will be able to:

                  Write the Key Verse from memory.

                  Explain how God's plan for the world was revealed in announcements of the birth of Jesus.

                  Summarize the world view of Jesus as shown by His conduct.

                  Summarize what Jesus taught about the world and His mission to it.

                  Explain the importance of the cross of Jesus in God's plan for the world. 

KEY VERSE:

I have glorified thee on the earth; I have finished the work which thou gavest me to do.  (John 17:4)

INTRODUCTION

This chapter continues the study of the world as it is presented in the Word of God.  It explains the Biblical world view revealed in the New Testament.  From the announcement of the birth of Jesus through His life, death, and resurrection, the New Testament emphasizes the world.

The same emphasis continues after the return of Jesus to Heaven when the Church goes forth to reach all nations with the Gospel.  You will study the "Church In The World" in the following chapter.

ANNOUNCEMENTS OF THE BIRTH OF JESUS

The first announcement of the birth of Jesus recorded in the New Testament was made by an angel to a woman named Mary who was a virgin.  Read about this in Luke l.

The coming of Jesus to the world was part of God's plan  revealed in the Old Testament.  Mary said the Savior was coming. . .

. . . As He [God] spake to our fathers, to Abraham, and to His seed for ever. (Luke 1:55)

Read the announcement of the birth of Jesus by the angels in Luke 2:10-14.  Note the phrases "Behold, I bring  you good tidings of great joy, which shall be to all people" (verse 10) and "on earth, peace, good will toward men" (verse 14). "All people" means all the people of the world. This announcement of the birth of Jesus reveals He came for all people of the world.

If there were no other statements anywhere in the New Testament to prove the Gospel was intended for all men of the earth, this announcement would be sufficient.

THE DEDICATION OF JESUS

When Jesus was taken to the temple for dedication to God, as was the Jewish custom, Simeon recognized Him as the promised Savior of the world.  Read this incident in Luke 2:25-32. Simeon declared Jesus had  come to reconcile God and man. He said:

"Thy salvation. . .prepared before the face of all people. . . a light to lighten the Gentiles" [heathen]  (Luke 2:31-32).

Another New Testament prophecy concerning the mission of Jesus to the world was later given by Caiaphas, the High Priest of the Jewish faith. He said:

. . . it is expedient for us, that one man should die for the people, and that the whole nation perish not. And this spake he not of himself, but being high priest that year, he prophesied that Jesus should die for that nation. And not for that nation only, but that also he should gather together in one
the children of God that were scattered abroad. (John 11:50-52)

JOHN THE BAPTIST

John the Baptist was a man chosen by God to prepare the people for the coming of Jesus. Read about his birth and God's plan for His life in Luke 1.

When John introduced Jesus to the people, he said "all flesh shall see the salvation of God."  Jesus came to bring salvation for all mankind (Luke 3:3-6).

John also referred to Jesus as the "Lamb of God sent to take away the sin of the world": The next day John seeth Jesus coming unto him and said, Behold the Lamb of God, which taketh away the sin of the world. (John 1:29)

In the Old Testament lambs were used  as  sacrifices for sin.  Jesus was to be God's sacrifice for sin.  He would be a perfect, final sacrifice. There would be no need to continue the Old Testament practice of sacrificing the blood of animals to obtain forgiveness for sin. 

John called Jesus the "light of the world":

That was the true Light, which lighteth every man that cometh into the world. He was in the world, and the world was made by Him, and the world knew
Him not.  (John 1:9-10)

THE CONDUCT OF JESUS

Jesus revealed His great love for the world by His conduct during His earthly ministry.  Read about the  feeding  of the 5,000 in Matthew 14:13-21.  The disciples saw the crowd as an inconvenience.  Jesus saw them as an opportunity to show God's love.  

Read about Jesus  and  the woman of Samaria in John 4:1-42.  By this example, Jesus taught there is no difference between races and God's provision of redemption from sin.  The people of Samaria said:

. . . Now we believe, not because of thy saying:  for we have heard Him ourselves, and know that this is indeed the Christ, the Savior of the world. 
(John 4:42)

It was at this time Jesus shared with His disciples the great vision of worldwide spiritual harvest. He said: Say not ye, There are yet four months, and then cometh harvest?  behold, I say unto you, Lift up your eyes, and look on the fields; for they are white already to harvest.  (John 4:35)

He told His disciples:

. . . The harvest truly is plenteous, but the laborers are few; Pray ye therefore the Lord of the harvest, that He will send forth laborers into His harvest. (Matthew 9:37-38)

Read Mark 14:1-9 which tells how Mary anointed Jesus.  Some people criticized her for pouring the costly ointment on Jesus' head.  But Jesus said. . .

. . . Wheresoever this Gospel shall be preached throughout the whole world, this also that she hath done shall be spoken of for a memorial of her. (Mark 14:9)

By this statement, Jesus revealed it was His plan that the Gospel go to the whole world.

Read about  the cleansing of the temple in Mark 11:15-17.  Jesus again emphasized the world as He said:. . . Is it not written, My house shall be called of all nations the house of prayer? (Mark 11:17)

Today, many of our centers of worship have departed from God's purpose.  We need Jesus to cleanse us once again so we can fulfill His plan that. . .

. . . Mine house shall be called an house of prayer for all people [all nations]. (Isaiah 56:7)

 THE TEACHING OF JESUS

Jesus stressed God's plan for the world in His teaching as well as His conduct. 

Study the following passages in your Bible:

Matthew 5:13-16:  The followers of Jesus are to be  salt of the earth and the light of the world.

Matthew 6:10: Confirms God has a will and plan to be accomplished in earth.

Matthew 6:19; 16:26; Mark 8:36;  Luke 12:22-32;  John 12:25: Our concerns should not be worldly but focused on that which is eternal.

Matthew 9:6;  Mark 2:10;  Luke 5:24:  Jesus has power to forgive sins.

Matthew 13:35:  Jesus revealed things about God's  plan for the world which had been secret from the foundation of the world.

Matthew 21:43:  Jesus foretells the spread of the  Gospel to the Gentile nations.

Luke 4:18-19:  Note the concern of Jesus for the needs of people of the earth.

Luke 12:49-51; John 9:39; 12:31:  Jesus  came to bring "fire" (judgment) and division between righteousness and sin.

Luke 13:28-29:  Jesus taught of the gathering of all nations at the end of time.

John 3:16-18; 12:47; 17:6; 18:37:  These verses identify His purposes for coming into the world.

John 6:33-51:  Jesus said He was the bread of life for "any man" and He would give His flesh for the life "of the world."

John 7:7:  Jesus spoke of the sinful condition of the world.

John 8:12: Jesus presented Himself as the light  of the world. (See also 9:5 and 12:46).

John 8:23, 26:  Jesus said He  was not of the world but was sent to the world to speak God's message.

John 12:47:  Jesus said He came to save the world.

John 10:1-16:  This passage predicts the Gospel would be preached to the Gentile nations, "sheep" not of the fold of Israel. Lines of separation would be removed as all people became "sheep of one fold."

John 12:20-36:  Jesus said He would draw all men to Himself by dying for the sins of the world. He would draw men and women from every part of the world.

John 15:18-19; 16:33; 17:14-16:  Just as Jesus  was  rejected, so His followers would experience rejection by the world.

John 16:8:  When the Holy Spirit came, He would reprove [convict] the world of sin.

THE PARABLES OF JESUS:

Jesus told  many parables during His earthly ministry.  Parables are natural  examples used to illustrate spiritual truths. They have been  called "earthly stories with heavenly meanings."  In parables Jesus revealed more about God's plan for the world:

The Good Samaritan: (Luke 10)

The people of Israel did not have good relationships with the Samaritan people.  The question "Who is my neighbor" had long been discussed among the religious leaders.  This story taught the proper attitude towards those of other cultures.

The Prodigal Son: (Luke 15) 

The attitude of the  elder brother in this story was like that of the religious leaders in Israel at the time of Jesus.  They did not want the love of God extended to other nations.  They resented the fact that those of other nations would come to know the salvation of God.

If we are critical of Israel, we must remember that many in the modern church have this same attitude.  We rest securely in the blessings of the Gospel with little concern about those still in heathen darkness without Jesus.

The Great Feast: (Luke 14:16-24) 

This story reveals Israel was given the first opportunity to enter the Kingdom, but rejected the invitation.  The call would now go out to all those in the "highways and hedges" of the world.

The Husbandmen: (Matthew 21:34-44) 

Jesus revealed that Israel was intended to be keepers of God's vineyard, but failed in this responsibility.

The Wheat And The Tares: (Matthew 13:36-43) 

The field in this parable represented the world.  The Word of God is to be scattered throughout the entire world.  At the end of the world, the spiritual crop it has produced will be reaped by God.

The Sower: (Mark 4) 

The seed, which is the Word of God, is to be scattered throughout the fields of the world.  It will fall on many types of spiritual soil and produce different results.

Spread Of The Kingdom: (Matthew 13) 

Jesus used several parables to illustrate how the Gospel of the Kingdom would spread throughout the world.  Read the stories of the grain of mustard seed, the leaven, the candle, the net, the hidden treasure, the pearl of great price, and the householder in Matthew 13.

THE REJECTION OF JESUS

Because Israel refused the message brought by Jesus, the Lord used many examples to illustrate the seriousness of their rejection.

THE TEN LEPERS: (Luke 17:12-19) 

In this incident one Samaritan leper returned to give thanks, while the nine Israeli lepers did not. Jesus drew attention to the fact that the Samaritan was thankful to God while Israel took God's favor for granted.  This contrasted the response to the Gospel by Israel and the Gentile nations.

THE SYROPHENICIAN WOMAN: (Matthew 15:21-28)

The first response of Jesus seemed harsh, but He had a special purpose. Jesus intended that her great faith would be revealed and serve as an example and  rebuke to Israel.  Granting of her request shows that the mercy of God is not limited by national boundaries.

THE CENTURION'S SERVANT: (Matthew 8:5-12)

This man was a Roman soldier, yet God's mercy was extended to him by the healing of his servant.  Jesus said of him:

Verily I say unto you, I have not found so great faith, no, not in Israel. (Matthew 8:10)

The statement of Jesus in verse 11 reveals that  the Gospel of the Kingdom was for all people: I say unto you, that many shall come from the east and west, and shall sit down with Abraham, and Isaac, and Jacob in the Kingdom of Heaven. (Matthew 8:11)

THE CROSS AND THE WORLD

The death of Jesus on the cross was part of God's plan for the world.  His death is the basis of salvation for the world.  It is the central message of the entire Bible.  Jesus often drew attention to the worldwide impact of the cross:

Matthew 20:28: He came "to give  His  life a ransom for many."  "Many" means the many people of the whole earth.

Matthew 26:28:  Jesus said His blood was "shed for many  for the remission of sins." 

John 3:14-17:  Jesus expressed  God's love for the world as revealed by giving His Son to die for the sins of mankind.  "Whosoever" means all men of every nation.

John 6:51:  He indicates He will give His life for the world.

John 12:32:  Jesus said He would  draw all men to Himself for salvation.

The cross is a central theme of the writings of Paul, who reveals more of its global purposes:

Romans 5:12-21:  Through the sin of Adam, judgment  came on all men.  Through the death of Jesus on the cross,  righteousness can come upon all. 

II Corinthians 5:14-19:  Jesus  died "for all" and God, through Jesus, reconciled the world to Himself. 

Galatians 1:4:  Jesus gave Himself for our sins according to the will of God.

Ephesians 3:6-ll: The heathen  nations were to receive the benefits of the atonement of Jesus.

Colossians 1:20: Peace  and  reconciliation with God through the death of Jesus on the cross.

I Timothy 1:15:  Jesus came to save sinners. 

I Timothy 2:5-6:  There  is  only  one  mediator, Jesus Christ, through whom men of every tribe and nation gain access to  the one true God.

Hebrews 9:11-12:  Jesus suffered once for all the sins of man.

I John 4:9,14:  John also draws attention to the worldwide impact of the cross:  Jesus was sent into the world to be the Savior of the world.

THE FINISHED WORK

As Jesus faced death on the cross, He said:

. . . To  this end was I born, and for this cause came I into the world, that I should bear witness unto the truth.  Every one that is of the truth heareth my
voice.  (John 18:37)

Through His death on the cross,  Jesus proclaimed  that the plan of God for reconciling the world was complete. Jesus said: I have glorified thee on the earth; I have finished the work which thou gavest me to do.  (John 17:4)

THE COMMISSION OF JESUS

Three days after His death, Jesus was resurrected (Matthew 28).  Jesus made several appearances to His followers after His resurrection and before His return to Heaven.  Each time He met with them, He spoke to them of reaching the world with the Gospel message.  He gave them a challenge  which has come to be known as the "Great Commission."  In the following chapter, you will learn how His disciples fulfilled this challenge.

 

SELF-TEST

1. Write the Key Verse from memory.

2. Explain how God's plan for the world was revealed in the announcements of the birth of Jesus.

3. Explain how the Biblical world view was demonstrated by Christ's conduct.

4. Summarize what Jesus taught about the world and His mission to it.

5. Explain the importance of the cross of Jesus in the plan of God for the world.

6. What did Jesus mean when He said He had finished God's work?

 (Answers to tests are provided at the conclusion of the final chapter in this manual.)

FOR FURTHER STUDY

Continue learning about the world  by  studying the following references.  These are all the references to the "world" and related words in the Gospels:

Matthew:  5:5,13,14; 6:19; 9:6; 10:34; 13:35,38-40,49; 16:19,26; 18:18,19; 21:43; 24:3,7,9,14,30,35;  25:32,34;  28:18-20

Mark:  2:10; 4:5,19; 8:36; 10:30; 11:17; 13:8,10,27,31; 14:9; 16:15

Luke:  1:70; 5:24; 11:50; 12:30,49,51; 18:30; 21:10,25,26,33,35; 24:47

John:  1:9,10,29; 3:16,17,19,31; 4:42; 6:33,51; 7:7; 8:12,23,26; 9:5,39; 11:51,52; 12:19,25,31,32,46,47; 14:17,19,31; 15:18,19;  16:11,21,  28,33; 17:4,6,11,14-16,18,21,23; 18:20,36,37; 21:25

 

CHAPTER SIX: THE CHURCH IN THE WORLD

 

OBJECTIVES:

                  Upon completion of this chapter you will be able to:

                  Write the Key Verse from memory.

                  Explain the "Great Commission."

                  Present Scriptural references for the "Great Commission."

                  Define the word "Church."

                  Explain how the Church started.

                  Identify the spiritual power behind the Church.

                  Summarize God's organizational plan for the Church.

                  State the purpose of the Church.

                  Explain basic elements of the "Gospel of the Kingdom."

KEY VERSE:

But ye shall receive power, after that the Holy Ghost is come upon you: and ye shall be witnesses unto me both in Jerusalem, and in all Judaea, and in
Samaria, and unto the uttermost part of the earth.  (Acts 1:8)

INTRODUCTION

In Old Testament times God raised up the nation of Israel as the people through which He could reveal His plan of salvation to the world.  After Israel rejected  Jesus, God raised up a new group of people through which He would actively work in the world. That group is known as the Church.  The Church has a special position and purpose in God's plan for the nations.  This lesson explains the role of the Church in the world.

THE GREAT COMMISSION

After the resurrection of Jesus from the dead, He appeared several times to His followers. Each time, He presented an urgent challenge to them.  That challenge was their responsibility to reach the entire world with the Gospel message.   This mission assigned to believers by Jesus has become known as the "Great Commission."  It is the greatest commission or assignment ever given man.  It is the responsibility to reach every living
creature with the Gospel.

The following passages record the Great Commission as Jesus gave it to His followers:

JOHN 20:21-23:

Jesus told His followers, "As my Father hath sent me, even so send I you."  The Great Commission began with God.  Over the years God repeatedly sent His messengers, the prophets, to draw sinful man to Himself.  These messengers were often rejected. Finally, God sent His only Son, Jesus.

Everything God required of Jesus as a messenger, He also requires of us since we are sent "as" the Father sent Him.  What was required of Jesus?

                  He came to the world with a divine mission.

                  He left all to come.

                  He was willing to identify with fallen humanity.

                  He was willing to suffer and die for the mission.

                  He fulfilled His mission by both declaration and demonstration.

                  He finished the work God sent Him to do.

LUKE 24:45-59: 

We studied this passage in a previous chapter as the key to the Scriptures.  It reveals God's plan for the death and resurrection of Jesus.  It calls for sharing the message of redemption to the nations of the world.

It is not enough that Jesus died for the sins of men.  Lost men are not automatically saved. We must share the Gospel with them and bring them to God.  The penalty of sin is death (Romans 6:23).  Because of sin, every man and woman is headed for Hell.  Only those who accept the Lord Jesus and receive forgiveness for sin will be saved. God does not want one person to perish:

The Lord is not slack concerning His promise, as some men count slackness; but is longsuffering to us-ward, not  willing that any should perish, but that
all should come to repentance.  (II Peter 3:9) There is no question as to God's desire for everyone in the world to be saved:

For whosoever shall call upon the name of the Lord shall be saved. (Romans 10:13) But. . .

How then shall they call on Him in whom they have not believed?  And how shall they believe in Him of whom they have not heard?  And how shall they
hear without a preacher?  (Romans 10:14) God wants everyone to be saved, but someone must tell them this good news. MARK 16:14-16:

The command is to "go."  The destination is "all the world."  The Gospel is to be preached to every creature.  Jesus promises to work with those who go by powerful demonstrations of miraculous signs.  Some people seek signs in their ministry when they are not fulfilling the command to go and then they wonder why they have no power.

JOHN 15:16: Jesus has chosen and ordained us to go and  bring forth spiritual fruit.  Read this entire chapter on spiritual fruit bearing.  You will learn how Jesus is the vine and we are the branches.  It is the life-flow of Jesus within us that brings spiritual harvest.

MATTHEW 28:16-20: Jesus said "all power" was given to Him by God.  Because of this, Jesus had authority to commission His followers to circle the globe with the Gospel. Note in this passage:

The Personnel: Personnel are the people Jesus is calling to the task. "Ye" [all believers] are the messengers.

The Power: "All power." The power of God is the motivation that enables the messenger to go forth. It is the power of the Holy Spirit of God, not the power of man and his methods.

The Priority: "Go" is the mandate given in this  record of the Great Commission. It is to be the priority of our life, not an option.

The Plan: Teaching and preaching are the methods to be used.

The Purpose: The purpose is to make  disciples  of all nations. This is the multiplication of the Gospel.

The People: The people to be reached are "all nations." This is the magnitude or scope of the command.  It includes the entire world.

The Presence: The one who is to  go with  us is Jesus. This is the manager of the program. He will guide and direct us through the Holy Spirit as we fulfill the Great Commission.

The Precept: The precepts to  be  taught  are the message. The message to take to the world is the Gospel of the Kingdom.

And this Gospel of the Kingdom shall be preached in all the world for a witness unto all nations. . . (Matthew 24:14)

The Gospel is also called the Gospel of God (I Thessalonians 2:9), the Gospel of Christ (I Thessalonians 3:2), and Paul's Gospel (Romans 2:16). There is no contradiction here.  God is the originator of the Gospel. Jesus fulfilled God's plan. Men like Paul are both recipients and messengers of the Gospel. 

The Gospel is received by revelation from God. It is not a man-made doctrine:

But I certify you, brethren, that the Gospel which was preached of me is not after man. For I neither received it of man, neither was I taught it,  but  by  the revelation of Jesus Christ. (Galatians 1:11-12)

In I Corinthians 15:1-11, the simple truths of the Gospel  are summarized. The basic message is Jesus, His ministry, death for sin, resurrection, and appearances. The Gospel is based on grace and faith. 

In its narrowest sense, the Gospel means the simple plan of salvation as presented in John 3:16, John 14:1, Matthew 11:28, and Romans 10:9.  In its widest meaning, it includes all Jesus taught about the Kingdom.

The Gospel is the truth of God:

For the hope which is laid up for you in Heaven, whereof ye heard before in the word of the truth of the Gospel.  (Colossians 1:5)

The Gospel is also the power of God resulting in salvation:

For I am not ashamed of the Gospel of Christ; for it is the power of God unto salvation to everyone that believeth; to the Jew first, and also to the  Greek.(Romans 1:16)

THE CHURCH

The challenge of the Great Commission was delivered by Jesus to the Church. The Church serves as Israel was called to serve in Old Testament times.  It is the corporate group through which God now reveals Himself to the nations of the world.

It is important to define what we mean when we speak of the "Church." The Church mentioned in God's Word is not  a building. It is not a denomination or a religion.  The Church is defined on two levels:

WORLDWIDE: 

The Church is composed of all people who believe in Jesus Christ. It is a fellowship of believers who have been born again and live in obedience to God.  

The word "Church" means "to call out from" or the "called out ones." The Church is composed of people called out from the Kingdom of Satan to the Kingdom of God. This includes people of every race, tribe, culture, and language who have accepted Jesus Christ as Savior.

The Church is also called "the Body of Christ," "Christians," or "believers."  Such words are sometimes used very broadly, but in their real definition include only those who have been born again through Jesus Christ and who are living in obedience to God. 

LOCAL:

For purposes of mission, organization, and fellowship, groups of believers have banded together in organized local fellowships. This pattern of establishing the Church at the local level started in New Testament times.

THE NATURE OF THE CHURCH

The Bible uses several symbols which explain more of the nature, function, relationship, and position of the Church.

In the following verses the Church is called:

A New Man:  Ephesians 2:14-15

The Body of Christ: Ephesians 1:22-23; 5:30; I Corinthians 12:27

The Temple Of God:  Ephesians 2:21-22;  I Corinthians 3:9,16; I Timothy 3:15; I Peter 2:5

A Royal Priesthood:  I Peter 2:5,9; Revelation 1:6; 5:10

The Bride Of Christ: II Corinthians 11:2

The Household Of God:  Ephesians 2:19

The Flock Of God:  John 10:1-29;  I Peter 5:3-4;  Hebrews 13:20; Acts 20:28

The Church Of God:  Acts 20:28; I Corinthians 1:2; 10:32; 11:22; 15:9; I Timothy 3:5; I Thessalonians 2:14

The Church Of The Living God:  I Timothy 3:15

The Church Of Christ:  Romans 16:16

The Church Of The Firstborn:  Hebrews 12:23

The Church Of The Saints:  I Corinthians 14:33

THE PURPOSE OF THE CHURCH

The church has several important functions which include worship, fellowship, and ministry to human need.  But the primary purpose for its existence is spreading of the Gospel.  Simply stated, the main purpose of the Church is to fulfill the Great Commission.

Satan attacked the mission of the early Church in many ways.  He tried to prevent the spread of the Gospel through persecution, doctrinal error, and sin.  These are still his tactics today.  But there was another threat to the purpose of the Church:  The preoccupation of its leaders with good and important works almost changed the central focus Christ intended.  Study Acts 4.  There were many necessary good works to be done, but the leaders were doing them and neglecting God's Word and prayer.  

Human need is very great.  Jesus said the needy would be with us always.  The Church can seek to meet human need and it should be a vital, caring community as it was in New Testament times.  But the purpose of the Church does not rest in meeting physical, social, or material needs.  Its priority is spreading the Gospel.  The Church  can minister to other needs, but should combine such efforts with a powerful presentation of the Gospel message.

A good example is found in Romans 9 and 10.  The Apostle Paul was aware of the economic needs of the Jewish nation.  He also was aware of the political tyranny of Rome over the people, yet it is clear that his major concern for the people was spiritual.  His concern for Israel was that they should be saved (Romans 10:1).  The mission of the Church is to make  the Gospel known so God can be faithfully served by all men.

A SENDING AGENCY

God's method is one of sending.  Out of love for us, the Father sent His own Son:

For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son that whosoever believeth in Him  should not perish but have everlasting life.

For God sent not His Son into the world to condemn the world;  but that the world through Him might be saved. (John 3:16-17)

Jesus has commissioned us to go forth with the Gospel. Every local Church should become a sending church, going forth in love to a dying world.

God did not raise up the Church as special objects of His favor. The Church is called to purpose, not privilege.  We are ministers of reconciliation.  We are to follow the pattern set by God and Jesus. We are to go forth with the Gospel.

Every church is surrounded by multitudes without God and without hope. This is our first and greatest challenge, as Paul tells the Church at Philippi (Philippians 2:12-16). Similar words were spoken to the churches at Corinth, Ephesus, Thessalonica, and Colossee. The same message rings forth today. In Ephesians, Paul summarizes the purpose of the Church:

And to make all men see what is the fellowship of the mystery, which from the beginning of the world hath been hid in God, who created all things by Jesus Christ; To the intent that now unto the principalities and powers in heavenly places might be known by the Church the manifold wisdom of God. According to the eternal purpose which He purposed in Christ Jesus our Lord.  (Ephesians 3:9-11)

A CHURCH BIRTHED BY POWER

Jesus left His followers with a great task. They were to reach the entire world with the Gospel message. But He did not give them the responsibility without giving them the authority. He promised them special power to accomplish the task.

Jesus said His followers would receive this power through the coming of the Holy Spirit: But ye shall receive power after that the Holy Ghost is come upon you; and ye shall be witnesses unto me both in Jerusalem, and in all Judaea, and in Samaria, and unto the uttermost part of the earth. (Acts 1:8)

Eleven men were given an impossible task. They did not form a committee to decide who would go where. They did not take up an offering to see how far they could book passage. They did not vote and follow the decision of the majority. These men went to an upper room and with one accord devoted themselves  to prayer.  Here, the Church was birthed in a great demonstration of power.

Acts 2 records the coming of the Holy Spirit. This power of the Holy Spirit was directed power given for a specific purpose. The purpose was to reach the nations with the Gospel (Acts 1:8).   Acts 2 also records the origin [beginning] of the first Church. When the Holy Spirit was given in this new revelation of power,  Peter preached a sermon which resulted in 3,000 responding to the Gospel. These people formed the first Church. The record of
their multiplication and mission is presented in the remainder of the book of Acts.

THE ORGANIZATION OF THE CHURCH

To accomplish the mission of the Church, God established basic principles of organization. Members of the Church are related to one another as spiritual brothers and sisters. They are called "The Body of Christ," of which Jesus is the head. The Church is to work together in unity just like a human body.  They are to function under direction of the Headship of the Lord Jesus Christ.

God sets special leaders in the church including apostles, prophets, evangelists, pastors, and teachers. God also gives each Spirit-filled believer a spiritual gift [or gifts] to be used for the work of the ministry.

The discussion of how these leadership and ministry gifts function to help the Church accomplish its mission is beyond the scope of this study.   Harvestime International Institute has devoted an entire course to this subject entitled "Ministry Of The Holy Spirit."

THE WITNESS OF THE EARLY CHURCH

The book of Acts in the New Testament is the story of how the Church began to fulfill the Great Commission of spreading the Gospel to the world.   Thousands were saved within just a few weeks after the  events  recorded in Acts 2.  As time went on, the number of believers in Jerusalem greatly multiplied. 

God allowed persecution to force the believers out of Jerusalem.  They scattered throughout Judaea and Samaria:

. . .And at that time there was a great persecution against the church which was at Jerusalem; and they were all scattered abroad throughout the regions of Judaea and Samaria except the apostles. Therefore they that were scattered abroad went everywhere preaching the Word.  (Acts 8:1,4)

One of the believers who went to Samaria to preach was Philip.  This  was  the  first  cross-cultural mission recorded in Acts (Acts 8).  In Acts 9, God raised up the Apostle Paul to be an apostle to the Gentiles, a missionary to the nations of the world.

In Acts 10 is the story of the conversion of a man named Cornelius.  God gave Peter a vision which made him willing to go to the Gentile nations with the Gospel.  Acts 11 illustrates the importance of the Holy Spirit in directing the mission of the Church to the world. 

In Acts 13, the real program of spreading the Gospel to the "uttermost part of the earth" begins.  Paul and Barnabas are called to cross-cultural evangelism.  They were to spread the Gospel to cultures other than Israel:

And when the Gentiles heard this, they were glad, and glorified the Word of the Lord:  and as many as were ordained to eternal life believed. 

And the Word of the Lord was published throughout all the region. (Acts 13:48,49)

You can read of the first missionary conference in the home church in Antioch in Acts 14:26-27, and about their first report to the Jerusalem headquarters in Acts 15:2-4. Paul, assured of the purpose of God for the nations of the world, courageously carried the Gospel to cities, towns, provinces, states, to the educated and uneducated, to free and to slaves:

For so hath the  Lord commanded us, saying, I have set thee to be a light of the Gentiles, that thou shouldest be for salvation unto the ends of the earth. (Acts 13:47)

The early Church fulfilled its mission with such zeal that it was said they "turned the world upside down" for God (Acts 17:6).  The purpose of God was accomplished as men of all nations were made one through the blood of Jesus:  And hath made of one blood all nations of men for to dwell on all the face of the earth. . . (Acts 17:26)

But  in  every  nation he that feareth Him and worketh righteousness is accepted with Him.  (Acts 10:35)

THE REMAINING NEW TESTAMENT RECORD

To this point, this lesson has focused on the subject of the Church in the world in the book of Acts.  The remaining books of the New Testament were written to and by members of the first Church under the divine inspiration of the Holy Spirit.  They contain many verses about God's plan for the world.

The "For Further Study" section of this chapter provides opportunity for you to study all New Testament references on the subject of the world.  Be sure to do this, as it will complete your study of the world in the Word and further develop your Biblical world view.

One important point to note as you study the "For Further Study" section  relates to the Old Testament.  In Romans 4 Paul refers to the promises given Abraham.  These included the promise to be a blessing to the nations of the world.  In the New Testament, believers are called heirs of Abraham (Galatians 3).  This means we have  inherited  all God promised Abraham.  This includes the calling to bless  the  nations of the world.

THE CHURCH IN THE WORLD

From study of the New Testament, the task of the Church in relation to the world can be summarized as follows:

1. The Church is to present Jesus to  individuals and to the world as Savior, sovereign Lord of the universe, and coming judge of mankind.

2. The Church is to lead people into right relationship with Jesus Christ so they may experience forgiveness of sins and new life in Him.

3. Through water baptism,  teaching,  and preaching,  the Church is to establish believers in the doctrine, principles, and practices of Christian living.  The Church is to teach them to "observe all things" commanded in the Word of God.

4. The Church is to congregate  believers into functioning local fellowships of believers capable of fulfilling their mission to the world.

5. Each new local fellowship is to receive power from the Holy Spirit to repeat this cycle [points l through 5 above].  Through this process, new believers will be won and new fellowships will continue to be established.

The Church is to go to "all the world" with the Gospel.  The next chapter will describe "The Waiting World" to which the Church is commissioned.

 

SELF-TEST

1. Write the Key Verse from memory.

2. Explain what is meant by the "Great Commission."

3. Give three Scriptural references for the "Great Commission."

4. Give the Biblical definition of the word "Church."

5. How did the Church start?

6. What is the spiritual power behind the Church which enables it to fulfill its mission to the world?

7. Summarize God's organizational plan for the Church.

8. Summarize the purpose of the Church in God's plan.

9. What are the basic elements of the Gospel?

 (Answers to tests are provided at the conclusion of the final chapter in this manual.)

FOR FURTHER STUDY

1. If you are interested in learning how the Gospel continued to spread throughout the world after the conclusion of God's written record, obtain the book "From Jerusalem To Iryian Jaya" by Ruth Tucker.  It is published by Zondervan Publishing House, Grand Rapids, Michigan, U.S.A.

The witness to the nations has been divided into three great eras since New Testament times:

FIRST ERA:

The spread of the Gospel to the coastland regions of the world.  This effort was initiated by a man named William Carey.

SECOND ERA:

The spread of the Gospel to the inland areas of the world which was initiated by J. Hudson Taylor.

THIRD ERA:

Launched by  W. Cameron Townsend and continues through the present time.  It is the effort to reach the remaining unreached people groups with the Gospel.

2. In the last chapter,  you studied all the references to the world in the New Testament books of Matthew, Mark, Luke, and John.  The following references are those made to the world in Acts through Jude in the New Testament:

Acts:  1:8; 2:5; 3:25; 4:24,26; 10:28,35; 13:47; 14:15,16; 15:18; 17:6,24,26,31

Romans:  1:5,8,20; 3:19; 4:13,17,18; 5:12,13; 9:17,28; 10:18; 11:12,15; 12:2; 16:25,26

I Corinthians:  1:20,21,27,28; 2:6-8,12; 3:18,19; 8:4,5; 10:11,26,28; 11:32; 15:47-49

II Corinthians: 4:4; 5:19; 7:10

Galatians: 1:4,16; 2:9; 3:8; 4:3

Ephesians:  1:4,10,21; 2:2,12; 3:9,21; 6:12

Philippians:  2:10,15; 3:19

Colossians:  1:16,20; 2:8,20; 3:2,5

I Timothy:  1:15; 3:16; 6:7,17

II Timothy:  1:9; 4:10

Titus:  1:2; 2:12

Hebrews:  6:7; 9:26; 11:7; 12:25,26

James:  2:5

I Peter:  1:20

II Peter:  2:5; 3:6,7

I John:  2:2,15-17; 3:1; 4:3,4,9,14,17; 5:4,5,19

II John:  1:7

 

CHAPTER SEVEN: THE WAITING WORLD

 

OBJECTIVES:

Upon completion of this chapter you will be able to:  

                  Write the Key Verse from memory.

                  Summarize the current status of the spread of the Gospel to the world.

                  Define the term "people group."

                  Define the term "unreached people group."

                  Define the term "reached people group."

                  Identify five major unreached people groups.

                  Explain what is meant by a "closed country."

KEY VERSE:

. . . The harvest truly is plenteous, but the laborers are few. (Matthew 9:37)

INTRODUCTION

In this chapter you will learn of the present spiritual condition of the world which waits for the Gospel of the Kingdom.  Remember the natural example of the harvest field which Jesus used to illustrate the spiritual need of the world? Upon completion of this chapter you will understand why Jesus said:

. . . The harvest truly is plenteous, but the laborers are few. (Matthew 9:37)

ALL THE WORLD

Jesus told His followers:

Go ye. . . and teach ALL nations. . . (Matthew 28:19)

Go ye into ALL the world and preach the Gospel to every creature. . .(Mark 16:15)

. . . That repentance and remission of sins should be preached in His name among ALL nations, beginning at Jerusalem. . .(Luke 24:47)

. . . Ye shall be witnesses unto me. . . unto the uttermost part of the earth. (Acts 1:8)

What does it mean to go to all the world?  Missionaries have gone to every nation and some measurable Christian witness  exists in nearly every country of the earth.  But have we gone to ALL the world, to EVERY creature?

GEOGRAPHICALLY

There are millions of villages of the world that have not yet felt the pressure of a missionary's footstep. There are people living in these areas who have never had the opportunity to hear the message of salvation. They are a part of the world. We have not yet reached all the world geographically. 

LINGUISTICALLY

The linguistic spread of the Gospel refers to written translation of its message into various languages. The Bible is God's message for all mankind. The most effective means of communication in any culture is the native language which is commonly spoken. There are currently 5,445 languages spoken in the world today. Of this total, approximately 3,000 still need the Bible translated into their own language. These people have never had the opportunity to read God's message to them in His written Word.  We have not yet reached the world linguistically.

POPULATION

Not only have we not yet reached the whole world geographically and linguistically, we have yet to reach all the population of the world.

At the time of our Lord's presence on earth, the world population was estimated to be 250 million people. This number barely doubled by the year 1600.  It is estimated that from the time of Adam until 1500 years after the birth of Jesus, the world population increased to 500 million.  From 1500 to 1850, the population increased to one billion.  By 1850 the population had doubled again.  Today, there are billions of human beings on earth. 

Even in great cities where many churches exist, many people have not yet heard about Jesus.  We have not reached all the world in terms of population because millions of people have never heard the Gospel message.

PEOPLE GROUPS

If we view the world in terms of nations, then we could say all the world has been reached because  there presently exists within every nation some sort of Gospel witness. There are now believers and organized churches in every country on earth. But this is by no means the same as "every tribe and language and people and nation" as referred to in Revelation 5:9. 

When Jesus spoke of all the world, He was not referring to nations alone. The term Jesus used when He spoke of the world was the Greek word "ethne."  This word means ethnic or people groups. Jesus viewed the world in terms of "all people" or "people groups."

It is easier to understand the present status of the spread of the Gospel if we view the world in terms of people groups. A people group is defined as. . .

". . . a significantly large group of individuals who have a common bond to one another. Such a bond may include like language, culture, customs, and geographic location."

A "people group" is the largest possible group within which the Gospel can spread without encountering problems in understanding and acceptance.   Because a "people group" speaks a common language and has a common culture, the language and cultural barriers which often make presentation of the Gospel difficult are eliminated.

There are over 19,000 different people groups in the world which have been identified to date. Some have as few as 3,000 members, while others are as large as 30 million. Each continent of the world is made up not only of different nations, but of different people groups. For example, on the continent of Africa there are 1,000 languages and hundreds of people groups.

Each nation is composed of many people groups. When we realize that a single country like Nigeria is composed of 500 different tribal groups, we begin to see human differences are far greater than the division of nations. 

An example of an individual people group is the Somali people of Kenya, Africa. They have  common language,  history, traditions, and culture. They are nomadic people, strongly Muslim in religion, who live in remote areas of the Northern Province.  They are just one of hundreds of people groups in Kenya.

There are two other terms with which you should be familiar:

An unreached people group is a people group among  which there is no native community of believers with adequate numbers and resources to evangelize their people without outside assistance.

A reached people group is one with an adequate number of believers and resources to evangelize their own people without outside assistance.  

UNREACHED PEOPLE CATEGORIES

There are some 17,000 ethnic or people groups presently without a vital, witnessing Gospel church. Within these ethnic groups are millions of people.  These unreached people groups can be grouped together in five major categories:

TRIBAL PEOPLE:

Tribal groups represent thousands of individuals with varying cultural and language differences. Most of them are called "animists," which means they worship various spirit beings other than the true God. These spirits include demons and false gods often represented by idols of wood, metal, or other material substances.

MUSLIMS:

Muslims follow the religion of Islam and the teaching of the Koran. The Muslim people are found largely in Central Asia, Africa, and the Middle East.  There are millions of people within the various ethnic groups of the Muslim world.

HINDUS:

The Hindus are concentrated mainly in the nation of India, but are also scattered throughout various nations of the world. With its temples, ceremonies, idolatry, and numerous false gods, Hinduism holds millions in spiritual bondage.

CHINESE:

The Chinese people represent another large category of unreached people. Many of these Chinese people groups are scattered throughout the world, in addition to the millions of unreached groups in China.

BUDDHISTS:

The fifth major category of unreached peoples are the Buddhists. There are many differences between the Buddhist groups scattered throughout Eastern Asia, but they are linked together by idolatry, spirit worship, and demonism. 

WHERE ARE THE LABORERS?

Why are all these people yet unreached with the Gospel? Where are the laborers? Many Christian workers want to labor in the big churches where they have many material advantages and adequate financial support. Some do not want to leave their home  and families to work in difficult circumstances in other cultures. Others have never really caught the Biblical world vision.

When God views the world, He sees a great gap. It is the gap between sinful man and a righteous God. But God also sees another gap. It is the gap in the harvest fields of the world. The harvest is ready, but there are few laborers. Millions of people stand in this gap. They are ready to be harvested for God with the Gospel message. God says:

And I sought for a man  among them, that should make up the hedge, and stand in the gap before me for the land, that I  should  not  destroy  it:  but  I 
found  none.  (Ezekiel 22:30)

When you fully understand the Biblical world view, you will realize you are called to stand in this gap.  It is the call of all true believers.

CLOSED COUNTRIES

One factor that has hindered the spread of the Gospel is that in recent years 60% of the nations have closed to the traditional methods of spreading the Gospel. When a country is closed, it means they no longer accept missionaries from other nations and, in many cases, they have passed laws governing the religion of their people. In some nations it is against the law to convert people to Christianity.

Why do nations close their doors to the Gospel? Because Satan causes leaders of nations to. . .

                  Adopt an atheistic philosophy which does not acknowledge the existence of God. Leaders of such nations do not want anyone teaching their people about the true and living God.

                  Establish a strong national religion.  Government leaders of such nations do not want their people to convert to Christianity. They want them to accept the national religion, so they make laws prohibiting the spread of the Gospel and the entrance of missionaries into their nation.

                  Adopt a political philosophy that isolates them from other nations which send out missionaries and close their borders to the Gospel. Satan inspires such political isolation and disharmony between nations to hinder the spread of the Gospel.

OPEN DOORS

Even though 60% of the nations are considered closed to the traditional means of evangelizing, in reality there are no closed doors. Jesus recognized  there would be opposition to the Gospel. He said, "When they persecute you in this city, flee ye into another" (Matthew 10:23).

The closed door concept for many believers represents failure. But Jesus indicated that when one door closes to the Gospel, another will open.  Sometimes closed doors are used by God to direct us to more fertile spiritual harvest fields. This happened to Paul and his evangelistic team:

Now when they had gone throughout Phrygia and the region of Galatia, and were forbidden of the Holy Ghost to preach the word in Asia, After they were come to Mysia, they assayed to go into Bithynia; but the Spirit suffered them not. And they passing by Mysia came down to Troas. (Acts 16:6-8)

It was at Troas that Paul received the call to go to Macedonia, a field ready to be reaped for God. At a later date, Paul was permitted to go to Asia.  Sometimes doors are closed because the harvest is not yet ripe. We must be sensitive to follow the direction of the Holy Spirit in such cases.

But what about those nations which are closed because of atheistic, religious, and political philosophies?  The Church has been too quick to be defeated by such closed doors. We must realize that when traditional methods of entering a nation as an evangelist or missionary are not possible, God will reveal another way to penetrate that nation with the Gospel.

In nations where entrance cannot be achieved as a missionary or minister, believers may be able to enter as educators, administrators, and laborers.  They can live among the people and support themselves by a secular job, but their main purpose can still be the spreading of the Gospel.

The Bible gives several examples of this principle. Paul made tents to support the Gospel work in many countries.  oseph and Daniel were laymen with key secular positions who used them to teach entire nations about God.

Even if there seems to be no way at all to enter a particular nation, it is still not closed to the Gospel. No nation is closed to the power of the Holy Spirit through prayer. Prayer and the power of the Holy Spirit can penetrate every nation, regardless of closed borders or laws forbidding the spread of the Gospel.

HOW WILL THE TASK BE COMPLETED?

When we view the world waiting for the Gospel message, we are overwhelmed at the enormous task we face:

                  Millions of people yet without Christ.

                  Hundreds of languages without God's Word.

                  Hundreds of people groups without a Gospel witness among them.

It is overwhelming when we see the multitudes like sands of the sea in Tokyo, Sao Paulo, Calcutta, and Hong Kong. Uncounted thousands, and each individual should hear, understand, and have opportunity to respond to the Gospel message.

When we look at the world with masses of people yet unreached by the Gospel, our desire should be as that of the Apostle Paul:

Yea, so have I strived to preach the Gospel, not where Christ was named, lest I should build upon another man's foundation; But as it is written, To whom He was not spoken of, they shall see: and they that have not heard shall understand. (Romans 15:20-21)

This challenge will only be met as each believer becomes a World Christian.  You will learn more about this in the next chapter.

 

SELF-TEST

1. Write the Key Verse from memory.

2. Summarize the current status of the spread of the Gospel to the world geographically, linguistically, and in terms of reaching the population.

3. Define the term "people group."

4. Define the term "unreached people group."

5. Define the term "reached people group."

6. List the five major unreached people groups.

7. Explain what is meant by a "closed country."

8. True or false?  In reality, there are no closed countries._____

(Answers to tests are provided at the conclusion of the final chapter in this manual.)

FOR FURTHER STUDY

1. Write for a chart listing the unreached peoples of the World.  Available from the U.S. Center for World Mission, 1605 Elizabeth Street, Pasadena, California, 91104, U.S.A.

2. For complete information on the current status of the spread of the Gospel throughout the world, consult The World Christian Encyclopedia by David B. Barrett.

3. An "Unreached Peoples Desk"  has been established at the offices of the Missions Advanced Research and Communications Center,  919 West Huntington Drive, Monrovia,  California, 91016 U.S.A.

This desk exists to serve those interested in reaching unreached peoples.  The function of the  desk  consists of two phases: The acquiring of information on unreached peoples and the sharing of such information with those interested in reaching them with the Gospel.

4. If you  are interested in further information on the major groups of unreached peoples [Tribal, Muslim, Hindu, Buddhists, Chinese], write to the U.S. Center for World Missions, 1605 Elizabeth St., Pasadena, California 91104, U.S.A.  Mission agencies specializing in ministry to these groups maintain headquarters at this address.  They offer maps and important information on each of these groups.

5. The National Geographic Magazine  publishes maps showing the various people groups in several nations.  For a listing of maps available write National Geographic Society, Washington, D.C. 20036, U.S.A.

6. The following survey illustrates worldwide trends at the time of publication of this course:

AFRICA: 52 countries

In Africa, the church is showing vigor and growth in the midst of a continent of great diversity and change.  This growth is found mostly in nations south of the Sahara desert. Among the people of the northern third of the continent, Islam has a strong following.  Christianity has few converts and churches are small.  South of the Sahara, however, the number of Christians is growing rapidly.  After the year 2,000, it is estimated that there may be more Christians in Africa than anywhere else in the world!  This new spiritual life in the African church is also illustrated by the extensive evangelistic programs of recent years.  The maturing African church is now sending out missionaries.  Churches and missions in Africa face problems as well as opportunities.  Church groups and foreign missions have been restricted in some nations and individual missionaries and churchmen have been expelled from several countries. Reasons are varied, but often relate to struggles for political control by the governments involved. 

ASIA: 28 countries

In this largest and most populated continent, Christians are a small minority. They represent two or three percent of the total population of the region.   In some Asian countries, however, Christians are more influential than mere numbers indicate because of their higher education and social position.

Some areas within nations have a much higher percentage of Christians than is true for the nation as a whole.  Examples include the states of Kerala, Meghalaya, Manipur, Mizoram, Nagal and in India, and the province of Sabah in Malaysia.  Although overall totals for the region are low, response to the Christian faith has been dramatic in some parts of Asia. Tribal peoples and refugees have been particularly receptive to the Gospel  in India, Taiwan, Indonesia, and Burma. In Korea the number of Christians is increasing four times as fast as the overall Korean population.  A magazine entitled "Asiaweek" reported that South Korea has one of the fastest growing Christian populations in the world.  Thousands of people turned to Christianity in Indonesia during the 1960's.  Cambodia, once almost  entirely Buddhist, saw thousands express interest in Christianity from 1971 until the coming to power of Communist forces in 1975.  Few Christians now live in that nation.  Evangelical churches are reported growing in Thailand, Singapore, and Burma in spite of social, cultural and political barriers. Militant Muslims are working hard to prevent the evangelization of Malays and Sundanese.  Buddhists and Hindus often restrict the movement and presence of Christians.  Active persecution has also been reported.  Official policies of some nations prevent missionaries and limit or eliminate church activities. More Protestant missionaries are serving in Japan than in any other country of the world except Brazil.  Many church leaders believe Japan will experience a major movement towards Christianity in the next decade.

EUROPE AND THE FORMER SOVIET UNION

27 countries and 1 country with 15 republics

Secularism, humanism, Communism, and an indifference to religious beliefs are reported in many European countries. Evangelistic programs in Europe are usually only local although some regional efforts have taken place. European Congresses on Evangelism have increased interest in evangelism and several national efforts have taken place. Evangelism and other ministries are strengthened by the presence of several powerful Christian radio stations which can be heard throughout Europe. 

Many individuals in formerly Communist dominated Eastern European nations are expressing renewed interest in Christianity. Established churches are permitted to function in most countries and church attendance in Poland, Rumania, Bulgaria, and the former Soviet Union is increasing. Small Bible study groups and house churches are springing up in many towns and villages where young people are rejecting Communism and other atheistic philosophies.

LATIN AMERICA

36 countries

Evangelical  churches are rapidly growing in many parts of Latin America and revival is reported in many nations.  For example, in Brazil, the largest nation in the area, Protestants have been growing at three times the rate of the population as a whole.  Brazilian Protestants represent about two thirds of all Protestants in Latin America.   Other nations are greatly influenced by atheistic and Marxist philosophies and present a greater challenge to the spread of the Gospel.

MIDDLE EAST

17 countries

The Middle East is a region of limited growth for the Church.  In the midst of Islamic revivals and Zionism, Christianity is regarded as a foreign element.  Conversion is considered disloyal to both nation and religion.  The Church is generally small, conservative, very much bound by tradition.  Christians of all backgrounds make up less than four percent of the total population.

The most effective evangelizing in this region has been  in schools and hospitals on a one-to-one basis or through literature and broadcasting.  Relief and development projects in strife-torn nations such as Lebanon have provided new opportunities for evangelism among victims of turmoil and terrorism.

In Turkey, the most populous Middle Eastern nation, Christian ministries are greatly restricted.  In Egypt,  the second most populous nation  of  the region, the percentage of Christians is declining and persecution is increasing.  Ministries to Muslims in the Middle East is one of the greatest challenges to the Church today.  For example, in Saudi Arabia it is illegal for a Muslim to convert to Christianity. Committed Christians are experiencing dynamic new growth in home Bible studies and evangelistic outreach opportunities prevail in Lebanon, Pakistan and Jordan despite the difficult circumstances.

NORTH AMERICA

2 countries

Religious research organizations state that North Americans are among the most religious people in the world based on questions pertaining to the importance of religion in their lives, belief in eternal life, and belief in God.  But many people in North America are "Christian" in name only.  Current  cultural and political trends do not always reflect those of a "Christian" nation.

Recent years have brought diverse trends and movements in North American Christianity. Renewal efforts have begun both within and outside traditional church structures.  Some denominations have reorganized and others have split to form new movements.

OCEANIA

8 countries

Oceania, including Australia and New Zealand, includes millions of people in diverse cultures scattered across the Pacific Ocean. The peoples of many of the island groups are largely Christian, having been evangelized during the nineteenth and early twentieth century.

The growth of Christianity in the islands has been great in recent years. Challenges to the Church in Oceania include training sufficient leaders, opposition from tribal religions, and reaching remote jungle regions to contact unreached tribes. Papua New Guinea is an example of a nation with many unreached tribal groups. Here, the number of professing Christians continues to increase. If efforts remain intense, the isolated unreached peoples in Papua New Guinea will be evangelized in our generation.

Other largely non-Christian groups include Chinese and Indian peoples found on many islands. Australia and New Zealand, whose churches reflect their British heritage, have been active in missionary work in Oceania. The most effective evangelistic effort, however, has been the work of national missionaries traveling from island to island.

Christianity in neighboring New Zealand also reflects its British heritage, with the Church of England and the Presbyterian church accounting for about two thirds of the Protestant church membership. The Roman Catholic Church is the largest single church body. 

 

CHAPTER EIGHT: BECOMING A WORLD CHRISTIAN

 

OBJECTIVES:

·         Upon completion of this chapter you will be able to:

·         Write the Key Verse from memory.

·         Define the term "World Christian."

·         Become a "World Christian."

·         Explain the strategy the early Church used to reach the world with the Gospel.

KEY VERSE:

Ye have not chosen me, but I have chosen YOU, and ordained YOU, that YE should go forth and bring forth fruit, and that YOUR fruit should remain: that whatsoever ye shall ask of the Father in my name, He may give it you. (John 15:16)

INTRODUCTION

In the previous chapter you learned of the responsibility of the Church in reaching the world with the Gospel of Jesus Christ. As an individual believer, YOU are part of the corporate body of Jesus Christ known as the Church.  If the Church is to fulfill its mission in the world, then each member must recognize their part in God's plan. YOU have a personal responsibility for the world. That responsibility goes beyond donating a few
dollars to the church missionary offering each month.

This chapter concerns your personal responsibility to the world. You will learn how to become a World Christian. You will move from being a spectator to a participator in God's plan for the nations.

EVERY PERSON AN EVANGELIST

When Jesus said "Go Ye into all the world and preach the Gospel" and "YE shall be my witnesses," He was talking to a group of His followers.  But as with every group, this group was made up of individuals. When Jesus said "Go Ye," it had not only a group reference, but also an individual reference.  Each member of the group was to accept the challenge personally. If the individuals within the group failed to respond, then the group would fail.

The challenge to go to the nations of the world is now assumed by the Church.  But the Church is made up of individuals and it will only be effective in meeting this challenge as each person personally responds to the Great Commission.

EACH ONE TEACH ONE

In the early church, each person took personal responsibility for spreading the Gospel. Cross-cultural evangelism was done by laymen who were not full-time clergy. Some of the greatest evangelistic campaigns were conducted by these laymen. Acts chapters 6 and 7 illustrate this with the stories of  Philip and Stephen. They were both laymen, mightily used of God to spread the Gospel.

When persecution came against the Church at Jerusalem, believers were scattered throughout Judaea and Samaria. The Bible records:

. . .they that were scattered  abroad went everywhere preaching the Word. (Acts 8:4) 

Each believer accepted the challenge to teach faithful men and women who would be able to teach others also:

And the things that thou hast heard of me among many witnesses, the same commit thou to faithful men, who shall be able to teach others also. (II Timothy 2:2)

This unbroken cycle of spiritual reproduction resulted in continuous multiplication of believers.

EVERY HOME A CENTER OF REPRODUCTION

The idea of the home as a center of spiritual development is not new.  From the giving of God's law to man, the home was intended to be a training center:

And these words, which I command thee this day, shall be in thine heart. And thou shalt teach them diligently unto thy children, and shalt talk of them
when thou sittest in thine house. . . And thou shalt write them upon the posts of thy house and on thy gates. (Deuteronomy 6:6,7,9)

Every home in the early church was a center of evangelism.  Believers taught the Gospel not only in the temple, but daily in the home:

And daily in the temple and in every house, they ceased not to teach and preach Jesus Christ. (Acts 5:42)

The evangelistic thrust of the home groups was apparently so successful that when Saul was trying to crush the church he did not feel he could do it by just concentrating on the temple.  He also entered every house to stop the spread of the Gospel:

As for Saul, he made havock of the church, entering into every house, and haling men and women committed them to prison.  (Acts 8:3)

The vision of God's plan for  the cross-cultural spread of the Gospel was given in a home as Peter prayed on the rooftop (Acts 10). The first message to the Gentiles was preached in the home of Cornelius (Acts 10).

The great cross-cultural evangelist, Paul, was discipled by Ananias in a home (Acts 9). Paul taught both publicly and also house to house during his ministry:

And how I kept back nothing that was profitable unto you, but have shewed you, and have taught you publicly, and from house to house. (Acts 20:20)

Paul's final days of ministry were in a rented house where he received all who came, teaching and preaching to them:

And Paul dwelt two whole years in his own hired house, and received all that came in unto him.

Preaching the Kingdom of God, and teaching those things which concern the Lord Jesus Christ, with all confidence, no man forbidding him. (Acts 28:30-31)

Jesus declared that His house was to be called of all nations a house of prayer: And He taught, saying unto them, Is it not written, My house shall be called of all nations the house of prayer?  (Mark 11:17)

The Greek word for "house"  in this verse means dwelling place. This can be either a private home or public temple.

The strategy of the early Church to reach the world was each believer reproducing with each home serving as a center of evangelism.

THE RESULTS

What were the results of this "every person" and "every home" strategy in the early Church? They reached their world with the Gospel. The enemies of the Church themselves declared:

These that have turned the world upside down are come hither also. (Acts 17:6)

What would be the results if every believer followed this pattern today?

Study the chart on the following page. This chart uses the period of a year as the average time necessary to win and train a new convert and make him a reproductive believer. In reality, the process could take more or less time, depending on the people involved. But using a year as an average, if each believer would reach just one person each year, disciple them, and have them pledge to disciple one person each following year, the world could easily be reached with the Gospel.

Observe on the chart that during the first year the believer wins and disciples [trains] one person. At the end of that year, there are now two faithful men [the believer and the person he has discipled]. During the next year, each of them disciple one person.  At the end of the second year, there is a total of four people, each of whom will disciple one person the following year. Much of the population of the world is yet unreached by the Gospel. But God has provided a strategy that, if employed by each professing believer, would easily complete the task of spreading the Gospel of the Kingdom.

 

Discipler(s)

Disciple(s)

Total

Year 17 -  65,536

65,536

131,072

Year 16 -  32,768

32,768

65,536

Year 15 -  16,384

16,384

32,768

Year 14 -  8,192

8,192

16,384

Year 13 -  4,096

4,09

8,192

Year 12 -  2,048

2,048

4,096

Year 11 -  1,024

1,024

2,048

Year 10 -  512

512

1,024

Year 9 -  256

256

512

Year 8 -  128

128

256

Year 7 -  64

64

128

Year 6 -  32

32

64

Year 5 -  16

16

32

Year 4 -  8

8

16

Year 3 -  4

4

8

Year 2 -  2

2

4

Year 1 -  1

1

2

 

GOD'S DIVINE STRATEGY OF MULTIPLICATION AND MOBILIZATION

WORLD CHRISTIANS

There is a new movement  growing throughout the world today. It is not a denominational or an organizational movement.  It is a group of believers who have come to recognize their personal responsibility in spreading the Gospel to the nations of the world.

This group is composed of people of many races, cultures, languages, and religious denominations.  The one thing they have in common is their personal commitment to become a World Christian.  A World Christian is one who. . .

·         Acknowledges the God revealed in the Holy Bible as the one true God.

·         Acknowledges the Holy Bible as God's written Word.

·         Has personally accepted God's plan of salvation through Jesus Christ.

·         Has  adopted a Biblical World View.

·         Has personally  accepted the challenge to take the Gospel to the nations of the world.

This does not necessarily mean a World Christian will leave their own nation to go to another culture, although they are willing to do so if God should so lead. What it does mean is that they are committed to spreading the Gospel right where they are, in their own village or city. They are also committed to sending others to the unreached peoples of the world. Whether in full-time ministry or a secular occupation, the first priority of a World Christian is spreading  the Gospel.

THE WORLD CHRISTIAN COMMITMENT

The people who have accepted this personal challenge have made a special commitment to God. This is what they have pledged:

"By the grace of God and for His glory, I commit my entire life to obeying the commission of Matthew 28:18-20, wherever and however God leads me, giving priority to those peoples currently beyond the reach of the Gospel (Romans 15:20-21). I will also endeavor to share this vision with others." As part of the "Self-Test" of this chapter, you will be given the opportunity to sign this commitment.

DEVELOPING AS A WORLD CHRISTIAN

The "For Further Study" section of this chapter gives some suggestions for obtaining materials to further develop as a World Christian. Here are some other things you can do to become involved in God's plan as a World Christian:

PREPARE FOR THE CALL OF GOD:

1. Present yourself a living and sanctified sacrifice to the Lord (Romans 12:1-2).

2. Be sure there is no sin which will interfere with your spiritual hearing or eyesight (Ephesians 1:18; Colossians 1:9).

3. Eliminate preconceived personal plans and ambitions (Psalms 25:9).

4. Form the habit of daily prayer and Bible study (Joshua 1:8; Psalms 77:12; 119:15,25,45).

5. Wait patiently on the Lord and expect Him to direct every step of your everyday life and activities. He will make His will and calling sure (Proverbs 3:6; Psalms 23:3; 32:8; 37:5,7).

Remember, no time is ever lost in waiting for God to reveal His plan for you. Joseph waited in prison for two years, but then emerged to save a nation.  Moses waited on the desert for 40 years, but emerged to lead a nation in a great spiritual exodus from slavery to freedom.

6. Obtain the Harvestime International Institute course entitled "Knowing God's Voice" to study as you prepare yourself to answer God's call.

 BEGIN WHERE YOU ARE:

1. Obey God daily in the little things of everyday life (Luke 19:17; I Samuel 15:22). If you are not faithful over the little things God gives you to do right where you are, He will not entrust a greater call or ministry to you (Matthew 25:14-30).

Look around your village or city with "spiritual" eyes.  Ask God to show you those in need of the Gospel.  The Harvestime International Institute course, "Environmental Analysis," will help you do this.

Reach out in evangelism to those in your area. The Harvestime International Institute courses, "Multiplication Methodologies" and "Leaven-like Evangelism," will assist you in becoming part of God's plan right where you are.

2. Be willing to go and be used anywhere by God (John 7:17). This might mean leaving your own area and going to another culture to spread the Gospel.  It might mean just walking down the street to share the Gospel with someone in need.

3. Continue to study the spiritual needs of the world to further develop your spiritual vision (John 4:35). Read books on the subject and take short trips which will expose you to people of other cultures. Attend mission conferences offered in your area.

4. Spend time in prayer for the nations of the world and laborers in the harvest fields (Matthew 9:37-38). Chapter Nine of this course provides an organized plan for doing this.

5. Begin to use your spiritual gifts. "Ministry Of The Holy Spirit," a Harvestime International Institute course, will guide you in this discovery.

6. Join the committee for evangelism in your church.  If they do not have one, start one! Chapter Ten "For Further Study" section will assist you in doing this.

7. Establish contact with those spreading the Gospel in other nations. Write to missionaries on the field. Ask them to stay in your home when in your area. Learn from their experiences. You will benefit from these contacts as they communicate their burden, needs, and victories to you.

8. Seek further training to prepare yourself to reach the world. Send for a catalog of Harvestime International Institute courses to assist you in such preparation.

9. Share what you have learned with others. Join or form a small group of World Christians to learn about the world and act on this knowledge. Chapter Ten of this manual will help you do this.

10. Begin an organized program of systematic giving of your personal finances to help spread the Gospel. Examine your lifestyle. What adjustments can you make in order to free more of your finances to go to the work of the Lord?

11. Obtain your passport!  God may want to send  you to another nation to share the Gospel.

RECOGNIZE THE CALL OF GOD:

Every believer is called to share the Gospel with others right where they are. But some will receive a special call from God to go to another culture or enter full-time ministerial positions as pastors, evangelists, missionaries, etc. There are certain principles by which you can be sure of the calling God gives you and the harvest field to which He sends you.

Ask yourself these questions:

1. Does what you desire to do agree with God's general plan as set forth in His Word? Is it Scriptural and does it contribute towards the goal of reaching the world with the Gospel?

2. Do the circumstances of your life agree with what seems to be the leading of God? Do not be led by circumstances alone, but examine these in terms of what you believe to be your calling from God.

3. Does the Holy Spirit bear continual witness with your spirit that this is the will of God? Lack of peace in your spirit is often a warning sign that you are making a wrong decision.

4. Are you still "called" when there is no challenge of adventure or glamour connected with your call? If called to an insignificant task or field of service, are you willing to go? 

5. Are you willing to pay any price to fulfill the call God has given you? The price may range from obtaining further education to dying a martyr's death.  It may mean leaving home, family, and friends. Are you willing? 

HE HAS ORDAINED YOU

Jesus has chosen YOU to be part of His plan for reaching the nations of the world.  He has ordained that you bring forth spiritual fruit from the harvest fields. He has promised to supply anything you need to enable you to complete the task:

Ye have not chosen me, but I have chosen YOU, and ordained YOU, that YE should go forth and bring forth fruit, and that YOUR fruit should remain: that whatsoever ye shall ask of the Father in my name, He may give it you. (John 15:16)

 

SELF-TEST

1. Write the Key Verse from memory.

2. What is a World Christian?

3. Summarize the strategy of the early church which enabled them to reach the world with the Gospel.

4. The greatest test of this chapter is your commitment to become a World Christian. Review the World Christian Commitment below.  If you understand this  pledge and are committed to fulfilling it to the best of your ability, then sign your name in the place provided.

"By the grace of God and for His glory, I commit my entire life to obeying the commission of Matthew 28:18-20, wherever and however God leads me, giving priority to those peoples currently beyond the reach of the Gospel (Romans 15:20-21).  I will also endeavor to share this vision with others."

Signature:_________________  Date:__________

(Answers to tests are provided at the conclusion of the final chapter in this manual.)

FOR FURTHER STUDY

1. Write to World Christian, Inc., P.O. Box 40345, Pasadena, California 91104, U.S.A. Ask for  a list of resources for building your World Christian vision.

2. Write to MARC at World Vision International, 919 W. Huntington Drive, Monrovia, California 91016, U.S.A. Request a sample of the MARC newsletter
and review the list of materials they have available for continuing development as a World Christian.

3. Join the effort to place a Bible, in their own language, into the hands of each person listed in every phone directory in the world. Contact Bibles for the World, P.O. Box 805, Wheaton, Illinois, U.S.A.

4. Select a mission project  to support.

5. The very first World Christian was Abraham, whose story is recorded in Genesis 11-25. Abraham was the first man to whom God gave the promise of reaching the nations. He was a layman who moved his cattle business from place to place in order to accomplish God's purposes. Abraham had some important spiritual characteristics which enabled him to fulfill his call to the nations of the world. As World Christians, we should seek to incorporate these into our own lives:

·         Abraham recognized his call: He knew his individual responsibility to the nations of the world (Genesis 22:18). As spiritual heirs, we have the same responsibility (Galatians 3:10).

·         He was fully persuaded of his purpose:  Romans 4:21.

·         He was mobile for God:  Abraham lived a simple life which enabled complete mobility for God.  He could move quickly at God's command (Genesis 12).

·         He never looked back:  He  did  not  desire the old life left behind, but looked to the new things God would do (Hebrews 11:6).

·         He walked in revelation knowledge:  Genesis 18:17.

·         He did not look to his natural abilities:  God's promise of the nations sprang from one "as good as dead" (Hebrews 11:12).

·         He sought God:  Genesis 12 records how Abraham built an altar and called on the name of the Lord.

·         Abraham assumed responsibility for others:  Read  the story of Abraham and Lot in Genesis 14.

·         He was a giving person:  He paid tithes of all he  had (Genesis 14:20).

·         He was obedient:  Abraham obeyed God's  instructions,  even when he did not know the end result (Hebrews 11:8; Genesis 22:18).

·         He was willing to dwell in a strange land: Hebrews 11:9.

·         He was willing to respect the culture of others:  He bowed before the people of the land as was the custom (Genesis 23:12).

·         His values were eternal rather than temporal:  Acts 7:5.

·         He was willing to stand alone:  Isaiah 51:2.

·         He was a man of spiritual vision:  Hebrews 11:10.

·         He knew God intimately:  Abraham was called the "friend of God."  James 2:23.

·         He was a man of hope:  Romans 4:18.

·         He was strong in the faith:  Romans 4:20.

·         He was righteous:  Romans 4:22.

·         He was humble:  Romans 4:20.

·         He was a man of peace:  Genesis 13.

·         Abraham was prompt to do God's will:  Even when  God's will was difficult, Abraham promptly responded (Genesis 22).

·         He gave glory to God:  Genesis 14:21-24.

·         He reproduced men of like dedication:  This is seen in  the life of his servant (Genesis 24).

·         He was blessed in all things:  Genesis 24:1.

 

CHAPTER NINE: INTERNATIONAL INTERCESSION

 

OBJECTIVES:

Upon completion of this chapter you will be able to:

·         Write the Key Verse from memory.

·         Explain what it means to be an "international intercessor."

·         Identify the benefits of international intercession.

·         Follow a plan for organized prayer for the nations of the world.

·         Become an international intercessor.

·         Organize a personal prayer manual for international intercession.

·         Train others to become international intercessors.

KEY VERSES:

 . . . For mine house shall be called an house of prayer for all people.  Isaiah 56:7)

INTRODUCTION

In the preceding chapter you were given suggestions on how to become an active participant in God's plan for the world. One of the greatest ways you can be part of God's plan is to reach out to the nations through prayer. This chapter will teach you how to do this. You will learn how to become an international intercessor. 

THE DIVINE INTERCESSOR

An intercessor is  a mediator.  He makes petitions on behalf of another. For example, an attorney in a court of law is an intercessor. He stands between someone accused of a crime and the judge. He intercedes on behalf of the accused. At one time, God looked on the earth for an intercessor who could stand between Him and sinful man. He found no intercessor, so He sent Jesus to serve in this capacity:

And He saw that there was no man, and wondered that there was no intercessor:  therefore His arm brought salvation unto Him; and His
righteousness, it sustained Him.  (Isaiah 59:16)

Jesus is the divine pattern of an international intercessor. He is the mediator who stands between man and God.  Through His death on the cross He bridged the gap created by sin. Jesus continues to make intercession for us:

Wherefore He is able also to save them to the uttermost that come unto God by Him, seeing He ever liveth to make intercession for them.  (Hebrews 7:25)

. . . It is  Christ that died, yea rather, that is risen again, who is even at the right hand of God, who also maketh intercession for us.  (Romans 8:34) Jesus intercedes between man and God.  The Holy Spirit also intercedes:

Likewise the Spirit also helpeth our infirmities for we know not what we should pray for as we ought:  but the Spirit itself maketh intercession for us with groanings which cannot be uttered.

And He that searcheth the hearts knoweth what is the mind of the Spirit, because He maketh intercessionfor the saints according to the will of 
God. (Romans 8:26-27)

INTERNATIONAL INTERCESSION

God has given the task of intercession for the nations of the world to believers. We intercede for the nations by praying for them. When we intercede we seek God on behalf of others. We present petitions to Him on behalf of the nations of the world. The word "international" means between or among nations. As an international intercessor, you pray for more than your own personal needs and those of your family and friends. In prayer you
move spiritually between and among nations of the world.

BENEFITS OF INTERNATIONAL INTERCESSION

The most important strategy for reaching the nations of the world is  international intercession. There are three main benefits of such a ministry:

INTERCESSION IS SCRIPTURAL:

The Old Testament contains many examples where the course of an entire nation was changed as the  result of intercession. The intercession by Nehemiah in the book bearing his name is one excellent example. Several Scriptural directives call us to this activity:

I exhort therefore, that, first of all, supplications, prayers, intercessions, and giving of thanks, be made for all men;

For kings, and for all that are in authority; that we may lead a quiet and peaceable life in all godliness and honesty. (I Timothy 2:1-2)

Then saith He unto His disciples, The harvest truly is plenteous, but the laborers are few; Pray ye therefore the Lord of the harvest, that He will send forth laborers into His harvest. (Matthew 9:37-38)

. . . For mine house shall be called an house of prayer for all people. (Isaiah 56:7)

PRAYER IS AN ACTIVITY UPON WHICH ALL OTHERS DEPEND:

Prayer is the greatest source of spiritual power known to mankind.  Prayer results in revival, and revival produces zeal for evangelism. Evangelism results in the spread of the Gospel of the Kingdom.  Plans and programs of evangelism are important, but prayer is vital to their success. It is the sustaining foundation of ministry and the base of operations. 

THERE ARE NO LIMITS TO INTERNATIONAL INTERCESSION:

There are no closed nations, no secured borders through which prayer cannot pass. Prayer can go to the ends of the earth. You may never leave your own home, but through prayer you can travel spiritually throughout the world to anyone in need.  Prayer allows you limitless mission. Distance, social status, and language create no barriers for prayer.

Prayer is the one "world mission" available to all believers. It provides a way for us to get  involved with world evangelization without a moment's delay.  You are never too old or young for this ministry. You are never too ill or disabled. It is an active participation in God's global cause upon which there are no restrictions.

A PRAYER PLAN

The following prayer plan can be used for personal or group  international intercession. It will provide specific focus for your prayers. The plan is for an hour long prayer session. This is only a guide to focus your prayers. Do not limit yourself to the suggested times if God should burden you to pray longer.  Remember to always pray in the name of Jesus, as He taught. This relates your prayers to His cause and concerns.

BEFORE YOU BEGIN, IDENTIFY SPECIFIC PRAYER NEEDS:

Identify specific needs about which you will pray.  Be sure they are related to God's global purpose.  International intercession is not a general prayer session for miscellaneous requests.  It is intercessory prayer with specific focus on the nations of the world.

PRAISE TO GOD:  (10 minutes)

We enter God's presence by thanksgiving and praise:

Enter into His gates with thanksgiving and into His courts with praise. Be thankful unto Him and bless His name.  (Psalms 100:4)

Praise brings you into the presence of God so He will be able to hear your requests.  Praise God for who He is and what He has done.  In your praise acknowledge His great plan for the world and thank Him for your part in it.  The Psalmist David tells us to "Come before His presence with singing."  You may want to sing your praises to God.  Perhaps you can sing hymns that relate to His purpose for the nations.

INTERCESSION FOR THE WORLD IN GENERAL:  (10 minutes)

Here are some specific things to pray about.  Pray for. . .

·         A new spiritual hunger throughout the world.

·         God to raise up a worldwide force of international intercessors.

·         The growth and development of the Church all over the world.

·         God to raise up laborers for the harvest--pastors, prophets, evangelists, apostles, teachers, and lay leaders--to fulfill the commission (Matthew 9:38; Luke 10:2).

·         Unity and cooperation among existing churches and missions.

·         A revival of zeal and compassion to win the lost.

·         Wise use of material resources by believers to spread the  Gospel. Ask God to provide  the necessary finances and to raise up those willing and capable of funding evangelistic efforts.

·         Open "doors of utterance" to share the Gospel (Ephesians 6:19).

·         "Closed countries" to open to the Gospel (II Thessalonians 3:1).

·         Receptivity in those who hear the Gospel (Romans 15:30-31).

·         Major world issues affecting the spread of the Gospel.

·         Government and political leaders, that their hearts will be receptive to the work of missions and evangelism.

·         Laborers planting new churches and missions.

·         Believers who are  imprisoned or suffering because of their commitment to Christ or because of their ministry.

·         The work of Bible translators throughout the world.

·         Christian correspondence  courses, training institutes, and Bible colleges throughout the world.

·         National Christian workers.

·         The cross-cultural missionary force.

·         A move of God among the young people.  They are the future leaders of the Church.

·         Revelation of the right strategy to reach each nation and village of the world.  Ask God to reveal it to those laboring in these regions.  Pray for organizations engaged in mission research and strategy.

·         Protection  for laborers from the attacks of Satan.  Bind the activities of  Satan  coming  against believers and nations.  Pray for deliverance from those who oppose the Gospel (Romans 15:30-31; II Thessalonians 3:2).

·         The Biblical world view to be spread among believers and that they will become participators instead of spectators of God's plan.

·         Those who work in secular occupations in various nations in order to spread the Gospel.

·         Believers in armed forces stationed in various regions of the world. They can be an effective force of spreading the Gospel.

·         The work of religious media such as Gospel recordings, films, cassette tapes, Christian radio and television.

·         The work of medical and social missions.  This would include the work of relief and aid ministries.  These are agencies combining medical and physical assistance with  spreading  the Gospel.

·         Missionary aviation organizations, dedicated pilots flying missionaries and supplies to various regions of the world.

·         The work among immigrants and refugees of the world.

·         The binding of spiritual powers of Satan that are influencing nations and regions. That such powers exist is illustrated by the prince that had power over Persia in the time of Daniel.  These powers explain why some nations are more receptive to the Gospel than others.  Certain spirits are active in various regions, and until believers intercede these regions are not receptive to the Gospel.

INTERCESSION FOR ONE AREA OF THE WORLD:  (10 minutes)

Focus your prayer on a specific continent or country.  There are several agencies which can provide specific information on various areas, agencies, and people groups which will help you pray more specifically. See the "For Further Study" section of this chapter.

Here are some specific things to pray about for each nation:

·         Current events.  You can keep aware of specific prayer needs by observing current news events in the nation or by keeping in contact with Christian workers there.

·         The churches of the nation.

·         Those laboring in the spiritual harvest fields of this nation.  This  would include those planting churches, national workers, training institutes, missionaries, Bible translators, etc.

·         All believers in this nation.

·         Unreached peoples of the nation.

·         Binding the powers of Satan operating in this nation; those forces which would  come against the spread of the Gospel or close the nation to evangelism efforts. 

·         In every society, there are basically  seven areas which shape the thinking of individuals and the destiny of the nation.  These are the home and family,  the church, education, arts and entertainment, media, government, and business. Intercede for the leaders and the spiritual condition in these categories.

INTERCESSION FOR A SPECIFIC MISSIONARY OR AGENCY:  (10 minutes)

By keeping in touch with the missionary or mission agency, you will be aware of specific needs for which to pray.  Have your name put on the list to receive their newsletter or prayer bulletin.

PRAY FOR ONE UNREACHED PEOPLE GROUP:  (10 minutes)

The five major unreached people groups are Buddhists, Hindus, tribal peoples, Muslims, and Chinese.

·         Pray for spiritual hunger among these groups.

·         Pray for laborers to share the Gospel to these people.

·         Pray for revelation of the proper strategy to reach each individual group.

·         Pray for those already attempting to reach these groups.

PERSONAL PRAYER NEEDS:  (10 minutes)

Consider your own personal needs in relation to the world.  How do your personal needs relate to God's global purpose and your part in it?   Even your most personal concerns should somehow relate to God's plan for the nations.

Continue to seek God for ways you can fulfill your part of the commission to reach the nations of the world with the Gospel of the Kingdom.  How can you better equip yourself to do this?  How can you begin right now?  How can you free more of your personal time and finances for the cause of world missions?

THE HOUR OF PRAYER

Here is a summary of  how the hour of international intercession is divided:

1.  Praise to God:  (10 minutes)

2.  Intercession for the world in general:  (10 minutes)

3.  Intercession for one area of the world:  (10 minutes)

4.  Intercession for a specific missionary or mission agency:  (10 minutes)

5.  Prayer for one unreached people group:  (10 minutes)

6.  Specific personal prayer needs:  (10 minutes)

CREATE A PRAYER MANUAL

A personal prayer manual will assist you in international intercession. Here are instructions for creating such a prayer manual:

SECTION ONE - THE PRAYER PLAN:

Remove the "Prayer Plan" given in this chapter for the hour of international intercession. Insert it in your prayer manual for reference in guiding your prayer time.

SECTION TWO - GENERAL WORLD:

Remove the suggestions for general world prayer needs given in this chapter and insert them in this  section of your prayer manual. You can add other world prayer needs to this list as God brings them to your mind.

Obtain a  map of the world and insert it in Section Two of your prayer manual. Lay your hands on this map and use it  as a point of contact as you pray for the world.

SECTION THREE - SPECIFIC AREAS:

Collect maps and information on various nations and areas of the world and insert in this section of your prayer manual. Include clippings from newspapers of current events which affect the work of the Gospel in particular nations. Pray about these issues.

Do not forget to pray for your own nation and your village or city. Obtain a map of your country and include it in this section. Obtain a map of your city or draw a map of your village and include it in this section.

If your city has telephone service, obtain a copy of the telephone directory and begin to pray for each individual of your city by name. Obtain a list of the names of government officials of your nation and city and pray for them.

SECTION FOUR - SPECIFIC MISSIONARIES AND AGENCIES:

In this section list the names of specific missionaries for whom you will pray. Obtain copies of their newsletters and insert them in this section.  Pray for their specific prayer needs. If your church denomination has missionaries, obtain a list of their names and addresses and begin to pray and correspond with several of them. Obtain information on specific mission agencies and insert in this section. Pray for their specific needs. Obtain a list of churches, Christian training organizations, and mission agencies in your area. Pray specifically for them.

SECTION FIVE - UNREACHED PEOPLE GROUPS:

Write the names of the five major blocks of unreached people groups in this section.  These are the Buddhists, Muslims, Hindus, Chinese, and tribal peoples.  Begin to collect information concerning these groups and insert in this section of your prayer manual.

SECTION SIX - PERSONAL PRAYER NEEDS:

Write the following column headings on a piece of paper to keep your personal prayer need
record:

Date

Personal Need

Date Answered

Keeping a written record will help you target your prayers specifically and recognize when God has answered.

TRAIN OTHERS TO BECOME INTERNATIONAL INTERCESSORS

You can train others to become international intercessors. Here is the plan:

1. Communicate the Biblical world view.

First, communicate the Biblical world view. Until a person catches the vision of God's plan for the world and their part in it, they will not be an effective international intercessor. Chapter 10 provides guidelines for how to communicate the Biblical world view to others.

2. Use this chapter to train others in international intercession.

First, study the chapter with them. Second, begin to pray according to the prayer plan given in this chapter. Third, help them organize a prayer manual according to the instructions given in this chapter.

3. Form a prayer group for international intercession.

Group support will assure continued dedication to international intercession. Set a specific time, day, and place for your meeting. This group could meet in your home or church. Use the prayer plan given in this chapter and the prayer manual you have created to focus your prayer time.  Send for some of the additional prayer tools listed in the "For Further Study" section of this chapter. These will further assist you and those you train in international intercession.

 

SELF-TEST

1. Write the Key Verse from memory.

2. What does it mean to be an "international intercessor"?

3. How can you train others to become international intercessors?

4. Have you made the commitment to become an international intercessor?

5. Have you set up your personal intercessory prayer manual?

6. What are three positive benefits of international intercession discussed in this chapter?

7. Describe the plan given in this chapter for an organized prayer session focusing on international intercession.

 (Answers to tests are provided at the conclusion of the final chapter in this manual.)

FOR FURTHER STUDY

The following materials are available through various World Christian oriented agencies to assist in your international intercession:

1. Operation World:  This book provides information on each nation of the world and lists specific prayer needs.  Order from STL Books, Box 28, Waynesboro, Georgia, 30830, U.S.A.

2. International Intercessors:  A group which provides a monthly newsletter with information on various nations and specific prayer needs for each day of the month.  Enroll in their program by writing to Box O, Pasadena, California, 91108, U.S.A.

3. Start a Frontier Fellowship prayer group which targets prayer on unreached people groups. For information write to the U.S. Center for World Mission, 1605 Elizabeth Street, Pasadena, California, 91104, U.S.A.

4. Write for prayer cards for the nations of the world.    To stimulate prayer for 70 spiritually needy nations, each card lists vital information on the country so you can pray more effectively.  Write to Inter-Varsity Christian Fellowship, 233 Langdon St., Madison, WI 53703, U.S.A.

8. Join a specialized prayer fellowship.  Here are two examples of such groups:

Fellowship of Faith for Muslims, 205 Yonge St., Toronto, Ontario, Canada M5BIN2

Pray for China Fellowship, 1423 Grant St., Berkeley, Ca. U.S.A.

 

CHAPTER TEN: SHARING THE BIBLICAL WORLD VIEW

 

OBJECTIVES:

Upon completion of this chapter you will be able to:

·         Write the Key Verse from memory.

·         Identify four steps for sharing the Biblical world view.

·         Share the Biblical world view with faithful men and women.

·         Establish a committee for evangelism.

·         Create World Christian Bible studies.

KEY VERSE:

And the things that thou hast heard of me among many witnesses, the same commit thou to faithful men, who shall be able to teach others also. (II Timothy 2:2)

INTRODUCTION

As you have learned, millions of believers throughout the world do not have a Biblical world view. Their concern focuses on their own family, village, and church.  Because they have not understood God's plan for the world, they are not actively fulfilling their part in this plan. This chapter explains how to share the Biblical world view  with such people, motivating them to become World Christians. 

FAITHFUL MEN

A key to effective communication of the Biblical world view is to select faithful men and women for training: And the  things that thou hast heard of me among many witnesses, the same commit thou to faithful men, who shall be able to teach others also. (II Timothy 2:2)

The word "faithful" means active, reliable, and trustworthy.

Not everyone will be receptive to the Biblical world view. Not everyone will be faithful to it. In sharing the vision, you must select those in whom you see qualities of an active, reliable, and trustworthy response to God. Those with whom you share the Biblical world view must be faithful to teach others also.  This is the only way reproduction and multiplication will continue.

BIBLICAL, NOT CULTURAL

As you share what you have learned with others, remember you are not called to share your own cultural views. You are to share the Biblical world view.

Culture is the acquired pattern of how things are done in a certain environment. It involves customs, traditions, language. . . actually all of lifestyle and behavior. This is why there are such great differences between people in India and Africa.

You are greatly affected by the culture in which you live. You come to think that your way of doing things is best. But you need to realize that no one culture is superior to another. Your call is not to change the culture or share your own way of doing things which you might perceive as superior.

Your only concern with culture is when practices are in direct violation of God's written Word.

. . . Then you must confront and deal with them as sin. You are not called to take civilization to the heathen. Your purpose is not to save society, but to save souls. The purpose of a fisherman is not to change the sea, but to catch the fish in it. Focus on the major task at hand: The teaching of faithful men and women.

THE PLAN

Here are four steps you must take to share the Biblical world view:

     1.  Become a model of the vision.

     2.  Communicate the vision to others.

     3.  Keep the vision as the central focus of life.

     4.  Obey the vision.

Let us look at each step in detail. . .

BECOME A MODEL OF THE VISION:

First, you must embrace the Biblical world view yourself. That is the purpose of this study. When you have recognized your responsibility to the Great Commission and your heart has been touched with  concern for the nations of the world, then you can become a model of the vision.

As a model, you become a living example before your friends and church fellowship. Let them see your own concern for the cause of Christ and feel your heart throb for the nations of the world. Let them see you actively engaged in reaching others with the Gospel. The greatest teaching is  not  done  by words. It is done  by example. We see this in the life and ministry of Jesus.

COMMUNICATE THE VISION TO OTHERS:

Here are some suggestions on how to communicate the vision to others:

1. Share the vision on an individual basis to believers closest to you. Share this course, "Developing A Biblical World View," with them. Share the great spiritual need of the world and explain their personal role in it. Pray together for the nations of the world using strategies you learned in Chapter Nine.

2. Ask your pastor for a "World Christian Focus" as part of the regular church service. This is a few minutes during service when you can share regarding the spiritual condition of the world, unreached peoples, and communicate brief challenges to action.

3. If your church publishes a weekly bulletin or periodic report, insert articles stimulating a Biblical world view.

4. Set up a resource center in your church or home. Include books and materials on unreached peoples, letters from missionaries, bulletin board displays focusing on various nations of the world, prayer maps, etc. (Be sure to include this course as part of the resource center!)

5. Ask missionaries and Christian leaders in other nations to send 5 minute audio taped reports to share with your group. Ask them to send photos, slides, or videos illustrating the work in their nation.

6. If you are in a community  where there is a college or university, ask international students to come and share about their culture and the needs of their country. If there is a sub-culture in your area, such as immigrants from other nations, invite them to share with your group.

7. Influence the prayer life of your church. When verbal or written requests are taken for group prayer, keep the global cause of Christ before the congregation.

8. Form a World Christian or evangelism committee in your church if one does not exist. The "For Further Study" section of this chapter explains how to do this.

9. Hold world awareness meetings  in your home or church. These could range from a small home meeting to a complete missions conference. Invite speakers from various mission related agencies. Set up a "World Christian" book table with materials available for purchase. (Be sure to include this course on your table!)

10. Ask your pastor to offer this course, "Developing A Biblical World View," to the entire Church and other churches of the community. Conduct the  classes in a home, church, or a public meeting hall.

KEEP THE VISION AS THE CENTRAL FOCUS OF LIFE:

You must keep the vision as the central focus of your life and the lives of the faithful men and women you train. Here are some suggestions on how to do this:

1. Continue to read books with an emphasis on missions and a Biblical world view.

2. Attend mission conferences offered in your area.

3. Keep aware of current world events which affect the spreading of the Gospel and continue to pray for the nations of the world.

4. Keep in direct contact with those laboring in various fields of the world. Their reports will continue to inspire your world vision.

5. Create World Christian Bible studies for your own use and to share with others. A World Christian Bible study is one that focuses on the theme of the world in Scripture. The "For Further Study" section of this chapter will assist you in doing this.  

OBEY THE VISION:

It is not enough just to develop a Biblical world view  and communicate it to others. You must act upon what you have learned:

All Scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness: That the man of God may be perfect, thoroughly furnished unto all good works. (II Timothy 3:16-17)

Every principle of Scripture we learn should equip us to do good works. You have learned many principles in this course, but knowledge without action is like faith without works. If you only learn principles and there is no active response to the knowledge gained, then it is a spiritual dead end. Receiving the vision is not enough. Communicating it to others is not enough. You and those you train must also obey the vision.

Harvestime International Institute offers courses which will assist you in doing this.  he next course in this series, "Teaching Tactics," will enable you to effectively share with others what you have learned. "Multiplication Methodologies" will show you how to multiply the spiritual force you have trained.  Other Harvestime courses will assist you in organizing, managing, and mobilizing these faithful men and women.  The Harvestime International Institute course, "Leaven-Like Evangelism," provides specific guidelines for sharing the Gospel message in the demonstration of power.  But do not wait until you have completed these courses. Begin to obey the vision right now, right where you are. Here are some suggestions on how to do this:

1. Share the Gospel with others in your own neighborhood, village, and city.

2. Work with your local church in evangelistic outreaches both  locally, nationally, and internationally.

3. Pray for the nations of the world. 

4. Give to mission related agencies, either through your own church or other responsible evangelistic organizations. Giving to those laboring among those yet unreached with the Gospel should be emphasized.

5. Reach out beyond your own area.  Become part of an extension ministry team. Organize an evangelistic team to go into another neighborhood, culture, or nation to share the Gospel.

THE CONTINUING CYCLE

Here is the continuing cycle of reproduction of the Biblical world view:

First you become a model of the vision you have received, then you communicate it to others by both example and teaching. You keep the Biblical world view as the central focus in your own life and in the lives of those you train. As you join those you train in obeying  the vision, you all become a model of the vision and the cycle continues as you communicate it to others.

 

SELF-TEST

1. Write the Key Verse from memory.

2. In sharing the Biblical world view, on what type of men and women should we focus our efforts?

3. What are the four steps for sharing the Biblical world view?

4. What specific action will you take to fulfill the vision of reaching the nations of the world with the Gospel? With whom will you share this vision? What will you do in your church? What will you do in your community?

 (Answers to tests are provided at the conclusion of the final chapter in this manual.)

FOR FURTHER STUDY

FORMING A COMMITTEE FOR EVANGELISM

In this lesson, it was suggested that you form a committee for evangelism or a "World Christian" group in your church. Evangelism should not be just another department or committee of the church. It should be the focus of the church.  The reason for establishing such a committee is to  guide the fellowship in accomplishing its purpose as "The Church In The World" (see Chapter Six).

Here is how you can establish such a committee:

START WITH THE PASTOR:

Meet first with your pastor and share your desire to  start the committee. Share with him your vision and what you have learned in this course. Perhaps he will delegate you to head such a committee or assign someone to work with you in organizing it. It is important that you gain the pastor's permission and involvement if the committee is to be successful.

ANALYZE THE PRESENT PROGRAM:

What is the present status of evangelism or missions in your church?  Consider the following:

·         Policy: Does your church have a written policy on evangelism or missions? If so, is it adequate and does it really reflect what the church is doing?

·         Prayer: How often does your church pray together for requests related to missions and evangelism?  Has your church prayed into service any workers as instructed in Matthew 9:38?

·         Conferences: Did your church have an evangelism or missions conference during the past year?

·         Training: Does your church offer instruction on the Biblical world view which focuses on the need for evangelism and the current status of the spread of the Gospel?  Is there a program of missions education for every age group and each department of the church?

·         Involvement: In the past, what evangelistic and missions programs did your church participate in? What have you done at a local, national, and international level?  Which programs were successful? Why? Which ones failed? Why? Analyze what programs your church is presently participating in at a local, national, and international level. Which ones are successful? Why? Which ones are not successful?  Why? How are the various departments of the church involved in missions? For example, the youth, men's group, women's group, etc.  How are individual families involved in
missions?

·         Support: What missionaries does your church presently support? Where are they located? What level of support are you providing?

·         Budget: Determine what percentage of your present church budget [offerings received] goes to missions or evangelism.  To do this, fill in the following blanks: The total offerings received by our church last year was $____ Of this amount, we gave $______to missions and evangelism. This means that ____% of our church budget went to missions and evangelism last year.

·         Resources: Resources include people, finances, equipment, and facilities. How are the resources of your church currently being used in behalf of missions and evangelism?

EDUCATE THE CONGREGATION:

Offer a class on "Developing A Biblical World View" using this manual as your study guide. During the class, share what you have learned about the present status of missions and evangelism in your church. From those who take the class, select key men and women who  grasp the Biblical world view.  These people should be excited about evangelism and willing to become vitally and actively involved.

CONDUCT AN ORGANIZATIONAL MEETING:

Conduct a special meeting to organize the evangelism committee. 

Responsibilities:

Here are some suggested responsibilities of the evangelism committee. The committee should:

·         Set an example to the church through personal mission involvement, giving, and prayer.

·         Coordinate the prayer of the congregation in behalf of missions and evangelism.

·         Establish local, national, and international goals for missions and evangelism.

·         Determine how church resources can most effectively be used for missions and evangelism.

·         Communicate regarding missions and evangelism to the church.

·         Prepare an annual budget for missions, showing what amount will be raised and how it will be used.

·         Prepare an annual calendar of church events relating to missions and evangelism.

·         Plan, promote, and conduct ongoing training in missions and evangelism.

·         Plan, promote, and conduct an annual missions conference.

·         Coordinate the missions and evangelism program for all departments of the church.

·         Encourage support of missionaries through prayer, giving, personal involvement, and projects. The committee should also  initiate ideas in these areas.

·         Keep current on developments in evangelism and missions throughout the world.

·         Investigate and recommend mission and evangelism projects worthy of church support.

·         Investigate and recommend to the church missionaries and organizations qualifying for support.

·         Maintain regular contact with every missionary, missions agency, and mission project supported by the church.

Organization:

Here are some suggestions regarding organization of the committee:

·         Pastor: The pastor has authority to guide the committee because he is the head of the church.

·         Director: Leads the meetings, and organizes and implements activities under the direction of the pastor. He also guides other committee members in fulfilling their responsibilities.

·         Secretary: Maintains records of committee meetings, the missions calendar, and handles correspondence. Also maintains a file on each missionary or project in which the church is engaged.

·         Fund-raising Chairman: Directs fund-raising for missions and evangelism.

·         Treasurer: Prepares and administers the budget for missions and evangelism. Issues funds to missionaries and projects approved by the committee.

·         Prayer Chairman: Keeps aware of prayer needs concerning missions and evangelism and makes both the committee and church members aware of needs and answers to prayer.

·         Publicity Chairman: Prepares publicity for missions and evangelism events including items for the newspaper, radio, television, posters, flyers, church bulletins, and a missions bulletin board.

·         Training Chairman: Develops programs of ongoing training to keep the congregation educated on missions and evangelism.  A program should be developed for each age group and department in the church. Obtains literature, booklets, tracts and other education materials on missions and evangelism as funds and accessibility permit for the church library and/or audio visual department.

·         Conference Chairman: Plans, promotes, and directs the annual missions conference. 

·         Chairman Of Local Missions: Coordinates local outreaches which might include jail, hospital, door to door, street and school ministries, visitation, follow up of new converts and visitors to the church, and specialized ministries such as ministries to drug addicts, unwed mothers, alcoholics, etc. Investigates and recommends projects worthy of support.

·         Chairman Of National Missions: Coordinates events relating to national evangelism and missions. Investigates and recommends individuals and projects worthy of support.

·         Chairman Of Foreign Missions: Coordinates activities relating to foreign evangelism and missions. Investigates and recommends individuals and projects worthy of support.

·         Chairman Of Recruitment: Enlists and directs volunteers for mission and evangelism service.

·         Representatives From Church Departments: Representatives from different church departments that might serve on the committee include women's and men's ministries, the youth department, and the director of the Sunday School.

CONDUCT PLANNING MEETINGS:

The evangelism committee should meet on a regular basis to make new plans for evangelism and missions. From your prayer and discussions together, set new objectives for spreading the Gospel of the Kingdom. An objective is a goal. Setting goals will help you  achieve your purposes  locally, nationally, and internationally. (For further instruction in this area, obtain the Harvestime International Institute course entitled "Management By Objectives"). Set new objectives for:

·         Policy: If your church has a written policy on missions and evangelism, review it to see if it is adequate. If your church does not have a written policy on evangelism or missions, write one. A missions policy should state the purpose and objectives of your program of missions and evangelism. Harvestime International Institute course entitled "Management By Objectives" will assist you in this area.

·         Prayer: Begin to pray together as a committee for missions. Present prayer requests concerning missions and evangelism for which the church can pray together.

·         Conferences: Plan a missions conference. Set up information booths in the church concerning various nations and missions agencies. The conference could include speakers on the subjects of missions and evangelism, missionaries the church supports, and related films, slides, and videos. Advertise the missions conference in the local newspaper and through radio and television if possible and funds permit. Use banners, flags, and posters. Announce the conference from the pulpit during services and in the weekly bulletin if your church issues one.

·         Training: Offer classes or Bible studies to develop the Biblical world view. Focus these sessions on the need for evangelism and the current status of the spread of the Gospel throughout the world. Use this course as a study guide. Plan a year-round emphasis on missions and evangelism. Perhaps you can focus on a different missionary, nation, or missionary organization each month. Start a library of books, periodicals, and audio-visual materials that will educate church members regarding missions and evangelism.

·         Involvement: Review what you learned about the past and present involvement of your church in behalf of the spread of the Gospel. Begin to pray and plan what you will do in the future locally, nationally, and internationally. What programs were successful in the past? You may feel led to repeat them. What present programs are successful? What new programs of evangelism and missions can you institute? What failures have you experienced in the past and how can you avoid these in the future? Involve every department and every age group in missions and evangelism. One way you can do this is to have a representative from each department attend the meetings of the evangelism committee. This representative can then communicate the vision and plans back to their departments.

Increase the involvement of individual families in your church by the following methods:

a.    Have each family post a map in their home and mark on it the location of missionaries for whom they pray and provide support.

b.    Let families entertain missionaries, international students, and foreign guests in their home.

c.    Provide lodging or transportation for missionaries on furlough or children of missionaries in need of temporary care.

d.    Exhibit in the home plaques, signs, and posters that promote missions.

e.    Develop a home library of missionary books and magazines.

f.     Keep a special jar or bank for missions offerings in which family members can drop daily contributions.

g.    Give an address list of missionaries to each family and encourage them to correspond with the missionaries supported by your church.

h.    A family trip to a mission field during vacation can be arranged  through responsible mission agencies.

i.      Parents can encourage their children to become involved in local  evangelism and mission efforts.

j.      Missions and evangelism can be stressed during family worship.

·         Support: Increase the number of missionaries which your church supports and/or increase the level of your support. Consider sending out cross-cultural mission teams from your own church on short term missions.

·         Budget: Make plans to increase the percentage of the budget that goes to missions and evangelism. For example, use the following chart to challenge members of the church: If each member gave _____ a day for missions, we would give (membership _____x 365 days times amount given by each daily___) a total of ______a year. For example, in the United States if each member of a church of 200 gave 10 cents a day for a year, the church would have a total of an extra $7,300.00 for missions. Examine your current budget. What areas might be trimmed to allow more funds to be channeled to missions and evangelism?  Determine the percentage of funds to go to local, national, and foreign missions.

·         Resources: Reorganize the resources of your church to emphasize missions and evangelism. Resources include people, finances, equipment, and facilities. Determine how you can best use your resources to achieve your plans for evangelism.

CONDUCT REGULAR MEETINGS OF THE EVANGELISM COMMITTEE:

Here is a sample agenda for conducting regular meetings of the evangelism committee:

     1. Opening prayer and Scripture reading.

     2. Reading of notes from first meeting [by secretary].

     3. Financial report.

     4. Presentation of regional reports:

·         Report from local missions chairman.

·         Report from national missions chairman.

·         Report from foreign missions chairman.

     5. Special reports:

·         Fund raising.

·         Annual missions conference.

·         Training.

·         Reports from various church departments relating to missions and evangelism.

     6. Miscellaneous business: Any items not falling under categories listed above.

     7. Closing remarks by pastor.

     8. Time of prayer and intercession for missions and evangelism led by prayer chairman.

COMMUNICATE TO THE CHURCH AND THE COMMUNITY:

Communicate vision, goals, plans, and activities to the church and community through:

·         The media: Radio, television, and newspaper announcements.

·         Signs and posters: Outside and inside  the  church and posted  throughout the community.

·         Flags and banners of various nations.

·         Books and audio-visual materials in the church library.

·         Literature such as flyers, brochures, posters, and booklets.

·         Weekly church bulletins including news items on missions and evangelism.

·         Newsletters and special letters sent to church members.

·         Bulletin boards featuring pictures and letters about church sponsored activities of missions and evangelism, announcements of meetings, mission slogans, and goals.

·         Announcements from the pulpit during regular services.

·         A missionary directory with the name, address and photograph of the missionary family, a list of members of the family, ages and  birth dates, information on the place of service, and a brief  description of the type of ministry in which the missionary is involved.

·         Maps, both of the world and various nations in which the church is engaged in missions and evangelism.

WORLD CHRISTIAN BIBLE STUDIES

"World Christian" Bible studies will help you keep the Biblical world view central to your life and ministry. They will also help you share the vision with others.  Here are some suggestions on how to develop such studies:

VERSE STUDIES:

Use chapters 4, 5, and 6 of this course for specific references to the subject of a Biblical world view and the world in the Word. In your own personal study of the Word, look for these key words in verses which will reflect God's global purpose: nations-Gentiles-heathen-the peoples-world-country-ends of the earth.

As you study each Bible passage, ask these questions:

·         What does the passage reveal about God's concern for the nations of the world?

·         What does the passage reveal about the world?

·         What does the passage reveal about God's interaction with men of all nations?

·         What is God's message to the world as revealed in this passage?

·         What  does this  passage  reveal about God's purpose for the world, Israel, the church, or the individual believer?

·         What key words in this passage focus on the world. For example, the word "world" in John 3:16 is an example of such a key word. God's love was focused specifically on the world. This is why he sent Jesus to die for the sins of all mankind.

·         Does this passage call for a specific response from believers in relation to reaching the world with the Gospel? What actions are we called upon to take?

CHARACTER STUDIES:

Study key Biblical characters in light of their role in God's plan for the world. As you study the life of a Bible personality, ask these questions:

·         What specific tasks did God appoint the individual?

·         How would these tasks help achieve God's purposes for the world?

·         What were the personal characteristics which contributed to or prevented fulfillment of their role as a messenger of God? (The study  of Abraham in the "For Further Study" section of Chapter Eight provides an example of a study of personal characteristics)

·         How did the person succeed in the tasks God appointed them?

·         What caused them to succeed?

·         How did they fail? What caused their failure? How could these failures have been prevented?

·         What can you learn from their experiences which will help you fulfill your own role in God's plan?

BOOK STUDIES:

Study an entire book of the Bible with the Biblical world view in mind.  As you have seen in this course, each book of the Bible expresses truths about God's plan for the nations of the world.  As you study a specific book, ask yourself these questions:

·         What is the  purpose of this book in light of God's global cause?  How do the events recorded in this book relate to His plan and purposes?

·         Who were the main  characters in this book?  Do a character study on them in relation to their part in  Gods' plan.  (Use the instructions previously given for "Character Studies.")

·         What are the specific verses in this book which speak  of the world and God's plans and purposes?  (Use the instructions given previously for "Verse Studies.")

·         What challenge does this book present to you personally in terms of God's global purpose?  How will you actively respond to what you have learned in this book?

 

CHAPTER ELEVEN: THEN SHALL THE END COME

 

OBJECTIVES:

Upon completion of this chapter you will be able to:

·         Write the Key Verse from memory.

·         Explain the key event preceding the end of the world and the climax of God's plan.

·         Provide Scriptural references which describe the end of the world.

·         Summarize events leading to the end of the world and the climax of God's plan for the nations.

KEY VERSE

And this Gospel of the Kingdom shall be preached in all the world for a witness unto all nations; and then shall the end come.  (Matthew 24:14)

INTRODUCTION

The first chapter of this course described the beginning of the world. From that point, you have followed the development of God's plan throughout history, from Old and New Testament days up through the church age and in present times. But what does the Bible teach about the future of the world?  Jesus spoke of the end of the world. What does this mean? This chapter answers these questions as it discusses the end of the world and the climax of God's plan for all mankind.

A KEY EVENT

Jesus promised His followers:

. . . I go to prepare a place for you. And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come again and receive you unto myself; that where I am, there ye may be also. (John 14:2-3)

Jesus said He would return to earth for those who are born-again believers and take them to a special place He has prepared for them. When will this happen? No one knows the exact time except for God:

But of that day and hour knoweth no man, no, not the angels of Heaven, but my Father only. (Matthew 24:36)

We do not know the exact timing, but Jesus spoke of a key event that would let His followers know the time was near:

And this Gospel of the Kingdom shall be preached in all the world for a witness unto all nations; and then shall the end come.  (Matthew 24:14)

The key event which will precede the end of the world and the climax of God's plan for the nations is the spreading of the Gospel of the Kingdom to all people.  What a responsibility we have in fulfilling God's plan!

In this course you learned of the task of the Church and your personal responsibility as a member to fulfill this challenge. You also learned about the message to be shared which is the "Gospel of the Kingdom."  But what is the "end" of which Jesus spoke?  The end is the climax of the world and time as we now know it.  It is the final part of God's plan for the nations.

THE PROPHETIC RECORD

God did not reveal every detail about how the world would end, but He did give us an outline of the major events by prophecy. The word "prophecy" means to speak forth. 
Bible prophecy includes three kinds of "speaking forth":

1.  A message of inspiration from God.

2.  Prediction of future events in God's eternal plan.

3.  An interpretation for man of the acts of God. *

The main prophecies about the future of the world are found in the books of Daniel and Revelation. Special passages such as Matthew 24 and  I Thessalonians 4:13-18  provide additional information. From a study of these passages, we can learn what God has revealed about the end of the world.

THAT WHICH IS REVEALED. Here is a brief summary of what God has revealed in His Word about the end of the world:

___________________

*  Chapter Twenty of  the Harvestime International Institute course entitled "Creative Bible Study Methods" provides detailed guidelines for studying Bible prophecy.

THE PREACHING OF THE GOSPEL OF THE KINGDOM:

This must be accomplished before the end will come (Matthew 24:14).

THE RAPTURE:

After the Gospel of the Kingdom has been preached to all peoples, Jesus will return for believers. I Thessalonians 4:13-18 gives the most detail about this return which is called "the rapture." The word "rapture" is not found in Scripture but "caught up" has this meaning. From this passage we learn that:

·         Jesus Himself will return. (verse 16)

·         There will be a resurrection of those who were believers when they died. (verse 16)

·         There will be a rapture, which means "the act of taking a person from one place to another." Living believers will be taken from earth to meet Jesus in the air. (verse 17)

·         There will be a reunion between believers who have previously died, believers living at the time of the Lord's return, and the Lord Jesus Christ.  (verse 17) Some people believe the rapture will occur before the tribulation and that believers will not have to experience any of this terrible time on earth. Others believe the rapture will happen midway through the period. Still others believe the rapture will happen at the end of the tribulation. The most common belief is that the rapture of believers will happen before the tribulation begins. The different views of the timing of the rapture result from various interpretations of Scripture. Actually, no one knows the exact timing of this event except God the Father (Matthew 24:36).  What is most important is to know you are a true believer and are ready to go with Jesus in the rapture when it does occur.

THE TRIBULATION:

Some people will not be glad to see Jesus return:

Behold, He cometh with clouds; and every eye shall see Him, and they also which pierced Him: and all kindreds of the earth shall wail because of Him. 
Even so, Amen. (Revelation 1:7)

The reason for their sorrow is that they did not accept Jesus. They rejected Him and lived in their own sinful ways. Now, they face a time of great suffering on earth. The Bible tells of this terrible time called the "tribulation" which will occur after believers have been raptured to be with Jesus:

·         The tribulation will last for 42 months or 1,260 days (Daniel 9:24-27).

·         It will be a very difficult time. There have been many difficult times in the world, but three things will distinguish the tribulation from all other times of trouble.

First: It will be worldwide and not just local (Revelation 3:10).

Second: People will realize that the end of the world is near (Revelation 6:16).

Third: The intensity of the trouble will be greater than ever before experienced (Matthew 24:4-14).

There are a series of judgments of God on the earth during the tribulation. These are described in Revelation chapters 6, 8, 9, and 16 and Matthew 24:4-14.  The judgments fall on all men and women who have rejected Jesus Christ.

THE MILLENNIUM:

The Bible tells of a period of 1,000 years after the tribulation during which Jesus will rule the earth in righteousness (Zechariah 14:9; Daniel 7:14).  The city of Jerusalem will be the center of government (Isaiah 2:3). This period will end when Satan stages a last revolt against God (Revelation 20:7-9).  God will send fire from Heaven and end all opposition. Satan will be cast  into the lake of fire for eternity (Revelation 20:10).

JUDGMENT:

Those who died as unbelievers will be resurrected from the dead to face judgment. Because they did not repent from sin and accept Jesus as Savior, they will be condemned to eternity in Hell (Revelation 20:12-15). True believers who repented from sin and accepted Jesus as Savior will spend eternity in Heaven in the presence of God (Revelation 21).

THE WORLD DESTROYED:

The Bible speaks of the world being destroyed with fervent heat:

But the  day of the Lord will come as a thief  in the night: in the which the heavens shall pass away with a great noise, and the elements shall melt with fervent heat, the earth also and the works  that are therein shall be burned up. (II Peter 3:10)

Time as we now measure it, will no longer exist.  We will enter eternity, which has no beginning and no end:

And the angel which I saw stand upon the sea and upon the earth lifted up his hand to heaven, And sware by Him that liveth forever and ever, who created Heaven, and the things that therein are, and the earth, and the things that therein are, and the sea, and the things which are therein, that there should be time no longer. (Revelation 10:5-6)

GOD'S PURPOSE FULFILLED

Remember the special purpose of God you previously studied?

Having made known unto us the mystery of His will, according to His good pleasure which He hath purposed in Himself; That in the dispensation of the fullness of times, He might gather together in one all things in Christ, both which are in Heaven, and which are on earth; even in Him. (Ephesians 1:9-10)

At last, God's special plan will be fulfilled:

And the seventh angel sounded; and there were great voices in Heaven, saying, The kingdoms of this world are become the kingdoms of our Lord, and of His Christ; and He shall reign forever and ever. (Revelation 11:15)

And every creature which is in Heaven, and on the earth, and under the earth, and such as are in the sea, and all that are in them, heard I saying, Blessing, and honour, and glory, and power, be unto Him that sitteth upon the throne, and unto the Lamb forever and ever. (Revelation 5:13)

BEFORE THE THRONE

God will create a new Heaven and a new earth. The description of these is given in Revelation chapters 21 and 22. Believers of all nations will be gathered together with the one true God:

After this I beheld and lo a great multitude which no man could number, of all nations, and kindreds, and people, and tongues, stood before the throne
and before the Lamb clothed with white robes, and palms in their hands; And cried with a loud voice, saying, Salvation to our God, which sitteth upon
the throne, and unto the Lamb. And all the angels stood round about the throne, and about the elders and the four beasts, and fell before the throne on their faces, and worshipped God, Saying, Amen: Blessing, and glory, and wisdom, and thanksgiving and honor, and power, and might, be unto our God forever and ever. Amen. (Revelation 7:9-12)

Men and women of all nations--of all tribes and tongues, of every people group—gathered before the throne. But as we preview this great scene of rejoicing in Heaven, let us not forget the challenge that only those who. . .

. . . shall call upon the name of the Lord shall be saved. (Romans 10:13)            
BUT. . .

How then shall they call on Him in whom they have not believed?  And how shall they believe in Him of whom they have not heard? And how shall they
hear without a preacher? And how shall they preach, except they be sent? (Romans 10:14-15)

You have studied the Biblical world view. You have viewed the world through the eyes of God.

Now. . . what is YOUR personal response to this great challenge?

 

SELF-TEST

1. Write the Key Verse from memory.

2. What is the key event which must occur before the end of the world?

3. What two books of the Bible provide the most information on the end of the world and  the climax of God's plan for the nations?

4. Where is the most detailed information given on the "rapture"?

5. Where is the most information given on the new heaven and earth?

6. What verse describes how the heaven and earth will be destroyed?

7. Summarize the events leading to the end of the world  and the climax of God's plan for the nations.

 (Answers to tests are provided at the conclusion of the final chapter in this manual.)

FOR FURTHER STUDY

1. Study more about what God has revealed concerning  the end of the world:

·         Study the books of Daniel and Revelation

·         Study Matthew 24

·         Study I Thessalonians 4:13-18 and II Peter 3:10

2. The book of Revelation deals with the end of the world and the climax of God's plan for the nations. In previous lessons you studied the "world in the Word" throughout the entire Bible with the exception of the book of Revelation.

The book of Revelation contains the final references on this subject. The following verses are the last  specific references in the Bible to the nations of the world:

·         Jesus is prince of the kings of the earth: 1:5

·         The coming of Jesus to earth: 1:7

·         Promises to believers of all nations: 2:26; 3:10

·         The final preaching and harvesting of the nations of the world: 14:6-7, 15-19

·         The end of the world: 10:5-6; 11:15; 13:8; 17:8

·         Descriptions of the new Heaven and earth and events occurring therein:  5:9-10,13; 7:9-11; 15:4; chapters 21 and 22 (specific references to nations in 21:24,26; 22:2)

 

ANSWERS TO SELF-TESTS

CHAPTER ONE:

1. In the beginning God created the heaven and the earth. (Genesis 1:1)

2. The one true God who is revealed in the Holy Bible.

3. Two reasons for the different stories of creation:  Because people did not have access to the true facts about creation and because they chose not to believe the true story of creation when they heard it.

4. Some people do not accept the true facts of creation because if they do, they must acknowledge there is a God. If they accept the fact there is a God then they must acknowledge His sovereign rule over them. They must also believe His Word and do something about their evil lifestyle. Because people do not want to change their way of life they choose to deny the Biblical account of creation and the existence of God.

5. When we speak of developing a Biblical world view, it means we are basing our understanding of the world on what is revealed by God in His written Word, the Bible.

6. For a summary of God's creative acts check the list provided in Chapter One.

7. Man is different from all other creatures made by God because he is created in God's image and has an eternal soul and spirit. He has the capacity to communicate with and relate to God.

8. See the summary of the "fall of man" provided in Chapter One.

9. See the results of the "fall of man" provided in Chapter One.

10. Genesis 3:15

11. The natural world and the spiritual world.

CHAPTER TWO:

1. And the  Lord said, Behold the people is one, and they have all one language; and this they begin to do: and now nothing will be restrained from them which they have imagined to do. Go to, let us go down, and there confound their language, that they may not understand one another's speech. (Genesis 11:6-7)

2. The world was divided into various language groups at the tower of Babel.

3. People began to come together with those to whom they could talk. They organized in groups or tribes of people speaking the same language. This resulted in various people groups. 

4. As the people groups grew, they moved to different areas of the world. Over a period of time, these groups grew into great masses of people who  organized into nations. They set geographic boundaries for their territories and political and legal systems to govern their residents.

CHAPTER THREE:

1. Then opened He their understanding that they might understand the Scriptures, And said unto them, Thus it is written, and thus it behooved Christ to suffer and to rise from the dead the third day; And that repentance and remission of sins should be preached in His name among all nations, beginning at  Jerusalem. (Luke 24:45-47)

2. The "master key" of the Bible is Luke 24:45-47.

3. The two basic facts presented in the "master key" of the Bible are:

First: "It behooved Christ to suffer, and to rise from the dead."

Second: "That repentance and remission of sins should be preached in His Name."

4. The Scripture references which explain God's purpose for the world are Ephesians 1:9-10 and 3:11.

5. God's eternal purpose is to gather all sinful people to Himself through Jesus Christ.

6. The harvest field.

CHAPTER FOUR:

1. For from  the rising of the sun even unto the going down of the same my name shall be great among the Gentiles; and in every place incense shall be offered unto my name, and a pure offering: for my name shall be great among the heathen, saith the Lord of hosts. (Malachi 1:11)

2. The central message  is that of God's concern and  plan for the salvation of sinful man.

3. Compare your summary to that given in Chapter Four.

4. Compare your summary to that given in Chapter Four.

5. Compare your summary to that given in Chapter Four.

6. Compare your summary to that given in Chapter Four.

CHAPTER FIVE:

1. I have glorified thee on the earth; I have finished the work which thou gavest me to do.  (John 17:4)

2. God's plan of salvation for the  world was revealed by the statements of the angels,  Mary,  Simeon, and others. In each announcement, reference was made to His purpose of reconciling all peoples to God.

3.Compare your summary to the discussion in Chapter Five.

4. Compare your summary to the discussion in Chapter Five.

5. It was through the death of Jesus on the cross that sinful man would be reconciled with a righteous God.

6. He had fulfilled the purpose for which He was sent into the world, that of reconciling sinful man with a righteous God. The plan of God for salvation was complete. 

CHAPTER SIX:

1. But ye shall receive power, after that the Holy Ghost is come upon you: and ye shall be witnesses unto me both in Jerusalem, and in all Judaea, and in Samaria, and unto the uttermost part of the earth.  (Acts 1:8)

2. The Great Commission is the command of Jesus given to believers to extend the Gospel to the nations of the world. 

3. Any three of these references may be used: John 20:21-23; Acts 1:8; John 15:16; Luke 24:45-49; Mark 16:14-16;  Matthew 28:16-20

4. The Church is defined on two levels:

Worldwide: The Church is composed of all people who believe in Jesus Christ. It is a fellowship of believers who have been born again and live in obedience to God. The word church means "to call out from" or the "called out ones." The Church is composed of people called out from the Kingdom of Satan to the Kingdom of God and is composed of people of every race, tribe, culture, and language who have accepted Jesus Christ as Savior.

Local: For purposes of mission, organization, and fellowship, groups of believers have banded together in organized local fellowships.

5. The Church began on the  Day of Pentecost recorded in Acts 2. It was birthed by God in a great demonstration of power.

6. The power of the Holy Spirit.

7. Believers should relate together as brothers and sisters of a family. They are to serve as a Body works together, with Christ as the head. God sets special leaders and gives ministry gifts to enable the mission of the Church.

8. The Church has several functions which include worship, fellowship, and ministry to human need. But the primary purpose for its existence is the spreading of the Gospel. Simply stated, the purpose of the Church is to accomplish the Great Commission given by Jesus.

9. I Corinthians 15:1-11 summarizes the basic elements of the Gospel. Its basic message is Jesus, His ministry, death for sin, resurrection, and appearances. In its narrowest sense, the Gospel means John 3:16, John 14:1, Matthew 11:28, and Romans 10:9. In its widest meaning, it includes all that Jesus taught about the Kingdom.

CHAPTER SEVEN:

1. The harvest truly is plenteous, but the laborers are few.  (Matthew 9:37)

2. Compare your summary to that given in Chapter Seven.

3. A people group is a significantly  large group of individuals who have a common bond to one another.  Such a bond may include language, culture, customs, and geographic location.

4. An unreached  people group is a people  group among which there is no native community of believers with adequate numbers and resources to evangelize their people without outside assistance.

5. A reached people  group is one with an adequate number of believers and resources to evangelize their own people without outside assistance. 

6. The five  major unreached groups are:  Tribal, Muslim, Hindu, Chinese, and Buddhist.

7. A closed country is one where they no longer accept missionaries from other nations and, in many cases, have  passed laws governing the religion of their people.  In some nations it is against the law to convert people to Christianity.

8. The statement is true.

CHAPTER EIGHT:

1. Ye have not chosen me, but I have chosen YOU, and ordained YOU, that YE should go and bring forth fruit, and that YOUR fruit should remain: that whatsoever ye shall ask of the Father in my name, He may give it you.  (John 15:16)

2. World Christians is a group composed of people of many races, cultures, languages, and religious denominations.  The one thing they have in common is their personal commitment to become a World Christian. 

3. The early church reached  the world by the process of multiplication described in II Timothy 2:2.  Each believer was reproductive and each home was a center of evangelism.

4. This question requires your signature of commitment.

CHAPTER NINE:

1....For mine house shall be called an house of prayer for all people.  (Isaiah 56:7)

2. An intercessor is a mediator  on behalf of another. We intercede for the nations by praying for them.  This explains the term international intercession.  When we intercede we seek God on behalf of others.  We present petitions to Him on behalf of the nations of the world.

3. Steps for training others as international intercessors:

First:  Communicate the Biblical world view.

Second: Study this chapter together, following the guidelines for  the prayer plan and establishing a prayer manual.

Third: Organize a prayer group for international intercession. This will assure continued dedication to this important ministry.

4. If your answer is yes, then you have successfully achieved the objective of this chapter.

5. If your answer is yes, then you have successfully achieved the objective of this chapter.

6.

·         Intercession is Scriptural.

·         Prayer is an activity upon which all others depend.

·         There are no limits to international intercession.

7. The prayer plan includes:

·         Praise to God:  (10 minutes)

·         Intercession for the world in general:  (10 minutes)

·         Intercession for one area of the world:  (10 minutes)

·         Intercession for a specific missionary or mission  agency:  (10 minutes)

·         Prayer for one unreached people group:  (10 minutes)

·         Specific personal prayer needs:  (10 minutes)

CHAPTER TEN:

1. And the things that  thou hast heard of me among many witnesses, the same commit thou to faithful men, who shall be able to teach others also.   (II Timothy 2:2)

2. Faithful men and women.

3.

·         Become a model of the vision.

·         Communicate the vision to others.

·         Keep the vision as the central focus of life.

·         Obey the vision.

4. You are  the only one who can answer this question. If you have not decided on a specific response in obedience to the vision, then continue to seek God until you do so. This is the true test of this chapter and this entire course: Have you been motivated to action in God's plan for the nations of the world?

CHAPTER ELEVEN:

1. And this Gospel of the Kingdom shall be preached in  all the world for a witness unto all nations; and then shall the end come.  (Matthew 24:14)

2. The preaching of the Gospel of the Kingdom to all peoples of the world.

3. The books of Revelation and Daniel.

4. I Thessalonians 4:13-18

5. Revelation chapters 21 and 22

6. II Peter 3:10

7. Compare your summary with the discussion in Chapter Eleven.

 

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