I wanted to share two incredibly powerful and excellent ministry-related resources with you today from the historic Lausanne Congress that just wrapped up last weekend in Cape Town, South Africa. The first is a heart-grabbing, tear-producing video entitled “The Tears of the Saints” relating the latest statistics on the needs in our world today. I would encourage you to take 4-5 minutes and watch it (I sat at my desk in stunned silence with tears welling up in my eyes after I watched it). I think you will agree with my assessment of it and I believe that you won’t regret it.
(Shared from History Makers. The statistics mentioned in the video above are listed at the bottom of today’s post)
Secondly, I watched a great interview a few days ago where the following question was posed to John Piper (who was one of the plenary speakers) during the Lausanne Congress:
The question was: Should we help alleviate the suffering of people here on earth, or should we help to alleviate the ultimate suffering that people will experience in hell for all eternity if they do not come to know Christ?
His answer was essentially: Both/and, not either/or. He went on to explain that when the Gospel takes root in the human soul, it makes us care about all suffering. It makes us want to alleviate all unjust human suffering here and now. But, because of the scope of eternity and the seriousness of the fires of hell, the eternal suffering is infinitely more serious.
He summed it up by saying, “Christians, in the name of Christ, care about all suffering, especially eternal suffering.”
And then he went on to say this: “If you find resistance welling up in your heart about eternal suffering… or resistance welling up in your heart about alleviating suffering in the here and now, then either you have a defective view of Hell or you have a defective heart. And if your heart is good towards human beings, and your view of the Bible and of Hell are good, then you will be able to say, ‘We Christians care about all suffering, especially eternal suffering’. I’ve found that that sentence helps people not become either / or.”
Here are the statistics from “Tears of the Saints” video in case you wanted to keep them for future reference:
- There are only 100,000 missionaries in the world today
- Approximately 3% work among the unreached
- There are 16,000 people groups in the world today
- Over 6,000 of these people groups are considered unreached – that’s one-third of the world’s population (2 billion people)
- 3,700 of these people groups are unengaged and have no church or missionary
- That’s 350 million people who have no access to the Gospel
- Two out of every three people in the world live in Asia
- 70% of Asians have never heard of Jesus Christ
- 3.5 billion people in the world are Muslim, Hindu, or Buddhist
- 86% of them do not personally know an individual who is a follower of Christ
- 2,252 language groups do not have one verse of Scripture translated into their own language
- Persecution and martyrdom are on the increase. For many Asian and North African believers, persecution is a daily reality.
- In North Korea, Laos and Iraq, believers face prison, torture and death for their faith
- Half the world’s population lives on less than $2 a day
- 30,000 people starve to death every day
- There are more than 13 million orphans worldwide
- In the past hour…
- 1,625 children were forced to live on the streets
- 1,667 children died from malnutrition and other diseases
- 257 children were orphaned because of HIV/AIDS
- 115 children became prostitutes
- Work is being done all across the world to reach the unreached – but the workers are few.
- You can do something…you can change the world
“The gospel is only good news if it gets there in time.” (Carl F. H. Henry)
“Having seen all this, you can choose to look the other way, but you can never say again, ‘I did not know.’” – William Wilberforce