The Great Commission: Making Disciples

THE CALL TO WIN THE LOST AND MAKE DISCIPLES

19 Go therefore and make disciples of all the nations…20 teaching them to observe all things that I have commanded you; and lo, I am with you always, even to the end of the age. (Mt. 28:19-20)

The Holy Spirit is calling all believers to go, or to actively win the lost and make disciples of individuals and to participate in disciplining nations. As a rule, the Lord gives us an assignment first to the nation that we live in as well as giving us an assignment to other nations.

Go: implies actively sharing the Word of God with unbelievers and believers as it is confirmed by signs and wonders and practical works of service. We do this speaking the Word, giving our testimony, winning the lost, praying for the sick and serving in practical ways. We give what we have. We have the love of God and His Word and the resources that God has given us. “Going” means allowing God’s light to manifest through us in an intentional way in everyday life.

Discipling nations: we disciple nations by engaging our culture by impacting the 7 spheres of society which Loren Cunningham and Bill Bright defined together. The 7 spheres are family, education, government (politics, law, and military), economy (business, science, and technology), arts (entertainment and sports), media, and religion.

Building the local church: we make disciples best in the context of the fivefold ministry in a local expression of God’s family in our city, in relationship with and honor for other congregations, establishing strong kingdom relationships in the natural and spiritual family.

Disciples do the works of God: releasing God’s love and power to others as we win the lost, heal the sick, do justly (compassion to the poor, fatherless, and oppressed), proclaim the Word, make disciples, build godly families, lead in prayer meetings and/or serve in the marketplace by releasing grace (power, love, and wisdom) and multiplying finances

THE GOSPEL WILL BE PREACHED TO ALL NATIONS

Jesus connected the timing of His return to the preaching of the gospel to all nations. Missions leaders identify 4,000 geo-political zones using 6,000 languages (20 primary languages used by 90% of the earth) and 12,000 cultures or ethnic groups (ethnos).
14 This gospel of the kingdom will be preached in all the world as a witness to all the nations [ethnos or ethnic groups] and then the end will come. (Mt 24:14)

The leading missions organizations project from statistical data that the gospel will be presented to all 12,000 people groups or ethnic groups for the first time by 2020. Loren Cunningham, leader of Youth With A Mission, and Steve Douglass, leader of Campus Crusade For Christ, are stating that the task of preaching the gospel in every nation could occur by 2020.

The remaining 600 “Untargeted and Unreached People Groups” (UUPG) of over 100,000 people are now being targeted. Over 300 of these 600 UUPGs are being actively engaged. See DAWN (Disciplining A Whole Nation) for up-to-date research on reaching the nations for Christ.

In 1800, at the beginning of the Protestant missions movement, nearly 75% of the global population had never heard the gospel. Today, only 25% of the global population remains unevangelized. In AD 100, there was a 360 to 1 ratio of unbelievers to believers (under 1%). In AD 1000, there was a 220 to 1 ratio (under 1%). In 1500, there was a 70 to 1 ratio (just over 1%). In 1900, there was a 25 to 1 ratio (4%) and in 2000, there is about a 5 to 1 ratio (about 20%).

Campus Crusade for Christ’s Jesus Film has been shown in 230 countries and territories (out of 262). There have been six billion viewings of the film, totaling 225 million decisions for Christ.

Every Home For Christ, led by Dick Eastman, reports that they mobilized 25,000 workers who led 10 million people to Christ and planted 10,000 churches in 2008 alone.

The Bible has been translated into over 2,000 languages (that are used by 98% of the world’s population). There has been a great acceleration in the global missions movement over the last 50years, starting in the 1960s.

Christianity is the world’s largest religion, encompassing one third of the world’s population. Christianity is growing at a much faster rate than the overall population. The primary growth has taken place in the southern hemisphere and in Asia.

About 250 million Christians live in North America, while over 400 million live in South America, 350 million in Africa, and almost 350 million in Asia. In 1900, there were 10 million Christians in Africa, representing 10% of the population. Today there are over 350 million Christians in Africa, representing almost 50% of the population. There are over 100 million Christians in China with 30,000 coming to faith every day.

By 2025, an estimated 600 million Christians will live in Asia, another 600 million in Africa, and 500million in Latin America. These findings can be confirmed in the Status of Global Mission 2005 published by the International Bulletin of Missionary Research, and the Global Survey of World Missions and World Christian Encyclopedia by David Barrett

According to David Aikman, former Time magazine bureau chief in Beijing, in 25 years the Chinese population will be over 25% Christian, making China the largest Christian nation.

The greatest missionary forces in the Body of Christ are coming from Asia. Today there are about 220,000 missionaries worldwide. The Chinese church will double the work force. The “Back to Jerusalem” ministry is focused on going from Beijing to Jerusalem. It has a vision to evangelize the unreached nations of the world, taking the gospel through Muslim, Buddhist, and Hindu nations on the way to Jerusalem.

THE FOUNDATION OF JUSTICE: NIGHT AND DAY PRAYER

Jesus taught that the foundation of justice is established in night and day prayer then it overflows in doing works of justice. We must never substitute prayer for works of justice, or vice versa.

7 Now shall not God bring about justice for His elect, who cry to Him day and night…? 8 I tell you that He will bring about justice for them speedily. (Luke 18:7-8; NAS)

The release of justice is most effective in the context of night and day prayer because works of justice are to be confirmed with power, and the workers of justice must stay connected to God.

CONVERGENCE OF THE MISSIONS MOVEMENT AND THE PRAYER MOVEMENT

The Call2All is led by the two largest missions organizations in history: Campus Crusade for Christ, started by Bill Bright in 1951, and Youth With A Mission (YWAM), started by Loren Cunningham in 1960. Together, these two organizations have almost 50,000 full-time staff and 500,000 part-time staff. This represents 12% of the missions work force across the earth. Bill Bright died on July 19, 2003. Steve Douglass now leads Campus Crusade for Christ. The Call2All ministry was initially birthed by Bill Bright and Campus Crusade for Christ. Call2All will host 40 congresses over a three-year period.

In January 2008, Mark Anderson, leader of the Call2All, hosted a congress in Orlando at which 170 CEOs of most of the top missions organizations worldwide made a commitment to start 70,000 new houses of prayer by 2020. In the Hong Kong Call2All Congress (June 2009), 3,000 leaders from 900 organizations committed to start 400,000 house of prayer by 2020. In Nairobi, Kenya, (August 2008) leaders committed to start 75,000 new houses of prayer. In the last 21 months in Call2All congresses, leaders committed to start over 500,000 houses of prayer. The Call2All congresses include Orlando, Dayton, Nairobi, Toronto, Hong Kong, Curtiba (Brazil), Kiev (Ukraine). They represent 1,200 different organizations and denominations.

Missions leaders define 4,000 geo-political zones on earth using 6,000 languages (20 primary languages are used by 90% of the earth) and 12,000 distinct cultures or ethnic groups (ethnos). Each zone has been studied and targeted by the missions movement to reach with the gospel.

Starting in 2000, David Hamilton began to develop the “4,000 zone mission strategy” which was designed to define the unreached people groups on earth. He is one of the primary leaders of YWAM’s University of the Nations (Bible school) which has 500 locations in 140 nations.

Highlights from the Call2All-Orlando gathering include the missions leaders and prayer leaders recognizing the Lord’s hand in establishing them together in a strategic alliance for God’s end-time purposes in soon completing the task of bringing a witness of the gospel to every nation.

The missions movement began in the context of 24/7 prayer with Count Zinzendorf at Herrnhut, Germany, in 1727. There has been a great acceleration in the global missions movement over the last 50 years (starting about 1960). The global prayer movement began to grow rapidly about 20 years ago (starting about 1990).

The leaders of many international prayer movements have plans to come together in increased ways to facilitate a more focused partnership with international missions leaders as they reach out to all 4,000 zones. We want each mission organization and missionary to be covered in prayer.

In March 2004, Mark and Karen Anderson each received a prophetic word on the same day, saying: My house is a House of Prayer, if it is not a House of Prayer then it is not my House.

7 For My house shall be called a House of Prayer for all nations. (Isa. 56:7)

On Dec. 25, 2006, Mark Anderson had a prophetic dream in which the Lord revealed to him that the missions movement and the prayer movement are the same movement in God’s heart.

We are asking each prayer ministry and each intercessor across the earth to specifically adopt one mission organization, three individual missionaries, and one of the 4,000 zones of the earth to cover in prayer on a regular basis. All prayer ministries will be encouraged to pray for God’s salvation to be released in Jerusalem and Israel.

In January 2004, the Lord spoke to IHOP-KC leaders about committing to cover YWAM in a strategic relationship. Therefore, YWAM is our missions organization (in addition to GOD TV). On Dec. 5, 2007, the Lord confirmed IHOP-KC’s connection to Egypt as the zone we will cover.

DISCIPLESHIP IN ACTION

The prophet Micah gave one of the best summaries of the kingdom lifestyle. We are called to be workers of justice and lovers of mercy with a spirit of humility. This is what God wants from us. This how God wants us to live and what He will require from us at the judgment seat.

8 He has shown you, O man, what is good; and what does the LORD require of you but to do justly, to love mercy, and to walk humbly with your God? (Mic. 6:8)

Works of justice include feeding the poor, caring for the needy, orphans, widows, and homeless. Justice includes helping to alleviate the oppression of abortion, poverty, misogyny, and racism (systemized prejudice) in the marketplace, law enforcement, education, employment, etc.

Loving people is the visible measurement and reflection of our invisible love for God (1 Jn. 3:17-19; 4:20). It is impossible to love Jesus and not love people more.

17 Whoever has this world’s goods, and sees his brother in need, and shuts up his heart from him, how does the love of God abide in him? (1 Jn. 3:17)

We are called to be zealous to do works of justice and mercy that exalt Jesus. The revelation that we are special to our great God, who loves us and freely forgives us, awakens such love in us that we become zealous for good works.

14 That He might…purify for Himself His own special people, zealous for good works. (Titus 2:14)

To be zealous for good works is to be intentional and committed to participating with others so that good works are done on a regular basis, not merely in a casual and occasional way. They are a top priority to us.

If we ask, God will give us creative ideas on how can help the oppressed. Dream big and think outside the box without being limited to what is currently on the organizational chart.

10 We are His workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand that we should walk in them. (Eph. 2:10)

We will never meet all the needs in our hurting world, but together we can make a difference in the lives of some by consistently doing small acts of compassion. God is raising up those who will courageously do great exploits, without being intimidated by the obstacles.

IHOP-KC: COMBINING 24/7 PRAYERS FOR JUSTICE WITH 24/7 WORKS OF JUSTICE

On September 19, while celebrating our ten-year anniversary, IHOP-KC committed, by the grace of God, to combine 24/7 prayers for justice with 24/7 works of justice until the Lord returns.

We are launching new outreaches to help orphans, widows, the poor, and the oppressed. They include a Woman’s Life Center, an adoption agency, our Orphan Justice Center, and CRI, a disaster relief ministry. CRI mobilizes mercy missionaries to reach the harvest in crisis, providing relief to those affected by disasters, through giving water, food, shelter, and medical care, and ministering in the power of God to those in need. Additionally, we are increasing our inner city outreach to the poor, prostitutes, and drug addicts, and have started ministries to those trapped in human trafficking, children at risk, and other victims of injustice in society.

ISAIAH 58: WORKS OF JUSTICE WITH LOVE FOR MERCY

Isaiah 58:1-12 gives us practical ways to do works of justice with mercy in a spirit of humility. Isaiah points out the error of seeking God without helping others (Isa. 58:1-5). The Israelites felt satisfied and justified in only seeking God without embracing works of justice and mercy.

They asked why God did not see or honor their regular prayer with fasting (Isa. 58:3).

1 Tell My people their transgression…2 They seek Me daily, and delight to know My ways…they take delight in approaching God. 3 “Why have we fasted,” they say, “and You have not seen? Why have we afflicted our souls, and You take no notice?” (Isa. 58:3)

God’s answer was that they fasted to gain His favor on their business or ministry and to appear devout. This was to gain favor from the religious community in order to continue to make large profits, by not paying their employees properly, and by treating the people under them roughly.
3In the day of your fast you…exploit all your laborers. 4 Indeed you fast for strife and debate, and to strike with the fist of wickedness. (Isa. 58:3-4)

They fasted and prayed for greater power, influence, and resources. Yet they did not use this increase to support and mobilize more people in sacrificial love and good works that exalt Jesus. They fasted to get the “upper hand” over others.

The fast that pleases God is joined with works of justice and mercy (Isa. 58:6-10).

Systemic injustice or institutional wickedness (Isa. 58:6): We are to help relieve people from the bondage that results from oppressive laws and social barriers that have been created over decades or centuries. They are referred to as bonds of wickedness or heavy burdens and yokes. We work to provide economic and educational opportunities, etc.

6 Is this not the fast that I have chosen: To loose the bonds of wickedness, to undo the heavy burdens, to let the oppressed go free, and that you break every yoke? (Isa. 58:6)

Practical needs (Isa. 58:7-8): We are to help with food, housing, and clothing.

7 Is it not to share your bread with the hungry, and that you bring to your house the poor…when you see the naked, that you cover him…? (Isa. 58:7)

Genuine respect with dignity (Isa. 58:9): We must take away the yoke of demeaning attitudes and the pointing of the finger in condescending speech that belittles people. We cannot make uninformed generalizations about why they are in great need.

9 If you take away the yoke from your midst, the pointing of the finger, and speaking wickedness… (Isa. 58:9)

Seeking God and passion for Jesus must result in zeal for good works as described by Isaiah. What we do outside the prayer room is essential to what occurs in it. As we worship, we connect songs of love to Jesus with acts of love to the needy. Worship is love in action. The worship that moves God’s heart flows from believers whose hearts are moved by the needy.

Those who measure their numerical strength in ministry must not measure it by how many sit in the sanctuary on Sundays, but by how many are mobilized to do good works in the community.

God promises to break in with power to those who embrace God’s chosen fast (Isa. 58:8-12).

8 Then your light shall break forth like the morning, your healing shall spring forth speedily, and your righteousness shall go before you; the glory of the LORD shall be your rear guard. 9 Then you shall call, and the LORD will answer…11 The LORD will guide you continually, and satisfy your soul in drought, and strengthen your bones… (Isa. 58:8-11)




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