“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)
“To preach the gospel in the regions beyond…” (2 Corinthians 10:16)
By Missionary Johnny Esposito
As a Bible-believing people, we all recognize – or should – that God has called each of us to do our part in fulfilling the Great Commission. It was the great William Booth who once said, “’Not called!’ did you say? ’Not heard the call,’ I think you should say. Put your ear down to the Bible, and hear Him bid you go and pull sinners out of the fire of sin. Put your ear down to the burdened, agonized heart of humanity, and listen to its pitiful wail for help. Go stand by the gates of Hell, and hear the d*mned entreat you to go to their father’s house and bid their brothers and sisters, and servants and masters not to come there. And then look Christ in the face, Whose mercy you have professed to obey, and tell Him whether you will join heart and soul and body and circumstances in the march to publish His mercy to the world.”
Of course, that call to fulfill the Great Commission begins in our Jerusalem, and it extends“unto the uttermost part of the earth.” We must not, and we cannot, stop in our Jerusalem! We must not, and we cannot, stop in our Judea! We must not, and we cannot, stop in our Samaria! Unfortunately, whether we admit it or not, in many ways we have!
The great Baptist missionary, William Carey has been quoted often throughout the years. Such statements as, “Is not the commission of our Lord still binding upon us? Can we not do more than now we are doing?” or “Expect great things from God and attempt great things for God” have inspired many through the ages. One of Carey’s quotes, which is not quite as well known as the others, are his words, “To know the will of God, we need an open Bible and an open map.” I think William Carey was basically saying to us, “Do you want to know the will of God for your life? If so, search the Scriptures to see the heart of God, and search for the neediest areas of the world.”
Far too often, this is NOT what we do! I am afraid in far too many cases we do quite the opposite. Did you know that 95% of the Christian workers worldwide are serving 5% of the people? CAN THAT POSSIBLY BE GOD’S PURPOSE? As I have been on deputation now for a year, I am always amazed – possibly alarmed, at how many churches, often good churches are found within just a few miles of one another.
Talking about needy areas, one matter that I am continually asked about at nearly every church that I have been in is the 10/40 Window. To be honest with you, I have often been somewhat surprised at the lack of knowledge of so many concerning this very needy part of our world by those of us who call ourselves New Testament Christians with a heart for the Great Commission.
Then again, this should not surprise us. Dr. Charles Keen of First Bible International has written, “I find our average church member and his pastor still without a working knowledge of its location, demographics, origin and reason for its existence in its present religious state. This is not to be a criticism, for two or three years ago most had NO KNOWLEDGE of even the existence of the Window.” Here are a few simple tidbits aboutthe 10/40 Window:
Yes, for far too long the 10/40 Window has been the Devil’s little secret. It is high time that we awake from our sleep and recognize the heart of God for these “regions beyond.” As New Testament Christians, committed to the Great Commission with a heart for the harvest, we must be concerned with the 10/40 Window. Our concern must become compassion, for it is compassion that makes a difference (Jude 22). We must all be willing to pray for, give to, and many of us should be willing to go if God would so allow.
Are you looking for somewhere to go? Are you looking for somewhere to bring the glorious Gospel of Jesus Christ? If so, open up your Bible, see the heart of God, and get out a map. You might be surprised to see where God leads if you are willing!
Pray for the 10/40 Window