“Can I take you there?”
As I stood at the train station waiting for my ride, Raj, a hard-working rickshaw driver, kept offering to take me places. Twice I had turned Raj down, assuring him that a friend was coming to pick me up. After Raj’s third attempt, though, I felt a nudge to start a conversation about Christ.
“Have you ever heard of Jesus Christ,” I asked. Raj then looked me straight in the eyes and inquired, “Can I take you there?”
“Can I take you there? . . . ” Meaning, “Can I take you to the Jesus Hotel? . . . They must have good rooms.” “Can I take you to the Jesus Restaurant? . . . They must serve good food.”
Raj had no clue who Jesus was, and unfortunately before that day had never heard the gospel.
Though Raj worked in a capitol city of 1.5 million people, filled with all kinds of communication media, his language, caste, and social standing had isolated him from other Christ followers in that city. He had never heard the gospel and thus, had no idea how to have a relationship with his creator. He still had no idea how his sins could be forgiven. He had no idea how to experience true peace.
Raj’s story is far too common. Though we in the West do not encounter many who are totally ignorant of Jesus, many in other areas of the world have never had a chance to hear the gospel. Of the 16,791 people groups in the world, 7,275 or 43% are still considered unreached.
Joshua Project defines an unreached people group as “a people group among which there is no indigenous community of believing Christians with adequate numbers and resources to evangelize this people group.” Originally the criteria was less than 2% Evangelical Christian and less than 5% Christian Adherents. These percentages are somewhat arbitrary, but the great need for the Gospel to be planted in every people group is not.
The difference between a “reached people group” and an “unreached one” is startling.
The difference between a “reached people group” and an “unreached one” is startling. While many in “reached” people groups choose not respond to Christ, there is at least the opportunity to hear. There are people within their people group who can share about Christ. Members of “reached people groups” at least have a chance to hear about and experience Christ.
People in unreached people groups do not have a chance. They have no opportunity to hear the gospel. Differences in language, ethnicity, socio-economic status, religion, and location often keep them isolated from Christ-followers. Todd Johnson notes that 86% of Muslims, Hindus, and Buddhists do not know a Christian. They have no one in their circle of relationships who can share the love of Christ with them. These unreached are not only lost, they are cluelessly lost. They are unfairly isolated from the hope of Christ without any idea how to obtain salvation.
Jesus commissioned his church nearly 2000 years ago to make disciples of all nations (Greek ethne from which we get “ethnic or people groups” in English) It’s not fair that any people group should be unreached at this point in history. Every people group is valuable to God and deserves an opportunity to choose Christ who gave His life for them.
What will you do to bring justice to those who have never had an opportunity to know Christ?