Day 4: IMB ASAP

Be

IMB logo.  Heart, hands, mouth.

If you are a Christian, stop and think for a minute.  What if no one had ever shared the Gospel with you?

Very few of us came to Christ without the influence of a Christian.  Although it’s possible to pick up a copy of God’s Word from a bookstore and become a believer, far more people receive a copy from family, a friend, a coworker, or missions that give away free Bibles.  And this doesn’t even count the millions and millions and millions who cannot go to the nearest bookstore and pick up a copy of the Bible[1].  Even a bookstore selling Bibles is (unless it’s done purely for profit) the cause of a Christian at the printing press.

If you think about it, how would the Christians who shared their faith with you have done so if they hadn’t had someone do the same for them?

Columbia.(from IMB website)

Columbia.
(from IMB website)

As my pastor says, Christianity can become extinct in one generation.  God won’t allow that to happen, but the point is that Christians nearly always become Christians because another Christian shared testimony with him or her.  Think even about the radical conversion of Paul.  Paul knew at the point of the miracle that Jesus is God, but he was sent to Ananias and, later, other believers who could help Paul understand what Jesus did for him and what it means to follow Jesus.  Do we realize how significant this is?  Jesus made a personal appearance to Paul, and yet he sent Paul to other believers.

Afghanistan

Afghanistan.
(from IMB website)

If you are a Christian, you need to realize that you are God’s missionary.  You are either a disobedient missionary like Jonah or an obedient missionary like Paul, but you are God’s missionary.

Not all of us are called to go to Russia, Peru, Australia, Kenya, Indonesia, or Brazil.  But we are all called to be missionaries where we are, and we are all called to help missionaries.  Paul did not do his work alone.  He was sponsored by other believers.  Even Jesus, though He is God and could have made Himself very wealthy, chose to give His followers the chance to support Him.  Why?  God doesn’t ask us to become believers and then live a life in the bog of complacency.  God wants us to move for Him and give for Him.

Nepal (From IMB website.)

Nepal
(from IMB website)

If you are a Christian and you are not willing to give to missionaries, then you need to go to other countries yourself and proclaim the Gospel!

We send missionaries as substitutes for our own burden of witness.  No one Christian can reach everyone everywhere–not even Billy Graham.  But if we give to our Christian family who is sharing the Gospel in other parts of the world, we can have a part in their work.  That’s what Paul wanted for the Philippians to experience when he wrote his letter to them.

Egypt.

Egypt.
(from IMB website)

Today’s mission is the IMB, International Mission Board, and the ASAP is because we need to be sharing the Gospel with as many people as we possibly can every single day.  The population of the world is estimated at over 7 billion[2].  North America has about 463 million of those people[2].  Africa has 1 billion, 72 million[2].  Asia has 4 billion, 260 million[2].  Do we need to be getting the word out?

Watch a video.

About 151,600 people die each day[2].  Do we need to be getting the word out?

The IMB is a global outreach that pools money for missionaries given in Southern Baptist churches or through the website and sends missionaries throughout the world (including right here in America).

The IMB is HUGE but has three main projects:

Note: Check out the IMB’s mission, vision, and core values if you have questions.  If you don’t want to give to a Baptist organization, you still don’t have an excuse not to give.  😉 There are plenty of other missionaries you can fund.

As the Scripture says, “Anyone who trusts in him will never be put to shame.” For there is no difference between Jew and Gentile—the same Lord is Lord of all and richly blesses all who call on him, for, “Everyone who calls on the name of the Lord will be saved.”

How, then, can they call on the one they have not believed in? And how can they believe in the one of whom they have not heard? And how can they hear without someone preaching to them? And how can they preach unless they are sent? As it is written, “How beautiful are the feet of those who bring good news!” (Romans 10:11-15, NIV)

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[1] IMB states that 1,700,000,000 people “live with little or no access to the Gospel.”  I’m sure this isn’t even the full number of people who aren’t able to buy a copy for themselves, either due to government regime, poverty, etc. See article, Why IMB?

[2] Statistics thanks to WholesomeWords.org, The Harvest Fields: Statistics 2013, by Stephen Ross.  See article here.

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