In Matthew 24:14 Jesus makes a statement that has deeply impacted us at Mercy Hill --
And this gospel of the kingdom will be proclaimed throughout the whole world as a testimony to all nations, and then the end will come.
There’s three truths contained in this statement.
First -- the gospel has not yet been preached to all people groups. The word “nations” is the Greek word “ethne,” which refers to ethnic and linguistic and cultural groups, not geo-politically defined groups.
The word “nations” is best understood as “people groups.” So, for example, in the one nation of India there are thousands of people groups – groups of people separated from each other ethnically, linguistically, and culturally.
So Jesus is saying that the end will come as soon as the gospel is preached to all the different people groups on earth. But since the end has not yet come, this means the gospel has not yet been preached to all the people groups.
And research bears this out. There are still thousands of people groups who do not have the Bible in their own language, a church in their own culture, or even missionaries near them.
Second, the gospel will be preached to all people groups. How do we know that? Because Jesus said that the end would not come until the gospel had been preached to all people groups. But we know the end will come, because Jesus promised to return to earth. So, since the end will come, but won’t come until the gospel is preached to all people groups, therefore it’s certain that the gospel will be preached to all people groups.
That’s what we see in Revelation 7, where John sees heaven populated by people “from all tribes and peoples and languages” (v.9). Which shows that some from every people group had the gospel preached to them, repented of their sins, put their trust in Jesus, and were saved.
Third, every follower of Jesus will be passionate about seeing the gospel preached to every people group. Why’s that? It’s because every follower of Jesus longs for the end to come when Jesus will return to the earth (Hebrews 9:27-28; I Peter 1:13). But since that day will not come until the gospel is preached to every people group, we followers of Jesus will long to see the gospel preached to every people group – because once that happens, Jesus will return.
So that’s why we at Mercy Hill Church are passionate about seeing the good news of Jesus be taken not just throughout San Jose, but also to the people groups of the world – especially those people groups who have no Bible, no church, no missionaries.
God has given us two opportunities to pursue this. They are both in politically sensitive countries, so we’ll keep details to a minimum.
North Africa – This involves an area which has been closed to the gospel of Jesus for hundreds of years. But a few years ago a natural catastrophe destroyed thousands of homes in this area, and as a result a door was opened for followers of Jesus from other countries to donate money for construction materials, and time to clear the rubble and rebuild homes. All this is organized by followers of Jesus who live in the area.
Mercy Hill Church has had the joy of joining with others in donating money and sending teams to show Jesus’ love in this practical way. As a result the people in this area have had homes rebuilt, have seen Jesus’ love in practical ways, have heard the good news of Jesus, some have been transformed by Jesus’ saving power, and a small underground church has been established – for the first time in centuries.
Central Asia – In Central Asia there is an unreached Muslim group numbering over 20 million people, which we call “the U people.” We have had the privilege of sending a young family (the A. family) to live in the largest city in this area, where they are learning the U language, leading a team of missionaries reaching out to the U people, and one by one seeing individuals come to trust Jesus.
We have the privilege of helping support this family financially, praying for them regularly, and sending teams to encourage and help them on a regular basis.
Other Missions Support – we also give financial support to Arms of Love (which establishes Christ-centered children’s homes for abandoned or orphaned kids in Third World countries), Rick and Fran Love (who develop partnerships for bringing the good news of Jesus to Muslims), and Bill and Julie Clark (who are in Kazakhstan bringing the good news of Jesus to the U people).