Where is it hardest to make disciples?
- China? Because of communism?
- Canada? Because of secularism?
- Australia? Because of an independent, rebellious spirit, from being a penal colony of England?
- Africa? Economic exploitation and government corruption?
- Indonesia? Competing with so many other gods and historical customs.
- Europe? Is is impossible to re-engage a post-Christian culture?
There is no need for faith if there is no struggle! God is going to build His church and He is going to do it with or without us. The only question becomes, will we report for duty or step back with lame excuses?
Seems like Jesus’ day was pretty difficult to make disciples. John the Baptist got his head cut off. Believers suffered under a dominating anti-Christian government. 11 of the 12 disciples died as martyrs. When released from jail for boldly proclaiming their faith, they asked, through prayer, for more of what God them in jail in the first place, “BOLDNESS!”
They refused to recant the message of what they had seen and heard and tasted. They saw and experienced first hand the person of Christ, and they were more than curious or convinced, they were committed to the point of willingly giving up their lives for the gospel.
It seems like the Arab world today might be the hardest place to make disciples of Christ today. Could this be a place where people are excused for ignoring Jesus’ command to make disciples of all nations? Conversion to Christianity translates into being disowned by family, becoming unemployed and ostracized by the Islamic culture. In most of the Arab world it is illegal to proselytize, to attempt to convert another faith to Christianity, so why bother? Talk about a tough sell!
Arabs are Winnable
Jesus commanded his followers to take the Good News to all the world. There was no “exception clause.”
Back in 1995 I met with Arab believers who were committed to reaching the Arab World for Christ because they believed Jesus’ command to make disciples of all nations. In the Arab world, it is impossible/illegal to meet for large gatherings, so everything is done through relationships, meeting in homes, making disciples person to person. Building a church building it often out of the question because the larger the group, the more it becomes a target of persecution through terrorism. So these believers don’t give excuses, they get creative in their methods of discipling and communicating and worshiping.
I’m not sure that I can fathom the challenges that these believers face as followers of Christ, seeing brothers and sisters and friends lose their lives through terrifying persecution. If anyone has an excuse to back off and take care of themselves, it would be these Arab Christians.
They were subversive in their approach to reaching their people with the life transforming Gospel of Chirst. Christianity has always been subversive to the world’s humanistic/materialistic culture. It is always a threat to those who want the power and authority of God for themselves.
To illustrate the relentless commitment of these devoted Christ followers, I point to one Arab Christian I met who owned an engineering company and he discipled young men and women in the youth group of his church. These students graduated from high school, went to college in Europe and upon returning were hired to run this man’s engineering company. This freed up the owner to focus his energies on reaching the Arab world for Christ. He believed that the Arab world is winnable! He is serious about obeying Jesus’ command to make disciples of all nations. He has the same faith and heart that was found in the New Testament Church and it is contagious! God is using this man to change the Arab World for Christ.
What what is your excuse?