God’s purpose to conquer lostness

Week of Prayer – Day 1

A Deaf woman is baptized in Batangas province of the Philippines. Ministry among the Deaf in Southeast Asia continues to grow. IMB Photo

In the beginning, God created the heavens and the earth and everything in them. And it was good, until it wasn’t. Since those fateful moments in the garden, creation has suffered the consequences of sin while humanity has perished, living a hope-deprived life far from God. But God, in His grace, made redemption possible through Jesus Christ. And through His gospel we declare that the lost are found, dead are brought to life and hope is renewed.

In Revelation 7:9-10, we see the victorious culmination to the grand narrative that transcends this earth, and we rest in the certainty that this vision will come to pass. But today, somewhere between the Great Commission and the Great Multitude, we find ourselves facing the greatest problem in the world: lostness.

Fort Shri Sudarmalaya Buddhist Temple in the historic city of Galle, Sri Lanka, was built on the site of a former Portuguese Roman Catholic church. Sri Lanka has a long history of religious diversity with a Buddhist majority, and Christian, Muslim and Hindu minorities. IMB workers labor to bring gospel access to those in this area and many other areas who have yet to hear the good news. IMB Photo

As war, natural disasters, humanitarian crises and political instability grip the world, Southern Baptists are sending International Mission Board missionaries to be steadfastly present among those who have never heard the gospel. Christ is present among Christians through His Holy Spirit and your missionaries are present among the nations. They spend years, decades even, building the relationships that lead to establishing an enduring Christian witness.

Missionary presence represents IMB’s core mission and has since our inception. Missionary presence cultivates gospel access, gospel belief and church planting and multiplication.

A student missionary, left, talks with his Quechua (Peruvian) friend in front of the village’s municipal building. Student pathways are a key component of the IMB’s strategies to reach the nations. IMB Photo

Gospel access that knows no geographic or social boundary.
Gospel belief that results in lives transformed.
Church planting and multiplication that leads to local ownership of God’s mission.

Through the cooperative investment of Southern Baptist churches, we’ve deployed the best and brightest missionaries throughout the world. It doesn’t end with sending. We train them, support them and sustain their presence all over the world so the nations can continue to hear the gospel.

Early morning seekers come to the Sipra River in India for a “spiritual cleansing.” During the Kumbh Mela, an ancient Hindu festival, the river is busy 24 hours a day. The more devoted make it to the river at sunrise. Millions of people stream into the holy city of Ujjain in search of spiritual cleansing. They believe a holy dip in the waters will wash away their sins. As believers, we know that cleansing of sins isn’t found in a river in India but in the blood of Jesus Christ. This truth we have access to is why we send a missionary presence to the nations. IMB Photo

Your church can’t be everywhere. You can’t be everywhere. On the other hand, by partnering with the IMB you can have a global impact. Your partnership allows us to deliver the gospel around the world while your church bears fruit right where God has planted you.

God’s glory known to all people is why we ask you to pray — not just this week, but every day. Your prayers are the power source through which missionaries serve. Together, we seek to take the gospel to every nation, all tribes and peoples and languages. We give ourselves to this mission every day through praying, giving, going and sending.

Pastor Thomas Abgemeh from Grace Baptist Church in Pakro, Ghana, baptizes a new believer in the Densu River outside of Nsawam, Ghana. One of the IMB’s key goals is to see gospel belief that results in lives transformed among the nations. Each baptism an IMB missionary is a part of is another example of God’s work in transforming lives through our missionary presence. IMB Photo

As you pray today, ask God how you should respond to His mission to reach the nations. Lift your 3,500+ IMB missionaries and their families to the Lord right now.

  • Pray that our hearts will not be content to see 157,690 people die without Christ every day.
  • Praise God for His continued work among the lost.
  • Praise Him that His purpose is for every person to hear the gospel and join Him for eternity.

Egyptian men participate in the midday prayer at the Amr ibn Al-Aas Mosque in Old Cairo, Egypt. The designs on the carpet point to Mecca in Saudi Arabia. Muslims always pray facing Mecca. The majority religion in Egypt is Sunni Islam. IMB Photo