The Church’s Global Task
& the Need for
by Dr. Peter Hammond
“For the earth shall be filled with the knowledge of the glory of
the Lord, as the water cover the sea.” Habakkuk 2:14
1: From Greenland’s icy mountains, from
India’s coral strand,
Where Afric’s sunny fountains roll down their
From many an ancient river, from many a
They call us to deliver their land from error’s
From Greenland’s Icy Mountains
2: Waft through the spicy breezes, blow soft o’er
Though every prospect pleases, and only man
In vain with lavish kindness, the gifts of God
The heathen in his blindness, bows down to
wood and stone.
3: Can we, whose souls are lighted, with
wisdom from on high –
Can we, to men benighted, the lamp of life
Salvation! O salvation! The joyful sound
Till earth’s remotest nation, has learned
4: Waft, waft, ye winds, His story; and you, ye
Till, like a sea of glory, it spreads from
pole to pole,
Till o’er our ransomed nature, the Lamb for
Redeemer, King, Creator, in bliss returns
30 Years in the Frontline
Behind Enemy Lines for Christ
The Church’s Global Task
& the Need for
by Dr. Peter Hammond
“All the ends of the
remember and turn
to the Lord, and all
the families of the
nations shall worship
before You. For the
Kingdom is the
Lord’s and He rules
over the nations.”
Engage in conversation with some of the members of your local church
and you may be surprised, probably even shocked.
So far this year, I have spoken to a number of church-going people, who
describe themselves as Christians, yet who believed in strange and
unbiblical new age concepts such as re-incarnation and universalism.
People who have described themselves as "a good person", and "a
dedicated Christian", "born again" have, in all seriousness, told me that
"everyone will go to Heaven, because God is all-forgiving";
"God will keep refining us through re-incarnation
until we are ready for Heaven";
When you consider that the average Christian spends far
more time reading the newspaper than reading the Bible,
reading secular magazines, rather than Christian magazines,
secular books rather than Christian
books, it is no wonder that
became futile and
their foolish hearts
In households with
the average child
some 30,000 hours
During their high school years,
the average student
will listen to
over 10,000 hours of music,
much of it filled with sensual,
immoral and occultic lyrics.
The influence of parents and churches in the upbringing of most
children today is declining at an alarming rate.
The disintegration of
and a general
absence of discipline
have created a vacuum.
Violent and immoral films and
videos, throbbing, pulsating
noise masquerading as music
and pornographic magazines
and websites are filling the
void in the aimless and
of all too many young people.
"Since they did not think it worthwhile to
retain the knowledge of God, He gave them
over to a depraved mind…" Romans 1:28
What we see influences what we think,
and what we think influences what we become and what we do.
Ideas have consequences.
Actions flow from thought patterns.
So the question is: What form of education has
moulded your thought patterns?
What entertainment and news media is filling your mind,
on a daily basis?
"Be very careful, then, how you live – not as unwise, but as wise,
making the most of every opportunity, because the days are evil."
At camps and courses, and during surveys in shopping malls,
we have found that the vast majority of church-goers have no idea
what the Biblical worldview is.
If you ask: What is the Biblical position on economics,
most say they don't know, some say to pay tithes.
Very few have any understanding of Biblical principles for economics.
When asked: What is the Biblical worldview on crime and punishment,
most say the government should forgive! Few church-goers understand
the distinction between the ministry of Grace entrusted to the church,
and the ministry of Justice entrusted to the State.
When asked if evolution can be reconciled to the Bible, many say, Yes!
When we have asked church-goers who they think are the greatest
people who have ever lived, many mention the same political and
Hollywood idols that would be promoted in the secular media.
When we have asked what books and publications they read,
it is extraordinary how few church-goers
are actually reading Christian publications.
Most would cite scandal rags and secular tabloids.
It is evident that many
the Law of God
no longer applies).
Blatant lying, breach of contracts, breaking of promises, stealing,
even from churches and ministries, has become
no longer a rare exception, but pervasive.
Christian bookshops have to deal with shoplifting.
Christian churches are no longer open for those wanting to come in
and seek the Lord in quietness in the sanctuary.
Most churches today have to be barred and bolted
with security gates, burglar bars and alarms.
There was a time that
Now even signed contracts are violated by people
who claim to be Christians.
Jesus taught "Not everyone who says to Me, 'Lord, Lord',
shall enter the Kingdom of Heaven, but he who does
the Will of My Father in Heaven." Matthew 7:21
It is not so much what we say, but what we do that counts.
Actions speak much more eloquently than words.
We are commanded in Scripture: "Walk in love… but fornication and all
uncleanness, or covetousness, let it not even be named among you, as
is fitting for saints; neither filthiness, nor foolish talking, nor coarse
jesting, which are not fitting, but rather giving of thanks.
For this you know, that no fornicator, unclean person,
nor covetous man, who is an idolater, has any inheritance
in the Kingdom of Christ and of God.
Let no one deceive you with empty words,
for because of these things the wrath of God comes upon
the sons of disobedience." Ephesians 5:2-6
The root of this
problem is the
by all too many
formulas have just
failed to work.
It is as though the devil himself has advocated another gospel
(Galatians 1:6-9), polluting the Christian message,
adulterating its contents and confusing the issues.
The enemy has reduced the greatest Message of all time,
alternately to a cheap over-simplified formula,
or to a dead over-complicated theology.
All too many Christians, apparently ignorant of these wiles of the devil,
have accepted these corruptions.
The concept of a technical Salvation that is all theory and
No experience, is ridiculous and leads to a dead theology
and a lack of reality.
The emphasis of feelings and blessings to the exclusions of
commitment, obedience and discipleship is a sure way to
failure and disappointment (Matthew 7:15-23).
The notion of a,
once and for all,
token gesture of
to effect eternal Salvation
and inner fulfilment,
is to invite
These concepts are
of our great God
the Biblical Message,
or in promoting true
spiritual life and
The devil has a counterfeit
for everything the Lord
He has fake fruit to offer
– it's not the real thing,
it can look the same.
When you taste it you find
it's plastic fruit.
It looks real, but it isn't! It doesn't give the peace that passes all
understanding, true joy, or real love. It's plastic fruit!
Now why is it that so many who try a counterfeit product,
and taste its synthetic flavour, try to hide their disappointment,
thinking that perhaps this is all that the Lord has to give?
How can we ever think that God's ways are unsatisfying?
If the way is disappointing, then its not God's way!
If the fruit is unsatisfying – you need a new Spiritual diet.
God's way is not easy, but it is fulfilling.
His way is not cheap, but it is the best.
His way is not trouble free,
but it is the way of peace of heart and mind.
His way is
not all blessings,
but it is all joy.
does not keep us
but it does involve
God's constant love.
If you are content with a superficial, lukewarm, stagnant,
defeated, mundane, mediocre existence,
then God cannot give you a deep, on-fire, over-flowing,
fulfilling, victorious, supernatural life.
By settling for less,
we rob ourselves
of the best.
The Lord cannot
give us the best,
if we settle for less.
Good is the main
enemy of best.
If you are content with your present spiritual state
then the Lord can do no more for you.
Complacency is the deadly enemy of advancement and progress.
The trouble is that all too many Christians are in a spiritual desert,
frustrated and bewildered by emptiness and dissatisfaction with their
life and Faith. To many, Jesus is not really Lord,
but He is just a constitutional monarch.
to the beginning
on a rising
Christianity was gaining spectacular momentum as missionaries from
Europe were evangelising and discipling virtually every tribe and nation.
The Protestant Faith had far outstripped the Catholic and Orthodox
branches in missionary activity, vitality and initiative.
From being confined almost entirely to North Western Europe, the
British Isles, a narrow strip on the Eastern seaboard of North America,
and with a small outpost at the Cape of Good Hope,
the Protestant Faith in the 19th century had become
a truly international Faith.
It was also the dominant Faith of the most productive, powerful and
prosperous nations in both the Northern and Southern hemispheres.
Amidst irrepressible optimism, many were openly speaking of
the beginning of the Biblical millennium on earth.
At the first World Missions Conference in Edinburgh in 1910,
delegates were anticipating the completion of the Great Commission
within their generation.
Nor would any have predicted
that the church would
retreat from victory
to such an extent that some
would even be questioning
the existence of the devil,
or reinterpreting marriage to include what God in the
Bible describes as perversion and an abomination.
The Christian era of bold missionary expansion came to an abrupt end
as the guns of August 1914 erupted.
The great European countries which had been the heartland of
Christendom, and the source of most of the world missionaries,
devastated each others economies and annihilated millions of one
another’s young men, in what has to be recognised as
the most tragic and senseless conflict in history.
Before the First World War, Europe had never been more powerful, or
more self-confident. There was no hint of any possible challenge to its
leadership of the civilised world.
1914 marks a far more drastic turning point than 1815, or 1648,
or any other of the watershed events in its earlier history.
As the great nations of Europe mobilised for war against themselves
it was said:
The lamps are going out
all over Europe,
we shall not see them lit again
in our lifetime.
Yet, even as that was said, it could not have been anticipated how much
destruction and dislocation of Christian civilisation would come from
this disastrous conflict.
When lamps of political
wisdom, spiritual truth,
intellectual and artistic
progress, moral foundations
and economic growth were
rekindled, they shone far less
brightly in the ancient
centres of European
civilisation than they had for
The sinister bankers who pulled the strings behind the scenes and
engineered the auto genocide of Europe,
were also the ones who owned many of the companies
that made the machine guns,
and by the emergence of many new countries
in Eastern Europe in place of the Austrian Empire.
Along with the spiritual decline of Europe came the decline
of Western Europe in the total world scene.
The 19th century had seen such staggering growth in numbers,
productivity, military power and wealth that one would have expected
that Europe would have continued to dominate the globe
for centuries to come.
For over a thousand years, Europe has been Christendom, the heartland
and stronghold of Christian civilisation.
The optimism which had prevailed in the 19th century gave way to
profound pessimism after the First World War.
and secularisation of
Europe was not only
unprecedented in its
scope and speed
but it would have been
the First World War.
the traditional stronghold
of the Christian Faith,
the proportion of those
who called themselves
and the percentage of
even more drastically.
While Protestants increased rapidly in Africa, North and South America
and in Asia, the numbers of Christians in Europe sharply declined.
Social Darwinism had become popular
amongst most of the governments of Europe.
This thinking emphasized the
importance of armed struggle
between nations as healthy and
necessary for evolution
There were also the entangling alliances, particularly the Entente
Cordiale between France and Russia (1894), between Britain and France
(1904), and between Britain and Russia (1907),
that formed the Triple Entente.
The question is why Great Britain would have formed an alliance with
their traditional enemies, the French and Russians, against their
traditional allies, the Germans?
And how did a terrorist act in Sarajevo sever the special relationship
between Britain and Germany that had endured for centuries?
It was understandable that Austria was going to deal with their
troublesome neighbour Serbia, which had been encouraging and
hosting revolutionaries and terrorists against the
Austrian Hungarian Empire.
However, as Austria presented an ultimatum to Serbia,
the Russian Empire mobilised against Austria.
This led to Germany mobilising in support of its Austrian ally
The French were allied to the Russian Empire and were spoiling for a
fight to reverse the humiliating military defeat they had suffered
at the hands of Germany in 1870.
Strangely, King Edward VII had
to France and Russia, probably
out of spite
for his parents,
Queen Victoria and Prince Albert.
So, Britain ended up on the side of its traditional enemies,
against its traditionally closest ally, Germany.
Most of the 60 million soldiers involved in the Great War would have
been unable to explain what they were actually fighting about.
That they were pawns
in a diplomatic
by unseen conspirators
behind the scenes
would have been
the furthest thing
from most of their minds.
From the British point of view involvement in the First World War
is an even greater mystery.
No British interests were at stake and had Britain stayed out of the
European conflict it would not have become a World War.
First of all Britain would have kept her Empire.
Secondly Germany would have been able to defeat both France and
Russia in a matter of months.
New treaties would have been signed, some borders may have been
adjusted, but no cataclysmic collapse of Empires would have occurred.
The death toll would have been a fraction of what it became.
America would not have been dragged into the war,
Europe would have remained the most powerful
industrial, political and military force in the world.
The constitutional monarchies in Central and Eastern Europe would
have endured and continued to reform.
There would have
could have been
There obviously would have been no Second World War either.
All in all, the world would be a far better and different place.
The Liberals had been in power in the House of Commons since 1906.
Their electoral support was
withering away and Herbert
Asquith’s government was on
the verge of collapse.
It was clear that they went to war partly to keep the Conservative Party
from ousting them in the imminent elections.
To those who ask if it is possible that any political leaders
could be so small minded
as to jeopardise the lives of millions,
and the good of their nation,
merely to keep their political party in power,
recent history continues to
confirm that just such
small minded pettiness
continues to predominate
who are meant to be
Never before had so much of mankind been engaged
simultaneously in war.
Never before had mankind massed such large armies,
or produced such weapons which worked wholesale destruction
on so gigantic a scale.
The Protestant Faith had originated in Germany.
It was the historic centre of Lutheranism.
From Germany thousands of Protestant missionaries
had gone out to many parts of the world.
It was Germany who bore the main brunt of World War I
and it was Germany who was crushed
and divided by the outcome of the World Wars.
It was chiefly the Protestant sections of Germany which were betrayed
into the Soviet zone and subjected to communist oppression.
Millions of Germans were forcibly displaced by the Westward
movement of Poland’s boundary at the end of World War II.
Most of these displaced people were Protestants.
The involvement of predominantly Protestant Britain in the two World
wars had disastrous repercussions on Christianity in that realm.
Throughout the 19th century Britain had been the greatest source
of missionaries worldwide
and the greatest financers of missions worldwide.
In both Germany and Great Britain the number of Protestant
church members plummeted,
The Great Commission is great! It contains:
-A great Truth - Jesus is Lord over all areas of life.
-A great Commission –
we are to make disciples of all nations.
-A great Command – we are to teach obedience
to all things that the Lord has commanded.
-And a great Promise – the Lord Himself
promises to be with us for all time.
A careful reading of the Great Commission (Matthew.
28:18-10) should make it clear that we are called to do
far more than merely “share the Gospel.”
“All authority has
been given to Me
in Heaven and on
The Lordship of
Jesus Christ in
every area of life
must be proclaimed
“Go therefore and make disciples of all
We are not called to make converts, or
“decisions”, but disciples.
We are to make disciples, not only of individuals, we
must start there, and of families, which is vital, we are
not only to disciple congregations and communities.
The Great Commission commands us to make
disciples of nations – all nations!
“…Baptizing them in the Name of the Father,
and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit…”,
complete submission to Almighty God is essential.
“…Teaching them to observe all things I have commanded
you…”. Education is an essential part of the Great
Commission. And we are not just to teach faith, or a selection
of a few of our favourite things.
We have been instructed by the Lord Jesus
Christ to teach obedience to everything that He
But every command of Christ comes with a promise. When the Lord
commands us to go and make disciples of all nations, He reminds us that
He has all authority in Heaven and on Earth, and He promises us:
“Lo, I am with you, even to the end of the age.” Matthew 28:18-20
When the Lord
commanded us to go into
all the world and preach
the Gospel to every
creature He promised
miraculous power: “And
they went out and
the Lord working with
them and confirming
the Word through the
When the Lord commanded “That repentance and
remission of sins should be preached in His Name to
all nations…” He promised “power from on high.”
When the Lord commissioned His followers: “As the Father has sent
Me, I also send you” He breathed on them and said:
“Receive the Holy Spirit.” John 20:21-22
And at the
Ascension, when the
His followers to be
His witnesses “To
the ends of the
earth” He promised:
“But you shall
receive power when
the Holy Spirit has
come upon you.”
Nothing that God has
commanded us to do is
As we read in the Book of Acts:
The Lord went up!
The Holy Spirit came down!
The disciples went out!
(Acts 1:8 - 8:1).
A handful of
disciples in an
experience is to
come to Jesus.
The greatest task is
to disciple the
nations for Jesus.
priority is to go
Changed lives -
changing the lives
sharing the way of
Salvation to other
seeking to bless
The first recorded words of
Christ in His early ministry
“Repent for the
Heaven is at
Me, and I will
fishers of men.”
Our Lord’s call to
repentance, to discipleship
(“Follow Me”) and
to evangelism (“And I
will make you fishers
are all inter-related.
We are called to come to
Him for Salvation and to
go for Him to bring the
message of Salvation to
Jesus is: “The
Lamb of God
away the sin of
Jesus is: “The Way, the Truth and the Life.
No-one comes to the Father except through
Me.” John 14:6.
There’s no other way, no other religion, no other
hope for mankind.
“Go out into the highways and hedges and
compel them to come in that My House may be
filled.” Luke 14:23.
“Freely you have received, freely give.”
“He who is not
with Me is
and He who
You are either a
missionary or a
You cannot be
Walking by on the
other side of the
road is not an
“Lift up your eyes and look at the fields, for they are
already ripe for harvest!” John 4:35
Jesus commanded us to look at the fields. We need to
investigate and understand the missionary challenge.
How well do you know your World? Did you know that there are
12 000 ethno-linguistic people groups in the world? There are 66 nations
which restrict religious freedom and persecute Christians. Over
400 million Christians live under governments which persecute
believers. 21 % of the world’s population are Muslims, 13% of the
world’s population is Hindu.
Africa occupies 22% of the
world’s land surface.
41% of Africans are Muslims.
14 countries in Africa have less
than 1% Evangelical
Morocco, Libya, Tunisia,
Comores, Djibouti, Niger,
Senegal, Somalia, Algeria,
Gambia, Guinea, Guinea-Bissau
Over 100 million
Christians in Africa do
not yet possess a Bible.
“The harvest truly is plentiful, but the labourers are
few. Therefore pray the Lord of the Harvest to send
out labourers into His harvest.” Matthew 9:37-38
commanded us to go
into all the world
and preach the
Gospel to all
This is a command,
not only to go into
all the geographical
world, but into every
level of society.
We must go into the world of business and
education, the judiciary, government,
entertainment, economics, medicine, sports
and the arts.
And we are to proclaim the Gospel of
repentance and forgiveness of sins.
We must deal with the primary issue of sin. People are not innocent
victims needing deliverance, but guilty sinners needing forgiveness and
mercy from Almighty God. “As the Father has sent Me, so I am
As with Christ’s Incarnation we need to become one with, and identify
with the people we are sent to. We need to live and speak the Gospel in
their language and in their culture. “The field is the world, the good
seeds are the sons of the Kingdom, …” Matthew 13:38.
“Let your light so shine before men that they may see your good works
and glorify your Father in Heaven.” Matthew 5:16
The best sermon illustration is the life of
integrity of a Christian neighbour,
colleague or family member.
At Evangelism Workshops, Great Commission Conferences,
and Biblical Worldview Seminars that I have conducted
throughout Africa, Europe and the USA,.
I found that the vast majority of delegates surveyed came to
Christ through personal evangelism, from friends, family and
strangers in one-one-one witnessing and counselling.
So far I have not come across anyone who reported being
converted through Gospel music. Once, in a conference of
400 pastors and evangelists in Nigeria, I came across one
individual who reported being converted through Gospel TV.
Even in large groups of several hundred, I’ve seldom found
more than 3% who could, along with myself, report being
converted through an evangelistic crusade.
There are normally a few dozen who report Gospel literature having been
used of the Lord to bring them to repentance. However, at every
evangelistic workshop and conference that I have surveyed, the vast
majority report that it was through family, friends, neighbours, and even
strangers, in one-on-one personal evangelism that they were converted.
Jesus said: “Therefore whoever confesses Me before men, him I will
also confess before My Father who is in Heaven. That whoever denies
Me before men, him will I also deny before My Father who is in
Heaven.” Matthew 10:32-33.
We dare not let opportunities to witness for Christ pass us by.
“For whoever is ashamed of Me and My Words, of him the Son of Man
will be ashamed when He comes in His own glory, and in His Father’s
and of the holy angels.” Luke 9:26.
Do not be intimidated into silence, fear God and not man.
Jesus assured us: “There is no one who has left house or brothers or
sisters or father or mother or wife or children or lands for My sake and
the Gospel’s, who shall not receive a hundred-fold now in this time -
houses and brothers and sisters and mothers and children and lands,
with persecutions – and in the age to come, eternal life.”
Sacrifice is required.
“I must preach the Kingdom of God to the other cities also, because for
this purpose I have been sent.” Luke 4:43.
Don’t bottleneck the Gospel. Reach out across boundaries.
“Let us cross over to the other side.” Mark4:35.
Overcome all obstacles for the Gospel.
“On this rock I
will build My
Church and the
gates of Hell shall
Victory is assured.
The best form of
defence is attack!
“The Kingdom of Heaven has been forcefully advancing and
forceful men lay hold of it.” Matthew 11:12 Be bold,
innovative, and persistant in seeking first the Kingdom of
Nothing is impossible, nothing is beyond the reach of
prayer - except that which is beyond the will of God.
No one is unreachable.
The will of God will never lead you
- where the grace of God cannot keep you.
“And this Gospel of the Kingdom will be preached in
all the world as a witness to all the nations and then
the end will come.” Matthew 24:14
“That at the Name of Jesus every knee should bow, of those in Heaven,
and those on earth, and of those under the earth, and that every tongue
should confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the
Father.” Philippians 2:10-11
“For the earth will be filled with the knowledge of
the Glory of the Lord, as the waters cover the sea.”
Is your church
consistently praying for
the fulfillment of The
Great Commission ?
It is written:
“My house shall
be called a house
for all nations”
“In this manner, therefore, pray: Our Father in Heaven, hallowed be
Your Name. Your Kingdom come, your will be done on earth as it is in
Heaven…” Matthew 6:9-10. We need to pray for God’s Will to be
obeyed – not just in the Church – but in the world! You are not to be the
salt of the church, but the salt of the earth, the Light of the World.
This is the Word of God: “Blessed are those who hear
the Word of God and keep it!” Luke 11:28
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