Key: See

See God’s Purpose to Bless and Transform all Nations

Stephanas was a Gentile. His people first heard the Good News from Jewish believers reaching out to them cross-culturally. Shortly after beginning to follow Jesus and joining a church in his neighbor’s home, Stephanas learned that God wanted not only to bless him and his people, but through him God wanted to reach and bless others. In fact God’s central purpose is to reach every tongue, tribe and nation!

Jesus said “And this gospel of the kingdom will be preached in the whole world as witness to all nations and then the end will come.” [1] [2] Stephanas was convinced that before Jesus’ turn, the nations must first to be reached with the Gospel. He knew the job was not finished.[3]

Jesus commissioned His followers to go to all nations and do the following:[4]

  • Make disciples
  • Baptize them
  • Teach them to obey all He commanded

Paul, the Apostle, was Stephanas’ role model. Paul went out and did just what Jesus said to do. Luke, one of Paul’s friends and co-workers recorded some of Paul and Barnabas’ exploits: “They preached the good news in that city and won a large number of disciples. Then they returned to Lystra, Iconium and Antioch, strengthening the disciples and encouraging them to remain true to the faith. ‘We must go through many hardships to enter the kingdom of God,’ they said. Paul and Barnabas appointed elders for them in each church and, with prayer and fasting, committed them to the Lord, in whom they had put their trust.”[5] Stephanas recognized that Paul and his team did three basic things as they obeyed the great commission:

  • Evangelism (“preached the good news)
  • Discipleship (“strengthening the disciples and encouraging them to remain true to the faith”)
  • Leadership Training (“appointed elders”)

[1] Matthew 24:14

[2] The word “nations” comes from the Greek word “ethne.”  Jesus was referring to ethnic groups or “people groups” rather than geopolitical countries. A “people group” is defined as: “A significantly large ethno-linguistic grouping of people who perceive themselves to have a common affinity to one another.  From the viewpoint of world evangelization, this is the largest group within which the gospel can spread as a church planting movement (people movement) without encountering barriers of understanding.”  An “unreached people group” is defined as: “A people group within which there is no indigenous community of believing Christians with adequate numbers and resources to evangelize the people group without requiring outside (cross-cultural) assistance.”

[3] How close are we today to fulfilling God’s goal, nearly 2,000 years later?  It is calculated that there are about 27,000 people groups in the world.  We have reached about 14,000 with the gospel, but 13,000 people groups are still unreached.  Therefore YWAM leader, Fred Markert, says we have 1000s of reasons why Jesus has not yet returned.

[4] Matthew 28:18-20

[5] Acts 14:21-23