Reaching Unreached People Groups
A GOD THING
The people of Israel were fully aware that God had chosen them to be His representative to the peoples of the earth. He had revealed His purpose for them when entering into a covenant relationship with Abraham, "All peoples on earth will be blessed through you" (Genesis 12:3).
Isaiah examines Israel's efforts to fulfill God's plan for the nation and admits that they have seen little success. In fact, it has been a failed effort. They have made attempts, but fallen far short of achieving God's objective. Isaiah compares their effort to a woman giving birth, "We gave birth to wind. We have not brought salvation to the earth; we have not given birth to people of the world" (Isaiah 26:18).
Today, believers recognize that Jesus has given them a command, "Make disciples of all nations (ta ethne, people groups)" (Matthew 28:19). In examining our efforts to fulfill God's stated objective, it is evident we have seen limited success. The Kingdom of God has been advanced among many people groups, yet near 2,000 still remain unreached.
Some peoples have never had an adequate overt witness of the gospel. Others have been recipients of multiple attempts to share the message of salvation, but have rejected it. They have consistently resisted the presentation of the gospel. Looking at these resistant people groups and those groups who have never heard, believers must admit it has been a failed effort—they have given birth to wind.
The Bible is true. Believers want to obey the commands of their Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ. We have tried, but have not penetrated massive people groups still unreached with the gospel. Millions of dollars have been invested; hundreds of messengers have been sent, but still we wait for a breakthrough with many coming to faith in Christ and a reproducing church emerging. What will it take to advance the Kingdom among them?
Isaiah charts the path to success in Isaiah 26:3-4: "You will keep in perfect peace him whose mind is steadfast, because he trusts in you. Trust in the Lord forever, for the Lord, the Lord, is the Rock eternal." To trust in the Lord is to completely rely on His integrity and ability to fulfill His sovereign will. "Forever" means today, the future and in every situation among all people groups. Trust is confident expectation in the One who has sent us and His ability to accomplish His divine purpose according to His sovereign will.
The Lord is worthy of our trust "O Lord, you are my God, I will exalt you and praise your name for in perfect faithfulness you have done marvelous things, things planned long ago" (Isaiah 25:1). His faithfulness is complete beyond improvement, accurate in every detail. Our response is to exalt and praise Him.
"Your name and renown are the desire of our hearts. My soul yearns for you in the night; in the morning my spirit longs for you" (Isaiah 26:8-9). Knowing God personally and watching His perfect faithfulness unfold generates praise and exaltation of His Name.
The unreached and most resistant people groups will respond to the preaching of the gospel; "Therefore strong peoples will honor you; cities of ruthless nations will revere you" (Isaiah 25:3). God will advance His kingdom among them. He may use us to proclaim the message and our entry platforms to be the venue into the people groups. He is the One who does marvelous deeds and triumphs over the devil's resistance.
"The LORD ALMIGHTY will prepare a feast of rich food for all peoples...HE will destroy the shroud that enfolds all peoples, the sheet that covers all nations" (Isaiah 25:8-9). "YOU have enlarged the nation, O Lord; YOU have enlarged the nation. YOU have gained glory for yourself; YOU have extended all the borders of the land" (Isaiah 26:15). Reaching unreached people groups is God's victory; His triumph!
Knowing we serve a triumphant God gives hope for a successful church plant among people groups steeped in sin, deceived and bound by one of the major religions. We trust God for a miracle and watch Him advance His kingdom rule in the hearts of the people.
Isaiah acknowledges God's blessing upon Israel and in each victory along the way. He is careful to give the Lord praise and recognizes each triumph was a God thing. "Lord...all we have accomplished you have done for us" (Isaiah 26:12).
The purpose of God to make disciples among all nations will be achieved if we fully trust Him, expect Him to triumph in each advance, and are careful to give Him the credit for His marvelous, miraculous work. May His kingdom come to the peoples of the world.