Thoughts : Progressive Christianity (Missions) : God Calling More Christians to the Third World?

Friend: Of course, God can use me in the Third World… But not everyone is called to go to the Third World. I don’t agree… I actually think there’s a lot of need for people in rich countries too. Although they’re rich, they’re poor in spirit, no?

Me: I don’t think everyone is called to the Third World, but i’m willing to stake my life that many, many more Christians are called to the Third World than they’d like to admit. There are three billion poor, hundreds of millions unreached in the Third World. Of course there are millions not saved in the First World too but 1) the number unsaved in the First World is much less than in the Third World 2) There are already so many more Christians living in the First World who can reach out to the lost there so it’s not an excuse to say, “But there are so many lost in the First World too, so I should stay.” Just compare how many missionaries and Christians there are in the Third World to reach out to the unreached people and help the poor there with how many Christians there are in the First World doing the same. The great need is not in the First World at all…

Friend: Haha… I know what u mean. It’s not an easy path to take especially if you have a family and everything… Like Jonah not willing to go… Eh, you haven’t answered me yet. Where are you going in 5-10 years time?

Me: I hope to marry and go to the Third World lor :) Can’t be a hypocrite and not act out what I believe right!

Postscript: To correct myself, there are more than “hundreds of millions unreached in the Third World”. If by “unreached” we mean those who are part of the Unreached People Groups (that is, people groups without adequate numbers of Christians – normally taken to be 2%-5% of the population – and resources for it to be evangelized), there are actually 2.5 billion unreached people. Yes, that’s slightly less than half of the world’s population of 6.6 billion people.

The number of Protestants in the world is around 800 million. If we consider Catholics with Protestants, there are around 1.8 billion in total. Though I don’t have the statistics with me now, my guess is that maybe 27-40% of Protestants and Catholics live in the First World and the rest in the Third World. So that makes it around at most around 320 million Protestants and 400 million Catholics who live in the First World. They (720 million Christians) would be reaching out to probably 800 million non-Christians in the First World. Meanwhile, you only have about 1.1 billion Christians reaching out to a whopping 4 billion non-Christians in the Third World – not forgetting the fact that 3 billion people in the Third World live on less than US$2 per day and Christians would do well to help them.

Therefore, while there may be more Christians living in the Third World than the First World, Christians in the First World make up 50% of the entire First World Population but Christians in the Third World make up only 20% of the entire Third World population. Furthermore, let us not forget that 2.5 billion of these 4 billion non-Christians in the Third World are from the Unreached People Groups which really means they are a lot more tougher to reach out to and thus would require more time and effort to do so than reaching to people groups that are already reached (duh!) – of which all in the First World are.

Considering all this, is God calling more Christians to live in the Third World to preach the gospel and help the poor?

On another note, we are all hypocrites. I too am one right now and will be even if I were to live in the Third World. No one will ever attain the ideal or reach the standard set before us, but we must try and do our best. Christians have been saved by grace and we live by God’s grace daily. Yet God’s grace ought to compel us to live for Him more and more. The call is to live more fully for Him and to be less of a hypocrite than we are. No sacrifice ought to be too great for the One we proclaim to love and follow and serve…

Leave a comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *