When I mention the word gospel, I always want to add “of Jesus Christ” simply because the word gospel refers to “good news.” Therefore, in wondering about the Gospel of Jesus Christ being preached, I want to ask, Has the Gospel of Jesus Christ been preached to all nations?
Why the Gospel Must Be Preached to All Nations
I believe this is a question that anyone who calls himself or herself a Christian needs to be asking, because it concerns all of us. All nations need to hear the Gospel of Jesus, to witness the work of Jesus, which provides salvation to them from their sins. The Bible declares in Matthew 24:14, “And this gospel of the kingdom shall be preached in all the world for a witness unto all nations.” Therefore, we need to understand what Jesus means when He mentioned the gospel needs to be preached to all nations.
Scholars say the New Testament was written in Koine, or Common, Greek (“The Original Language of the New Testament,” Eyzenberg). So, the word that Jesus might have used for nations is ethne. In an article titled “Has Everyone Heard?” the Joshua Project discusses what Jesus meant when referencing nations: “The word Jesus used for nations in Greek is ‘ethne’ from which we get the English word ‘ethnic.’ ‘Ethne’ can simply mean any non-Jew i.e. Gentile or it can mean a collection of individuals with a common identity.”
Knowing all this, the command of Jesus to His followers is to preach the gospel to all ethnicities or to all people groups.
What Nations and People the Gospel Has Not Yet Reached
So, has the gospel been preached to all the nations? Is there a way to really know? I believe we can have an idea through statistics provided by websites such as the Joshua Project. According to this website, 7,400 people groups have not heard the gospel of Jesus, which they consider “unreached.”
Based on statistics seen on the Joshua Project website and others, it appears the gospel has yet to be preached to all nations. I believe it is the job of God’s corporate church to teach, train, equip, discuss, study and actively send disciples on daily mission to accomplish the great commission.
We are all Kingdom Laborers on one mission!
In an article published by Anglican Frontier Missions, Rick Wood relates, “According to George Barna’s research, (see pages 14–15 for a summary of his research) a whopping 51% of all church goers have never heard of the Great Commission and only 17% can correctly identify the passage and its meaning.” So, it is obvious that many do not know and do not even care about whether the gospel of Jesus is being preached or must be preached to all nations.
Sometimes people need motivation. I would even say the same way a Christian is encouraged to read or meditate on the Bible, he or she should be encouraged to think about the unreached people groups that have not heard the gospel. At times I meditate on Matthew 24:14, “And this gospel of the kingdom will be preached in the whole world as a testimony to all nations, and then the end will come.” When the gospel of the Kingdom will be preached, the end will come. This means all people groups need to hear the gospel for the end to come. Therefore, Christians have a big responsibility in advancing the preaching of the gospel of Jesus.
It is worthy of noting there are places the gospel has not yet reached due to persecution or isolation. The Lausanne Movement has listed a couple of reasons why the unreached and unengaged people groups do not have access to the gospel so far. In their article “The Risk of Reaching the Unreached” by Sue Arnold, they stated the following:
- These people groups who do not know of Jesus are typically in areas where the church is persecuted or are geographically isolated.
- UPGs (Unreached People Groups) are often high in the mountains, in the middle of the desert, hidden in jungles, lost in urban slums, living a nomadic lifestyle, or living on small islands in the middle of vast oceans.
It is not only the locality of these groups that makes it difficult to bring the gospel, but there are also political situations. There are many reasons that could hinder the propagation of the gospel to these specific areas. While I was in ministry school in 2019, we received a lady who was a missionary in Zambia for many years. She was able to show us on the map so many people groups that we never really hear about and where the gospel has not yet reached.
I believe there is a lot to be done if the church really intends to reach all the nations with the gospel. It is true many have risked their lives to bring the gospel to unreached people, when we consider people like Elisabeth Elliot to the Huaorani Tribe of Ecuador, Hudson Taylor in China, Gladys Aylward, and the list goes on. Even today, we still have many who are risking their lives trying to reach unreached groups with the gospel of Jesus, but we need more Kingdom Laborers sharing the gospel of Jesus Christ every single day.
Our Part in Preaching the Gospel to All Nations
There is a lot left to be done for the gospel to be preached to all nations. It’s time for people here, there, and everywhere to take the Great Commision seriously and work together to preach the gospel of Jesus Christ to all nations so that every tribe and tongue may hear about salvation through Jesus Christ! Forge, a non-profit, world-wide, parachurch ministry exists to train More Kingdom Laborers around the globe. Our ministry offers many tools and resources to help equip and multiply God’s people to share the gospel of Jesus Christ to all nations.