Claiming Victory for Christ in India for a New Decade
Praise God that the Great Commission of Jesus Christ in India will indeed be completed.
In Matthew 24:12, before His crucifixion, Jesus tells His disciples, “This gospel of the kingdom shall be preached in the whole world as a testimony to all peoples, and then the end will come.”
Just before His ascension into heaven, He tells them, “All authority has been given to Me in heaven and on earth. Go therefore and make disciples of all the nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and the Son and the Holy Spirit, teaching them to observe all that I commanded you; and lo, I am with you always, even to the end of the age” (Matthew 28:18-20).
These two passages, taken together, involve a coming of a new kingdom of men, women and children on earth, transformed in every way by the sacrifice of Jesus Christ on the cross.
These words create great trembling and fear in Satan’s hosts and his human servants blinded by deception. The opposition and persecution Christians increasingly face in India these days is an outplay of Satan’s continual fear.
But we need not respond in fear. All authority belongs to Jesus Christ. As members of His family, with the gift of the Holy Spirit, and in union with His angelic armies, we operate from a position of strength, not weakness. Opposition is inevitable, but so is victory. He has given us authority to bind and loose as we operate according to His purposes.
In this new decade, the goal of India Gospel Outreach has not changed: to reach all of India with the gospel of Jesus Christ. Our goal is still to plant a dynamic church in each ethnic group of India, in each of India’s 28,000+ zip codes.
In this new decade, we pray for a Holy Spirit breakthrough that convicts people of sin and gives boldness to preach the truth of the cross and resurrection. The truth sets free and involves signs and wonders as in the early church.
Jesus’ words indicate that to become a Christian involves more than conversion and becoming a member of a religious institution. Jesus cares little about statistics and forming a powerful religious institution in India. No, He wants discipleship. He wants relationship—family relationship with those who become a part of His kingdom. He wants each person to join Him in His work, to know Him as Moses knew Him as “friend to friend.” Through His disciples, He wants to destroy the works of the devil and make society on earth as it is in heaven.
During this next decade, India Gospel Outreach intends to reach India for Christ by adhering to four elements present in Jesus’ own earthly ministry and beyond. Call them the “4 Ps.”
Jesus had compassion on people. He fed and healed them, even when many of them rejected Him. But in His compassion, He won some of them. This must become our attitude as well. We must make a gospel presence available in a community that establishes relationships of genuine love and concern for the felt needs of people. This genuine love and compassion will open many hearts to trust and encourage them to hear more.
Jesus proclaimed the gospel of the kingdom, and so must we. This involves the gospel of salvation, but much more. It involves destroying the works of the devil and transforming them through the power of the Holy Spirit. In many parts of India, the power of Satan is still obvious. When the gospel of the kingdom is preached, individual lives are changed and also the lives of families, communities and the nation. Culture, government, business—every part of society—changes. It will become complete when Christ returns.
The apostle Paul came close to persuading a worldly king like Herod Agrippa to become a Christian. Conversion does not depend upon accepting intellectual arguments, but we still must have good reasons for the faith within us. Christian faith is not a mindless thing. God is a God of order, not confusion. Some people hide behind intellectual arguments, but others (such as C.S. Lewis) have honest questions that we must answer. The goal of IGO and its training institutes is to prepare evangelists and church planters with good answers to honest questions.
4. Planting churches
New followers of Jesus Christ need a place where they are nurtured and discipled, where they can receive teachings and grow into all that Jesus taught and commanded. Baptism is a public declaration of a commitment already made to know and experience the love of the Father, the grace of the Son and immersion into the power and life of the Holy Spirit.
Four hundred years ago, America’s founders covenanted with God to glorify Him and advance His kingdom in the world. In those early days, they may not have thought of India as such, but they lived and died in the spirit of the Great Commission. Satan has done his utmost to get America and America’s friends to forget that covenant. Let us fulfill that covenant beyond anything the founders could have imagined.
We pray God will remember the sacrifices of those early lovers of the gospel and raise up a faithful remnant in America and elsewhere to fulfill that covenant to the nth degree. When we put ourselves into God’s hands, He does above and beyond what we ask or think. Let us move forward together in the coming decade in the victory and authority Jesus has already granted us in Matthew 16:19.
The brothers and sisters in India and the churches in America and the West need one another. God does not see us as separate entities but members of the same family. We need one another. The welfare of one involves the welfare of all.
- Pray for IGO to realize the 4 Ps, during the 2020s.
- Pray for revival and awakening in our churches for a new Great Commission vision, such as never before in the history of the church.
- Pray for increased partnership with brothers and sisters in India.
- Pray for unity of purpose between Indian and western churches.
- Pray for an unprecedented move of the Holy Spirit in India that completes the Great Commission even in this decade.
- Pray that the 2020s will become IGO’s most fruitful decade so far in fulfilling its purpose and calling.