International (MNN) — There are currently 1,053 Muslim people groups who don’t have anyone sharing the Gospel with them. Some of these people groups have population numbers in the millions.
For Christians who have a passion to share the Gospel with Muslims, those numbers can seem overwhelming. But Vision 5:9, a network of over 180 missions organizations, has an audacious goal — to reach the rest of the Muslim world for Christ by 2025.
To that end, Vision 5:9 gathered around 900 Christian leaders and missionaries for their Abide and Bear Fruit consultation last month in Thailand. Because they recognize, in order to get the Good News of Jesus out to all unreached Muslim peoples by 2025, they can’t do it alone.
Perry LaHaie with Frontiers USA was one of the Christian leaders at the consultation. He shares, “The theme of the conference Abide and Bear Fruit is very important here. It was stressed to us that in order to bear fruit, in order to make disciples, in order to reach this incredible, monumental goal of engaging the Muslim world, we have to take a counterintuitive approach. We’ve got to be abiding, spending extravagant time with Jesus, being connected to him, and only when we remain connected to Jesus can we bear fruit, can we make disciples in the Muslim world.”
Additionally, LaHaie says, “Twenty-five percent of the people at the conference were Christian leaders from a Muslim background and there was a strong sense from the Muslim-background believers in Jesus that, ‘It’s our time to rise up. It’s our time to take the baton as well and reach our own people.’”
One of the moving moments at the Abide and Bear Fruit consultation was when one of the mission leaders shared what God had placed on his heart. “He had been spending some time in fasting and prayer and he just had this sense that God was saying to him, ‘I want to bring into my family ten percent of the Muslim world in the next ten years.’ Now that’s incredible. We’re talking 170 million-plus Muslims into the Kingdom in the next ten years.”
The consultation attendees embraced this faith goal to bring ten percent of the Muslim world into God’s family over the next ten years. They’ve committed to a season of ten years of fasting, praying, and spreading God’s Word towards this end.
Another leader got up as well and shared Isaiah 43:19 where God says, “Behold, I am doing a new thing; now it springs forth, do you not perceive it? I will make a way in the wilderness and rivers in the desert.”
“Then this leader went on to say, ‘Serving Muslims has been hard. You feel you have little fruit. But behold, I believe God is doing a new thing…. Would you believe that God wants to pour out his spirit on the Muslim world in ways you have never even dreamed of?’”
LaHaie says the Christian and missions leaders at the consultation realized that, bottom line, their faith must increase in order to boldly reach Muslims for Christ. And they would love if every believer in the Body of Christ around the world would take up this vision as well through prayer, fasting, and generous giving to missions in the Muslim world.
“Now is the time. There is this momentum. And I don’t want to have us to look back and say, ‘Wow, the first part of the 21st century there were a number of Muslims that came into the Kingdom, but it just sort of stalled because God’s people just dropped it,’” he shares.
“I know this is heard in other parts of the world other than America, but it’s going to take many more young Americans giving up the American dream to go to the Muslim world. We’re seeing the numbers decline, we’re seeing the interest decline across several mission organizations. We really need a spiritual awakening in America to awaken us to what this life is about. It’s so short. I love that old quote: ‘Only one life will soon be passed. Only what’s done for Christ will last.’”
But one thing everybody can do — no matter your financial situation or physical location — is pray. Please pray for God’s Great Commission to be advanced in our generation and that all Muslim people groups would have the chance to hear about our Heavenly Father’s love, grace, and salvation through Jesus Christ.
This prayer hearkens to John’s vision in Revelation 7:9-10 which reads, “After this I looked, and behold, a great multitude that no one could number, from every nation, from all tribes and peoples and languages, standing before the throne and before the Lamb, clothed in white robes, with palm branches in their hands, and crying out with a loud voice, ‘Salvation belongs to our God who sits on the throne, and to the Lamb!’”
LaHaie says it’s the promise of this day — with people from every tribe, tongue, and nation worshipping before the throne of God — that encourages him and motivates him in this mission to reach Muslims for Christ.
“There was a special moment in the consultation for me. We were singing a song about the worthiness of the Lamb…. In my emotions, I just felt like we were already there around the throne, that the Kingdom had come, that Jesus had redeemed all the tribes and all the tongues, that all the sad things had become untrue, that all the burdens of my life had been laid down, that all had been accomplished. I was just feeling the emotions of what that day is going to be like, and I think it was just the Holy Spirit filling my heart with the assurance that that day is going to come.
“I know that’s going to help me as I move forward in my small part in this great rescue plan of the Lord.”