The world church is facing unprecedented challenges. In the modern era, the church has continued to grow in size due to its expansion in non-Western countries, but has been falling due to influences of secularism and a humanism-based Age of Enlightenment. Proponents of the Age of Enlightenment claimed that light comes from reason, not from the word of God. With the proclaimation that knowledge is power, knowledge has ruled the world. For the past 400 years, the power of knowledge has been relentlessly attacking the modern church and has expanded its influence even within the church. Faithful believers who love God and worship in spirit and truth, those who minister with the Holy Spirit eventually lost their stand to the ones with higher theology and professional knowledge, and were pushed off to the periphery.
Furthermore, political and economic interests have corrupted church structure. Consequently, the church was secularized and stripped of spiritual power and degenerated into a mere religious organization.
The African church has experienced astonishing growth in the past 30 years. But crippled by the shallow teachings of the prosperity gospel and a deep-rooted tendency to depend on outside assistance, it is unable to exercise spiritual leadership in the outside world. The South American church overcame the religious authority and tradition of the Catholic Church that claims to be alive but is dead and is experiencing a powerful revival. They have great passion in praise and worship but are not able to grow out of shallow sensationalism void of gospel power and commitment to cross-carrying discipleship. The European church seems helpless in the face of Islam, which has quickly outgrown Christianity in Europe where 5% of the population is Muslim and 4% is Christian, and the American church has confused Americanism and Christianity, thinking that America is the kingdom of God and in the process is losing its spiritual heritage from the Puritans and giving in to ideologies of capitalism and liberalism.
The new leadership of the world church is the Asian church, especially the Korean and the Chinese churches. The Chinese church with its 150 million believers that have overcome the brutal, systematic persecution of the communist regime in the past fifty years will soon rise to leadership in the world church and will build the highway for the Lord’s return back to Zion, the city of God, and bring about a rapid evangelization of the world.
The Korean church has been in a continual decline as a result of rapid secularization starting in 1988. In the 1990s, certain Christian intellectuals in Korea did much damage to the church by advocating a shift in the church’s focus to its social and cultural responsibilities. They went about making a vociferous attempt at a reformation of the Korean church, but it actually turned out to be a catalyst for the secularization of the church in disguise.
Nonetheless there remains in Korea countless faithful, gospel-centered, Spirit-seeking, cross-carrying, wholly-devoted believers, and churches advancing the kingdom and serving in various ministries with the firm conviction that only the gospel has the power to change the world. They are the true disciples of Christ. They are the faithful church. They will not give in to the temptations of the prostitute under the elegant and persuasive guise of the holistic gospel. They will not fear sacrifice or hesitate to suffer. They are preachers of the eternal gospel—the future revivalists of the Korean church and leaders of world mission in the next generation.
The kingdom of God was inaugurated after the Advent, death, resurrection, and ascension of Christ by the Great Commission, the fulfillment of which is the end of the world and the completion of God’s salvific history.
Therefore, mission is not simply one of various ministries of the church but its highest purpose. History revolves around the movement of the gospel to all nations, and missionaries are at the center stage of the drama. Missionaries, therefore, are history makers.
The Bible clearly dictates that the gospel must reach every cultural-linguistic people group rather than every individual or nation-state. Salvation is achieved through individual faith in Christ but the missional mandate of God in the Bible is to bring the gospel to all people groups. The kingdom of God would not be complete if there is even one people group that has not received the gospel. Therefore the highest priority in the mission of the church is to bring the gospel to unreached peoples. The church must always remember to prioritize frontier mission.
Therefore, we must obey the Great Commission in any circumstance and at all costs for the rapid evangelization of the world. The world church is in decline and so is the Korean church. But the kingdom of God is always advanced by the faithful few. Such is the witness of the past 2000 years of church history.
Strategic Partnership of the World Church and Global Alliance
Until recently, the Western church has been leading in world mission. But since 9/11, the leadership of the Western church has weakened. We have entered into an era where the world mission paradigm is centered on frontier pioneering mission. 95% of frontier mission is either Islamic or a minority people group. When considering these conditions, it is hard to expect the Western churches to lead the completion of world mission alone. For the completion of the Great Commission in the end times, faithful evangelical world churches must form strategic partnerships and alliances. God has given each national church a unique spiritual gift. God uses diverse nations as his strategy.
China is comparably more favorable towards Islamic nations because of their anti-American psychological ties during the Cold War. There are many Islamic nations that the Chinese can enter into without acquiring visas. The Chinese church is a strong church that overcame extreme hardships, led by the first generation of believers who put their lives on the line to preach the gospel.
India has a long familiarity with Islam, especially since their own population consists of nearly 200 million Muslims. The Indian church is made up of 80 million saints, which makes them second after China. India can easily exercise global leadership because they are an English-speaking nation. Also, they can move the cyber world as they respond to the new paradigm of mission through the development and the usage of information technology.
Those who have been leading the global Islamic movement for the past century were the Islamic movement groups of Egypt and Pakistan. The Pakistani church has survived the constant threats of the radical Islamic Taliban group. If the Pakistani church rises up with the vision for Islamic mission, then Islamic mission will have a sudden acceleration.
Egypt’s Muslim Brotherhood’s radical Islam has been taking charge of the global Islamic movement. If the Egyptian church that has survived this kind of threat rises up with a mission movement for the Arabs, it will start a new history in the Arab world.
Japan stands at a very strategic place in world mission. Japan is known as an elite nation in Asia and has historically fought against Western colonization. This is why the people of the Middle East and South Asia, who have been colonized by the West for a long time, have regard for the Japanese people. The people of Turkey and Iran are also favorable towards the Japanese people. In these nations, just the fact that a Japanese person is a Christian demonstrates a strong message.
Mongolians and Kazakhs, traditionally a nomadic people, are also spiritually movement-oriented. The church of Mongolia has turned into a missionary-sending nation in 15 years after they received the gospel. The vision of 50% of the pastors in Ulaanbaatar, the capital of Mongolia, is world mission and Eurasia mission. Mongolia and Kazakhstan have a two-fold ministry of receiving and sending missionaries. This is a specific case that is unique in world church history where the westward movement of the gospel is advancing rapidly.
God is also pouring out great revival among the churches of Brazil, Argentina, Kenya, South Africa, Nigeria, Russia, and Indonesia. The churches of Brazil and Indonesia hold a strategic position in mission to Islamic regions.
The Korean diaspora in 180 different nations have planted a church wherever they went. The Chinese, who have the largest diaspora population, are spreading like wildfire and are a great power in world mission.
The world church and the Korean church are facing the most critical crises. But in perspective of God’s mission we have entered the era of the greatest mission revival. We must pray for the global alliance of faithful world churches and believers to rise.
Spiritual Alliance of the Remnants
When the gospel is preached to all nations Jesus will return and history will be complete (Matt. 24:14). This is why Jesus said, “You will receive power when the Holy Spirit has come upon you, and you will be my witnesses to the ends of the earth.” From this point on, the history of the world has moved forward under one theme: preaching the gospel to all nations. In other words, history has raced for the evangelization of all nations. But what we witness today are imminent signs of the end times. In actuality, since the return of the Jewish people to Jerusalem in 1948, the world has been rapidly racing towards the end and we stand at the end of history.
In 1989 during the Second Lausanne Conference, Dr. Ralph Winter presented that among the 24,000 people groups, 11,000 have not yet received the gospel and remain unreached. This raised great awareness for unreached and frontier mission and the world church began to focus their works towards the unreached people groups. This shift in mission resulted in more evangelized nations in the past 20 years than all of Protestant mission history combined. It can even be said that the number of evangelized nations since Pentecost is similar to the number of nations evangelized in the past 20 years.
After the Second Lausanne Conference came an explosion of God’s history moving forward. Recently, many statistics regarding the unreached are suggested. But statistics that humans have made cannot be perfected and can easily change depending on the perspective and definition of the unreached. The trend of rapid evangelization is very clear; the gospel of the kingdom is rapidly racing to the nations. In the past 20 years, the Unreached People Group Movement, Adopt-a-People Group Movement, 10/40 Window Mission Movement, Frontier Mission Movement, and Tent-making Mission Movement were powerful kingdom movements that sped up the completion of the Great Commission.
As the gospel is preached to all nations, history will come to an end, which also means the eternal destruction of Satan’s fate. This is why right when the evangelization of all nations is coming to completion, Satan will establish a global system of resistance. This will be the antichrist world system. Jesus tells us that the end will come when the gospel is preached to all nations in Matt. 24:14; in verse 15 he immediately says, “So when you see the abomination of desolation spoken of by the prophet Daniel, standing in the holy place, let the reader understand.” We are in this flow of transition in the current era.
Infiltrated with secularization and anti-Christian ideologies, the current generation is faced with the most difficult time in the history of mankind for Christians to be living in. The young generation that is supposed to lead the future of the global church is leaving the church, and the average age of believers is continuously increasing. We must ask ourselves- How will the Church overcome in these dark times and complete God’s history? Despite all the difficulties and darkness, God has prepared a new work and he will do a new thing. This is ‘Global Alliance,’ the ‘Spiritual Alliance of World Evangelical Churches.’
Global Alliance is God’s strategy for the completion of the Great Commision- for the fulfillment of God’s word that ‘the gospel of the kingdom will be preached to all nations and then the end will come.’
God led InterCP, an organization that focuses all its effort into frontier church planting, to build the BTJ Center for All Nations. And through the BTJ center, God raised up a prayer movement and mission movement of not only the Korean church, but of the world church to come together and serve the Lord in one vision.
In the summer and and fall of 2011, God allowed InterCP to share the mission vision with the churches of Kenya, Ireland, Norway, Germany, and Spain. In Novemeber of the same year, we met a Pakistani pastor that was preaching the gospel amidst persecution, an Indian pastor that visited Korea, and also a missionary that did ministry in South America for more than 20 years.
When we challenged those we met that all national churches must rise for global missions and the restoration of unreached people groups, they responded saying they desire to participate in this final mission movement and began requesting to us to come and share the mission vision to their own countries.
Expanding further from the existing relationships we had with the Japanese and Chinese church onto being newly connected to more national churches, we were able to see that God is starting a strong network of world evangelical churches from all nations.
By Missionary Paul Choi