Missionary Success—When?

World Conversion

Go ye therefore, and teach all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost: teaching them to observe all things whatsoever I have commanded you: and, lo, I am with you alway, even unto the end of the world. Amen.—Matthew 29:19, 20

Reprinted with permission from Millennial Morning

World conversion—from what to what? Billy Graham works at it. So did Billy Sunday. And countless others. Missionaries are still sent to foreign lands by both Catholics and Protestants. Denominational Christendom still claims the goal of world conversion. They have worked at it for literally centuries.

So now let’s check their progress. The following figures are taken from a 1968 United Nations world survey and a journal published in 1886 called The Watchman.


And only a very liberal estimate would admit that as many as 1/5 of those listed because of their national or social affiliations as "Christians" are in fact sincere, professing Christians of mentally mature age.

Denominational Christendom is faced with a problem. They have a failure rate of 95%.

Well, maybe God’s concern was for only a few—ignore the others. Ignore 95%? God has declared his purpose in the matter—and it doesn’t fit with that conclusion. He promised Abraham , "In thy seed shall all the families of the earth be blessed". (Gen. 22:17) This may not mean that there will be no willful and constant opposition—but can it possibly allow a 95% exception rate?

We seem led to either of two inevitable conclusions:

  • God has not yet even attempted the world’s conversion, or—
  • God’s Plan has been a miserable failure.

Man’s plans usually are miserable failures. But before concluding the same for God, let’s suggest a real examination of the first conclusion—God has not yet even attempted the world’s conversion.

A Kingdom

First, let’s support our premise that God does intend the world’s blessing. Remember the Lord’s prayer, "Thy kingdom come, thy will be done on earth." (Matt. 6:10) Jesus was not praying in vain.

Consider just three passages which give us information on this kingdom.

1) Micah 4:1-3—"In the last days the mountain of the house of the Lord shall be established in the top of the mountains, it shall be exalted above the hills; and people shall flow unto it. And many nations shall say, let us go up to the mountain of the house of the Lord, . . . he will teach us of his ways, and we will walk in his paths. He shall rebuke strong nations afar off; they shall beat their swords into plowshares, and their spears into pruning-hooks: . . . neither shall they learn war anymore."

This tells us, first, that the world will not be converted before this kingdom. Changing the minds and hearts of the people will be the purpose of the kingdom. That won’ t be done before the kingdom is established to do it. Second, there will be a need to "rebuke strong nations afar off," indicating that all mankind will be included in God’s work. And, third, the end is assured—PEACE. "Neither shall there be war any more . . . for all people will walk every one in the name of his God"—the God.

2) Daniel 2:44—"In the days of these kings shall the God of heaven set up a kingdom which shall never be destroyed . . . it shall break in pieces and consume all these kingdoms, and it shall stand forever."

The establishment of this kingdom means that all others must pass. This shows us that the kingdom on earth referred to in the scriptures is not fulfilled in Christians since the time of Christ. The kingdoms of this earth have been firmly entrenched all during the intervening period, and have begun to pass away in turmoil only since the great world wars have begun to rock civilization.

And when fully established, the kingdom will not pass away. Read Zeph. 3: 8,9. It gives the same message—trouble, a smiting of the nations—and "then will I turn to the people a pure language, that they may all call upon the name of the Lord with one consent."

3) Jer. 31:34—"They shall teach no more every man his neighbor, and every man his brother, saying Know the Lord: for they shall all know me, from the least of them unto the greatest of them, saith the LORD: for I will forgive their iniquity, and I will remember their sin no more."

This tells us that at that time all mankind will be brought to a knowledge of God, his true character, and his plan. And more, they will be brought back into heart harmony with their God—"for I will forgive their sin no more." And it will be as a result of a divine arrangement for the World’s instruction, for "When thy judgments are in the earth, the inhabitants of the world will learn righteousness" (Isa. 26:9).

So Christ Comes

Notice how closely connected with this is the purpose of the return of Christ. We quote from Peter’s sermon in Acts 3:20, 21—"He shall send Jesus Christ, . . . Whom the heaven must retain until the times of restitution of all things, which God hath spoken by the mouth of all his holy prophets since the world began."

It is not Christ’s purpose to incinerate the earth along with 95% of mankind. It is his purpose to instruct the world in the ways of God. To restore humanity to the perfection with which it began. To restore to man the care and appreciation of man.

The Kingdom blessings are shown as "a pure river of water of life, clear as crystal" from the throne of God. (Rev. 22:1) The invitation will be, "Whosoever will, let him take the water of life freely" (Rev. 22:17).

Man’s experience with sin and the ill it brings has bee n a dreary night. It has been permitted that man might, with experience, choose intelligently in the Kingdom. Will he turn to his old ways? Or will he by free choice much rather choose the goodness of God by obedience? What would you do?