By Jay Rogers
Published April 3, 2008
How would you like to be used of God to change an entire nation?
Armenia was the first nation in the world to become what we would call a “Christian nation.” By the year 300 A.D., virtually everyone within the borders of that country had come to the saving knowledge of Jesus Christ. How did it happen? It was all the result of one man – a foreign student – who went to study in Cappadocia, a province of Asia Minor. He lived there with a Christian family, gave his life to Christ, was taught, and went back to Armenia with a burning desire to preach the gospel there!
One student went to a foreign country … And he brought his whole nation to Christ!
America: A Modern Day Jerusalem
God has a strategic plan for everything He does. When He poured out His Spirit on the first disciples in Jerusalem on the day of Pentecost, He had a missionary purpose in mind. Acts 2:5 tells us who was observing when the miraculous event occurred:
“Now there were Jews living in Jerusalem, devout men, from every nation under heaven.”
Few Americans realize it … But today in the United States, there are over 7 million non-immigrant, non-tourist foreigners and 400,000 international students attending our colleges and universities. This is at least a 2000% increase in just 25 years!
If we believe that God is sovereign and that He works in the affairs of nations, we have to realize that He brought these foreign visitors to America for a reason.
We need to understand that the missionary vision is straight from the heart of God! We can see this throughout the Bible as early as the book of Genesis. God first gave this commission to Abraham:
“Go forth from your country, and from your relatives, and from your father’s house, to the land which I will show you. And I will make you a great nation; and I will bless you, and make your name great; so that you shall be a blessing. And I will bless those who bless you and the one who curses you I will curse. And in you all the families of the earth shall be blessed” (Genesis 12:1-3).
God’s ultimate purpose in sending Abraham to Canaan was to reach the nations! In that day Canaan was the crossroads of three continents. Caravans from the farthest corners of the inhabited earth traveled there. The land was chosen by God for Israel to dwell in because he wanted His people to carry out a missionary task!
When the land of Israel finally began to take dominion over the land of Caanan, God gave them specific instructions on how to handle foreign visitors:
- Deuteronomy 31:12: “Assemble the alien who is in your town, in order that they may hear and learn and fear the Lord your God, and be careful to observe all the words of the law.”
- Leviticus 19:34: “The stranger who resides with you … you must treat him as yourself.”
God’s missionary desire to reach the whole world could not be fully accomplished by His “missionary nation” – Israel. That call and responsibility was handed down to the Church!
It is amazing to see how often international visitors appear in the New Testament! Did you know that Paul himself – one of the greatest apostles that ever lived – was an international student? He came from Tarsus to study in Jerusalem, and you know he rest of the story.
In Acts chapter 8, we find Philip the evangelist preaching to an Ethiopian visitor, who was quite influential in the royal court of his country. Philip led him to the Lord, and the new believer went back to transform his own nation.
Imagine the possibilities! Because Philip was simply obedient to relate the gospel to the Ethiopian eunuch, all of Africa was introduced to the message of Jesus. The same can happen today when you become a friend to an international student and lead him to Christ! Your obedience to the Spirit of God can affect the destiny of a whole nation or even an entire continent!
When we do not obey God’s commands, however, there can often be tragic results.
- Yosuke Matsuoka attended the University of Oregon. Isoruku Yamamoto studied at Harvard. Both experienced incredible racial prejudice. After returning to Japan they became the foreign Minister of Japan and the Commander in Chief of the Combined Fleet respectively. They played key roles in leading their nation to attack Pearl Harbor.
- Ho Chi Minh traveled to New York, Boston and Paris as a young man. He was impressed by what he called “the barbarities and ugliness of American capitalism, the Ku Klux Klan mobs, the lynching of Negroes.” In 1924, he published a pamphlet, La Race Noire (“The Black Race”), criticizing racism in America and Europe. He later studied Marxism and due to his influence all of Southeast Asia came under communist dominion.
- Mengistu Haile Mariam, the communist leader of Ethiopia, went to Fort Leavenworth, Kansas for military training and was said to have been embittered by the racial discrimination he received while in America. The lack of cooperation the government of Ethiopia exhibited with the nations of the West during the great famine, was a direct result of this embitterment.
These men came to America for an education – and rather than reaching out to them and loving them, we sent them back as enemies. Their stories should teach us a lesson about the importance of reaching out to international students!
Right now, one fourth to one half of the future leaders of the world are on American campuses. The greatest potential for world evangelism lies in the international students studying in America. God had truly brought the whole world to our doorstep. This is God’s most effective strategy for world evangelism.
There are many nations of the world which either prohibit or restrict missionary activity. In American universities, however, there are many Muslim, Chinese, and Southeast Asian students, whose governments are sponsoring their academic endeavors.
These students are already familiar with the people, language and customs of their own country. These international students are the future leaders of their societies, often comprising the top five percent of their nation – often, most people in these nations have never even heard of Jesus Christ. If these students become Christians while studying here in America and are trained in God’s Word, they can go back and begin a spiritual awakening in their own nation – from within!
The foreign students on your campus are often lonely and are used to living around people in their own nation who show them great respect. Now, living in America, they are treated like another face in the crowd. Most international students come to this country with a real desire to have an American friend. They are looking for people who have genuine love and concern for them.
The question you should be asking is: “Where are the Christians?” We can no longer afford to sit back in complacency while 400,000 future leaders of the nations remain unreached with the gospel. We literally have the whole world sitting on our doorstep. In the Great Commission, our Lord Jesus Christ told us to “Go into all the world and preach the gospel” and “make disciples of all nations.”
How will you respond?
An Effective Strategy to Reach Internationals
1. Print 2000 invitations to a Thanksgiving Dinner sponsored by your local church.
2. Distribute these invitations to the international students on your local campus. (Most campuses have student groups for international students through which you may be able to distribute these invitations).
3. Invite 2000 international students to a Thanksgiving dinner. (A dinner for 20 to 50 people should be planned.)
4. At this dinner, give a presentation of the gospel in a creative way. This might include an explanation of “the meaning of Thanksgiving.”
5. Make a friend of an international student. Your love and friendship may one day help to change the world.
Forerunner - Home » The Forerunner Newspaper » On Campus
Your comments are welcome!
High Quality Paperback — 219 pages
Foundations in Biblical Orthodoxy
Driving down a country road sometime, you might see a church with a sign proudly proclaiming: “No book but the Bible — No creed but Christ.” The problem with this statement is that the word creed (from the Latin: credo) simply means “belief.” All Christians have beliefs, regardless of whether they are written.
Yet a single book containing the actual texts of the most important creeds of the early Church will not often be found. Out of the multitude of works on the evangelical Christian book market today, those dealing with the creeds of the Church are scarce.
Why Creeds and Confessions? provides a foundation of biblical orthodoxy as a defense against the false and truly heretical doctrines advanced by the spirit of this age.
$14.95 — ORDER NOW!(We accept all major credit cards and PayPal.)
Who is the Real Jesus?
Ever since the dawn of modern rationalism, skeptics have sought to use textual criticism, archeology and historical reconstructions to uncover the “historical Jesus” — a wise teacher who said many wonderful things, but fulfilled no prophecies, performed no miracles and certainly did not rise from the dead in triumph over sin.
Over the past 100 years, however, startling discoveries in biblical archeology and scholarship have all but vanquished the faulty assumptions of these doubting modernists. Regrettably, these discoveries have often been ignored by the skeptics as well as by the popular media. As a result, the liberal view still holds sway in universities and impacts the culture and even much of the church.
The Real Jesus explodes the myths of these critics and the movies, books and television programs that have popularized their views. Presented in ten parts — perfect for individual, family and classroom study — viewers will be challenged to go deeper in their knowledge of Christ in order to be able to defend their faith and present the truth to a skeptical modern world – that the Jesus of the Gospels is the Jesus of history — “the same yesterday, today and forever” (Hebrews 13:8). He is the real Jesus.
Speakers include: George Grant, Ted Baehr, Stephen Mansfield, Raymond Ortlund, Phil Kayser, David Lutzweiler, Jay Grimstead, J.P. Holding, and Eric Holmberg.
Ten parts, over two hours of instruction!
Running Time: 130 minutes
$19.95 — ORDER NOW!(We accept all major credit cards and PayPal.)
Exposing The Occult Roots of Abortion
This presentation looks at the spiritual roots of abortion and exposes the myths surrounding child killing. Little known historical facts about abortion and how they relate to modern feminism are presented logically and accurately. Has been effective in converting many to a pro-life position.
Massacre of Innocence goes where no pro-life presentation has gone before in “tearing the lid off abortion” to reveal the spiritual realities we must battle if we will bring an end to this crime. The presentation is absorbing, fast-paced, informative and incredibly devastating to any attempt to justify abortion.
“… an extraordinary statement … a powerfully articulate presentation about what abortion really means, and why a great and moral nation like the United States must not allow the slaughter to continue.”
— Congressman Robert K. Dornan
Running time: 85 minutes
$19.95 — ORDER NOW!(We accept all major credit cards and PayPal.)
Special Two-Disc Set!
After 40 years of intense study and world-wide ministry, Dr. Francis Schaeffer completed his crowning work of scholarship – to present profound truths in simple film language. Dr. Schaeffer’s brilliant analysis of the past and predictions for current trends have proven so uncannily accurate that this amazing series still feels contemporary almost three decades after its initial release. Ultimately, Schaeffer concludes that man’s only hope is a return to God’s Biblical absolute, the truth revealed in Christ through the Scriptures.
Available for the first time on DVD, this documentary spectacular also includes intimate in-depth conversations with Francis and Edith Schaeffer. With the on-disc study guide, this presentation forms a unique course of comprehensive study. While this series forms an innovative analysis of the past, this outstanding work is more than history. Each episode focuses on a significant era, yet speaks clearly to 21st-century man with answers for modern problems.
$49.95 — ORDER NOW!(We accept all major credit cards and PayPal.)
High Quality Paperback — 40 pages of dynamite!
Revival, Resistance, Reformation, Revolution
An Introduction to the Doctrines of Interposition and Nullification
In 1776, a short time after the Declaration of Independence was adopted, Thomas Jefferson, John Adams and Benjamin Franklin were assigned to design an official seal for the United States of America. Their proposed motto was Rebellion to Tyrants is Obedience to God. America owes its existence to centuries of Christian political philosophy. Our nation provided a model for liberty copied by nations the world over.
By the 21st century, we need a “Puritan Storm” to sweep away the Hegelian notion that the state is “God walking on earth.” We need revival and reformation in full force to vanquish the problems that plague us as a nation — from government controlled healthcare — to abortion on demand — to same sex “marriage.” This booklet gives a primer on our founders’ Christian idea of government and examines how the doctrine of nullification was woven into the Constitution as a safeguard against federal tyranny. It concludes with the history and theology of civil resistance. A Second American Revolution is coming with the Word of God growing mightily and prevailing! (Acts 19:20).
$7.95 — ORDER NOW!(We accept all major credit cards and PayPal.)