Written by Kevin Ashwe
If you have sensed God’s call to a hostile area or you’re already working in one, you need not worry. The ideas shared here will go a long way to help. God who called you to such a location knows about the hostility there and as a loving father he has gone ahead of you and made adequate preparation for you. You need not worry.
Evangelism is a task appointed to all God’s people everywhere. It is the task of communicating the message from the creator to rebel mankind. The message begins with information and ends with an invitation. The information concerns God’s work of making His son a saviour for sinners. The invitation is God’s summons to mankind generally to come to the saviour and find life.
The evangelism mandate demands that the gospel message reaches out to every creature in whatever geographic location. Whether a receptive or hostile environment to the Gospel. Receptivity of the Gospel is not the same from one location to the other. The efforts of the church in some times more concentrated in areas where things are easy, thereby neglecting environments perceived to be hostile to the Gospel and sometimes believers as well. The necessity of taking the Gospel to all irrespective of what they are, requires that plans are adequately made to effectively evangelise the seemingly difficult and hostile places.
There are various factors that contribute to the resistance of the Gospel in hostile environments. Interestingly, what brings resistance, non-receptivity and hostility in one place may be a positive factor to the Gospel in another area. One thing that is sure is that with God, faith in our heart, love for those perishing souls, perseverance and right strategy, we can penetrate and win over any hostile environment or community anywhere in the world.
What Makes an Area Hostile
Hostile environments area areas that are resistant to the Gospel of Christ. One or several of the underlisted points may make an area difficult or hostile to the Gospel.
- Strong commitment to occultism.
- Belief and practice of animeson and traditional religion.
- The presence of intimidating Islamic beliefs and conducts.
- Inclination to customary ideas and superstitions.
- Places where Christianity has been over thrown.
- Presence of local legislation against evangelism.
The bottom line of all these however, is the overall agenda of satan. Satan is certainly behind all persecution and efforts to keep the message of Jesus Christ from reaching the hearts of people and the core of their culture. We could even say that opposition to the Gospel is his major role and goal. The words of 1Cor. 4:4 refers to a major work of satan when it said that, “the god of this world hath blinded the minds of them which believe not, lest the light of the glorious Gospel of Christ, who is the image of God, should shine unto them.
Furthermore, we should know that some areas and territories were covenanted to satan many years ago. Such covenants may still be active, potent and effective. The ultimate effect and result is a strong intimidating resistance to the Gospel.
Each time the Church, the body of Jesus Christ, is seeking to bring in the kingdom, she inevitably will be confronted by the opposing kingdoms or spirits, gods, principalities, powers and thrones. These are employed to blind, bind and buffet the inhabitants.
One of the major issues therefore in evangelizing hostile environments is how to tackle the territorial spirits that govern the area. Hostile environments presents peculiar problems that are multifaceted, and sometimes deeply rooted in their historical past. When these are properly understood, effective strategies aimed at evangelizing them can be prayerfully planned and worked upon.
Part two will be posted next week.