24:14 – The War That Finally Ends
– By Stan Parks and Steve Smith –
A renewed war has been quietly waged for the last 30+ years. At first, it began as a quiet insurgence by a few “freedom fighters” unwilling to see billions of people live and die with no access to the gospel. Radicals, not accepting that so many lived in bondage to the “ruler of this world,” laid down their lives to see Jesus set the prisoners free.
This is no return to the horrific Crusades of earthly battles waged falsely in the name of Jesus. This kingdom is invisible, as Jesus declared:
“My kingdom is not of this world. If my kingdom were of this world, my servants would have been fighting, that I might not be delivered over to the Jews. But my kingdom is not from the world.” (Jn. 18:36, ESV)
This is a battle for the souls of people. These soldiers have chosen to believe that disciples, churches, leaders and movements can multiply as movements of the Spirit, just as they did in the early church. They have chosen to believe that the commands of Christ still carry the same authority and Spirit-empowerment as 2000 years ago.
Church-Planting Movements (CPMs) are spreading again today just as they did in the book of Acts and at various times in history. They are not a new phenomenon but an old one. They are a return to basic biblical discipleship that all disciples of Jesus can emulate as 1) followers of Jesus and 2) fishers for people (Mk. 1:17). On every continent, where it was once said, “A CPM can’t happen here,” movements are spreading.
Biblical principles are being applied in practical, reproducible models in a variety of cultural contexts. God’s servants are winning the lost, making disciples, forming healthy churches and developing godly leaders, in ways that can multiply generation after generation and begin to radically transform their communities.
These movements are the only way we have found historically for the kingdom of God to grow faster than the population. Without them, even good ministry efforts result in losing ground.
The tide of this renewed effort is surging forward with unstoppable force. This insurgence is no passing fad. With 20+ years of reproducing churches, the number of CPMs has multiplied from a mere handful in the 1990s to 1360+ as of May 2020, with more being reported each month. Each movement’s advance has been won with great endurance and sacrifice.
This mission—to take the gospel of the kingdom to every unreached and under-reached people and place—comes with real casualties of persecution. This is a struggle to the end to see the name of Jesus prevail in every place, so He is worshipped by all peoples. This mission costs everything, and it is worth it! He is worth it.
After almost three decades of resurgence of movements in modern times, a global coalition has arisen, not by boardroom brainstorming, but by leaders within and alongside movements banding together to fulfill one overarching objective:
And this good news of the King’s reign will be heralded throughout the whole world as a testimony to all peoples, and then the end will come. (Mt. 24:14, author’s translation)
As God draws multitudes of new believers from every tongue, tribe, people and nation into His kingdom, we yearn: “Come, Lord Jesus!” (Rv. 22:20). We cry out:
Your kingdom come! (movements)
No place left! (fully reaching all)
Finishing what others have started! (honoring those before us)
Through prayer, we as a coalition felt God gave us a deadline to increase urgency: We aim to engage every unreached people and place with an effective kingdom movement (CPM) strategy by December 31, 2025.
We have subordinated organizational and denominational brands to greater kingdom collaboration to accomplish this mission. We call our open-membership, volunteer army by the verse that inspires us: 24:14.
We are not a Western-centric initiative. We are composed of house church movements from South Asia, Muslim-background movements from the 10/40 window, mission sending agencies, church planting networks in post-modern regions, established churches and many more.
We are a collaborative community for those catalyzing, multiplying and supporting church planting movements to urgently engage every unreached people and place globally.
We are inspired by a call for a wartime mentality (see this article: http://www.missionfrontiers.org/issue/article/finding-my-tribe) to sacrifice alongside brothers and sisters, to see the gospel proclaimed throughout the world as a witness to all peoples.
Is this revolution any different than hundreds of other plans that have arisen over the centuries? We believe that it is (see this article: http://www.missionfrontiers.org/issue/article/why-is-2414-different-than-previous-efforts). We are a community of relationships that came from the grassroots of the movements themselves, captivated by the same vision and willing to work together to make it happen. This 24:14 vision could well be the culmination of these historical and current efforts by helping engagements fully reach their targets.
There will be a final generation. It will be characterized by the global spread of the kingdom, and will advance in the face of global opposition. Our generation feels strangely like the one Jesus described in Matthew 24.
We can see an end to a 2,000 year spiritual war. The enemy’s defeat is in sight. “No place left for Jesus to be named” is on the horizon (Rm. 15:23). God is asking us to pay the price and deeply sacrifice to be the generation that fulfills Matthew 24:14. Are you in?