There is a painting in my office painted by a dear friend of mine with a man sitting by the street, relaxed and comfortable with a pleasant look on his face... doing nothing. He seems agenda-less, at least for the moment captured on canvas. The title of the painting makes it clear, however, this man is not “doing nothing.” He may not know what he is doing, but he is doing the same thing many people do every day: Waiting to Hear.
They Don't Know
The man in the painting represents the billions of people throughout the world waiting to hear the Gospel of Jesus Christ. They may have no idea they are waiting for “Good News,” but that is what they are doing. I have another friend who says,
“If you don’t know, then you don’t know that you don’t know.”
The truth is that all over the world, there are many people who don’t know about the hope which comes only through Jesus Christ, and…
They don’t even know that they don’t know!
My mind first goes to the many unreached people groups of the world waiting to hear. They don’t know the message of the Gospel, and they have no idea that they don’t know. They sit there, living their lives day after day, year after year, generation after generation, waiting to hear about Jesus. Those of us who know this message must address the key issue:
How long must they wait?
They don’t know that they don’t know... but we do.
Will you Tell Them?
I also think of the countless number of people who have heard the message but are also still waiting to hear. They are waiting for that one encounter with the Gospel of grace, that one experience of the reality of the living Savior, through which they will be changed forever. In theory, the entire non-believing world is simply one encounter with Christ away from a transformed, abundant, and eternal life. They may have heard it a thousand times, but are still waiting to hear it for the first time.
I look at this painting often, and it reminds me of the world waiting to hear of the incomparable message that changed my life; the message that leads one to an encounter with the true and living God; the message that is the most significant thing for this life and eternity. I look at this paining, and I am reminded of a song by Andre Crouch I heard many years ago.
Tell them, even if they don’t believe you.
Tell them, even if they don’t receive you.
Just tell them; tell them for me.
Tell them that I love them,
and I came to let them know.