Like many of you, I have a good number of friends and family who either don’t know Jesus or who have walked away from Jesus. There is nothing like the agony of an unsaved loved one. I think that is what makes the story of the prodigal son so powerful. We can all identify with the father who must have spent hours gazing at the gate at the entrance to their property, praying for his son to come home.
In India we are also surrounded by millions of people, many of whom have never even heard the gospel. Of the approximately 1.3 billion people in India, only 2.2 % profess to be Christians. That means that more than 1.2 billion people are without Christ and a huge percentage of them have no connection with any Christians from their same cast or tribe or language group.
Whether it is those who are closest to us in our own families, or strangers we have no personal connection with, we have a huge challenge before us. Yet the love of Christ compels us to do all that we can to bring the truth of the gospel to those living in darkness.
I think that is why I have recently been so undone by a scripture that Dutch Sheets shared in his book Intercessory Prayer. I’m sure I have read it before, but somehow I never really heard what it was saying.
“I looked for someone among them who would build up the wall and stand before me in the gap on behalf of the land so I would not have to destroy it, but I found no one.” Ezekiel 22:30
As Dutch explains, God is righteous and just, and as such he cannot let sin go unpunished. However he is also full of mercy and love. He takes no pleasure in the death of the wicked. It is his desire that all mankind be saved. In this passage God describes his desire to find someone who would cry out to him for the nation of Israel. Someone who would partner with him in seeing that the nation experience revival instead of destruction – but he could not find anyone to join him.
By God’s grace let us stand before God in the gap on behalf of our family and friends, and for the unreached peoples of India.