The World Situation as the Indicator of God’s Move on Earth: Local Church Serving Ones to Lead the Saints to Migrate Across Cultures to Preach the Gospel in 2020
Since the beginning of 2020, the pandemic of the century has spread across the globe, and the work of the church seems to have been put on hiatus. Nevertheless, at the same time, there has been a great awakening concerning the commission of the gospel. In view of this fact, and with the pandemic subsiding, Brother Horng Lin of the local church gave an interview on June 5th to discuss the church’s gospel commission and strategy.
“From the perspective of history, changes in the world situation are often great opportunities for the Gospel!” said Brother Horng Lin. He went on to explain that the historical events of the early 1990s; including the dissolution of the USSR, the collapse of the Berlin wall and the first Persian Gulf War, in which Iraq was defeated within 100 hours; had a major impact on Europe. At that time, Brother Witness Lee, a servant of the Lord, gave a message in which he declared, “The World Situation as the Indicator of God’s Move on Earth!” This word is a great reminder for the church today; the entirety of the changes in the world situation is all for the propagation of the gospel.
At the time of Brother Lee’s speaking, the coworkers in the USA were the first to migrate to propagate the gospel in Russia. Beginning in 1993, approximately 200 young co-workers from Taiwan also went there, in wave after wave, until nearly 200 localities were established in Russia. Additionally, in 2000, the church called for coworkers to migrate to Europe. To date, 100 localities have been established in Europe. Following this came the propagation of the gospel in Africa, where well over 100 localities have been raised up. This migration and move of the gospel continues today.
Brother Horng Lin also stated that for the church, the direction of gospel preaching always follows the shifts in the world situation, in the light of God’s intention, as the church strives to complete the great commission of God. With the current situation of the pandemic this year, it is clear that the world situation is undergoing another great shift. According to Revelation chapter 6, beginning from Christ’s ascension and unto the Lord’s return, the Bible reveals a four-horse race; with the white horse, the red horse, the black horse and the pale horse. The white horse signifies the victory of the gospel, and the other three horses represent war, famine, and death, respectively. Our brother emphasized that death is closely associated with pestilence. The impact of the current outbreak of COVID-19 has not been merely local, but has become global. By the Lord’s mercy, due to the experience with SARS, Taiwan has been the most preserved place in the world, with little impact from COVID-19.
“The most preserved place bears the greatest responsibility!” Brother Horng Lin declared strongly. He explained that the pandemic has truly changed the global situation. There are some experts who predict that the global economy will decline during the next decade. This situation, along with the current social unrest in the United States, constitute a climate of change which is an opportunity for the gospel. When the church coworkers met last week, they prayed earnestly concerning these changes in the world situation, seeking God’s heart’s desire; and had thorough fellowship. In short, the brothers felt that this year would be a year of horn-blowing, reminding all the saints of Matthew 24:14; “And this gospel of the kingdom will be preached in the whole inhabited earth for a testimony to all the nations, and then the end will come.” Brother Horng Lin pointed out that the preaching of the gospel of the kingdom is God’s up-to-date commission for the saints. Beginning with the situation in 1991 until today, the churches throughout Taiwan have become richer, the saints have become more mature in life, and the coworkers have had more experiences. “Now is the time for Taiwan to rise up and head out!” he said.
Brother Horng Lin explained that the propagation of the church this time will not be a matter of the coworkers visiting other cultures to preach, as in Acts 13, but rather should be accomplished through the migration of the saints as in Acts 8. This type of gospel preaching is stronger and has greater impact. Throughout history, he said, migration for the gospel has been accomplished in three ways. First, there has been scattering by persecution. Second, there have been migrations of people due to the colonialism of strong nations.
The third means of migration is through true commission, by the saints and the churches receiving a burden to go. The coworkers all felt that this year is the time to receive the burden to preach the gospel of the kingdom all over the earth. In the past, everything has been done by sending the coworkers out; but this year, there will be a great horn-blowing to call the saints to migrate to Europe, Africa, and the rest of Asia. This will involve a great change in direction, with experienced coworkers leading the saints to migrate and propagate.
“Starting this year, we expect that one percent of the saints in Taiwan can migrate, and then we can slowly increase this number to ten percent,” Brother Horng Lin said. He explained that although this will not be an easy work, the Lord will be faithful to accomplish it. Beginning this year, the coworkers will start to lead the saints to migrate out of their familiar culture to preach. He said that very soon, three experienced coworkers will be ready to be sent to France, Germany, and Ukraine. May these preaching coworkers receive a greater burden, and be enabled to lead the saints in all the details of migration; obtaining a visa, learning how to fit into the local culture, etc. Brother Horng Lin said that the coworkers must become channels to lead the saints to migrate. This will lead to a migration that is broader and stronger than having only the coworkers do all the work.
So far, all the localities in Taiwan have been assigned migration destinations. The localities of Kaohsiung, Pingtung, and Penghu are to migrate to Sri Lanka in South Asia; the localities of Yunlin, Chiayi, and Tainan are assigned to France; the localities of Taichung, Changhua, and Nantou will go Laos and Thailand; and the localities of Taoyuan, Hsinchu, and Miaoli are assigned to India. Currently there are approximately 200 churches in India. The Church in New Taipei City will migrate to Vietnam, the Church in Taipei to Germany, Myanmar, and Cambodia; and the localities of Keelung, Yilan, Hualian and Taitung will go to Ukraine.
Brother Horng Lin said that the church has also considered the need for migration and propagation within Taiwan, which has six metropolises, three cities, and 198 villages and towns, for a total of 207 jurisdictions. So far, 126 churches have been raised up in these places, and 81 of them have no church life. Although most of these are in remote areas, they still need strengthening, so migration will be required within the island, not just overseas.
According to Brother Horng Lin, beginning in July, there will be a call in all the big and small meetings of the church, as well as in the young people’s conference, for the saints to migrate to propagate the gospel of the kingdom. “All the saints will be encouraged to migrate,” he said, “to go out around the globe, just like the virgins in Matthew 25, going forth to meet the Bridegroom.”