top of page

People Group Lists as a prophetic challenge, rather than a directive checklist.

Text by 

It seems obvious (to me, at any rate) that it is illogical to use people groups as a directive checklist for the remaining task.

If they are a checklist, then it might be possible to know “the day and the hour” of Jesus’ return (when the last box is checked), which Jesus said wasn’t possible. Further, some languages have been lost to history (and are even in the process of being lost right now), so what about them? A third factor: how does one reconcile a theology about infant deaths (both in utero and before the “age of accountability”) with the idea of “a remnant of every people group before the throne”? Finally, Revelation 7:9 speaks of more than just ethne before the throne.

People group lists are awfully hard to use as directive checklists for other reasons, too. First, it’s hard to know whether a people group is engaged or reached because the knowledge of Western researchers (who are the typical global list-makers and list-keepers) about what’s going on in some of these regions is often scanty. Additionally, how different groups make lists or view lists can be very different. Finally, why should Western workers tell non-Western workers where God is calling them to work?

I think, instead, we should look at people group lists as prophetic calls reminding the church of God’s heart: for every corner of the world to be saturated with his glory, for no individual to be left untouched by Good News due to some barrier of culture or language. “Here are some groups which, to the best of our knowledge, have no access to the gospel,” we should be saying. “If that is true—what should we, the Body of Christ, as brothers and sisters of the Lord, be doing about this? How will we line ourselves up with his heart?”

what should we be doing about this??

Text by

4 views0 comments

Recent Posts

See All


bottom of page