Global Missiology English, Vol 2, No 15 (2018)

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Toward a Biblical Understanding of Finishing the Task

Michael T. Cooper


In today’s world, there are 196 nations depending on how you divide a couple of countries.  According to the Joshua Project, there are more than 16,300 cultural-ethno-linguistic people distinct in religion, caste, and/or culture. These 16,300 are sometimes double counted because one people group could be in two or more countries.  Taking this into consideration, the Joshua Project estimates that there are 9,800 distinct people groups in the world today.  An estimated 7,000 are still considered unreached and nearly 20 percent of these groups are considered unengaged by any attempt to reach them with the gospel.  This article suggests that a clear understanding of three biblical texts will add in motivating modern missionary efforts to focus attention on fulfilling the Great Commission.  After all, it is not so much a task that needs to be accomplished as it is the recognition that God is being deprived of worship by more than 1,300 distinct ethnic populations.