And Jesus came and said to them, “All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to me. Go therefore and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, teaching them to observe all that I have commanded you. And behold, I am with you always, to the end of the age.”
Whenever the subject of Gospel outreach to the nations is mentioned, Japan has a long standing position of being “hard to reach”, “hard ground”. But history has it; there was a time Christian populations were thriving.
In Asia, there is another people group that shared a similar spiritual history with Japan with regards to the Gospel of Jesus Christ. Both nations went through the same pattern of Christian popularity, and later subjected to state persecution and blood-shed.
Between Tibet and Japan, Christianity among the Tibetans faced near extinction which was devastating for the Gospel, whereas Japan stood at less than 1% for a long time.
I have reason to believe why God brought me from Tibet to Japan.
I have learned the Gospel message to the Tibetans will not be complete apart from the Japanese. Means to say Gospel messengers to Japan need to understand what is happening in Tibet and like-wise Gospel messengers to Tibet need to understand what is happening in Japan.
What is the basis of my point?
Between Tibet and Japan, they share a common spiritual root
Missionaries involved in church-planting, in particular within the 10-40 windows should understand that there are very real “spiritual entities” holding back the locals in their own beliefs. These are the very reasons why certain places are highly resistant against the Gospel message.
(2 Corinthians 4:3-4) – And even if our gospel is veiled, it is veiled to those who are perishing. In their case the god of this world has blinded the minds of the unbelievers, to keep them from seeing the light of the gospel of the glory of Christ, who is the image of God.
Church-planting is spiritual, and therefore we need to engage “spiritual entities” first and foremost through prayers and fasting.
Outside Japan, a lot of foreigners are praying for Japan, but inside Japan most of Japanese churches are not praying!
In my previous immediate post “Why so few born-again Christians in Japan”, I already point out a factual situation on the ground where most of local churches isolated themselves from engaging in the fulfillment of the Great Commission, therefore there have been very limited prayers among the locals themselves for revival in the land!
Every revival and every church-planting need to be started through prayers and God answering specific prayers –
23 When they were released, they went to their friends and reported what the chief priests and the elders had said to them. 24 And when they heard it, they lifted their voices together to God and said, “Sovereign Lord, who made the heaven and the earth and the sea and everything in them, 25 who through the mouth of our father David, your servant, said by the Holy Spirit,
“‘Why did the Gentiles rage, and the peoples plot in vain?
26 The kings of the earth set themselves, and the rulers were gathered together, against the Lord and against his Anointed’—
27 for truly in this city there were gathered together against your holy servant Jesus, whom you anointed, both Herod and Pontius Pilate, along with the Gentiles and the peoples of Israel, 28 to do whatever your hand and your plan had predestined to take place. 29 And now, Lord, look upon their threats and grant to your servants to continue to speak your word with all boldness, 30 while you stretch out your hand to heal, and signs and wonders are performed through the name of your holy servant Jesus.” 31 And when they had prayed, the place in which they were gathered together was shaken, and they were all filled with the Holy Spirit and continued to speak the word of God with boldness.
This is how we need to pray for revival, Gospel outreach and church-plating.
I first visited Lhasa, Central Tibet back in 2004. And in those days every foreign teams I was in contact with had the same concern and question “are there any known Christian up there on the root top of the world? Any known established fellowship and church there?”
We already know the answer.
Today the situation on the ground is very different and we know God is moving and hearts and minds are open, disciples are made and leaders are raised among the Tibetans.
Why such breakthrough in Tibet but not yet in Japan?
Prayers, more prayers, non-stop prayers, persistent prayers …
Prayers are acts of faith …
The Japanese Christians themselves need to get involves in this.
I mentioned earlier
Between Tibet and Japan, they share a common spiritual root
Local Japanese know that but most of foreign missionaries missed it or are not informed.
The current 14th Dalai Lama Tenzin Gyatso has long standing close relationship with key spiritual leaders of Japan.
Both sides of the spiritual orders have access to the same Sanskrit among other texts.
Both nations are in the same season of passing their spiritual leadership to the next.
But we know who is the best and ultimate spiritual leader –
(John 14:6) – Jesus said to him, “I am the way, and the truth, and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me.
We need the Japanese churches to carry this message to their own Japanese people.
(2 Corinthians 4:5-6)
For what we proclaim is not ourselves, but Jesus Christ as Lord, with ourselves as your servants for Jesus’ sake. For God, who said, “Let light shine out of darkness,” has shone in our hearts to give the light of the knowledge of the glory of God in the face of Jesus Christ.
5 私たちは、自分のことを宣伝しているのではありません。主であるキリスト・イエスを宣べ伝えているのです。私たちはただ、イエスが私たちのために成し遂げてくださったことを知ったので、あなたがたに仕える者となっただけです。 6 「闇の中に光が輝け」と言われた神様が、私たちに、イエス・キリストの御顔に輝いている、神の栄光の輝きを理解させてくださったからです。
We want revival and we went the people to open their hearts and minds to Jesus, but we need to pray. Because if we don’t, God cannot answer what we don’t ask for!
Foreigners praying are not enough; the Japanese Christians need to do it!
Do not be surprise if God brings about a duo revival between these two nations.