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According to estimates from the US Center for World Missions, 90% of nearly 300 thousand Protestant missionaries currently labor outside of the regions where 90% of unreached people groups live. What could account for such a grossly disproportionate focus? Why such a great imbalance? The answer is not mysterious. Those regions are often dangerous and uncomfortable, and the people often hostile and unresponsive. According to the Bible this is to be expected; according to the church this is to be avoided. During centuries of relative affluence and ease in the Western church, a false theological scaffolding has been erected that assures us we can secure an existence far above the harsh resistance that was both experienced and promised by the Lamb and His apostles. God, we imagine, will surely protect us from such peril and would surely never ask us to choose such risks.

The glory of Jesus will never be the joyful anthem of every tribe and tongue if this fantasy persists. This great imbalance will be corrected and the Great Comission advanced only when a generation of prospective missionaries beholds the splendor of Jesus and concludes that such risks are right and wise in light of His surpassing worth. The scaffolding that has kept missionaries perched out of harm's way, at a safe distance from the tumultuous frey of suffering, has kept them out of the nations most desperately in need of a witness. ACTS Research is committed to relentlessly establishing the biblical veractiy of God's design for sacrifice in accomplishing His mission. 

A New Normal?

Next year I will turn forty. Aging and all that it brings with it is a surreal experience and I find it hard to figure out how I got here. Yet I find myself thinking much more about the next ten years of life than the previous decade. I wonder what they will bring. What will change? What things will remain? What can I expect to lie on the horizon for me and my precious family? These are where my thoughts drift as I look toward the close of my thirties.

Missions and Martyrdom

February 17, 2016 By Dalton Thomas in The Fellowship of Suffering

Inasmuch as the call to martyrdom is integral to the Gospel, it is likewise indispensable to the task of global missions. The theology of martyrdom is not just a personal discipleship issue; it is a Great Commission issue. As Christ-followers, we must faithfully and consistently speak of it as such, especially with regard to the daunting task of global evangelization in an increasingly hostile season of history. The “blood of the martyrs is seed” that must be sown in the field of the nations before salvation springs up from the ground.1

Keeping Hope Alive

November 11, 2015 By Luke Wood in Pilgrims and Strangers

In Luke 22:14-20 we see Jesus meeting with His disciples for the last time before His crucifixion. It was during this ‘Last Supper’ that Jesus commanded His friends to continue meeting together to celebrate and remember what we now call the ‘Eucharist.’ The wine was given to represent Jesus’ blood that was to be shed and the bread was given to represent Jesus’ body that was to be broken.

Total Surrender

October 28, 2015 By Daniel Hoogteijling in Costly Discipleship

The world's ultimate weapon is killing. Our ultimate weapon is dying. When James Calvert went out as a missionary to the cannibals of the Fiji Islands in the 1800's, the ship captain tried to turn him back, saying 'you will lose your life and the lives of those with you if you go among such savages.' To that, Calvert replied, 'we died before we came here.'

Risk is Right

October 26, 2015 By Brian Kim in Costly Discipleship

If the world hates you, you know that it hated Me before it hated you. If you were of the world, the world would love its own. Yet because you are not of the world, but I chose you out of the world, therefore the world hates you. Remember the word that I said to you, “A servant is not greater than his master.” If they persecuted Me, they will also persecute you. If they kept My word, they will keep yours also. But all these things they will do to you for My name’s sake, because they do not know Him who sent Me. John 15:18-21

The Ancient Dream

July 28, 2015 By Brian Kim in Pilgrims and Strangers

Most of us, even us followers of Jesus, live lives of boredom, unfulfillment, intimidation, and resignation to mediocrity. Inherently we long to live lives of adventure, lives that make a lasting impact on the earth, lives that count in eternity. Yet too many of us remain heroes only in our own imaginations. We never take the next step of faith that leads to this glorious adventure, the promise of abundant life, courageous love, and pilgrim faith.

Fight the Good Fight

July 23, 2015 By Luke Wood in Pilgrims and Strangers

Young boys daydream of battles fought and won all of their life. As a child, I regarded bloody conflicts and epic battles as something buried in the past, antiquated and distant, written on the pages of a bygone era. Yet there is something profoundly enlightening about carrying a wartime mentality in everyday life. A man whose country is on the brink of war behaves much differently in his day to day activities than a man who is surrounded by peace and safety. This has caused me to consider my grandfather's generation, a generation raised against the backdrop of war.

Hope and Joy

Our joy is inextricably tied to our hope. Whatever we have set our hope upon ultimately becomes a source of deep rejoicing in our lives. At times this is in the anticipation of the thing hoped for, at others it is in experiencing the actual substance of the thing hoped for. The betrothed bride hopes in the day of her wedding, but begins to drink of the joy of that day even in the waiting through her certain expectation of what is to come.

He Has Been Enough

The fire of my convictions concerning the issue of martyrdom was kindled soon after my conversion. By studying its place in the New Testament, Church history, and biblical prophecy, those convictions have grown stronger with every passing year. But it wasn't until I read a statement by Amy Carmichael (1867-1951) that I felt I needed to commit my convictions to paper and openly beckon a generation to embrace them as their own.