The social pundits of our day are under the impression that they developed the concept of globalization; but they don’t seem to realize the Bible taught that concept more than 2,000 years ago. The church has always been an international enterprise established by a Savior who died for the entire world.
It is true, though, that the actual word “globalization” wasn’t in our vocabulary until 1930, when it was coined to describe international efforts in education. Today the concept of globalization is the driving force in industry, finance, health policy, language acquisition, and geopolitics.
Doctors tell us that an infection in one remote corner of the globe can literally hop on a plane—undetected by scanning devices or human eyes—and infect the world (as we have seen with the recent Ebola outbreaks).
Scientists tell us that air and water pollution caused by a single city or country affects everyone on earth. Smog, after all, doesn’t respect national boundaries.
Athletes tell us that the best sports are those that capture the interest of fans in every country on earth, which is why soccer’s ultimate championship series is called the World Cup and baseball’s race for the pennant is called the World Series.
Lawyers tell us that an ultimate system of maintaining justice in the world depends on the development of international criminal courts and tribunals and on global administrative law.
Financial experts tell us that what happens to the economy of Greece or Spain can tip over into other countries like a runaway series of falling dominos, potentially plunging the world into global depression.
Diplomats yearn for some kind of one-world government that will regulate the relationships among the nations, fight terrorism, and keep the world’s balance of power in check.
Perhaps the one thing that has increased our sense of globalization more than anything else has been our efforts in outer space. We can see the globe for what it is—a small speck in the heavens. It provided the realization that we share this earth with many other peoples and nations—making our world seem smaller and more connected.
The Original Global Thinker
Yes, the pundits of the world think that globalization is their invention. But claiming the world isn’t a new concept, and it wasn’t invented by educators, scientists, or financiers—Jesus Christ was the original global thinker. Though He was born in a small town and never traveled far from His national borders, His intent was to change this planet. Though He was a regional evangelist who met an “untimely” end—or so it seemed—He died for the entire world. And when He rose again He told His disciples to go to all the world and make disciples with the message of His Gospel.
Our Lord wasn’t a small thinker. Long before communication satellites, fiber optics, digital broadband, mass marketing, social media, and cell phones, He was thinking global communications. “You shall receive power when the Holy Spirit has come upon you,” He told His followers, “and you shall be witnesses to Me in Jerusalem, and in all Judea and Samaria, and to the end of the earth” (Acts 1:8).
Evangelism experts tell us there are nearly 16,000 different “people groups” in the world, and about 6,500 of them are still unreached. Efforts are in progress to pierce many of them with the love of Christ, but some are difficult to penetrate due to cultural blockades (especially in areas under Muslim domination). We have the call and the opportunity to reach “into the uttermost parts of the earth and preach the Gospel,” using the technology that is available to us today and through translation of the Bible and teaching materials into language groups that have not heard the Good News proclaimed. If the Lord tarries, just imagine where the Gospel will reach in the coming years! Be a global thinker—pray for the people groups around the world that need to hear the Gospel—and reach out to those in your own neighborhood and your sphere of influence with God’s wonderful plan of salvation through faith in Jesus Christ.
Dr. Jeremiah is the founder of Turning Point for God, and serves as Senior Pastor of Shadow Mountain Community Church in El Cajon, California. For more information about Turning Point go to www.DavidJeremiah.org
 Quoted in The Hand of God: Thoughts and Images Reflecting the Spirit of the Universe, introduction by Sharon Begley, edited by Michael Reagan (Philadelphia and London: Templeton Foundation Press, 1999), 158.
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