ICR, Prophecy, and the International Gospel
by Henry Morris, Ph.D.
There was an amazing prophecy left by the Lord Jesus Christ as He spoke on the Mount of Olives shortly before His arrest and crucifixion. In response to His disciples' question: "When shall these things be?" concerning the end of the age, the Lord's reply included these words: "And this gospel of the kingdom shall be preached in all the world for a witness unto all nations; and then shall the end come" (Matthew 24:3, 14).
He later commanded His disciples to go "into all the world, and preach the gospel to every creature" (Mark 16:15). That was a command but it must have seemed impossible for them even to try to obey such a commission. How could a small motley group of followers of an itinerant preacher in the obscure nation of Judea expect to witness to all nations in the whole world about His teachings and get people to believe the incredible story of His death and resurrection?
But they have! This Great Commission was not only a command but an amazingly fulfilled prophecy! All major nations have received that witness and multitudes have been converted.
The end has not yet come, however. Not only have thousands of missionaries gone out covering all nations (it would seem), but the gospel has been preached everywhere by radio, movies, literature, and even the internet. A number of small jungle tribes do not yet have an established witness (Wycliffe Bible Translators and others are trying), but some individuals even there have received some kind of gospel testimony. Surely the end is coming soon!
But there is one question. Is the gospel that is being preached in all the world really the complete gospel? The Bible indicates that the gospel ("good news") includes the full scope of the person and work of the Lord Jesus Christ—past, present, and future—not just His atoning death and resurrection; but also His works of creation and consummation.
In fact, the final and climactic reference in the Bible to the gospel calls it "the everlasting gospel" which an angel from heaven will be preaching "to every nation, and kindred, and tongue, and people," with its main thrust being to call people on Earth to "worship Him that made heaven, and earth, and the sea, and the fountains of waters" (Revelation 14:6-7).
Thus, the very foundation of the saving gospel of Christ is creation! The Lord Jesus created all things, and that very fact made it possible for Him also to redeem all things and become our Savior. One should study the great Christ-centered passage of Colossians 1:3-23 for full comprehension of this great truth.
But the sad fact is that a number of missionary agencies, as well as seminaries, denominations, publishers, and radio outreaches have felt it expedient to compromise with theistic evolutionism or progressive creationism in their presentation of the gospel. So the question remains: Is the real gospel or a diluted gospel being preached to the world's nations? Missionaries and evangelists need to realize that any acceptance of the alleged geological ages (the very infrastructure of evolutionism) must deny the Biblical fact that human sin brought death into the world and thereby must undermine the true gospel.
All of this surely warrants the present international extension of Biblical creationism. For example, our ICR ministries have included books translated into many languages, meetings held in many countries, and radio broadcasts covering much of the world.
As far as book translations are concerned, a list I have tried to compile (and I may have missed some, since none of these are actually published by ICR), out of the 125+ creationist books by ICR writers, at least 50 titles have been translated into at least one non-English language. One or more ICR books have been printed in at least 22 different languages. There are 16 titles in Spanish, 15 in German, 13 in Chinese, 11 in Russian, 9 in Korean, and so on.
Three Muslim countries—Turkey, Indonesia, and Arabia—have one or more ICR books in their respective languages. Other languages with two or more ICR book translations include French, Portuguese, Dutch, Japanese, Italian, Czech, Greek, and Hebrew. Finally, there is at least one each in Swedish, Romanian, Bulgarian, Danish, Hungarian, and Thai.
Dr. Gish's booklet Have You Been Brainwashed? has been translated into no less than 12 languages. My own Scientific Creationism takes second place with 7 translations. Of the larger books, The Genesis Flood is in German, Spanish, and Korean and The Biblical Basis for Modern Science in Russian and Korean. Probably the most ambitious project was translation and publication of The Defender's Study Bible in Chinese.
As far as personal ministries teaching the gospel of creation in non-English speaking nations are concerned, I was probably the first to attempt this, with a week of meetings in Mexico City back in 1969. Altogether, I have spoken in at least 10 other countries. However, Dr. Gish has given creation messages in at least 40 other nations, including Japan, India, South Africa, Brazil (at least three tours), and most all of the nations of South America, Central America, and the Caribbean Islands. Dr. John Morris has had ministries in Communist China, Russia, Turkey, and several others, and each of the ICR science faculty has ministered in one or more other nations.
And there is the radio outreach! At least one of our three programs (the 15-minute weekly "Science, Scripture, & Salvation" broadcast plus the daily one-minute "Back to Genesis" program, available in both English and Spanish) are now reaching a total of 45 countries.
These include not only all the major English-speaking nations (England, Australia, Canada, New Zealand), but practically all the Spanish-speaking countries of South and Central America (plus Spain itself), and at least nine African nations. The latter receive the "Science, Scripture, & Salvation" programs mainly through the efforts of Joshua Gilbert, an enthusiastic creationist in South Africa. In all, these programs are being carried through some 300 foreign radio stations.
In addition, the English programs are being carried on a number of short-wave networks whose outreach is practically worldwide. Thus, at least in a limited way, the creation component of the gospel is being carried to the uttermost parts of the Earth, as the Lord prophesied!
Of course, ICR is not the only creationist ministry. A number of others also are involved in creation missionary evangelism. In fact, since ICR was established back in 1970 (and the Creation Research Society and Bible Science Association even earlier in 1963), national creationist organizations have been formed in Australia, New Zealand, Canada, Korea, India, Netherlands, Germany, France, Norway, and a number of other countries. The creation message is getting around!
We need also to recognize that many missionaries are creationists, even though a considerable number of mission agencies—especially among the mainline denominations, but also including many evangelical agencies—accommodate the geological ages and evolution in their theology. Even though these may attempt to be Biblically sound in preaching the rest of the gospel on the mission field, they perhaps unconsciously undermine it by neglecting or even negating creation as its foundation. Many others do teach literal creation, however, especially those trying to minister to unreached tribal groups. The latter have often come to realize that the best way to win people to true saving faith in the person and work of Christ is to stress His foundational work of special creation of all things, in the beginning.
In any case, a witness to true creation is indeed getting out to all the world, and ICR is having a significant part in this outreach. The Lord Jesus has said that "this gospel shall be preached in all the world for a witness to all nations" and that when this is accomplished "the end" would come.
There may be one further problem, however—the Muslim world. Although there are significant Christian minorities in many Muslim nations, especially Indonesia and Lebanon, as well as small persecuted Christian minorities in many others (Iraq, Iran, Egypt, Pakistan, etc.), the gospel is still largely unknown among the great majority of Muslims everywhere.
Yet oddly enough the Muslim "bible," the Koran, clearly teaches special creation in six literal days. One might suppose that Muslims would all naturally believe in at least that foundational component of the gospel.
They don't really believe it, however, for their "creator" is not the true God of creation, but a deceiver "god" who called himself Allah. The fact that this Allah is not the true God is evident from the fact that he claimed to have dictated the Koran to Mohammed and then also specifically denies the very existence of a Son of God, as well as His substitutionary death and bodily resurrection. Consequently in effect Muslims actually deny the gospel in all its components and are one of the hardest groups to win to the Lord.
The witness is there, however, so they are without excuse, just like anyone else who rejects or ignores the true gospel of salvation through the sacrificial death and resurrection of the only begotten Son of God, the Lord Jesus Christ.
With all this in mind, we must continue to do all we can to get this saving gospel out throughout the whole world until every tribe and ethnic group has at least received such a witness. By doing this, we shall be "hastening . . . the coming" of our Lord Jesus Christ (note 2 Peter 3:12), and thus helping to fulfill the Lord's prophetic promise.
* Dr. Henry M. Morris, 1918-2006, was Founder and President Emeritus of ICR.