We had a neat church service today. Our pastor is just back from an evangelism conference in Hong Kong with 3,000 Christian world leaders in attendance. It was thrilling to hear some of his report:
- There were representatives from 100 countries there. Of the 3,000 attendees, 1100 were from China! What does that tell you?
- God's work in India is accelerating in spite of the terrible persecution there. In 2001, 2% of the population were baptized believers; in 2005, 7%; and now it's from 10%-12%. Yay, Lord!
- In China, the number of believers has multiplied 100 times in the last 60 years. 10% of the population is now Christian, meaning 160 million. And this is largely through the underground church movement.
- The really ASTONISHING statement was the consensus of these leaders is that with the exponential growth of the spread of the gospel throughout the world, it is possible for every person on the planet to have heard the gospel within the next 10 years!! According to the Word, then Jesus can come! Let's really commit to prayer over this; even if we can't "go" and do the preaching, we can do the enormous groundwork through prayer and generous giving. I'd like to recommend the book, "Operation World" by Patrick Johnstone to use as a daily pray-for-a-country resource--it's fantastic. Tells the specific prayer needs, gives a myriad of statistics, has maps and other info. Their website has each day's country up for prayer with all sorts of links. You can view it here.
And finally, consider this wonderfully encouraging set of statistics. This tells how many believers there were in the world from 100 years after Jesus's death and resurrection to the present at key times:
- 100 A.D. 1 out of every 360 people
- 1000 A.D. 1/220
- 1500 A.D. 1/69
- 1900 A.D. 1/27
- 1950 A.D. 1/21
- 1980 A.D. 1/11
Now.......1/5 or 1/6!!
This figures to 2 1/2 billion people from 639 people groups 100,000 people or more (6500 different language groups in the world) that still haven't heard about Jesus.
We've got work to do!!