Reason For Intense Hope

When Simon Peter confessed Jesus as “the Christ, the Son of the Living God,” Jesus replied, “Blessed are you Simon son of Jonah, for this was not revealed to you by man, but by my Father in heaven. And I tell you that you are Peter, and on this rock I will build my church, and the gates of Hades will not overcome it. I will give you the keys of the kingdom of heaven, whatever you bind on earth will be bound in heaven, and whatever you loose on earth will be loosed in heaven” (Matthew 16:16-19).

Those words of Jesus are coming true. He is building His church and nothing is overcoming it–not persecution, not powers, not principalities.

God is at work creating a people for Himself made up of “every tribe and language and people and nation” (Revelation 5:10).

This is something of what that looks like.

  • In 1900 Korea had no Protestant church. Today, there are over 7,000 churches in just the city of Seoul, South Korea.
  • At the end of the 19th century, the southern portion of Africa was only 3 percent Christian. Today, 63 percent of the population is Christian, while membership in the churches in Africa is increasing by 34,000 people per day.
  • In India, 14 million of the 140 million members of the “untouchable” caste have become Christians.
  • More people in the Islamic world have come to Christ in the last 25 years than in the entire history of Christian missions.
  • In Islamic Indonesia, the percentage of Christians is now so high (around 15 percent) that the Muslim government will no longer print statistics.
  • In China, it is estimated that there are now more self-avowed disciples of Jesus than members of the Communist party. Even the most conservative estimates suggest that China will soon have more Christians than any country.
  • Across the planet, followers of Jesus are increasing by more than eighty thousand per day. This means 3333 people are being saved every hour–a pentecost every hour!
  • 510 new churches form every day.
  • Christianity is ranked the largest religion in the world today. According to the PewForum on Religion and Public Life, in 2010 there were 2.18 billion Christians around the world, nearly a third of the global population.
  • Christians and churches exist in all 238 countries.
Our work is not done, but we are not without power. We have reason to rejoice, not because of who we are but because of who He is. May God be praised.

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Sources: Global Research of the International Mission Board, Center for the Study of Global Christianity at Gordon-Conwell Theological Seminary, Pew Forum Global Christianity: A Report on the Size and Distribution of the World’s Christian Population… Project of the Pew Research Center 
Daniel Meyer, Witness Essentials (InterVarsity Press, 2012), pp. 32-33.

One Comment


  1. Ed Matthew
    Jun 26, 2013

    AMEN!

    Perhaps it is time to look at what happens when “Great Awakenings” come and why they do not become generational, Duet:6:4. Why Christianity is on the decline in North America and Europe. Why Korea is sending Missionaries to North America. Children see the difference of saying and doing. As you frequently say: one sees things differently when the something affects the “me.”

    Paul knew when he wrote that when Christians stand together, as God designed, would be an earthly power the “Gates of Hell would not prevail against” now as well as in eternity. Romans 12:5, etc. There would be no more stonings of Stevens or hangings of Bonhoeffers. Christ is in the midst of His. Romans 12:5

    Blessings

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I am the senior pastor of First Baptist Church, Covington, Louisiana, a position that I have held since 1989.

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And so we know and rely on the love God has for us. God is love. Whoever lives in love lives in God, and God in them. — 1 John 4:16 (NIV)