Each day more and more people the world over are coming to Christ in waves and waves. On Resurrection Sunday 3,000 were Baptized in the city of Hong Kong. As India and Burma still resist the Evangelical advance, hundreds come to accept the Blessings of the Lord Jesus daily. In Egypt, Coptic Christian numbers grow in spite of Government condoned violence toward them. Iran has seen an increase of Muslims converting to Christianity.
At the turn of the Twentieth Century, Christians in Africa, Asia and the Middle East numbered in the thousands, today they number into the Millions. Approximately 45% of Africa is Christian and this includes counting North Africa which is predominantly Muslin. The South Pacific nations show that the numbers between Asian Religions, Muslim and Animism traditions combined barely outnumber the combined Catholic and Evangelical faiths. In China, there are at best guess, 30 million Christians ( about 9% of the population). From China, the “Back to Jerusalem Movement” has begun and the Silk Road Ministry has sent out over a thousand missionaries from China to spread the gospel back west toward Israel. South Korea Christians are the most enthusiastic evangelists and there are more Korean Evangelical communities outside Korea than in and still the number of churches exceeds 1,600 in Korea.
In Latin America there are more pentacostal churches than in North America. I quote from Bruce Shelly’s book “Church History in Pain Language,” in stating that there are more Baptist Churches in the Democratic Republic of Congo than in America. The African Anglican Church is sending missionaries to the U.S.A. And the most shocking of all, there are more people in the underground churches every Sunday than in all the churches in America combined.
The question then rises; why is the Gospel on the rise everywhere but in America and Europe? The answer is in the current trend of agnosticism and anti-god approach of the science community, the “politically correct” secularist governments and the media’s fascination with “scandals” that flood our airways. “Bad News” is good press, always. So this is the “bad news” for today,…. God is Real and He is getting fed up with us! As I read the Old Testament I see that every time the Israelites wandered from the Truth and took on the ways of the “World” they faced disaster and war. As the West is turning toward a godless society, Christians the world over face persecutions, the governments in Germany, Sweden, UK, USA and Russia pass laws that restrict free expression of Christian Faith. If the trend does not turn back toward Godliness instead of godlessness, Christians, Jews and and other faiths will be hounded down and ridiculed in America as they are in the Middle East, North Africa, India and Burma.
What are you doing to protect your right of Faith? If you were charged with “crimes against the State” for being a Christian would you be convicted? Are you “guilty” of loving and “Serving the KING”? Slowly we are returning to the days of the early Church, the witnesses of Faith, the Way and the Cross are shunned by society. We are mocked by people like Stephen Hawking, Carl Sagan and others because we accept that God is real. But what are we doing about it? Very little it seems. We can start by inviting our unbelieving friends to church, we can speak openly about our faith. We can reach out toward others of Faith (outside our own small group of believers) and work together to share the Mercy, Love and Grace of Christ.
Not only are we to be better attenders of Church, we are to be better retainers of God’s Good News! “Count as JOY, my brothers, when you meet trails of various kinds, for you KNOW that the testing of your FAITH produces STEADFASTNESS.” (James 1:2 ESV). “But the one who looks into the PERFECT LAW, the Law of LIBERTY, and preserves, being no hearer of the WORD but a DOER WHO ACTS, he will be blessed in his doing.” (James 1:25 ESV).”As a fellow elder, this is my appeal to you: CARE of the flock of God entrusted to you. WATCH over it willingly, not grudgingly – not for what you will get out of it, but because you are EAGER to SERVE GOD. Don’t lord over the people assigned to your care but LEAD THEM by your GOOD EXAMPLE.” (1 Peter 5:2-4 NLT) [Caps mine]. When Jesus gave the Great Commission to spread the Good News to all Nations, it wasn’t to stop until all who were willing to come to His Saving Grace were reached. Christians in America and Europe must rise up and take their place in society as leaders, examples and participants of their Faith.
Open Doors Ministry sent me a list of Remarkable Remarks made by those who live in persecuted areas. Among those were; “Christians are like nails; the harder you hit them, the deeper they go.” “All my suffering is worthwhile, even if I were to reach only one person for Christ.” “We are soldiers under the banner of Jesus Christ in a spiritual battle. We can only advance and never retreat.” Are we game enough to defend our Faith with the actions worthy of Jesus? Let us begin with a prayerful attitude and commune with Our Father in heaven to open our hearts, voices and our wills to serve the Lord of Creation and His Beloved son, Jesus with the Spirit of the Most High to guide us.