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Sermon No: 281-The Kingdom of God - Part 7C - Every nation



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SERMON TOPIC: The Kingdom of God - Part 7C - Every nation, tribe, people and language

Speaker: Gavin Paynter

Language: ENGLISH

Date: 23 August 2009

Topic Groups: PROPHECY, KINGDOM OF GOD, PARABLES

Sermon synopsis: We saw how the Church of the Laodiceans represents the 7th and last Church. However there is a flip side to the coin as well!
This study looks at the 20th & 21st Century Church.
(A) The Success of Christianity
- Success of missions & evangelism
- Shift in centre of gravity to the undeveloped world
- Rise & phenomenal growth of Pentecostalism
- Phenomenal increase in Scripture languages
(B) Challenges
- Last languages (Every tongue)
- Increase in persecution
- Every nation, every people
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The 7 parables of

the kingdom - Part 7C

The 7 Church Ages

No.

PARABLE

+/ - PERIOD

CHURCH AGE

1

The Sower

AD 30 – 100

Apostolic Church

2

The Wheat and Weeds

AD 100 – 300

Persecuted Church

3

The Mustard Seed

AD 300 – 600

State Church (Constantine)

4

The Leaven

AD 600 – 1500

Papal Church (Roman Catholic)

5

The Hidden Treasure

AD 1500 – 1700

Reformation Church (Protestant)

6

The Pearl of Great Price

AD 1700 – 1900

Missionary Church

7

The Dragnet

AD 1900 –

Apostate Church

Jesus taught 7 consecutive ‘kingdom’ parables in Matthew 13. The parables, if understood, reveal the “knowledge of the secrets of the kingdom of heaven” (Matt 13:11). The 7 parables refer to 7 church ages. Like the other kingdom parables, the Dragnet parable also represents a period in Church history from approximately AD 1900 onwards, which can be classified as the “Apostate Church”.

Laodicea

The 7 parables of Matthew 13 have a parallel with the 7 churches of Revelation 2 and 3.

We saw how the Church of the Laodiceans represents the 7th and last Church. It is the state of lukewarmness, indifference, materialism and apostasy which characterizes the Western Church today.

However there is a flip side to the coin as well!

Success of Christianity

Success of missions & evangelism

Shift in centre of gravity to the undeveloped world

Rise & phenomenal growth of Pentecostalism

Phenomenal increase in Scripture languages

Challenges

Last languages (Every tongue)

Increase in persecution

Every nation, every people

20th & 21st Century Church A Few Prominent Trends

Success of

Missions &

evangelism

Century

% Christian

Non-white

White

Evangelization of world

Scripture

Languages

1st

0.6%

70%

30%

28%

6

2nd

3.5%

68%

32%

32%

7

3rd

10.4%

66.4%

33.6%

35%

10

4th

18.6%

64%

36%

39%

11

5th

22.4%

61.9%

38.1%

42%

13

6th

24%

59%

41%

39%

14

7th

23.8%

55%

45%

35%

14

8th

22.5%

51%

49%

31%

15

9th

20.8%

55%

45%

28%

16

10th

18.7%

39%

61%

25%

17

11th

18.8%

37%

63%

25.5%

19

12th

19.4%

35.7%

64.3%

26%

22

13th

23.9%

34%

66%

27%

26

Church growth

Century

% Christian

Non-white

White

Evangelization of world

Scripture languages

14th

24%

25%

75%

27%

30

15th

19%

7.4%

92.6%

21%

34

16th

18.9%

14%

86%

23%

36

17th

22.3%

15.9%

84.1%

25.2%

52

18th

23.1%

13.5%

86.5%

27.2%

67

19th

34.4%

19%

81%

51.3%

537

20th

33%

59%

41%

72%

1500

We see the effectiveness of Protestant mission work in the 19th & 20th centuries in the % Christian and evangelization of the world.

Missions have reached virtually every region of the world.

100,000 new Christians every day.

4,500 new congregations every week.

1 Graph source (1st – 19th Cent): David Barrett

Success of missions & evangelism

Christianity is the largest religion in the world. There are about 2.1 billion 1 professing Christians, about 33% of world population.

1 Source: David B. Barrett (ed.). World Christian Encyclopedia (New York: Oxford University Press, 2001);

2 Source (table): Encyclopedia Britannica; Adherents.com

Rank

Religion

Members

Percentage

1.

Christianity

2.1 billion

33.0%

2.

Islam

1.3 billion

20.1

3.

Hinduism

851 million

13.3

4.

Buddhism

375 million

5.9

Top 4 Organized Religions

Success of missions & evangelism

Spread of the major religions

Source: Wikipedia

Buddhism - regional Islam - regional

Hinduism - regional Christianity – most widespread

Christians by continent

227 million

20 million

427 million

350 million

300 million

123 million

410 million

Noah prophesied “Blessed be the LORD, the God of Shem! … May God extend the territory of Japheth; may Japheth live in the tents of Shem…” (Gen 9:26-27)

Much of the spread of Christianity is due to the embracing of Christianity (the God of Shem) by Japheth, 1 the large territory of Japheth & the territorial colonization of the Europeans.

1 Japheth is generally regarded as the father of the Indo-European (Caucasian) people. Opinion is divided on the Chinese origins (Japhetic, Hamitic or Semitic) 2 Graph source: Wikipedia

Distribution of the major religions

Shift to the

undeveloped

world

The most remarkable change in 20th century Christianity is the rapid growth of Christianity in Africa and Asia. The Christian centre of gravity has shifted from the West to the South & East.

The church in the non-Western world is growing fast while the church in the West is decreasing.

The church is changing

The South & East: The new faces of Evangelical Christianity

Source: Todd M. Johnson, Ph.D., Director, Center for the Study of Global Christianity, Gordon-Conwell Theological Seminary Prepared for the Pew Forum on Religion & Public Life

Having been 80% Western (Europe & NA) 100 years ago, the Church is now 60% non-Western. The decline has mainly been in Europe.

The church is changing

In 1900, Christians in Europe constituted 68% of all the Christians in the world, and those in North America, 14%. This means that 4 out of 5 Christians in the world were in these 2 continents. On the contrary, Christians in Africa constituted only 2%, and those in Asia, 4%. 1

In 2000, however, Christians in Europe shrank into 28% of all Christians, and those in North America, 13%. But Christians in Africa noticeably increased into 18%, and those in Asia, 16%. The proportion of Latin American Christians to the world Christians increased from 11% to 24%. 1

1 www.kmctimes.com

2000

1900

The church is changing

Source: Todd M. Johnson, Ph.D., Director, Center for the Study of Global Christianity, Gordon-Conwell Theological Seminary

For the first time in centuries, non-white Christians exceed white Christians. Asian Christians already outnumber North American plus Oceanian Christians.

Decline of church attendance has become marked in much of the Western world. The percentage of nominal Christians in the West is undoubtedly much higher than in the South & East.

The church is changing

True Christianity has grown by more than 300 million believers in the past 10 years. About 10 million (3%) of these new Christians are from North America and Europe. The rest, 290 million (97%) are from developing countries like Nigeria, Brazil, India and China.

Much of the claimed growth in Western churches is simply transfer growth i.e. growth not due to reaching the unconverted, but simply “sheep-stealing”.

From 1900 to 2000, the proportion of professing Christians to the population in Europe decreased from 95% to 76%, and in North America, from 97% to 83%.

The cause of the decline can be attributed to:

Secularization due to the influence of humanism

Evolutionary brainwashing in public schools

Materialism & consumerism

The infiltration of higher criticism in the churches

On the other hand, during the same period, in Africa, the proportion of Christians to the population increased from 9% to 46%, and in Asia, from 2% to 9%. 1

According to Bryant L.Meyers, over half the Christians live in the Two-thirds World and nearly 70% of the all evangelical Christians live in the non-Western world.

Shift to the undeveloped world

Protestant Missions Impact

Percentage of Protestants in the world who live in Asia, Africa, and Latin America

Source: Paul E. Pierson

77% in 2005

10% in 1900

1% in 1800

Source: Todd M. Johnson, Ph.D., Director, Center for the Study of Global Christianity, Gordon-Conwell Theological Seminary

By 2005 only one European nation remained in the Top 10, while there are 3 Asian, 2 African and 2 Latin American nations.

Top 10 Christian countries, 1900 - 2005

According to a study of about 188 countries throughout the world, during the 100 years from 1900 to 2000, Christianity declined in the countries which have high level of economy, and prospered in the ones which have low level of economy. In other words, Christianity faded in advanced countries which have high level of income per capita, and thrived in developing or under-developed counties which have low level of income per capita. With respect to social wellbeing, Christianity declined in the so called wellbeing countries that have low level of illiteracy and the better conditions for long, healthy and enjoyable life. 1

Isn’t it sad that people forget God when they have full stomachs, are comfortable and become socially equal?

Prov 30:8-9 … give me neither poverty nor riches, but give me only my daily bread. Otherwise, I may have too much and disown you and say, ‘Who is the LORD?’ …

1 SOURCE: Lee, Won-Gue. Ingan-gwa-Jonggyo (Man and Religion) (Nanam: 2006)

Full stomachs & comfort

With the communist takeover of China, Gladys Aylward and other missionaries had to leave. Christianity was suppressed. Would the church survive there? Only in the past few years have we discovered in the West that the church in China not only survived but enjoyed dramatic growth. It is estimated that between the Communist takeover in 1949 and the mid-1980s the church in China grew from 800,000 to as many as an estimated 50 million. This is one of the greatest surges of growth in all of Christian history. 1

1 Source: Christian History Institute

Explosive growth of Chinese Christianity

China

In 1950: ~ 1 million Christians Today: ~ 111 million Christians

China has the third largest Christian population in the world.

The country with the fastest Christian expansion ever is China, now at 30,000 new converts every day.

Cambodia

1990: ~ 10 tiny groups

1997: ~ 300 fellowships

2005

1,000 churches

New church every week

100,000 believers

South Korea

In 1900 there were no protestant churches.

It is known that by the end of the 1960s there were barely one million Protestants. 1

During the “Conversion Boom” period ending in the 1980s, the number of Protestants increased faster than in any other country. 1

Seoul contains 11 of the world’s 12 largest Christian congregations. 1 The largest church in the world is Yoido Full Gospel Church in Seoul. 1

In 2005, one source showed that about 18% of the population of South Korea professed to be Protestants and around 10% called themselves Roman Catholics, the third highest percentages in Asia (after the Philippines and East Timor). Surveys have shown that South Korean Christians are very active in their religion, quite often exceeding their American counterparts in frequency of attendance at group worship services. 1

1 Source: Wikipedia

Seoul

Pusan

The Philippines

1975 – 3,000 churches

2005 – 55,000 churches

The Philippines has the most number of Christians in Asia. It is known as the only Christian country in Asia being 90% Christian. With the population of 85 Million, the Christians are approximately 76.5 million. 1

1 wiki.answers.com

Latin America

In 1900 there were 50,000 Protestants.

In 1980 there were 20 million Protestants.

In 2000 there were 100 million Protestants.

Latin America is the only region in the world where the number of evangelical Christians is growing 3 times as fast as the population. 1

1 www.ad2000.org

Africa

In 1900 only 3% Christian.

Today sub-Saharan Africa is 50% Christian.

The Evangelical Church in Ethiopia is among the fastest growing in the world. Believers have doubled to 8 million between 1984 and 2000. 1

Evangelical Churches in Nigeria are currently growing at an average of 15% per year. 70 million evangelicals make up around 14% of the region’s population of 500 million. 1

25,000 new believers in Africa daily.

1 www.ad2000.org

Success: Rise

& phenomenal

growth of

Pentecostalism

God said that in the last days, “I will pour out my Spirit on all flesh” (Joel 2:28).

Major branches within Christianity

1 Wikipedia

These are the churches which arose from the Protestant Reformation in 16th century Europe. (SOURCE: Wikipedia)

Evan Roberts (1878-1951)

At age 26 Evan Roberts was to become an instant celebrity in Wales as local and national newspapers of the day chronicled the spreading revival. His celebrity status was highlighted by the fact that he was a precious ‘unknown’. He wasn’t even a fully licensed preacher in 1904 – he was merely a trainee attending a grammar school to prepare him for the ministry course. 1

One night he was woken from his sleep and led into a deep communion with God for hours. This experience was to continue every evening for the next few months until he went away to the school at Newcastle Emlyn. 2 weeks after arriving at the school, Evan attended a Convention and it was here that he received what he termed as a fresh ‘Baptism of the Spirit’ which transformed the young student into a Revivalist with a message for Wales. 1

1 www.welshrevival.com

The Welsh Revival 1904-1905

Within a month he felt compelled to share this message of the reality of God and the possibility of complete forgiveness of sins with his home youth group at Moriah Loughor. Summing up the message in 4 parts, Evan pressed it home to the astonished church

Confess all known sin

Deal with and get rid of anything ‘doubtful’ in your life

Be ready to obey the Holy Spirit instantly

Confess Christ publicly 1

By the end of the last week over 60 responded. By the end of the second week Evan had already started on a whirlwind tour of the South Wales valleys and within a year or so 100,000 converts were said to be added to the Welsh Church 1

The Welsh revival, with its strong emphasis on the Holy Spirit, had a direct influence on American and British Pentecostalism as evangelicals around the world were stimulated to pray specifically for an outpouring of the Holy Spirit. 2

1 www.welshrevival.com 2 Source: http:// joyfulministry.com/ welsht.htm

The Welsh Revival 1904-1905

An eyewitness report of the Welsh revival from a leading journalist of his day. William Stead was editor of the Pall Mall Gazette in London. These comments appeared first in the Daily Chronicle on Dec. 13, 1904.

The most thorough-going materialist who resolutely and for ever rejects as inconceivable the existence of the soul in man… could not fail to be impressed by the sincerity of these men; nor, if he were just, could he refuse to recognize that out of their faith in the creed which he has rejected they have drawn, and are drawing, a motive power that makes for righteousness, and not only for righteousness, but for the joy of living, that he would be powerless to give them… Employers tell me that the quality of the work the miners are putting in has improved. Waste is less, men to go their daily toil with a new spirit of gladness in their labour. In the long dim galleries of the mine, where once the hauliers swore at their ponies in Welshified English terms of blasphemy, there is now but to be heard the haunting melody of the Revival music. The pit ponies, like the American mules, having been driven by oaths and curses since they first bore the yoke, are being retrained to do their work without the incentive of profanity. There is less drinking, less idleness, less gambling… 1

1 www.christianhistorytimeline.com

The Welsh Revival 1904-1905

The Pentecostal movement was also prominent in the Holiness movement who were the first to begin making numerous references to the term “Pentecostal” … Although the 1896 Shearer Schoolhouse Revival in Cherokee County, North Carolina might be regarded as a precursor to the modern Pentecostal movement, modern Pentecostalism began around 1901. It is generally accepted that its origin dates from when Agnes Ozman received the gift of tongues during a prayer meeting at Charles Fox Parham’s Bethel Bible College in Topeka, Kansas in 1901. Parham, a minister of Methodist background, formulated the doctrine that tongues was the “Bible evidence” of the Baptism of the Holy Spirit. 1

1 Wikipedia

Pentecostal Origins

Charles Fox Parham (1873 - 1929)

Smith Wigglesworth

(1859-1947)

Smith Wigglesworth, often referred to as ‘the Apostle of Faith,’ was one of the pioneers of the Pentecostal revival a century ago.

Wigglesworth was without doubt one of the most anointed men of God that has lived in recent times… He lived and walked continually in the presence of God. And the miracles that accompanied his ministry were of the sort that has seldom been seen since the days of the apostles. People born blind and deaf, cripples - twisted and deformed by disease, others on death’s door with cancer or sickness of every kind, - all were healed by the mighty power of God. Even the dead were raised. 1

It has been recorded that he raised 23 people from the dead in total, over the years of his ministry. 1

1 SOURCE: http:// thangaswamy.tripod.com/ revival

Pentecostal Origins

On one occasion, he recalled, “I was traveling to Cardiff in South Wales. I had been much in prayer on the journey. The carriage was full of people whom I knew to be unsaved, but as there was so much talking and joking I could not get in a word for my Master. As the train was nearing the station, I thought I would wash my hands… and as I returned to the carriage, a man jumped up and said, ‘Sir, you convince me of sin,’ and fell on his knees there and then. Soon the whole carriage of people was crying out the same way. They said, ‘who are you? What are you? You convince us all of sin’...” 1

Smith Wigglesworth placed great emphasis on purity and holiness, like all true Revivalists. He said, “You must every day make higher ground. You must deny yourself to make progress with God. You must refuse everything that is not pure and holy. God wants you pure in heart. He wants you to have an intense desire after holiness... Two things will get you to leap out of yourselves into the promises of God today. One is purity, and the other is FAITH, which is kindled more and more BY PURITY.” 1

1 Stanley Frodsham, ‘Smith Wigglesworth, Apostle of Faith’

Smith Wigglesworth

The expansion of the movement started with the Azusa Street Revival, beginning April 9, 1906 at the Los Angeles home of Edward Lee, who experienced the infilling of the Holy Spirit during a prayer meeting. The attending African American pastor, William J. Seymour, was also overcome with the Holy Spirit on April 12, 1906. On April 18, 1906, the LA Times ran a front page story on the movement. By the third week in April, 1906, the small but growing congregation had rented an abandoned African Methodist Episcopal Church at 312 Azusa Street and organized as the Apostolic Faith Mission. 1 1 Source: Wikipedia

Pentecostal Origins

William J. Seymour (1870 - 1922)

The mission at 312 Azusa Street

The Assemblies of God grew out of the Pentecostal revival that began in the early 20th century in Topeka, Kansas, and the Azusa Street Mission, Los Angeles and quickly spread around the world. During times of prayer and Bible study, believers received spiritual experiences like those described in the Bible in the Book of Acts. Accompanied by “speaking in tongues”, their religious experiences were associated with the coming of the Holy Spirit on the feast of Pentecost (Acts 2) and participants in the movement were dubbed “Pentecostals”. 1

1 Source: www.azusabooks.com, www.agcongress.org, http:// en.wikipedia.org/ wiki / Assemblies_of_God

Pentecostal Origins

From the late 1950s onwards, the Charismatic movement, which was to a large extent inspired and influenced by Pentecostalism, began to flourish in the mainline Protestant denominations, as well as the Roman Catholic church. Unlike “Classical Pentecostals,” who formed strictly Pentecostal congregations or denominations, Charismatics adopted as their motto, “Bloom where God planted you.” 1

From only one million in AD 1900, Pentecostals / Charismatics / Neocharismatics have mushroomed to 524 million affiliated (with unaffiliated believers, 602 million). It is, after Roman Catholicism, the largest Christian tradition.

On November 9, 2003, St. Petersburg Times writer Sharon Tubbs stated in an article entitled Fiery Pentecostal Spirit Spreads into Mainstream Christianity that Pentecostalism is the world’s fastest-growing Christian movement. 1

1 Wikipedia

Pentecostals & Charismatics

According to Christianity Today, Pentecostalism is “a vibrant faith among the poor; it reaches into the daily lives of believers, offering not only hope but a new way of living.” According to a 1999 U.N. report, “Pentecostal churches have been the most successful at recruiting its members from the poorest of the poor.”

It is said that Pentecostalism has probably been the most influential social movement of the twentieth century. 1

While communism and fascism have died or are dying out, Pentecostals are growing at an unprecedented rate 2 and will eventually make up the majority of all Christians worldwide. 1

Missions expert David Barrett estimated in a Christianity Today article that the Pentecostal and charismatic church is growing by 19 million per year. 3

1 http:// www.southasianconnection.com 2 This is despite the fact that in the 20th century atheistic communists murdered more Christians than in the previous 19 centuries put together. 3 Wikipedia

Success: Growth of Pentecostalism

The World Assemblies of God Fellowship, or Assemblies of God (A/ G) for short, is the world’s largest Pentecostal denomination, with over 283,413 churches and outstations in over 110 countries (including 11,300 churches in the U.S.) and approximately 60 million adherents worldwide. It is the fourth largest international body of Christians. 1

A/ G leaders credit their church’s rapid and continuing growth (20.4% in U.S. adherents in the decade between 1989-99) to its acceptance of the New Testament as a model for the present-day church. Aggressive evangelism and mission zeal at home and abroad characterize the church. Brazil has the largest number of A/ G adherents with over 15 million.

At the inception of its “Decade of Harvest” project in 1990, the A/ G Church in Nigeria had 3,682 local churches and membership of 707,782. At the close of the decade (1999), the number of local churches was increased by 4,044 to 7,726 and the membership by 1,103,614 to 1,811,396 ( i.e. a growth rate of 156%). 2

1 Wikipedia 2 www.ad2000.org/ celebrate/ ezemandu.htm

Success: Growth of Pentecostalism

The largest church in the world, Yoido Full Gospel Church in Seoul, South Korea, is an A/ G congregation. As of 2007, membership stands at 830,000, with 7 Sunday services translated into 16 languages. Its pastor, Dr. David Yonggi Cho, was chairman of the World A/ G Fellowship from 1992 to 2000. 1

1 http:// en.wikipedia.org/ wiki/ Yoido_Full_Gospel_Church

Success: Growth of Pentecostalism

In 1944, James Mullan moved to PE, living in a caravan with his family. Without support or contacts he founded an assembly. 1

After 5 years Mullan moved to East London planting an assembly there. From then on he travelled the country, going as far north as Zambia . Between 1945 and 1964 he established some 20 assemblies that stretched from Cape Town to Zambia and Zimbabwe.

1 On one occasion, James Mullan’s wife, Mary was counseling a backslidden Pentecostal girl after a Sunday meeting. The girl burst out sobbing and speaking in tongues. Mary was astonished when she realized that she could understand what the girl was saying. She was speaking in a Congolese dialect similar to the Kiluba language Mary had spoken as a missionary in the Congo. In the language that was unknown to her, but not to Mary, the girl was confessing her backslidden state and thanking God for his mercy in receiving her back.

James Mullan

A/ G in SA: James Mullan

A/ G in SA: Nicholas Bhengu

In the 1940’s James Mullan arranged a crusade in PE for the A/ G Zulu evangelist Nicholas Bhengu. Miracles of healing took place through the ministry. Crowds flocked in and 1000 conversions were recorded in a few weeks. 3 congregations were founded in different areas in PE.

Bhengu’s work grew dramatically with thousands of people being converted in a very short space of time. By 1959 there were 50 assemblies that had been started through his ministry. His meetings were characterized by power, both in preaching and healing, and attracted thousands. In 1957 a church in the shape of a cross and seating between 4000 to 5000 was opened in Duncan Village, East London.

More than 1000 people were baptised in the Buffalo River in East London

A/ G in SA: Nicholas Bhengu

Even the international media were interested in Bhengu, with the TIME magazine of 23rd Nov 1959 calling him “the black Billy Graham” and stating that his ministry resulted in the crime rate dropping by as much as a third in some areas. At one meeting the police took away 3 vanloads of stolen goods and weapons that people surrendered when they came to Christ. The TIME article states, “it is not unusual for Evangelist Bhengu to end up by walking down to the police station hand in hand with someone on the wanted list.”

Nicholas Bhengu

Phenomenal

increase in

Scripture

languages

Successes: Scripture languages

Challenges:

Last languages

Isa 55:10 As the rain and the snow come down from heaven, and do not return to it without watering the earth and making it bud and flourish, so that it yields seed for the sower and bread for the eater, 11 so is my word that goes out from my mouth: It will not return to me empty, but will accomplish what I desire and achieve the purpose for which I sent it.

Rom 10:17 Consequently, faith comes from hearing the message, and the message is heard through the word of Christ.

Rom 10:13 for, “Everyone who calls on the name of the Lord will be saved.” 14 How, then, can they call on the one they have not believed in? And how can they believe in the one of whom they have not heard? And how can they hear without someone preaching to them? 15 And how can they preach unless they are sent? As it is written, “How beautiful are the feet of those who bring good news!”

Challenges: Last languages

Last languages (Every tongue)

In 1999 about 1,500 languages had translations of the Bible. That number since has more than doubled to 4,000. 1

The world population is 6,7 billion (July 2008 est.). There are 200 million people without the Bible in their mother tongue (3% of the world population).

The Orlando-based Wycliffe USA is the world’s largest bible-translation company. Their vision is to see the Bible accessible to all people in the language they understand best. Worldwide, this nonprofit bible-translation company has more than 6,400 people working in 93 countries. 1

In Nov 2008 with the help of a $50 million anonymous gift, Wycliffe USA kicked off a project expected to take 17 years (~ 2025) to translate the Bible into the remaining 2,400 languages. These represent about a third of all languages spoken and include nearly 200 million people, mostly in 3 regions - Central Africa, northern India-southern China and Indonesia-Papua New Guinea. 1

1 SOURCE: Deseret News (Salt Lake City), 29 Nov 2008 by Jay Hamburg The Orlando Sentinel

Last languages (Every tongue)

Throughout the 20th Century, translation progress increased, but it didn’t seem fast enough. Thousands of languages were being discovered, increasing the known number of languages and people still without a single verse of the Bible.

In 1999, translation projects started at a pace of about one every 18 days. At that rate it would have taken until 2150 before the last translation project was even begun. Wycliffe leaders challenged the Body of Christ to accelerate the pace. Vision 2025 was born. The goal? To see a Bible translation program in progress in every language still needing one by the year 2025.

Since the adoption of Vision 2025 in 1999, new language programs have started at an unprecedented rate. Today, a translation program is started about every 5 days, shortening the length of time before the last translation project in the last language is begun to 2038. Only God could make this happen!

New computer programs have made it feasible to translate Scriptures into some related languages in as little as 1 to 3 years! 1

1 SOURCE: www.wycliffe.org

John saw “a great multitude that no one could count, from every nation, tribe, people and language, standing before the throne and in front of the Lamb.” (Rev 7:9-10)

What can we do?

Pray that the translation pace will increase even further.

Support Bible translation efforts.

Last languages (Every tongue)

To contribute go to: "http:// www.wycliffe.org/ Donate.aspx">http:// www.wycliffe.org/ Donate.aspx

Challenges:

Increase in

persecution

A Christian Home Burned Down by Extremists in India

Total Christian martyrs: 70M (69,420,000)

SUB-TOTALS:

Non-Christians: 63,882,000 (92%)

Christians: 5,538,000 (8%)

Source: World Christian Encyclopedia (2001) - David Barrett, Todd Johnson, Justin Long. This book is the standard reference work for religious statistics of all kinds, and both Britannica and the World Almanac cite from it.

Challenges: Persecution

At the hands of...

State: 55,871,000

Atheists (overlap with above): 31,689,000

Muslims: 9,121,000

Animists: 7,469,000

Roman Catholics: 5,171,000

Quasi-religionists: 2,712,000

Mahayana Buddhists: 1,651,000

Hindus: 676,000

Zoroastrians: 384,000

Eastern Orthodox: 222,000

Other non-Christians: 115,000

Other Christians: 146,000

There were more 20th Century martyrs (45.4M) 1 than the previous 19 centuries combined (65%). 2

What can we do to support the persecuted church?

Pray - Keep aware of the issues – so that you don’t forget and that you can pray intelligently.

Give to agencies & missions that help the persecuted church.

Open Doors

Voice of the Martyrs

Encourage - Correspond & visit

1 Source: World Christian Encyclopedia (2001)

2 Due to: (1) massive increase in world population (2) increase in percentages of Christians (3) the emergence of totalitarian atheistic states and the resultant brutal intolerance that comes with atheism.

Challenges: Persecution

"http:// www.opendoors.org.za/ ">http:// www.opendoors.org.za

"http:// www.persecution.com/ ">http:// www.persecution.com

Challenges:

Every nation

Every people

All nations

Speaking prophetically, Jesus said that “this gospel of the kingdom will be preached in the whole world as a testimony to all nations, and then the end will come.” (Matt 24:14)

God has not commanded us to go into most of the world, but into “all the world”. We are told that the redeemed gathered before God’s throne consist of “every nation, tribe, people and language.” 1

Since the time of Jesus, 36.8 billion people have been born on the Earth. i.e. 1 in 6 of all the people born are alive today! This presents us with a unique opportunity for evangelism.

1 Rev 7:9-10

The world has 6.7 billion people

Dedicated Christians

Nominal Christians

Non Christians

Those with no access to the gospel

11%

22%

39%

28%

The Gospel IS available to 4.8 billion of the world!

Gospel is NOT available to 1.9 billion

Despite Christ’s command to evangelize, 28% of all humans have never even heard of his name.

This 28% is a decrease from 58% in 1900, but an increase from 24% in 1980. 1

Currently about 87,000 are evangelized per day. 1

1 SOURCE: World Christian Encyclopedia, David Barrett, George Kurian, Todd Johnson, Eds. 2001, p. 2: 538.)

The Unevangelised world today

648 million Christians today (called Great Commission Christians) are active in Christ’s world mission; 1,352 million Christians ignore this mission. 1

GREAT COMMISSION CHRISTIANS

In 1900: 14% of all Christians

In 2005: 32% of all Christians 2

While this is a move in the right direction, it still means that two thirds of professing Christians do nothing about this command of Jesus.

1 Table 1-1 in World Christian Trends, William Carey Library, David Barrett & Todd Johnson. 2 International Bulletin of Missionary Research, 1/ 05, David Barrett and Todd Johnson, p. 29.

The Unevangelised world today

14%

32%

How can we reach them?

Sending and supporting missionaries.

Printing Scripture and Christian literature in the vernacular.

Internet – The rise of internet and mass media have led to the wide dissemination of the gospel by new means.

Radio/ TV: Regular listeners to Christian programs over secular or religious radio/ TV stations rose from 22% of the world in 1980 to 30% in 2000. 1

Focusing effort where there is the maximum return.

1 Table 1-1 in World Christian Trends, William Carey Library,David Barrett & Todd Johnson.)

The Unevangelised world today

95% of Christian ministers focus on their own people.

Of the 5% who become missionaries 80-90% focus on ethne (people groups) which are already majority Christian.

Only 2.5 – 4% of missionaries are focused on the 25 – 28% of the world who are unreached. 1

1 SOURCE: Stan Park, Ethne ’06

Where is the maximum return?

“We talk of the Second Coming; half the world has never heard of the first.” (Oswald J. Smith)

“If 10 men are carrying a log - 9 of them on the little end and one at the heavy end - and you want to help, which end will you lift on?” (William Borden, as he reflected on the numbers of Christian workers in the U.S. as compared to those among unreached peoples in China.)

“Believers who have the gospel keep mumbling it over and over to themselves. Meanwhile, millions who have never heard it once fall into the flames of eternal hell without ever hearing the salvation story.” (K.P. Yohannan, founder of Gospel for Asia Bible Society)

Where is the maximum return?

Matt 10:5 These twelve Jesus sent out with the following instructions:… 14 If anyone will not welcome you or listen to your words, shake the dust off your feet when you leave that home or town. 15 I tell you the truth, it will be more bearable for Sodom and Gomorrah on the day of judgment than for that town. 16 I am sending you out like sheep among wolves. Therefore be as shrewd as snakes and as innocent as doves.

“No one has the right to hear the gospel twice, while there remains someone who has not heard it once.” (Oswald J. Smith)

“God requires no person to spend his or her life reiterating the gospel to people who will not receive it. He wants everyone to have an opportunity to hear. Then He would have us move on to other areas. The mistake of the church has been that she sits down to convert all the people in one country to the neglect of the great masses who have never had the chance to hear the gospel - not even once!” (A.B. Simpson)

Be as shrewd as snakes

The total cost of Christian outreach averages $330,000 for each and every newly baptized person.

It costs Christians 700 times more money to baptize converts in rich World C countries (Switzerland) than in poor World A countries (Nepal).

The 3 least cost-effective countries over 1 million in population for Christian outreach are: Japan, Switzerland, Denmark.

The 3 most cost-effective countries over 1 million in population for Christian outreach are: Mozambique, Ethiopia, Tanzania.

Per hour of ministry, the 5 megapeoples:

least responsive to Christianity, Christ, and the gospel are: Swedish, Russian, Lithuanian, Polish, Georgian.

most responsive to Christianity, Christ, and the gospel are: Khandeshi, Awadhi, Magadhi, Bai, Berar Marathi.

1 Table 1-1 in World Christian Trends, William Carey Library,David Barrett & Todd Johnson.)

Where is the maximum return?

Paul longed for his people to respond to the Gospel.

Rom 10:1-2 Brothers, my heart’s desire and prayer to God for the Israelites is that they may be saved. For I can testify about them that they are zealous for God, but their zeal is not based on knowledge.

His custom was to first go to the Jews:

Acts 17:2 As his custom was, Paul went into the synagogue, and on three Sabbath days he reasoned with them from the Scriptures…

When they were routinely rejected they followed Jesus injunction to go elsewhere:

Acts 13:49 The word of the Lord spread through the whole region. 50 But the Jews incited the God-fearing women of high standing and the leading men of the city. They stirred up persecution against Paul and Barnabas, and expelled them from their region. 51 So they shook the dust from their feet in protest against them and went to Iconium.

Where is the maximum return?

Acts 13:42 As Paul and Barnabas were leaving the synagogue, the people invited them to speak further about these things on the next Sabbath. 43 When the congregation was dismissed, many of the Jews and devout converts to Judaism followed Paul and Barnabas, who talked with them and urged them to continue in the grace of God. 44 On the next Sabbath almost the whole city gathered to hear the word of the Lord. 45 When the Jews saw the crowds, they were filled with jealousy and talked abusively against what Paul was saying. 46 Then Paul and Barnabas answered them boldly: “We had to speak the word of God to you first. Since you reject it and do not consider yourselves worthy of eternal life, we now turn to the Gentiles.”

Where is the maximum return?

6,7 billion people are alive today (2008) in 237 countries in 12,000 people groups.

How is the church getting on with fulfilling Christ’s command?

There are still 1.9 billion people who have never heard even once that God loves them and sent Jesus to die for them.

1107 people groups without a single church of 100 individuals.

283 peoples still completely untargeted.

521 peoples with no known church planting team committed to reaching them.

That’s 28% of the world’s population -

1 in 4 people

Where is the maximum return?

The Unevangelised world today

They are mostly situated in an area which has been named the 10/ 40 Window. This is the rectangular area of North Africa, the Middle East and Asia between 10°N and 40°N latitude.

10° N

40° N

The 10/ 40 Window includes the majority of the world’s Muslims, Hindus, and Buddhists. It holds an estimated 4.08 billion individuals in approximately 7,027 distinct people groups.

The Unevangelised world today

New missionary Sending Countries

1 Ralph Winter & Bruce Koch, “Finishing the Task: The Unreached Peoples Challenge,” Perspectives, 3rd ed., p. 509).

2 Wikipedia

More missionaries are being sent from non-Western churches than from Western churches. 1

There are now about 4,000 Third World mission agencies. 1

South Korea provides the world’s second largest number of Christian missionaries, surpassed only by the United States. South Korean missionaries are particularly prevalent in 10/ 40 Window nations that are hostile to Westerners. In 2000, there were 10,646 Protestant South Korean missionaries in 156 countries, along with an undisclosed number of Catholic missionaries. 2

2010 – the Philippines expect to send out 100,000 contract workers into the 10/ 40 Window in the next 15 years as tentmaking missionaries … the most of any country! 1

New missionary Sending Countries

1 Source: Wikipedia 2 www.backtojerusalem.com

The Back To Jerusalem movement is a Christian evangelistic campaign begun in China by Chinese believers to send missionaries to all of the Buddhist, Hindu, and Muslim peoples who live “between” China and Jerusalem. Since 2003, the most vocal international proponent of “Back to Jerusalem” has been the exiled Chinese house church leader Liu Zhenying a.k.a. Brother Yun. Yun intends for “Back to Jerusalem” to evangelize 51 countries by sending a minimum of 100,000 missionaries along the Silk Road, an ancient trade route that winds from China to the Mediterranean Sea. 1

Scores of missionaries are in preparation and training, many are entering various countries in the spiritually dark areas of the so-called 10/ 40 Window. 2

Developing World Missions Initiatives

Estimated missionaries sent by various countries over the next 15-20 years.

Chinese: 100,000 Missionaries

10/ 40 Window

Koreans: 30,000 Missionaries

Filipinos: 100,000 missionaries

Nigerians: 15,000 missionaries

Latin Americans: 10,000 missionaries

If the future is to be different, the present must be disturbed!

“Here is a test to find whether your mission on earth is finished: If you are alive, it isn’t.” (Richard Bach)

More local churches are bypassing traditional mission agencies, becoming direct senders. 1

Churches and individuals are supporting more indigenous, national missionaries instead of more costly foreign missionaries.

People are normally more responsive to the Gospel during times of turmoil. With all the world crises and natural disasters, Christians need to be more strategic in their responses and assistance.

UNLESS GOD EXPLICITLY LEADS YOU OTHERWISE, PUT THE MOST EFFORT WHERE YOU CAN EXPECT THE MAXIMUM RETURN:

Target the most responsive people groups.

Target the most unevangelized areas.

1 Stan Guthrie, Mission in the 3rd Millennium

What should we do?

APPENDICES

Appendix 1: Top 10 Organized Religions

Appendix 2: Religious groups in SA

Appendix 3: Importance of religion

Appendix 4: Smith Wigglesworth

Appendix 1: Top 10 Organized Religions

Statistics of the world's religions are only very rough approximations. Aside from Christianity, few religions, if any, attempt to keep statistical records; and even Protestants and Catholics employ different methods of counting members. NOTE: Numbers from mid-2004. This list includes only organized religions and excludes more loosely defined groups such as Chinese or African traditional religions. Sources: Encyclopedia Britannica; Adherents.com

Rank

Religion

Members

Percentage

1.

Christianity

2.1 billion

33.0%

2.

Islam

1.3 billion

20.1

3.

Hinduism

851 million

13.3

4.

Buddhism

375 million

5.9

5.

Sikhism

25 million

0.4

6.

Judaism

15 million

0.2

7.

Baha'ism

7.5 million

0.1

8.

Confucianism

6.4 million

0.1

9.

Jainism

4.5 million

0.1

10.

Shintoism

2.8 million

0.0

Appendix 2: Religious groups in SA

About 80% of South Africa's population describes themselves as being Christian. Religious minority groups are Hindus (1%), Muslims (1%) and Jews (0.2%).

About 17,000 people (1996 census) describe themselves as having African traditional beliefs.

Most Indians retained their Hindu religion when they originally came to South Africa. Two-thirds of South Africa’s Indians are Hindus.

The Muslim community in South Africa is small, but growing strongly. The major component are the Cape Malays, who are mainly descendants of Indonesian slaves, as well as 20% of people of Indian descent.

The majority of the small Jewish community are Orthodox Jews.

Buddhism is barely organised in South Africa.

SOURCE: http:// www.southafrica.to/ people/ customs/ faiths.htm

Appendix 2: Religious groups in SA

Appendix 2: Religious groups in SA

Appendix 3: Importance of religion

Born in 1859 into poverty, Smith Wigglesworth was converted by the Methodists at 8 years of age. Even then, he was hungry for God and hungry for souls. He was in the choir of the local Episcopal Church. “When most of the boys in the choir were 12 years of age they had to be confirmed by the bishop. I was not 12, but between 9 and 10, when the bishop laid his hands on me. I can remember that as he imposed his hands I had a similar experience to the one I had 40 years later when I was baptized in the Holy Spirit. My whole body was filled with the consciousness of God's presence, a consciousness that remained with me for days. After the confirmation service all the other boys were swearing and quarreling, and I wondered what had made the difference between them and me.” 1

Later, Wigglesworth was fully immersed in water by the Baptists. But please remember that all of his early years of ministry and seeking God came well before the ‘Azusa Street’ Revival and the early Pentecostal movement. Smith had a hunger after God, and he experienced many breakthroughs into new levels of anointing even well before he experienced the Baptism in the Holy Spirit and speaking in tongues. He was already renowned for his healing ministry, and had seen God move in great power, even well before the new Pentecostal experience was being talked about. 1

1 http:// thangaswamy.tripod.com/ revival

Appendix 4: Smith Wigglesworth

Smith Wigglesworth: “I had the grounding in Bible teaching among the Plymouth Brethren. I marched under the blood and fire banner of the Salvation Army, learning to win souls in the open air. I received the second blessing of sanctification and a clean heart under the teaching of Reader Harris and the Pentecostal League. I claimed the gift of the Holy Spirit by faith as I waited ten days before the Lord. But in Sunder- land, in 1907, I knelt before God and had an Acts 2:4 experience...” He described this experience as follows: “She [Mrs Boddy, a minister's wife] laid her hands on me and then had to go out of the room. The fire fell. It was a wonderful time as I was there with God alone. He bathed me in power. I was conscience of the cleansing of the precious blood, and I cried out: 'Clean! Clean! Clean!' I was filled with the joy of the consciousness of the cleansing. I was given a vision in which I saw the Lord Jesus Christ. I beheld the empty cross, and I saw Him exalted at the right hand of God the Father. I could speak no longer in English, but I began to praise Him in other tongues as the Spirit of God gave me utterance. I knew then, although I might have received anointing previously, that now, at last, I had received the real Baptism in the Holy Spirit as they received on the day of Pentecost.” 1

1 http:// thangaswamy.tripod.com/ revival

Appendix 4: Smith Wigglesworth

After this experience, there was no stopping Smith Wigglesworth. He was a flame for God, and the fire fell wherever he went. He said: “I believe God's ministers are to be flames of fire. Nothing less than flames. Nothing less than mighty instruments, with burning messages, with hearts full of love. They must have a DEPTH OF CONSECRATION that God has taken full charge of the body, and it exists only that it may manifest the Glory of God. A Baptism into death in which the person is purified and energized...” He was certainly possessor of an audacity, a daring, and a boldness the like of which has rarely been seen in Christendom in modern times. It was not uncommon for him to announce in his meetings: “Every sermon that Christ preached was prefaced by a model miracle. We are going to follow His example. The first person in this large audience that stands up, whatever his or her sickness, I'll pray for that one and God will deliver him or her.” And the first person to stand, even if they were the most deformed cripples, would be healed! 1

1 http:// thangaswamy.tripod.com/ revival

Appendix 4: Smith Wigglesworth

A number of people were also raised literally from the dead under Smith’s ministry. Here is his own account of one occasion: “My friend said, ‘She is dead.’ He was scared. I have never seen a man so frightened in my life. ‘What shall I do?’ he asked. You may think that what I did was absurd, but I reached over into the bed and pulled her out. I carried her across the room, stood her against the wall and held her up, as she was dead. I looked into her face and said, 'In the name of Jesus I rebuke this death.' From the crown of her head to the soles of her feet, her whole body began to tremble. 'In the name of Jesus, I command you to walk,' I said. I repeated, 'In the name of Jesus, in the name of Jesus, walk!' and she walked.” Not only was this woman raised from the dead, but she was instantly healed from a terrible illness also. She began to testify to people of her death experience and restoration. It has been recorded that Smith Wigglesworth raised 23 people from the dead in total, over the years of his ministry. 1

1 http:// thangaswamy.tripod.com/ revival

Appendix 4: Smith Wigglesworth

On another typical occasion, a man came forward for prayer for stomach pain, and, commanding the pain to be gone, Wigglesworth punched the man in the stomach so hard that he was sent halfway across the room (completely healed)! This kind of thing happened more than once. Wigglesworth believed in COMMANDING the sick to be healed in Jesus' name. His was an aggressive, holy faith. He was a “violent” man, taking ground from the devil by force. Yet, he was also a man of great compassion, as well as of great authority. The devil certainly felt it when Smith Wigglesworth hit town! 1

He literally traveled the world in the 1920's and 1930's, and thousands were saved and healed everywhere he went. Often he would arrive in a place almost unknown and unheralded, but within days there would be thousands thronging to hear, the power of God demonstrated in his meetings was so great. God was truly glorified everywhere he went. 1

Another point to remember is that Smith was very aware of the dangers of money, and guarded himself carefully against the possibility of covetousness entering in. He was truly beyond reproach in this area also. 1

1 http:// thangaswamy.tripod.com/ revival

Appendix 4: Smith Wigglesworth

He was a man who walked and lived in the very presence of God. Yet, in many ways he was a very natural, down-to-earth man. And neither was he afraid of issuing the odd stern rebuke. His object was to be in constant, unbroken communion with the Father. He had spent hours and days fervently seeking God in his early years, but later, “Although his life was a combination of incessant prayer and praise, and every word and work was an act of worship, he was not given to protracted periods of fasting and prayer.” Instead, he had learned the secret of being in continuous, intimate communion with God (sometimes withdrawing quietly into himself for this purpose), even when he was in a crowd of people. He walked by faith, and he was “in the Spirit” at all times. This was one vital secret to his success. He said, “There are two sides to this Baptism: The first is, you possess the Spirit; the second is that the Spirit possesses you.” He had counted the cost, and everything was God's. He was a man who truly understood GODLY AUTHORITY, and he WALKED in it by faith. He said, “‘Be filled with the Spirit,’ i.e., be CRAMMED with the Spirit, so filled that there will be no room left for anything else.” That was the way he lived. Full of audacity, full of daring, "full of faith and of the Holy Ghost." 1

1 http:// thangaswamy.tripod.com/ revival

Appendix 4: Smith Wigglesworth

COPYRIGHT INFORMATION

Unless otherwise stated, Scripture quotations are taken from the NIV: THE HOLY BIBLE, NEW INTERNATIONAL VERSION®, NIV® Copyright © 1973, 1978, 1984, 2011 by Biblica, Inc.™ Used by permission. All rights reserved worldwide.

Scripture quotations taken from the NASB: New American Standard Bible®, Copyright © 1960, 1962, 1963, 1968, 1971, 1972, 1973, 1975, 1977, 1995 by The Lockman Foundation Used by permission. (http:// www.Lockman.org)

Scripture quotations are taken from the ESV: Scripture quotations are from The Holy Bible, English Standard Version® (ESV®), copyright © 2001 by Crossway, a publishing ministry of Good News Publishers. Used by permission. All rights reserved.




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