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THE HARVEST IS RIPE
The Harvest is ripe -- Here's proof:
Wycliffe: Vision 2025
Translation projects started in every language on the planet by 2025.
In "The Faith Equation," Dr. Marvin Bittinger, Professor of Mathematics at Purdue University and author of over 175 college math textbooks, claims that by 2033 every person on the planet capable of understanding the gospel will have been presented the gospel, according to modern evangelism trends.
34,000 converts each day in South America
28-37,000 Chinese converts daily
23-25,000 African converts daily
16,000 Muslims come to Christ daily - the following stories are all quoted.
"In December 2001, Sheikh Ahmad al Qataani, a leading Saudi cleric, appeared on a live interview on Aljazeera satellite television to confirm that, sure enough, Muslims were turning to Jesus in alarming numbers. "In every hour, 667 Muslims convert to Christianity," Al Qataani warned. "Every day, 16,000 Muslims convert to Christianity. Every year, 6 million Muslims convert to Christianity." Stunned, the interviewer interrupted the cleric. "Hold on! Let me clarify. Do we have six million converting from Islam to Christianity?" Al Qataani repeated his assertion. "Every year," the cleric confirmed, adding, "a tragedy has happened."
Stories from Muslim countries: Iraq -- thousands of new Christians since Saddam was overthrown, many new churches started, Egypt -- some reports say 1 million Egyptians have trusted Christ over the past decade or so. The Egyptian Bible Society used to sell about 3,000 copies of the JESUS film a year in the early 1990s. But last year they sold 600,000 copies, plus 750,000 copies of the Bible on tape (in Arabic) and about a half million copies of the Arabic New Testament. The largest Christian congregation in the Middle East, meets in an enormous cave on the outskirts of Cairo. Some 10,000 believers worship there every weekend. A prayer conference the church held in May 2005 drew some 20,000 believers, Afghanistan -- only 17 Muslim converts to Christianity before 9/11/01, but now more than 10,000, Kazakstan -- only 3 known Christians in 1990, but now more than 15,000, Sudan -- more than 1 million Sudanese have converted to Christianity just since 2000, and some 5 million have become Christians since the early 1990s, despite a radical Islamic regime and an on-going genocide that has killed more than 200,000.
Seminaries are being held in caves to train pastors to shepherd the huge numbers of people coming to Christ. Why such a dramatic spiritual awakening? "People have seen real Islam, and they want Jesus instead," one Sudanese evangelical leader said, Iran -- in 1979, there were only 500 known Muslim converts to Christianity, but today Iranian pastors and evangelical leaders say there are more than 1 million Iranian believers in Jesus Christ, most of whom meet in underground house churches. One of the most dramatic developments is that many Muslims are seeing dreams and visions of Jesus and thus coming into churches explaining that they have already converted and now need a Bible and guidance on how to follow Jesus."
Worldwide: 174,000 converts daily -- David B. Barret and Todd M. Johnson of the Global Evangelism Movement.
This is truly the most exciting time in all of history to be alive and a part of His Great Commission. The opportunity has never been more dramatic and the need has never been so huge:
All of history has built up to this point.
Global impact in your hometown.
Transportation and communication impacts.
Current end time events.
Israel, wars and other events.
The 4th qtr., bottom of the 9th, the end-game.
(From a sermon by Nate Herbst, The Great Commision -- Discussion, 11/21/2009)
No people in history have had as many opportunities to hear the truth about God, to learn how salvation can be found by turning to Jesus Christ, than those who live in this country at the end of the 20th Century. Do you realize there are 450,000 churches in the United States. In fact, 24% of protestant congre-gations in the world are in this country. There are 600 religious radio stations, the vast majority run by evangelical Christians, who daily broadcast the message of Jesus Christ to people across the land. Christian TV, Christian publishing, Christian music recording, all communicate the Bible’s message. God has given us so many chances. But, there are so many folks who continue to reject the truth.
The Bridger Generation, those born between ‘77 and ‘94 and the second largest generation in history, is growing up in homes with no moral certainty, no absolutes, no sense of why right is right and wrong is wrong, and no certain hope for eternal life and God’s abiding presence today. Christians can despair about the current state of religion or lack of religion in our generation, or the church can see this moment as an opportunity to win a generation before they turn to other belief systems. (Dr. Thom Rainer, Central Church.com 10/1/03)
Gen X In Church: The 48 million Gen X group tends to go to church with greater frequency than do Boomers (78 million). They are searching for excellence and authenticity and have shown that once they find these qualities in a church, they remain surprisingly loyal. Gen X has shown a tendency to study the Bible more thoroughly than have Boomers, and apply its teachings to everyday life. They also have shown a strong interest in connecting with the his...
W Pat Cunningham
This time around, our American bishops weren't cowering in a corner–they were telling everyone that politicians who fail to defend the most defenseless humans–preborn babies–and who want to use your tax money and mine to murder these children–are not worthy of our vote.
And even though the voters just elected the most pro-abortion candidate in U.S. history to the highest office in the land, and even though a majority of self-professed Catholics actually voted for him, they had to ignore the clear voice of the Church standing up for the right of all humans to life, and their own consciences, to do so.
BUSINESS AS USUAL ISN'T GOOD ENOUGH
In the past five years what has been happening in denominations across the board in the USA?
1. Presbyterians – 3.7% loss in 2007 – highest loss in one year in their entire history of 216 years
2. Episcopalians – 115,000 loss in the last 3 years
3. Methodists – Loss of 50,000 people a year and are at the lowest attendance in reported history
4. One denominational leader recently said – they are actually crossing the line and the median average age of attender was over 60 years in age. And if trends continue, half of their population will be gone in the next 5 years.
5. 10% of the population considered themselves Baptist in 1995. In 2006 only 3% did.
6. Disciple of Christ - 11% loss
7. Lutherans – 4% loss
8. Reformed – 6% loss
9. Church of Christ - 9% loss
10. In the Assemblies - In the last 5 years we had a slight growth (2%) and planted 534 churches, but closed 500.
11. 7 in 10 Protestants, age 18-30, both evangelical and mainline, said they quit attending church by age 23.
If we keep doing business as usual, we will die!
New Church Research * Hartford Institute for Religion Research has just completed the most extensive survey ever conducted on American churches and reveals that
· 50% of all congregations have fewer than 100 adults, and 25% have fewer than 50.
· Fewer than 10% have more than 1,000 adults.
· 52% are located in small towns and open country.
· Over 66% (200,000) sponsor or support a thrift shop.
· Over 33% (120,000) are involved in tutoring.
· Over 80% have or support a food pantry.
· 62% maintain strong ties to their denominations.
· Religious history is important to ethnic groups
· Church growth in the West has surpassed the South
(PWB 3/22/01 and Explorer 3/27/01)
WHAT ARE WE PREACHING?
False teachings abound whenever people do not know the truth. Many of our churches today do not teach the truth because many pastors do not know the Bible. In our seminaries, almost 50 percent of professors now teach that there was no virgin birth of Jesus, and that story was a myth given to us to "just make a point".
With the help of our mass media today, slick talkers are packaging their lies in some very convincing packages and selling it to tens of millions at one time. It is the largest wholesale misleading of people in the history of the world. And, it is imperative that we, as Christians, start paying attention to the truth of God in our world today.
A nationwide survey of church leaders by George Barna recently reported:
* * Only 53% of church leaders believe that moral truths are absolute
* * An amazing 43% of church leaders doubt the existence of the Holy Spirit
* * 33% of church leaders believe that Jesus never had a physical resurrection.
* * 27% of pastors have either never read the Bible all the way thru, or do not read it on a daily basis.
* * And, 19% of church leaders believe that Jesus sinned while alive.
These figures are among the church leadership. Now, if the church leader...
Lost Trust: Recent research by Yankelovich finds that the determining factor in building trust is the history and quality of interaction between consumer and marketer. They have found that 66% of American consumers agree with the following statement: “If the opportunity arises, most businesses will take advantage of the public if they feel they are not likely to be found out.” 15 years ago only 54% agreed with the statement. (Direct 8/04)
Most American Catholics believe that history will judge Pope John Paul II favorably -- either as a great pope, or even one of the greatest ever. Seven in 10 predict the Catholic Church will make him a saint. Most American Catholics also say the choice of the next pope will matter to them personally, and also to the world. Still, many Catholics disagree with major teachings of the church and want the new pope to change them. (Gallup Alert 4/4/05)