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Sermon Central Staff
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)
JUST LISTEN TO THE FOLLOWING STATISTICS THAT PROVES THE BIBLE IS A SPECIAL MASTERPIECE OF COMMUNICATION FROM ALMIGHTY GOD TO HIS CREATION:
• THE BIBLE WAS WRITTEN OVER A SPAN OF 1,500 YEARS
• THE BIBLE WAS WRITTEN BY MORE THAN 40 DIFFERENT AUTHORS SUCH AS MOSES, DAVID, JOSHUA, DANIEL, SOLOMON, MATTHEW, MARK, LUKE AND JOHN. THESE AUTHORS REPRESENT ALL WALKS OF LIFE SUCH AS SHEPHERDS, FISHERMEN, SECRETARIES, SERVANTS, PRIME MINISTERS, KINGS, MILITARY GENERALS, TAX COLLECTORS AND EVEN A JEWISH RABBI AND MEDICAL DOCTOR.
• THE BIBLE WAS WRITTEN IN ALL KINDS OF PLACES SUCH AS THE WILDERNESS, A DUNGEON, A PRISON, AND A PALACE. ALL OF THESE AREAS OF AUTHORSHIP WERE ACCOMPLISHED ON THE THREE CONTINENTS OF ASIA, AFRICA, AND EUROPE.
• GOD USED THE THREE LANGUAGES OF HEBREW, GREEK, AND ARAMAIC AND THEN PRESENTED THEM IN VARIOUS LITERARY STYLES SUCH AS POETRY, SONG, ROMANCE, MEMOIRS, SATIRE, BIOGRAPHY, LAW, PROPHECY, PARABLE, AND ALLEGORY.
George Barna reports that over 70 million Americans today are struggling to find some meaning in life. And that over 50% of Americans struggle with some type of depression.
Tonight, 40% of all American children will go to sleep in a house in which their fathers do not live.
Before the age of eighteen, more than 50% of our children will spend a significant portion of their childhood living apart from their fathers.
A generation ago, an American child could reasonably expect to grow up with a dad. Today, an American child can reasonably expect not to. Fatherlessness is the most harmful demographic trend in this ...
Studies have shown people who don’t regularly attend church are reluctant to come to a worship service alone. But the same studies reveal over 90 percent of Americans say they want to learn more about the Bible. The best way to reach people for Christ is through relationships.
1587 --- 1st child born in the American colonies, on August 18th, on what is now Roanoke Island, North Carolina.
1797 --- 1st parachute jump. Dropped from about 6,500 ft. over Monceau Park in Paris in a 23-ft.-diameter parachute made of white canvas with a basket attached (Oct. 22).
Charles Blondin (Jean Francois Gravelet)
1859 --- 1st person to cross Niagara Falls on a tightrope
1873 --- committed the world’s first train robbery on July 21. (Adair, Iowa)
1874 --- 1st US President born west of the Mississippi
1892 --- 1st immigrant to pass through Ellis Island. She was 15 years old and from County Cork, Ireland
1903 --- set the 1st land speed record in car racing. Set at Daytona Beach, his speed was 68.18 mph.
Arthur R. Eldred
1912 --- 1st boy to reach the rank of Eagle Scout -- the highest rank in the Boy Scouts of America program. He was of Oceanside, NY.
Dolly, the lamb
1996 --- 1st cloned mammal.
“Of thirty Roman emperors, governors of provinces and others in high office, who distinguished themselves by their zeal and bitterness in persecuting the early Christians, one became speedily deranged after some atrocious cruelty, one was slain by his own son, one became blind, the eyes of one started out of his head, one was drowned, one was strangled, one died in a miserable captivity, one fell dead in a manner that will not bear recital, one died of so loathsome a disease that several of his physicians were put to death because they could not abide the stench that filled his room, two committed suicide, a third attempted it but had to call for help to finish the work, five were assassinated by their own people or servants, five others died the most miserable and excruciating deaths, several of them having an untold complication of diseases, and eight were killed in battles, or after being taken prisoners.
Among these was Julian the Apostate. In the days of his prosperity he is said to have pointed his dagger to heaven, defying the Son of God whom he commonly called the Galilean. But when he was wounded in battle, he saw that all was over with him, and he gathered up his clotted blood and threw it into the air, exclaiming, thou has conquered, O thou Galilean.” (Boise 25)
THE CHANCE OF FULFILLED PROPHECHY
The Old Testament contains over 300 references to the Messiah that were fulfilled in Jesus. What chance did Jesus or any other man have of fulfilling these prophecies? The mathematical laws of probability can give us a clue.
In his book Evidence That Demands A Verdict, Josh McDowell mentions the work of the mathematician, Peter Stoner, on just eight of the 300 prophecies: "We find that the chance that any man might have lived down to the present time and fulfilled all eight prophecies is one in ten (to the seventeenth power). That would be one in 100,000,000, 000,000,000.
In order to help us comprehend this staggering probability, Stoner illustrates it by supposing that we take ten (seventeenth power) silver dollars and lay them on the face of Texas. They will cover all of the state two feet deep. Now mark one of these silver dollars and stir the whole mass thoroughly, all over the state. Blindfold a man and tell him that he can travel as far as he w...
Study: A Few Cigarettes Can Hook You For Life
THE ASSOCIATED PRESS
Scientists have confirmed a suspicion held by some smokers but never proven: It could take just a few cigarettes to become addicted. Some 12 and 13 year-olds showed evidence of addiction within days of their first cigarette, according to research reported this week in the British Medical Association journal Tobacco control.
"There’s been a suspicion that many people become addicted very quickly, but this is really
the first hard evidence that we’ve had that this occurs , ’ said Dr. Richard Hurt, director of the Nicotine Dependency Unit at the Mayo Clinic.
Experts have tried for years to determine how long people have to smoke before becoming addicted, and "the best answer to date had been 1-2 years," said Hurt, who was not involved in the study. He said the findings will help scientists better understand the biology of nicotine addiction and lend more plausibility to the idea that some people may be more genetically susceptible to it than others.
The study, conducted by scientists at the University of Massachusetts in 1998, followed 681 12 to 13 year-olds in central Massachusetts for a year and tracked their smoking habits. The researchers did not label any of them addicted because the standard definition of nicotine dependence assumes addiction cannot happen without prolonged heavy smoking. These include cravings, needing more to get This teen says she’s tied to quit smoking 8 times the same buzz, withdrawal symptoms when not smoking, feeling addicted to tobacco and loss of control over the number of cigarettes smoked or the duration of smoking.
Ninety-five of the youths said they had started smoking occasionally at least one cigarette a month during the study. The scientists found that 60, or 63 percent, had one or more symptoms of addiction. A quarter of those with symptoms got them within two weeks of starting to smoke and several said their symptoms began within a few days.
GENERATIONS AND THE BIBLE
A new research report from the Barna Group examines recent nationwide studies on how different generations of American adults view and use the Bible. For the purposes of this research, the Mosaic generation refers to adults who are currently ages 18 to 25; Busters are those ages 26 to 44; Boomers are 45 to 63; and Elders are 64-plus.
There is often more that unites the various generations than divides them. The Barna research regarding the Bible confirms the central role this revered text has for most Americans. A majority of each of the four generations believes that the Bible is a sacred or holy book. Another commonality is that millions within each of the generations report reading the pages of Scripture in the last week.
There is also significant generational overlap regarding people’s views on the nature of the Bible. Similar proportions of the generations embrace the most conservative and most liberal views. For instance, the highest view of the Bible is that it is the actual word of God and should be taken literally, word for word, is embraced by one-quarter of Mosaics (27%), Busters (27%), and Boomers (23%), and one-third of Elders (34%). The extreme view on the other end is that the Bible is not inspired by God is embraced by proportions that are also statistically close to one another, including Mosaics (25%), Busters (19%), Boomers (22%), and Elders (22%).
However, despite these similarities, the Barna studies show that the youngest generations are charting a new, unique course related to the Bible. Here are the types of changes being forged by young adults:
Less Sacred: While most Americans of all ages identify the Bible as sacred, the drop-off among the youngest adults is striking: 9 out of 10 Boomers and Elders described the Bible as sacred, which compares to 8 out of 10 Busters (81%) and just 2 out of 3 Mosaics (67%).
¡öLess Accurate ¨C Young adults are significantly less likely than older adults to strongly agree that the Bible is totally accurate in all of the principles it teaches. Just 30% of Mosaics and 39% of Busters firmly embraced this view, compared with 46% of Boomers and 58% of Elders.
More Universalism: Among Mosaics, a majority (56%) believes the Bible teaches the same spiritual truths as other sacred texts, which compares with 4 out of 10 Busters and Boomers, and one-third of Elders.
Skepticism of Origins: Another generational difference is that young adults are more likely to express skepticism about the original manuscripts of the Bible than is true of older adults.
Less Engagement: While many young adults are active users of the Bible, the pattern shows a clear generational drop-off, the younger the person, the less likely then are to read the Bible. In particular, Busters and Mosaics are less likely than average to have spent time alone in the last week praying and reading the Bible for at least 15 minutes. Interestingly, none of the four generations were particularly likely to say they aspired to read the Bible more as a means of improving their spiritual lives.
Bible Appetite: Despite the generational decline in many Bible metrics, one departure from the typical pattern is the fact that younger adults, especially Mosaics (19%), express a slightly above-average interest in gaining additional Bible knowledge. This compares with 12% of Boomers and 9% of Elders.
David Kinnaman, who directed the analysis of the research, explained that the central theme of young people’s approach to the Bible is skepticism. They question the Bible’s history as well as its relevance to their lives, leading many young people to reject the Bible as containing everything one needs to live a meaningful life. This mindset certainly has its challenges but it also raises the possibility of using their skepticism as an entry point to teaching and exploring the content of the Bible in new ways.
The president of the Barna Group pointed out that since many young people want to learn about the Bible it should be an opportunity for Christian leaders.Perhaps young people want to participate more in the process of learning, not simply attend Bible lectures or be trained in classrooms. Mosaics and Busters have come to expect experiences that appear unscripted and interactive, that allow them to be open and honest with their questions, that are technologically stimulating, that are done alongside peers and within trusted relationships, and that give them the chance to be creative and visual. Their expectations may or may not be entirely healthy, but without considering these issues, the Bible will continue to lose hold on the next generation.