Worldwide Reasons for Hope in the Triumph of the Gospel
By triumph of the gospel I do not mean that all evil will be banished before Christ comes. 2 Thessalonians 2:8 seems to me to rule that out. What I mean is that the gospel will do exactly what God has promised. It will be “preached throughout the whole world, as a testimony to all nations; and then the end will come” (Matthew 24:14). It will be a blessing to all the families of the earth (Genesis 12:3; Galatians 3:8). It will gather some people from every tribe and tongue and nation (Revelation 5:9). It will conquer the power of Satan wherever it is believed unto death (Revelation 12:11).
- A straggling band of underpaid, overworked, independent-minded missionaries over the past one hundred years with the help of God opened 85 percent of the schools of Africa, established 600 hospitals in India, and produced the largest women’s university in the world—and more.
- The specifically evangelical population of the world is almost 40 times as large as it was at the turn of the century, but the world population has only grown 3 times as large between 1900 and the present. In 1900 there were only 10 Christian congregations for every unreached people. Today there are 416 congregations for every unreached people.
- At the upcoming Lausanne Congress on World Evangelization in Manila over 203 countries will be represented including Libya, Iran, Iraq, Bulgaria, Mongolia, etc. From 50 to 70 of the 4000 leaders will be from the USSR! After 70 years of Communist oppression one third of the population still identifies itself as Christian.
- The Christian church has become an amalgam of the world’s races and peoples, with whites dropping from over eighty percent to about forty percent. The stunning growth of the church is happening not in the west but in the third world. And the great new missions fact is that about 25,000 of these brothers and sisters are now cross-cultural missionaries.
- There are over 1,450 Christian radio and television outlets touching 990,000,000 people every month.
- In 1900 there were only about 50,000 Protestants in Latin America. By the year 2000 there will be over 100 million.
- More Muslims have become Christians in Indonesia, Bangladesh, Iran, and East Africa in the last ten years than in the last ten centuries.
- There are presently at least 100 massive organizational programs for evangelizing the whole world by the year 2000.
The reason I tell you these things is because your faith needs to feed on the faithfulness of God in this day. God is mightily at work in the world. His cause will triumph just as he promised: “My counsel shall stand, and I will accomplish all my purpose” (Isaiah 46:10). America is no longer in the mainstream of the great gospel work of God. We have settled into the world and God has let us have it.
At BBC may God grant us the heart to be radically free from bondage to the American materialistic dream! There is such a great cause to work for! With all our might!
Full of hope in the sovereign grace of God,