A Summer of Unrest
This seems to be a summer of unrest where hatred, turmoil, killings, violence, and destruction are evident in so many places on earth.
Currently, the Mid East is foremost in our minds as the ongoing unrest and cycle of violence threatens to become all-out war. The tension is being inflamed by anguish over the kidnapping and deaths of the Israeli teenagers and death of a Palestinian teenager in a suspected act of revenge. We are looking at a very difficult game of nerves. Our Christian brothers and sisters living in Israel are calling for prayer, prayer, and more prayer.
The Syrian conflict has continued growing in intensity and scope for over two years, with the United Nations estimating more than 100,000 dead and millions displaced. The UN High Commissioner for Refugees stated that, This is biggest humanitarian tragedy since the Rwandan genocide. Of the 2.5 million Syrian refugees, half are children.
The 200 school girls are still missing in northern Nigeria. It has been reported that entire villages in northern Nigeria have been devastated with Christian churches and Bibles being destroyed as Boko Haram continues on its radical, terroristic, destructive path.
As you continue to look around the world you realize that, in addition to wars and tumult there are many natural disasters taking place; earthquakes, typhoons, tornados, drought, wildfires, floods and other high impact weather and climate disasters.
THE BEGINNING OF SORROWS
When Jesus began speaking to His disciples regarding things to come He said:
For nation will rise against nation, and kingdom against kingdom. And there will be famines, pestilences, and earthquakes in various places. All these are the beginning of sorrows. Mt 24:7-8
WORDS OF HOPE
Earlier, in Matthew 16:18 Jesus spoke powerful words of intention regarding the emerging church:
On this rock I will build My church and the gates of Hades shall not prevail against it!
Jesus spoke those words from the present into the future. He spoke of the growth of the church that was beginning to emerge, letting the disciples of that day know that there would be no power on earth or in hell that could stop what He was establishing in the earth.
He had come to do the will of the Father and to fulfill the Father’s plan which had always been to have a people in the earth who would bring Heaven to earth, who would walk in the spirit and authority of Heaven.
They would be a visual aid for all to see what Heaven is like through common people who have been filled with the power of the Holy Spirit and now their lives are changed beyond all recognition. All of the earth, from nation to nation, has been impacted by ordinary people, filled with an extraordinary God. They are doing exploits by sharing His love, giving away His goodness, moving away from judging to mercy, telling others of God’s great love for them and giving them hope in the midst of a world that is in turmoil. This is a mighty company of people, a people called by His name; a people who love His Kingdom more than they love their own lives.
HIS KINGDOM CONTINUES TO GROW - THERE ISN’T A POWER
ON EARTHTHAT CAN STOP THE GROWTH OF THE CHURCH
In 3 of the major cultures in the earth, China, which is communistic, India which is Hindu, and Indonesia, which is Muslim (and has the greatest number of Muslims of any country in the world)…
…YET, Christianity has continued to grow in each of these nations! Today, there are some 200 million Chinese that are now Christian. By 2030, China will be known as a Christian nation.
In India, we have seen the same rate of change and growth as in China.
In Indonesia, that nation is now 35% Christian.
In 1900, there were approximately 10 million Christians in Africa. By the year 2000, there were over 360 million! By 2025, conservative estimates project that number rising to 633 million.
By the middle of this century there will be 3 billion Christians in the world. In fact, by 2050 there will be nearly as many Pentecostal Christians in the world as there are Muslims today.
In the last 35 years, there has been the largest harvest of souls in human history in the nation of China.
GOD IS AT WORK THROUGHOUT THE WORLD
There is explosive growth of Christianity outside of the West. God is at work everywhere throughout the world. Everywhere it is proclaimed, the Gospel is changing lives and societies.
In this new world of globalization, one thing remains true: It is Jesus who people of every realm and tongue bless. It is those who have been redeemed to God by His blood; those out of every tribe and tongue, and people and nation who have been made kings and priests to God; who are speaking out the name of His Lordship in the earth.
His name is Jesus.