By Jay Rogers
Published April 26, 2008
Are we winning or losing?
According to the U.S. Center for World Missions, Christian evangelism in the last 100 years has reached a growth curve which is now increasing exponentially. Comparing the ratio of Christians per unconverted people in the world, the following statistics have been noted:
- In the year 100 A.D. (70 years after Jesus Christ’s ministry began), there was a total of one believer for every 360 unbelievers on the planet Earth (or .27% of the world’s population).
- In the year 1000, the ratio became 1 to 220 (or .45% of the population).
- In 1900, the ratio became 1 to 27 (or 3.7%).
- In 1980, the ratio became 1 to 11 (or 9.1%).
- In 1990, the ratio was 1 to 7 (or 14.3%).
The U.S. Center for World Missions defines a Christian as a person who has had a “born-again” experience, attends a church service at least twice a week, and prays at least once a month for world evangelization. In viewing these ratios on the chart below, one can see a rapid increase of Christians toward the year 1900. This dramatic increase shows the impact which the Protestant Reformation of the 1500s, the First and Second Great Awakenings of the following centuries, and the Holiness and Pentecostal Revivals at the turn of the 20th century have had on world evangelization.
The 20th century, however, has shown the greatest growth period of conversions to the Christian faith. Remarkably, this exponential growth has occurred at an even higher rate than the staggering world population explosion. With a tremendous increase in world population has come an even greater increase in the total number of Christians. This great number of conversions has occurred despite great violence and persecutions against the Church.
The 20th century has been termed: “The Violent Century” by some historians, referring to the two great world wars, the Nazi holocaust, abortion, Soviet and Chinese communism killing millions of their own people, famine in Africa, the AIDS epidemic, etc., all happening on a global scale. Despite all of these obstacles, the Kingdom of God has grown and multiplied.
In biblical terminology, a nation or ETHNOS, is not a geopolitical boundary, but a “peoples group” defined by a common geneology, history, culture and language. The U.S. Center for World Missions has numbered at least 24,000 distinct ethnic groups which can be viewed in biblical terms as the ETHNE, “the nations,” or “peoples groups,” that must be reached with the gospel in order to fulfill the Great Commission of Jesus Christ: “Go ye therefore and make disciples of all nations” (Matthew 28:18-20).
Of these 24,000 peoples groups, there are about 10,000 which have an indigenous witness in the form of a New Testament church made up of people from their own culture. This leaves 14,000 peoples groups which still must be reached with the gospel in order for the Great Commission to be fulfilled. With the exponential growth indicated on the graph below, it is mathematically possible that mostt of these remaining groups could be reached within the decade of the 1990s.
But we should remember the words of Jesus Christ, which have been borne out in the experience of the 20th century: “And from the days of John the Baptist until now, the kingdom of heaven suffereth violence, and the violent take it by force” (Matthew 11:12).
Forerunner - Home » The Champion » The Champion - Volume 2
Your comments are welcome!
Download the Free Study Guide!
Just what is Calvinism?
Does this teaching make man a deterministic robot and God the author of sin? What about free will? If the church accepts Calvinism, won’t evangelism be stifled, perhaps even extinguished? How can we balance God’s sovereignty and man’s responsibility? What are the differences between historic Calvinism and hyper-Calvinism? Why did men like Augustine, Luther, Calvin, Spurgeon, Whitefield, Edwards and a host of renowned Protestant evangelists embrace the teaching of predestination and election and deny free will theology?
This is the first video documentary that answers these and other related questions. Hosted by Eric Holmberg, this fascinating three-part, four-hour presentation is detailed enough so as to not gloss over the controversy. At the same time, it is broken up into ten “Sunday-school-sized” sections to make the rich content manageable and accessible for the average viewer.
Running Time: 257 minutes
$19.95 — ORDER NOW!(We accept all major credit cards and PayPal.)
“Here I stand … I can do no other!”
With these immortal words, an unknown German monk sparked a spiritual revolution that changed the world.
The dramatic classic film of Martin Luther’s life was released in theaters worldwide in the 1950s and was nominated for two Oscars. A magnificent depiction of Luther and the forces at work in the surrounding society that resulted in his historic reform efforts, this film traces Luther’s life from a guilt-burdened monk to his eventual break with the Roman Catholic Church.
Running time: 105 minutes
Special offer: Order 5 or more for $5 each.
Watch a clip from Martin Luther.
$9.95 — ORDER NOW!(We accept all major credit cards and PayPal.)
Who is the dreaded beast of Revelation?
Now at last, a plausible candidate for this personification of evil incarnate has been identified (or re-identified). Ken Gentry’s insightful analysis of scripture and history is likely to revolutionize your understanding of the book of Revelation — and even more importantly — amplify and energize your entire Christian worldview!
Historical footage and other graphics are used to illustrate the lecture Dr. Gentry presented at the 1999 Ligonier Conference in Orlando, Florida. It is followed by a one-hour question and answer session addressing the key concerns and objections typically raised in response to his position. This presentation also features an introduction that touches on not only the confusion and controversy surrounding this issue — but just why it may well be one of the most significant issues facing the Church today.
Ideal for group meetings, personal Bible study — for anyone who wants to understand the historical context of John’s famous letter “… to the seven churches which are in Asia.” (Revelation 1:4)
Running Time: 145 minutes
$17.95 — ORDER NOW!(We accept all major credit cards and PayPal.)
“Give me liberty or give me death!”
Patrick Henry’s famous declaration not only helped launch the War for Independence, it also perfectly summarized the mindset that gave birth to, and sustained, the unprecedented experiment in Christian liberty that was America.
The freedom our Founders envisioned was not freedom from suffering, want, or hard work. Nor was it freedom to indulge every appetite or whim without restraint—that would merely be servitude to a different master. No, the Founders’ passion was to live free before God, unfettered by the chains of autocracy, shackles that slowly but inexorably bind men when the governments they fashion fail to recognize and uphold freedom’s singular, foundational truth: that all men are created in the image of God, and are thereby co-equally endowed with the right to “life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness.”
This presentation is a similar call, not to one but many. By reintroducing the principles of freedom that gave birth to America, it is our prayer that Jesus, the true and only ruler over the nations, will once again be our acknowledged Sovereign, that we may again know and exult in the great truth that “where the Spirit of the LORD is, there is liberty” (2 Cor. 3:17).
Welcome to the Second American Revolution!
This DVD features “Liberty: The Model of Christian Liberty” along with “Dawn’s Early Light: A Brief History of America’s Christian Foundations.” Bonus features include a humorous but instructive collection of campaign ads and Eric Holmberg’s controversial YouTube challenge concerning Mitt Romney’s campaign for president.
$14.95 — ORDER NOW!(We accept all major credit cards and PayPal.)
That Swiss Hermit Strikes Again!
Dr. Schaeffer, who was one of the most influential Christian thinkers in the twentieth century, shows that secular humanism has displaced the Judeo-Christian consensus that once defined our nation’s moral boundaries. Law, education, and medicine have all been reshaped for the worse as a consequence. America’s dominant worldview changed, Schaeffer charges, when Christians weren’t looking.
Schaeffer lists two reasons for evangelical indifference: a false concept of spirituality and fear. He calls on believers to stand against the tyranny and moral chaos that come when humanism reigns-and warns that believers may, at some point, be forced to make the hard choice between obeying God or Caesar. A Christian Manifesto is a thought-provoking and bracing Christian analysis of American culture and the obligation Christians have to engage the culture with the claims of Christ.
$19.95 — ORDER NOW!(We accept all major credit cards and PayPal.)