East Martin CRC
The Church Has Never Stopped Growing!
Copyright by Freedom in Christ, used with permission.
If the Bible really is God’s message to us, then you would expect to see it having an effect in the lives of those who follow its teachings, which in turn would lead to more and more people wanting to join them. Has that been happening?
Jesus started the church, and after His resurrection it just exploded. And in the 2000 years or so since, it has never stopped growing.
In Western countries, you will often hear people talking about how the church has been in decline. Whilst that may have been true over the last few decades, it has now largely bottomed out and in many places is in fact growing again. But actually this recent decline in the west has been something of an anomaly when you look at the rest of the world. You may have been surprised by some of the facts and figures you heard in this week’s session – in the year 1900, about 2.5% of the world’s population were Christians. But by 1970, this figure stood at 5%, and by the year 2000, it was 11.2%! That is staggering growth! It hasn’t just kept pace with population growth, it has accelerated way beyond it. Right now, about a million people a week are becoming Christians across the world. In China alone, there are more Christians now than members of the Communist party. In Africa, there were three Christians in every 100 people a century ago, but now it’s 45 in 100!
Jesus said “I will build my church, and the gates of Hades will not overcome it” (Matthew 16:18). He hasn’t failed to deliver on His promise!
Do these figures surprise you?