Monday, September 21, 2009

You Can Make an Eternal Difference

IF Jesus did and said what's recorded, THEN we can know some things about: person of Christ, our salvation, right and wrong, judgment, eternal state.

IF....... THEN...... YOU CAN MAKE AN ETERNAL DIFFERENCE. John 14:12 This is puzzling, but if it's TRUE, you can make a difference. The same way Jesus made a difference, we can make a great difference. We have the same opportunities.

QUESTION: Is this true or just good preaching material????

ANSWER: Statistics show this to be true.
#1. Past Growth - on a worldwide scale - in AD 100 - there were 360 non-Christians for every 1 Christian.
In AD 1000 - that ratio was 220 to 1
In AD 1500 - that ratio was 69 to 1
In AD 1900 - " " " 27 to 1
In 1992 - that ratio was 2 to 1 (every third person was a Christian)
(33.4% of the world's population named Christianity as their religion or religion of preference)

In the U.S. the ratio is 1 non-Christian to 4 Christians which is 80%

#2. Current Growth - According to an article entitled THE GROWTH OF CHRISTIANITY WORLDWIDE, published August 27th, 2005: Quote by Philip Jenkins, distinguished professor of History and Religious Studies at Pennsylvania State University.
in part, Places considered unreachable several decades ago have now become hot spots for Christian growth, and hundreds of new churches are being planted each month in those places. Some examples cited were the country of Nepal, China, and Benin in Africa. As the media have striven in recent years to present Islam in a more sympathetic light, they have tended to suggest that Islam, not Christianity, is the rising faith of Africa and Asia, the authentic or default religion of the world's huddled masses. But Christianity is not only survivng in the global south, it is enjoying a radical revival, a return to scriptural roots. WE are living in revolutionary times," Mr. Jenkins said.

No matter how bad things may seem here at home, God is at work, and in the end, it is God to whom every knee will bow, and every tongue confess.

#3. Expected Growth - in a book titled GOD Is Back: How the Global Rise of Faith Will Change the World - written by John Micklethwait and Adrian Wooldridge - one an atheist and one a Catholic.
What's going on? The authors assert that the surge of religion is driven by competition and choice.: It is not just that religion is thriving in many modernizing countries; it is also that religion is succeeding in harnessing the tools of modernity to propagate its message. The very things that were supposed to destroy religion --d democracy and markets, technology and reason -- are combining to make it stronger.

QUESTION: Why is it so difficult to see the growth? the difference?

Here are some reasons:
#1. Growth is slow, incremental, and hard to see. Example: a tree growing over hundreds of years. Doesn't look that different from year to year, but in fact, is changing.

#2. We see so many failures! - within Christianity. within the church. within self!
We will see failures: "for all have sinned and come short"

#3. We're too easily swayed by these failures. We see the bad stuff and it distorts our whole picture of what's happening.

We are so controlled by current events that -
#4. Our personal contributions are hard to see. Examples: the prophet Jeremiah, and Martin Luther.
The difference IS being made.
#5, The result of our successes is: A. not immediate B. impossible to measure.

#6. Much of the difference will only be revealed in heaven. Matt. 25:34-40 "when???"

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