New Year: Same Gospel, Bigger World
I read some stats today, and I am still trying to wrap my mind around them. In December 2012, the world population was estimated to be 7.1 billion. That is enough people to hold hands and wrap around the planet a couple of dozen times. More than one-third of them have never heard the Gospel or even the name of Jesus.
There will be an estimated 55.3 million deaths this year, while the birth estimate is double that at 131.4 million. That means the population keeps exploding. I remember when we hit 5 billion when I was in high school, and everyone was freaking out.
The most accurate estimates from the U.N. report that in 1 A.D., the earth’s population was 300 million. It took 1,250 years to get to 400 million. Then we hit 500 million in the year 1500. The world population finally hit 1 billion in 1804, rose to 2 billion in 1927 and, in 1960, was at 3 billion.
Think about this: the world’s population has more than doubled in the last 50 years. In fact, we hit 4 billion in 1974, 5 billion in 1987, and 6 billion in 1999.
Numbers, numbers, numbers. What do they mean for us?
We have more resources than any generation or society in history to reach the world. There are 4 billion people in Asia alone! The current death rate means that every minute, 105 people die. That is almost 2 per second. But every time one dies, two are born.
Again, why so many numbers?
I have heard people “resolve” to do everything in 2013 — from losing weight to getting married. But as Christians, we need to literally become OBSESSED with reaching the nations. People are coming and going at a staggering rate, and we are “business as usual.”
“I’m gonna get to the gym more often.”
“I’m gonna eat fewer calories, or drink less coffee, or watch less TV…”
Blah. Blah. Blah.
“I am resolving to pray for and learn about specific people groups in the world who don’t know the Gospel of Jesus Christ!”?
So the plan Christ has to reach the world is not only doable, but IT WILL HAPPEN. The question is, will you and I be a part of it? Get off the stinkin’ church pew, get over commercial American Christianity and get obsessed with the Gospel. Let you heart break for the 7 billion! Let’s be a part of what Christ has promised He is going to do.
In the next post, we will look at some practical, hands-on ways we can take part in reaching that 7 billion.
For now, think about this:
The world is growing. The world is dying. Do you care?
(photos by 'India Wallpaper')