Between 1900 and today, the world population has grown nearly five times. During the same period, the number of Pentecostal and Charismatic Christians has grown over six hundred times. Christianity is growing faster than the world population at a 1.27% rate overall and Pentecostals/ Charismatics at a 2.26% rate. We live in a time where more people are born again daily worldwide than at any other time in history.
There are also more evangelistic opportunities than there have ever been. In 1900, only 5.5% of non-Christians knew a Christian, today that has grown to 18.3%. A recent survey by Tearfund found a quarter of adults in the UK watched or listened to a religious service during the coronavirus lockdown, and one in twenty have started praying during the crisis. Holy Trinity Brompton Church has seen its attendance at Alpha triple since coronavirus lockdown began.
When Jesus sent out the seventy-two disciples, he said to them “The harvest is plentiful, but the workers are few.” (Luke 10:2). Jesus message remains unchanged because the harvest is still plentiful. Do we believe what Jesus says about the harvest? Do we believe people around us are open to hearing about and encountering God? Do we believe in the good news of the kingdom?
We empower what we believe. If we believe the Holy Spirit is already working in the lives of unbelievers (John 16:8), we will expect people to be open to God. If we believe we live in a place where people are hardened to the gospel, we will not expect people to become Christians. If we believe God can powerfully work in and through us to reconcile people to him (2 Corinthians 5:17-21) then we will look for his invitation into evangelistic moments.
Yes, there were some people and places that did not respond well to Jesus (Mark 10:21-22, Luke 4:24 and Matthew 11:20-24), but these were the exception, not the norm. Wherever Jesus went people experienced the good news of his kingdom through miracles and salvation. Jesus sent out the disciples ahead of him to towns he was about to visit because he expected a harvest in them. As we are sent by Jesus (John 17:18), do we expect a harvest among the unbelievers around us?
Jesus still says to us “I tell you, open your eyes and look at the fields! They are ripe for harvest.” John 4:35.
What does God want to do in and through you today to bring in the harvest?
- If you do not believe the harvest is ready, ask Jesus why you think that way
- Ask Jesus which unbelievers around you are not far from his kingdom (Mark 12:34)