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The kingdom is coming (faster than you realized)

The world is getting brighter, not darker. The kingdom of God has been coming with ever-increasing force ever since Jesus’ first proclaimed its arrival. The Gospel of Jesus is spreading like wildfire ever faster around the globe.    The past one hundred years were truly dramatic in …
By Seth Barnes
By Seth Barnes
The world is getting brighter, not darker. The kingdom of God has been coming with ever-increasing force ever since Jesus’ first proclaimed its arrival. The Gospel of Jesus is spreading like wildfire ever faster around the globe. 
 
The past one hundred years were truly dramatic in the history of the Great Commission. More peoples heard and responded to the gospel in the 20th century than all-previous centuries combined. Here are some statistics from the September 2009 issue of Missions Frontiers.*

The advance of the gospel over time
In A.D. 100 only one in every 360 people was an active believer. That ratio has steadily dropped as the initiative of the Holy Spirit continues to accelerate the expansion of Christ’s kingdom! 

  • In 100 A.D., one believer per 360 people.
  • In 1000 A.D. one believer per 270 people.
  • In 1500 A.D. one believer per 85 people.
  • In 1900 AD. one believer per 21 people.
  • Today one believer per 7.3 people.
The number of Christ followers on the planet continues to accelerate. One hundred years ago the ratio of local churches to unreached peoples
was 100 to 1. Today there are over 1,000 local churches available to
reach every one remaining unreached people!
 

How many have heard?
Approximately 16,000 peoples that have embraced the Gospel. 4 billion people live in these “ethne.”
• Christian Believers – 800 million have been born again into a personal relationship with Jesus Christ.
• Other Christians – 1.37 billion who consider themselves Christians because they come from a Christian culture.
• Culturally near non-Christians – 1.8 billion are not yet Christians but live in a people where a viable, indigenous church movement has been established.


 
Personnel needed

At a minimum level, an estimated additional 32,000 missionaries are needed to engage the least-reached population segments among the world’s 8,000 unreached peoples. Well over half of these will come from countries other than the U.S. Assuming an average church size of 100 persons, we only need one new missionary from every 250 churches in order to send out the additional 32,000 that are needed!

 
Prayer needed
Prayer is something that everyone can do. Assuming the “hour a day” rule, a church of about 50 praying members could readily supply the prayer support for an entire team of four missionaries if they only prayed 5 minutes a day.

Biblical imperative

“And this Gospel of the kingdom will be preached in the whole world as a testimony to all nations (ethne), and then the end will come.” Matthew 24:14
 
(“Ethne” is the Greek word translated here as “nations.” It means peoples or tribes rather than countries.)
 
*Taken from “Amazing Countdown Facts”

Comments (7)

  • …and it’s the only truly stable currency–backed up by the treasure in heaven.
    Good work, Seth, and all you AIMers across the globe, wherever you are! Be not weary in your well-doing.

  • Seth,
    I read this last night and afterward, gave it a fair amount of thought.

    Humanity—and the world we inhabit—do seem on the edge of a very different era marked by greater upheaval and less security (we may well be entering “the end times”). It may well be true that “The Kingdom is coming (faster than you realized).” However, depending on your definition of the Kingdom, the evidence you site to support your premise fails.

    The best, most simple and elegant definition of the Kingdom I’ve seen, was stated by Dallas Willard: “The Kingdom is the effective reach of God’s authority and power.” It is a very common sense definition—wherever God is in control, there is His Kingdom. I believe that the human heart is His primary domain, but those whose hearts He inhabits can bring the Kingdom to geographical spaces as well. I do not believe the Kingdom is rightly measured by statistics that cite ratios of “believers” to other “people.” We’ve all seen the unbelievable percentages of people professing belief in the U.S. If God were in control of the hearts of some 90% of the people of the U.S., I would argue that the U.S. would be a VERY different place.

    As I think about all the places I’ve been, I can’t think of ANYWHERE where every 7th person (in my perception) was/is a Kingdom dweller: not the U.S., not Canada, not Europe, not Latin America, not Asia, not the Middle East. Think of places like China or India—vast populations scantly penetrated by authentic Christianity.

    I’d be interested in your thoughts about what constitutes the Kingdom.

  • Amen that more people have been saved in the past century than ALL the rest. If that doesn’t point to a faster coming Kingdom, I’m not sure what does.

    I’ve recently been exposed/educated to the number of unreached and unengaged people groups that exist. it breaks my heart, but I know that God is moving into neighborhoods at a faster rate than ever before, using media and other outlets not formerly available.

    I think God’s Kingdom is this planet in a physical sense. This earth was created to be His Kingdom. We screwed it up, we opened the door to the enemy’s infiltration. With the coming of Christ and indwelling of God’s Spirit our hearts are His Kingdom as well. We the people are His Kingdom and His body. I think what makes me as excited, if not more is the fact that there are movements of people understanding and living the true reconciliation God desires for us between Him and us, between eachother, and between us and this planet, which was created as part of His Kingdom.

    There’s being saved, and there’s living saved. It excites me to see more moving into the second, it excites me to feel myself understanding the difference.

    Sorry for the long comment, but those are just my thoughts as I read the post and the comments.

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Seth Barnes

I'm motivated to join God in his global reclamation project. He's on the move, setting his sons and daughters free from their places of captivity. And he's partnering with those of us who have been freed to go and free others.



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