"After this I looked and there before me was a great multitude that no one could count, from every nation, tribe, people and language, standing before the throne and in front of the Lamb." Rev 7:9 NIV
There are times when, as Christians, we feel like an insignificant minority in the world. This seems especially true in the face of a media and culture that mocks godly values and considers the Church irrelevant. But the Church is far from insignificant. It is the greatest community on earth! When, the sun rises each day, it rises on people in every nation who love God. Despite our sins and frailties, our Lord is fulfilling His purposes on earth through His Church.
The Church is perhaps bigger than we think. In the past fifty years it has grown at a faster rate than any other religion. Followers of Christ now number over half a billion. The faithful service of generations of missionaries, the daily witness of God's people and the prayers of intercessors have brought forth a mighty global harvest of believers.
This momentum is not letting up as people are turning to Christ in unprecedented numbers in Asia, Africa and South America. Be encouraged also that more Muslims have come to Christ in the past twenty-five years than in the previous one thousand years and the gospel has taken root in hundreds of unreached peoples. In many cases, groups with no known believers ten or twenty years ago now have thriving churches among them.
Prayer movements are springing up around the globe as intercessors fall to their knees pleading for repentance and revival. The Lord of the harvest is sending workers to the harvest fields in great waves from nations not long ago considered mission fields. God is making ready a bride for His Son from every tribe and language and nation. This bride is putting on garments of praise, ever looking toward heaven, longing for the day when her Bridegroom cometh.
Let us stand in reverent awe then at what God is doing. As we move closer to that day when the kingdoms of this world become the kingdom of our Lord, let us call on God to purify His Church that has allowed itself to be tainted by the world, and to make us a shining light and a healing balm to the nations. Pray too that more unreached peoples will add their praise to the ever increasing volume of worship rising from God's people to the courts of heaven.
(Information for this article gleaned from Operation World - seventh edition.)
Global Prayer Coordinator