More than 10,000 in London heard Franklin Graham preach the Good News on Saturday (8/26/23). Christian artists—Ce Ce Winans, Newsboys, and Michael W. Smith provided the worship music during the service.
BGEA partnered with close to 1,000 area churches providing buses to the event. Also, over 85,000 watched it on-line and via livestream.
In the end more than a 1,000 came to Christ including those at the service and even more on-line that cannot be counted. A remarkable number and percentage that is an obvious Move of God.
This comes after LGBTQ activist groups were able to get several events and venues cancelled last year in the UK; including a scheduled event in Scotland due to Graham’s Biblical beliefs and positions on marriage and homosexuality. Franklin Graham’s organization was subsequently successful in their legal action against last years cancellations leading to this years successful events. Read more about it in the Christian Post article and on the BGEA website.
Here’s an encouraging testimony from the Archbishop of Canterbury, Justin Welby. Most American Charismatics and Pentecostals do not normally think of English Anglican Bishops as being daily participants in speaking in tongues or as willing recipients of words of knowledge and prophecy. From Christian Today:
He said: ‘In my own prayer life and as part of my daily discipline I pray in tongues every day – not as an occasional thing, but as part of daily prayer.’
He said he had been encouraged by words of knowledge and prophecy: ‘I expect to hear from God through other people with words of knowledge or prophecies – some of which I am unsure about, others I can sense there being something of the Spirit of God.’
Better yet, Archbishop Welby is supporting a special prayer initiative for World evangelism:
The archbishop was speaking in connection with the launch of Thy Kingdom Come, now in its fourth year, the prayer initiative that has united more than a million Christians from more than 65 different denominations and traditions in more than 114 countries to pray for evangelisation. It takes place between Ascension to Pentecost, May 30-June 9. …
He added: ‘It’s very unusual for something like Thy Kingdom Come to gather churches together on such a global basis. I don’t think it’s unique, I think it’s biblical. It started by looking at what the disciples did between the Ascension and Pentecost. …
South Korea has been the host and the exporter the 2018 Winter Olympics for the last two weeks. What many American and Western Christians do not realize, besides electronics and automobiles, South Korea is also one of the largest exporters of the Gospel with 27,436 Korean Christian missionaries serving in 170 countries. Some in places where Americans cannot legally go.
Also, at least 25% of the population in this Asian nation are Christians and even a greater percentage in the capital city of Seoul. From CBN News:
Today, Seoul, the capital of South Korea, has more megachurches than any other city in the world. In fact, six of the ten largest churches in the world are in South Korea.
In 2012, official government statistics put the number of Protestant churches at 77,000, more than three times the number of convenience stores in the country at that time.
The 1907 revival also gave birth to a powerful prayer and repentance movement that is still being felt to this day in the country.
Christianity received its biggest initial boost in Korea from one of the greatest revivals ever in 1907 in the city of Pyongyang which is now the capitol of North Korea. A prayer and repentance movement started with the revival still continues today with thousands of South Koreans going to church for early morning worship and prayer before going to work.
Unfortunately in Pyongyang today and in all of North Korea Christianity is outlawed. Nevertheless, The church continues underground in the North and missionaries from the Chinese Christian community and from South Korea continue to sneak their way into the North through China.
In contrast with all of the pageantry and the celebration of the media over the North Korean athletes joining with those from the South is the reality of Christians being killed, jailed, and tortured for their faith nearly every day in the North. In fact, North Korea heads nearly everyone’s list as the worst abuser of civil rights and religious freedom. Regardless, unification continues to be in the hearts. dreams, and hopes of all Koreans in both the South and among their literal relatives in the North.
Nearly every week we read reports from Europe about the problems and outright terrorism being perpetrated by the thousands of Muslim refugees. It is not too difficult for discerning believers to see our enemy’s hand in all this. Even worse, the demographers claim that if the current trend continue, Europe will eventually be dominated by Muslims. Some even talk about the Vatican being surrounded by mosques in a generation.
Yet in the midst of it all we receive reports of Muslims coming to Christ This recent account from the Christian Post should be encouraging. A former Iranian Muslim convert has led over 1,500 Muslims to Christ in Sweden:
An Iranian convert to Christianity who is now an ordained minister in the Church of Sweden says she has helped bring nearly 1,500 Muslims to Christ over the past five years.
Annahita Parsan told Fox News in a report on Wednesday that her life, which has undergone huge tribulations, is “completely different since coming to Jesus.”
Read her story in the article, it will give you hope. The fact is, in the midst of all of the bad news about Islam and the radical terrorists, more Muslims have actually converted to Christianity in the last ten years than ever before since the founding of Islam. The enemy has his plans but our God is more powerful and every knee shall eventually bow at the name of Jesus.
Here’s an incredible story from Open Doors ministry. A Iranian interrogator came to Christ through the witness of a Christian woman prisoner. Here’s the story from the Gospel Herald (Link NLA):
Noushin, a house church leader in the predominantly Muslim country, was arrested for her faith and forced into solitary confinement for three days.
“I wasn’t ready to go to prison,” she told Open Doors. “I knew it was a dirty place, a place where people are tortured and locked up in solitary confinement. I was afraid that I would be so fearful that I would give up all the names of the members of house church. I even feared that I would deny my faith if they tortured me.”
However, after three days of being locked in solitary confinement, Noushin began tentatively sharing the Gospel with her interrogator.
“We talked about Jesus for hours until finally the interrogator gave his heart to Jesus. We prayed together,” she recalled.
“It’s an honor for me to talk about Jesus,” Noushin told the guard. “You also need Jesus in your life. I cannot be indifferent toward you. I want you to experience the joy and blessing of salvation. I can’t keep silent about this.”
Response: Open Doors reports that the revival in Iran continues in spite of the recent crackdown and arrest of Christian leaders by the government authorities.
Please remember to pray for our brothers and sisters in that land. As many as half a million are said to have come to Christ in the last 10 years. There is no way to get accurate stats out of there but most have come to Christ through rather miraculous means and are meeting in secret house churches.
So many American Christians are involved in the on-going ‘culture wars’ and the hopes for revival in our own country that sometimes we miss what God is doing in this generation all around the world. Nothing demonstrates this more than what happened last Sunday- Pentecost in Jerusalem.
The whole event was sponsored by Empowered21 and lead by American and Western Pentecostal and Charismatic church leaders including Billy Wilson, president of Oral Roberts University, and Dr. George Wood, General Superintendent of the Assemblies of God. Other notables attending included- Reinhard Bonnke, Morris Cerullo, Jack Hayford, Marilyn Hickey, David Mainse and Vinson Synan who were honored for their past service along with many others.
Christians came to the event from more than 70 different countries but among the largest groups in attendance were those from China along with a group from Indonesia. It really does demonstrate that a ‘World Harvest’ has been going on for quite a while and now new evangelists and world church leaders are being called forth from those nations.
Look for young missionaries and evangelists to begin to come forth from Asian countries like China, South Korea, Indonesia and from the well established churches in Africa. Do not be surprised if they start showing up in Europe and America to re-sow the ground that was once fertile and produced the missionaries that originally brought the Gospel to their own nations.
According to Jonathan Shibley, president of Global Advance:
“We really felt like it was a sovereign time for the Lord to pull together people during an economic crisis, because that’s where our faith comes out and shines.”
“Three years ago, we were challenged at Global Advance to begin to look at Europe much like we would other developing countries: as an underserved region of the world, and almost an unreached region of the world to some extent.”
“People are hungry spiritually, but they don’t know what they’re hungry for. So the gospel’s got to be demonstrated in a fresh way. So many people associate religion with empty cathedrals. They haven’t made the connect with their faith and the relevance to their personal lives. Somehow the church has got to become relevant again.”
In talking about the recent conference Shibley concluded
“It was just a wonderful time to bring a wide variety of people from different denominations, different backgrounds, and also different industries together under one common cause—and that’s to see Christ lifted up through the workplace in Europe.”
Response: I believe that marketplace ministry is also part of God’s heart for transforming America and particularly the American church. For too long American Christians have lived separate lives dividing the sacred from the secular and profane.
Most of us Christians spend a majority of our lives in the marketplace, in schools, jobs, or in businesses. Yet we mostly keep the most important things of our lives separate from that experience, our families and our faith. For too long, American Christians have separated their working lives from their faith, viewing work as a necessary evil to pay the bills. Not really the ‘spiritual’ part of our lives but the secular.
You can see where this has gotten us when well known church-going evangelical business leaders end up in jail over corrupt business practices. One famous energy company in Texas comes to mind as an example. The CEO was a deacon in his church and now he’s in prison.
It wasn’t always that way in America nor was it that way in Europe. The protestant work ethic transformed the West. All thing were done as unto Christ. But it was in America that religion and business would go hand in hand to build up a new nation that would lead the world for an entire century. However, somewhere in the last 50 years or so, Christianity became something that primarily happened just in a church for one hour on Sunday or two if your Pentecostal or Charismatic.
Again, it wasn’t always that way. One of the greatest revivals in America happened in businesses in New York City in the 19th century just before the civil war. Over 50,000 businessmen were converted to Christ and they transformed the entire American economy for the next 50 years until America became a leading world economic power.
It is time once more for American Christians to put it all together and live our entire lives under the banner of Christ including the marketplaces where we spend most of our time and efforts. I believe that the marketplace is the key to the next major revival that will transform the American church and change it into a relevant and dynamic witness to a secular American culture which has abandoned God and the very foundation it was originally built upon.
Grady asks this question in a visit to Singapore and observes that the Asian Church is coming of age. For years, those of us in the West have looked upon the church in Asia as a mission area. Now I have heard many talking about how the Asian church might actually be found leading the way in the near future.
I have a cousin that travels to South Korea on business who mentioned to me 10 years ago that Korea was well on its way toward becoming a Christian nation. Then recently I have read about the expanding house church movement in China and have seen several forecasts that China could actually become a Christian nation within 20 –25 years at the current pace. Remarkable and exciting.
In his article, J. Lee Grady list 3 reasons why the Asian Church will be come a major factor globally in the future:
1. They are taking world evangelism seriously.
2. They understand the importance of the Holy Spirit’s power.
3. They are investing in the next generation.
It is really amazing what is transpiring in Asia but also in Africa and in South America too, along with a secret harvest going on in Muslim countries. A world wide harvest/revival is ongoing just about everywhere except in North America, Europe, and the West.
Asian churches are beginning to send missionaries into North Korea and the Middle East plus African churches are actually sponsoring new missions in the UK and Europe.
If the current trends do continue then Grady could be correct. What use to be the mission field and the tail is well on the way toward becoming the head.
“By 2015 there will be WiFi everywhere on the face of the earth.”
“We are the first generation in all of human history to hold within our hands the technology to reach every man, woman, and child on the earth by 2020. Our generation has within its grasp everything that is required to fulfill the Great Commission.”
The Internet is changing everything. No this is not an exaggeration and I happen to believe that in spite of all the controversy God is behind it all. Just like the Roman peace, road system, and universal use of the Greek language made it possible for Christianity to spread across the known world in the first generation. Today the internet is doing the same thing in this generation—actually making it possible for folks to begin to talk about fulfilling the Great Commission of taking the Gospel to every nation.
Right now I know of several Christian ministries that are targeting unreached cultures and people nations through the Internet—places where it is impossible and illegal for missionaries to go. Nevertheless people in those nations are coming to Christ and new churches are being planted.
It is pretty incredible how the Net has made the world a much smaller place. The Islamic autocrats can no longer keep their folks from finding out the truth about Jesus. One Click with the browser and you can get the best Bible teaching of all time no matter where you live. In fact my blogs including this one have been visited by folks from nearly every country on Earth—196 to date. We are living in exciting times.
On Sunday VCC Pastor Mike Hudgins Told us something we all knew but really didn’t know the extent of. Over 70 folks have committed their lives to Christ in the last month at our services.
There are three worship services so most of us who attend just one are not always aware of everything that is going on in the congregation.
Pastor Mike has given invitations for salvation every week and at every service for years and I don’t think 70 have come to receive God’s free gift in a whole year to date much less in a month. Usually folks will come forward after the service to receive healing and further ministry but few in wealthy South Orange County California have come up front to receive God’s free gift. But all that has changed now and 7 more came up for salvation at the end of that 9 am service on Sunday.
As Pastor Mike was telling us about this development I saw a picture in my mind of a door just barely cracked open. Then the Holy Spirit clearly said to me that it wasn’t just here but all across America and North America for that matter—the door was cracking open.
What does that mean? And how should we respond? That’s what I asked the Lord.
First of all it is time to pray for all those children of ours and relatives who aren’t saved. Even the ones we have given up on. Remember also the friends and neighbors who have rejected the Gospel in the past.
It is a New Day in America and the Door is cracking open!
Jesus is standing at the door and knocking once more across this whole land. Pastors, Bible teachers, and leaders: Tell your church that it is a New Day!