In the world today, there are 7.6 billion people. Already this year, there have been 27 million births and 11 million deaths which equals a population growth of 16 million new people in the past three months. When I was born in 1979, there were about four billion people alive. Today, that number has almost doubled.
According to a recent study by The PewForum, there are:
* 2,173,180,000 Christians (31% of world population), of which 50% are Catholic, 37% Protestant, 12% Orthodox, and 1% other.
* 1,598,510,000 Muslims (23%), of which 87-90% are Sunnis, 10-13% Shia.
* 1,126,500,000 No Religion affiliation (16%): atheists, agnostics and people who do not identify with any particular religion
* 1,033,080,000 Hindus (15%), the overwhelming majority (94%) of which live in India.
* 487,540,000 Buddhists (7%), of which half live in China.
* 405,120,000 Folk Religionists (6%): faiths that are closely associated with a particular group of people, ethnicity or tribe.
* 58,110,000 Other Religions (1%): Baha’i faith, Taoism, Jainism, Shintoism, Sikhism, Tenrikyo, Wicca, Zoroastrianism and many others.
*13,850,000 Jews (0.2%), four-fifths of which live in two countries: United States (41%) and Israel (41%).
Of all the people who claim to be Christians, many are only nominal Christians and are not truly born again. In reality there are about one billion “born-again” believers in the world today. That gives us a ratio of about one believer for every six non-believers. If every believer alive today would reach six other people for Jesus, the entire world would be saved.
Imagine a dinner party attended by you and your six best friends. Based on world population, one of you gets to heaven and the other six are headed for hell. Visualizing the breakdown of the world’s population in this way gives me an added sense of urgency for sharing the Gospel.
Here are some more numbers:
* Every 24 hours, about 52,500 people die without hearing the Gospel of Jesus Christ.
* On average, about 2 million unsaved people enter eternity every month.
* Every 1.5 seconds, someone dies who needs Jesus.
All of these numbers mean one thing to me as an evangelist. The harvest fields are ripe. There are millions of people around the world who are ready to give their hearts to Jesus if someone will go and preach the Gospel to them.
More people are alive today than ever before and I believe the greatest harvest of souls in history will happen in the next few years.
Romans 10:14-15 asks four important questions:
1. How, then, can they call on the one they have not believed in?
2. How can they believe in the one of whom they have not heard?
3. How can they hear without someone preaching to them?
4. How can anyone preach unless they are sent?
I am committed to leading the lost to Christ, but I cannot go unless I am sent. That is where you come in. It is through your generosity that I am able to go preach the Gospel. The harvest fields are ready and ripe. I know God wants you and me to be part of the greatest harvest of souls in world history. Thank you for helping to send me to the nations!
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