Monday, March 12, 2018

Can I share some statistics with you?

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! 

To give a financial gift for soul winning, click HERE. 

Sunday, March 11, 2018

Why I Don't Engage With Heresy Hunters

1. Heresy Hunters waste my time.
            I only have 1,440 minutes in my day. If I spend lots of time with a heresy hunter, I have no time left for what is truly important to me. I never want to spend more time with a critic then I do with a friend.
            The day after my wife gave birth to my son Caleb, a heresy hunter wrote me an e-mail criticizing one of my sermons. His comments deeply disturbed me. I spent hours formulating my response. I carefully addressed each of his points. When I finished, I had written him a ten-page letter. I thought I could change his mind using Scripture and logic but his reply to me was nothing but more arguments.
            I realized it was foolish to spend time writing to him. Why was I wasting time arguing with a ignoramus instead of being with my wife and new-born son? When was the last time I wrote a ten-page letter to my mother? I have hundreds of people who love me and support me and it would be far better to write each of them a letter encouraging them in the Lord. 
            As a farmer said, “If you wrestle with a pig, you both get muddy.” Arguing theology with a blood sucking “hairy-tic-hunter” distracts me from helping someone who genuinely needs ministry.  
2. Heresy Hunters deny the clear interpretation of Scripture.
            Four times the Bible says “the just shall live by faith” (Hab 2:4, Rom 1:17, Gal 3:11, Heb 10:38) so how can a heresy hunter preach against faith? The Bible says, “By his stripes, we are healed” (1 Peter 2:24), so why does a heresy hunter deny that God heals? The Bible says God gives us the power to get wealth (Deuteronomy 8:17) so why does the heresy hunter preach against prosperity? The Bible says that God blessed Abraham (Gen. 12:2), so why does the heresy hunter preach against God’s blessings? The Bible says life and death are in the power of the tongue (Proverbs 18:21) so why does the heresy hunter preach against positive confession? It is because, despite their obsession with being like the Bereans, they ignore much of the teaching of Scripture.
3. Heresy Hunters believe in a different God then I do.
            I believe in faith. I believe in healing. I believe that God is a good God. Heresy Hunters often exalt the Sovereignty of God to such an extent that they make God responsible for the evil that occurs on the earth. Often they teach that God puts sickness on people in order to teach them a lesson. Or they teach that when a hurricane hits the United States, it is an expression of God’s judgment.

4. Heresy Hunters misrepresent the teachings of my friends and mentors.
            Kenneth Copeland has given over thirty million dollars to Reinhard Bonkee to help him evangelize Africa. When was the last time a heresy hunter gave $30 million to world evangelism? First, go do something for God and then you might have the right to start correcting people.
            I have heard Kenneth Copeland preach for many years. Not once have I heard him talk about us being “little gods” or about the “spiritual death of Christ.” I have heard him talk a lot about faith and love. It is unfair for heresy hunters to focus on a speculative sermon he preached back in the 80’s and to label him a heretic for the rest of his life. As one theologian said, “In essentials, unity; in non-essentials, freedom; in all things, charity.”

5. Heresy Hunters only want to confront, they do not want to learn.
            If you want to argue about prosperity then buy the book I wrote about “The Power of the Seed.” In it I examine over three hundred scriptures that talk about how God wants his children to be blessed. Perhaps I misquoted or took a few of those scriptures out of context, but there is no way I missed the meaning of over 300 verses. After you have refuted every point I make in my book, then we can talk about whether I am wrong about prosperity. But, until you have taken the time to read my writings, there is no point in us dialoguing.
6. Heresy Hunters have rarely accomplished much for God. 
            Do you know why dogs bark at a passing train? They want to go where the train is going but they cannot because they are tied up.
            Much criticism is rooted in jealously. Many people criticize because they can’t do. A keyboard and a blog does not qualify you to be a spiritual leader. Do something significant for the kingdom of God and you will earn the right to bring correction.
            A critic is someone who never goes to battle, but appears afterwards to shoot the wounded on his own team. Criticizing other ministries is not a ministry.

7. Heresy Hunters do not walk in love.
            1 John 4:8 says, “He who does not love does not know God for God is love.” When I am called a “heretic”, a “blab-it-and-grab-it, name-it-and-claim-it leach on the body of Christ”, I don’t feel much love. Stop calling me brother to my face and heretic behind my back or on your blog.

8. Heresy Hunters act like Pharisees.
            During the time of Jesus, who was the most spiritual? Who fasted and prayed more than everyone else? Who was fanatical about giving a tithe to the Temple? Who knew the Scriptures? It was the Pharisees. What did Jesus say about the Pharisees? He called them “white-washed tombs.” He said they were clean on the outside but dirty on the inside. Knowing Scripture does not make you a good Christian.