The Present Demographic Imperative!
They went to the region of Lycaonia, to the cities of Lystra and Derbe . . . (Acts 14:6).
With the world population exploding, is it any wonder that God is moving people to the cities of the world to enable us to reach them more quickly?
In his book, "Touching the World Through Prayer," Wesley L. Duewel, famous missionary statesman, described this worldwide demographic phenomenon and its relevance to the Great Commission.
He says that throughout the world, the villages are static and dying, since the first to suffer in famine are the villagers. The prospects of enough to eat, education, health services, and job opportunities available in the cities are beckoning the young and ambitious. The exodus to the cities is a phenomenon that has accelerated. The greatest urban migration in the history of the world will occur during this decade (his book was written in the 1980s) and the next. It is estimated that one billion people from Third World countries will migrate to the cities during the 1980s alone.
The average world-class city doubles in population every fourteen years, and some in only ten years. Because of the intense concentration of people living within a smaller radius, we can reach far more in a city than in a village, and in a shorter period of time. Paul centered his evangelistic efforts in cities, and then the city churches reached out to the villages.
The ripest time ever is now, Duewel says. Why? Because in the first 10-15 years after new city dwellers arrive, they are more responsive than at any other time. While living in the villages under the scrutiny of family, members of the caste, friends, and village priests and religious leaders, it is difficult for individuals who hear the gospel to step out alone. Upon reaching the city, they are comparatively rootless and often restless and disillusioned in not finding the new home to be the longed-for utopia.
Liberated from the surveillance of relatives and religious leaders, those individuals are vulnerable and ripe for the gospel message. It is crucial that we reach them now.
Now, since God is sovereign and knows all of this, is it any accident that the greatest gospel outreaches in the history of the world have taken place since the middle of the 20th century? God knows exactly what He is doing, and His plan is on schedule.
Duewel says that within 15-20 years the major urban migration will be complete, and people will have put down roots again. More than ever before in earth's history, now is God's hour to harvest and to pray.
Yours for fulfilling the Great Commission each year until our Lord returns,
The late Dr. Bill Bright was Founder and President/Chairman Emeritus of Campus Crusade for Christ, an organization which began as a campus ministry in 1951 and now has more than 27,000 full-time staff and up to 500,000 trained volunteer staff in 196 countries in areas representing 99.6 percent of the world's population. In the past 50 years, Campus Crusade for Christ has seen approximately 6 billion exposures to the gospel worldwide. The film, "JESUS," which Bright conceived and funded through Campus Crusade for Christ, is the most widely translated and viewed film of any type ever produced. Since its use began in 1980, the film has been translated into 839 languages and viewed or listened to by over 5.7 billion people in 228 countries. Dr. Bright was also the author of more than fifty books. Visit campuscrusade.com for more details
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