“For I am not ashamed of the gospel, for it is the power of God for salvation to everyone who believes, to the Jew first and also to the Greek. For in it the righteousness of God is revealed from faith for faith, as it is written, “The righteous shall live by faith.”
Two weeks ago (April 3, 2015) USA TODAY reported that the Islamic faith is the fastest growing major religion in the world. The Pew Research Center predicts that Muslims will outnumber Christians by 2070. They are currently growing twice as fast as any other religion. Christianity, currently the dominant religion worldwide, will be eclipsed by Islam within 55 years.
The research shows that Christianity and Islam will be numerical equals near 2050 and then Islam will take over the top tier of religious groups as we move beyond the next 35 years. In fact, the Pew Research Center suggests that “Muslims are the only major religious group projected to increase faster than the world’s population as a whole.” Their research also states that Christianity “will suffer the largest net loss among those switching beliefs by 2050, winning more than 40 million while losing 106 million, mostly to those unaffiliated with religion.”
What are we to think of these findings? What might this mean for Christians in America? What about Christians in other countries who are enduring severe persecution at the hands of radical Islam? Why are so many who “profess Christ” predicted to switch teams in the future?
These Pew Research findings ought to arouse conviction and urgency in those of us who are so marvelously loved by our gracious God. Is it possible that we have been, and are currently asleep at the wheel while a works-righteousness religion grows at an alarming rate? Do we no longer sense the great urgency to proclaim the name of the One who transferred us from darkness to light? Are we ashamed of our glorious gospel of grace?
God’s people, like the Apostle Paul, must declare to the world, “I am not ashamed of the gospel, for it is the power of God for salvation to everyone who believes…” If we truly believe that Jesus is “the way, the truth, and the life” (John 14:6), then we must band together as brothers and sisters in our desire to see broken, prideful, sinful man brought to a life-changing relationship with the Living God of the universe. Jesus Christ is the gospel. He is our only hope. He is the only One that can truly affect change in the heart. The gospel of Jesus Christ is the power of God for salvation to everyone who believes. Trust Him. Proclaim Him. Live for Him.