As I travel around the world, I see many beautiful cathedrals and church buildings. Yet, I find very little power in these churches and cathedrals. They can boast, tremendously, about the structure, the beauty and the history of those temples, cathedrals and church buildings; but, where is the power?
Jesus said, "All power is given unto me." Again He says, "But ye shall receive power after that the Holy Ghost is come upon you and ye shall be witnesses unto me, both in Jerusalem and in all Judea and in Samaria and unto the uttermost parts of the earth" (Acts 1:8).
We are surrounded by all kinds of idol worship, sorcery and compromise. We compromise our convictions for convenience sake; our cultural habits and practices have overtaken the scriptural mandate for holy living.
What happened to the power of the Gospel? The early church and the apostles and the disciples had enough power -- to open blind eyes; to open deaf ears; to raise the dead and to forgive sins. Jesus said, "All power is given unto me in heaven and in earth. Go ye therefore, and teach all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost; teaching them to observe all things whatsoever I have commanded you: and, lo, I am with you alway, even unto the end of the age."
World evangelization must be very dear to the heart of Jesus Christ, as well as to the heart of God. He could have talked about so many major doctrines to His disciples after He was resurrected and before He ascended up to heaven; but, instead, He spoke of world evangelization five times during this period:
After Jesus spoke these words, He ascended up to heaven and a cloud received Him out of their sight (Acts 1:8).
Jesus gave us this mandate; yet, half of the world has yet to hear the Gospel!
One of the leading pastors in Great Britain, Dr. David Laurie, speaks of three fundamental facts in the New Testament regarding the Gospel:
It is not something concocted by some "highbrow" scholar; nor the discovery of some theological professor, not is t education. It is the blessed fact of revelation. God, alone, is the Author.
Repentance means, literally a change of mind. Chalmers says it describes a deep and radical change whereby a sinner turns from an idol of sin and self unto God and devotes every movement of inner and outer man to the captivity of His obedience.
There is only one way for God to banish the darkness of sin, to remove the degradation of sin, to heal the disease of sin, to cleanse the defilement of sin, to abolish the death of sin, to pay the debt of sin... and that is that we, the evangelists, pastors and lay people, will proclaim the Gospel with all of the passion and urgency possible or the world will perish without Christ for all eternity. May God give us passion and love for lost souls!
He is the Light! If we acknowledge our bankruptcy to Christ we find that He pays the debt, He removes the stain, He gives us an acceptable standing before God. "For the law of the spirit of life in Christ Jesus hath made me free from the law of sin and death" (Romans 8:2).
This is the Gospel that we must preach. Paul said, "Woe is me if I preach not the gospel."
Sometime ago, Time Magazine published some startling figures: In recorded human history of 5,560 years, there have been 14,531 wars fought. What did it cost to fight those wars? A Norwegian computer analyst figured what it cost to kill an enemy soldier: in 54 BC, it cost 75 US cents to kill an enemy soldier. During the time of Napoleon, that cost rose to US $3,000. During World War II it cost $200,000. If there should be a mass-scale world war today, it is estimated it will cost a $1,000,000 to kill just one enemy soldier. We are prepared to spend millions of dollars to kill just one enemy soldier; yet, we are so slow to give the opportunity of eternal life to a person.
Jesus said, in Matthew 16:26, "What shall it profit a man if he shall gain the whole world and lose his own soul."
I believe the Korean Christian church has taken up the challenge of spreading the powerful gospel of our Lord Jesus Christ. In 1950, there were only 4,000 churches in Korea, with one million Christians. In 1965, just 15 years later, the number of churches and Christians doubled. Ten years later, in 1975, there were more than 16,000 churches and 4.3 million Christians. And in 1985, the census shows that Korea had reached over 32,000 churches with nearly 10 million Christians. The entire population of South Korea is 40 million people.
The largest Presbyterian church, the largest Methodist church, and the largest Assemblies of God church in the world are all in Korea.
I have pondered the reason for Korea's Christian growth. I believe Korean Christians have taken the spreading of the Gospel seriously and they have experienced the power of the Gospel of our Lord Jesus Christ.
When Jesus said, "All power is given unto me," I believe He is speaking about: