Is the hand of God at work in current events?
- Five phenomena create opportunities for evangelism:
Political changes, religious radicalism, natural disasters, urbanization, and spiritual hunger.
- Amid uncertainty, God uses global events to lead people
to faith, offering opportunities for evangelism worldwide.
- Even amidst ethnic and cultural resurgence, good contextualization can allow people to
embrace Christianity without forsaking their cultural heritage.
"There are five phenomena which God is using in the world today to lead people to
Himself," said J. Dudley Woodberry of Fuller Theological Seminary. Those
phenomena, while not necessarily "caused" by God, are certainly being used by Him. These
phenomena offer opportunities for evangelism not only for missionaries in other countries but
also for churches in the U.S. The five phenomena are:
- Political changes
- The rise of religious radicalism as Islamic fundamentalism and the collapse of entrenched
political systems often produce a climate of uncertainty. That situation offers opportunities for
proclaiming the Gospel of peace and grace.
- Natural disasters
- Earthquakes, droughts and floods find Christian relief agencies giving "a cup of cold water"
in Christ's name to people who formerly were antagonistic to Christianity
- Displaced peoples who become disillusioned after they have migrated into cities seeking
better economic opportunities or fleeing tribal warfare often are receptive to the gospel
- Hunger for spiritual power
- People steeped in traditional folk religions often have pronounced, unsatisfied spiritual
hunger. That opens them to the gospel.
- Ethnic and cultural resurgence
- Because of today's greater contextual understanding, people can
see that they do not need to give up their cultural heritage in order to become Christ-
We need to look for opportunities in all these situations rather than being depressed by what,
at first glance, can seem like obstacles.
-- Howard Culbertson,
Signs of the End Times
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