You don’t know what you’ve got until it is gone…or so the saying goes. Like kids on the playground, we don’t notice what we’ve discarded until someone else wants it. Then we remember how much we liked it!
Faith has been declining in Europe for some time. But an interesting thing is happening recently… Europe’s churches are starting to grow! Interestingly, though, growth isn’t coming from the citizens of Europe. Rather, it is Muslim refugees who are growing the church in Europe!
Some people are skeptical of these conversions, and rightly so. Many converts are simply trying to secure citizenship. But a growing number have truly found joy in the Christian faith. Many of them report that they desired to convert in their own countries, but were threatened, harassed, or persecuted.
So here’s the question: “What effect will these conversions have on those who have fallen away from the faith in Europe?”
I am reminded of Paul’s words in Romans 11:14. Paul’s desire was that his countrymen, the Jewish people, might be moved to jealousy by the influx of Gentiles to the faith. In other words, he wanted their faith to be reinvigorated when they saw how others desired God’s salvation!
The initial church consisted of Jewish believers in Jesus. But the majority of Paul’s countrymen became reluctant converts as the years passed. The church then experienced great growth, primarily through Gentiles.
Is history repeating itself? What will the church of tomorrow look like?
The church is growing fast in India, Africa, and China. And now, the Kingdom advances among Muslim refugees in Europe. And to God be the glory for those being saved! God, of course, desires that all would come to knowledge of the truth and be saved (1 Timothy 2:4).
But will this influx of believers cause those who have become lackluster in faith to rekindle their zeal? I pray for a radical restoration among the churches in Europe, America, and anywhere else that believers have taken their faith for granted. God wants all people everywhere to repent and be saved (2 Peter 3:9)!