Q. In surfing through Christian web sites, I frequently find references to a huge number of persons being saved daily, especially in the Middle East, Far East, and Africa. They speak of people converted by visions, dreams, healings, and resurrections. How much of that is true and how much is wishful thinking; people quoting each other in a circular fashion, supporting and reinforcing each the others’ beliefs? Is there truly (praise God) such a huge number of conversions numbering, some say, in excess of 100,000 per day? Isn’t such a statement contrary to what Scripture says will happen in the Last Days?
A. I’ve heard these same reports and as near as I can tell there is no reliable documentation to verify them. Those who keep an official tally of church membership only count Catholics and main line protestants because there really isn’t any way to track the rest of us. Also, in many parts of the world Christian converts don’t want their names to be known for fear of reprisals. Add the flamboyance and self serving nature of some of the ministries reporting these conversion numbers, and I think it’s best to think of them as approximate. But there are enough reports from credible sources of a powerful work by the Holy Spirit in Africa, the Middle East, India and China to convince me that at least some of what we hear is legitimate. I think of it as God issuing one gigantic last call before bringing the age of the Church on Earth to a close.
As for End Times prophecies, these swelling numbers do nothing to change the fact that today the true church carries much less influence in determining the course of human events than at any previous time in memory. So the prophecies of a weak and powerless End Times Church still apply. The good news is that the legitimate conversions found in these glowing reports hasten the day when the Church will reach its full number and will be whisked off to our ultimate destination.