Europe, Islam, and Prophecy

An Amazing Fact: Islam is the fastest-growing religion in Europe—partly from waves of migrants and partly because Muslims typically have larger families than European Christians. New mosques are springing up across the continent as churches are being demolished or sold. And if present global trends continue, Islam will surpass Christianity as the world’s largest religion by 2070.

I can’t use her real name; her life is already in danger. I’ll call her Marla. She’s a 20-something Middle Eastern woman who approached me for advice when I was in Poland a few months ago. Marla had traveled from Sweden, along with other students in her Amazing Facts Center of Evangelism (AFCOE) class, to see me speak.

A member of a devout Muslim family, Marla had learned the truth about Jesus from friends in England; they directed her to Amazing Facts programs and websites. The Holy Spirit convicted her that the Bible is true, and Jesus is the only Savior. She chose to surrender her life to Christ.

Knowing that her family would react negatively, Marla at first concealed her new faith, but she could not keep the good news to herself for long. She eventually told her mother, and it did not go well. Her parents urged her to renounce Jesus and return to their religion. Other family members threatened violence if she came home a Christian. Deeply unsettled, Marla asked me, “Do I go home and try to witness to my family—or move to a different country and begin a new life?”

Something Missing

Last December, Pastor Jëan Ross went to Sweden to teach AFCOE Europe students and conduct their graduation. He met Ola, a young Swedish man who grew up in a secular home. Like many other young people in post-modern countries, Ola felt that life had no meaning. He got involved in drugs and alcohol, but he could never fill the emptiness within his heart. He finally turned to religion and, through the influence of a friend, became a Mormon, even spending time in their missionary training program in Hawaii; however, he felt that something was still missing in his life.

After returning to Sweden, Ola “accidentally” walked into a Sabbath-keeping church one morning. What he heard sparked a deep interest in knowing more about the Bible.

A New Army of Disciples

Ola and Marla were just two of the 750 million people on this ancient continent who need the light of truth. As surprising as it may sound, the secular countries of Europe are now some of the most challenging mission fields in the world.

At one time, Europe was the stronghold of Christianity. It was the birthplace of the Reformation and a hub for the greatest Bible societies and missionary movements in history, sending out heroes like Hudson Taylor, Amy Carmichael, and David Livingstone.

But the church in Europe is now withering. While most Europeans identify as Christian, such professions are typically in name only. “I know your works, that you have a name that you are alive, but you are dead” (Revelation 3:1). Few understand the Bible’s basic teachings; hardly anyone attends church. It’s so bad that growing numbers of churches are being turned into restaurants, bookstores, palatial homes, nightclubs, and even indoor skateboard venues.

And as Christian evangelism in Europe sleeps, Islam is spreading like wildfire. That’s why I encouraged Marla to continue studying the Bible in the AFCOE Europe program—and to pray for further guidance. I believe that God is going to use her in a special way.

As for Ola, he met some AFCOE Europe graduates, and they started Bible studies with him. Ola was so amazed by what he was learning that he invited others to the studies, growing the group to more than 10 people. Less than a year later, Ola became an AFCOE student—and now he is giving his own Bible studies! He is planning on becoming a full-time Bible worker in Sweden.

We need more witnesses like Ola and Marla to bring about a second reformation in this spiritually dying continent of Europe.

Christ’s Missionary Method

Jesus never went on an overseas mission trip. The roughly 3,000 miles He walked during His ministry took place almost entirely in Galilee and Judea.

Yet, according to the book of Acts, the gospel quickly spread to the then-known world. How? Christ trained disciples. Those Spirit-filled apostles were equipped to “be witnesses to [Jesus] in Jerusalem … and to the end of the earth” (1:8). Jesus’ plan has always been to train disciples to evangelize the world (Matthew 28:19).

During my time in Poland, I met with a dedicated group of young believers who are passionate about the three angels’ messages being spread all over Europe. Now you can be a modern-day Waldensian on our team by giving this month to train just such urgently needed missionaries who will reach this very mission field—and expand the AFCOE Europe evangelism training center in Sweden.

AFTV is already sharing God’s last-day message across Europe through 24/7 satellite evangelism, but boots on the ground are essential. We must now quickly secure housing, staff, and other resources for our team. We’ve budgeted $200,000 this year, which includes the development and translation of books, media programs, Bible lessons, and websites into various languages to reach the lost in multiple countries of Europe.

Your co-laboring gift of $25 will share translated literature that will open many hearts to the gospel. A sacrificial gift of $100 will translate more resources into new languages to reach the spiritually starving. And a continent-sized gift of $1,200 will lay a firm foundation to strengthen this evangelistic training center in Europe that will spread truth across many countries. Whatever size gift God inspires you to give today, He will bless and multiply the difference it will make in people’s lives through all Amazing Facts programs.

A missionary to the ends of the earth,

Pastor Doug Batchelor

President, Amazing Facts International

Amazing Facts is a non-profit, donor-supported ministry.
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