God "has appointed a day on which He will judge the world in righteousness."
[ ACTS 17:31 ] In warning us of that day, Christ did not say that it would
come when all the world is converted, but that the "gospel of the kingdom
will be preached in all the world as a witness to all the nations, and then
the end will come." [ MAT 24:14 ] Thus Peter encourages believers to be
"looking for and hastening the coming of the day of God." [ 2 PET 3:12 ]
Statistics on the translation and distribution of the Bible in this century
reveal the growth of the gospel witness. In 1900, the Bible was available in
537 languages. By 1980, into 1811 languages, representing nearly 96 percent
of the world population. Similarly, the annual distribution of the Scriptures
has risen from 5.4 million Bibles in 1900 to 36.8 million Bibles and nearly
half a billion Bible portions by 1980.
In addition, Christianity now has at its disposal an unprecedented variety
of resources for use in its mission: service agencies, educational and medical
institutions, national and foreign workers, radio and television broadcasting,
and impressive financial means. Today, powerful shortwave radio stations can
beam the gospel to practically every country around the globe. Used under the
guidance of the Holy Spirit, these unparalleled resources make realistic the
goal of evangelizing the world in our time.
Seventh-day Adventists, with a membership that represents about 700 languages
and 1,000 dialects, are proclaiming the gospel in 190 countries. Almost 90
percent of these members live outside of North America. Believing that medical
and educational work play essential roles in fulfilling the gospel commission,
they operate nearly 600 hospitals, nursing homes, clinics and dispensaries,
19 medical launches, 27 health food factories, 86 colleges and universities,
834 secondary schools, 4,166 elementary schools, 125 Bible correspondence
schools, and 33 language institutes. 51 publishing houses produce literature
in 190 languages and short wave radio stations broadcast to approximately 75
percent of the world population.