The Co-Chair of the Empowered 21 Global Council Dr. Billy Wilson, has told thousands of participants at the on-going Empowered21 Congress in Johannesburg, South Africa, that Africa is the leading continent with the highest number of Christians, now taking over from South America.
“Africa now has 631 million people who call themselves Christians as against 601 million people of Latin America who call on the name of Jesus.” He disclosed this at the opening of the conference on May 16, 2018.
Quoting Joshua 13:1, Dr. Wilson said there is still large areas of land to be taken over and called for a generation of young people in Africa who will take up mantles and be empowered by the Holy Spirit to finish the spreading of the gospel by Pentecost 2033.
According to Dr. Wilson, Empowered 21 is all about a resolve by global Christian leaders to ensure that each person on planet earth gets an opportunity to have a genuine encounter with the Lord Jesus Christ by Pentecost 2033.
“The Empowered Movement also seeks to connect generations with intergenerational blessings, while focusing on resources to address crucial issues,” he said, adding, “Since 2010, the network which is hosted by the Oral Roberts University has grown in stature resulting in the formation of 14 regional cabinets all over the world.
Dr. Wilson who is also the President of the Oral Roberts University in Tulsa, Oklahoma in the USA, revealed that about 30 leading evangelists have met to form the Global Evangelism Alliance and are meeting at the ongoing congress.
Empowered 21, he explained, is also to celebrate the feast of the Holy Spirit as it happened many years ago in the Upper Room as recorded in the Bible.
Bishop Kenneth Ulmer, the Senior Pastor of Faithful Central Bible Church in the USA, in a sermon explained that the fruit of the spirit as recorded in the Bible includes patience, which is seldom talked about.
He said the waiting period in life is quite frustrating and many people in the world including Christians hate to wait on God for anything. He said the instruction given to the apostles when Jesus went to heaven was to wait till they receive power. They had to wait for several days even though the Lord had also asked them to go to the world and make disciples of all nations.
“God gave us a revelation at the birth of the church,” he said, adding, “The word of God paints a picture of the church and the most pitiful places on this earth is a powerless pulpit, with a powerless people who do not look like their picture.”
He said such churches have gifts but no power, and while they ought to change the world, the world is rather changing them because they do not look like their picture.
Bishop Ulmer explained that the Holy Spirit as demonstrated in Acts Chapter 2 has an expanding influence. Once you are filled with the Holy Spirit it must begin where you are, in your home as the believer witnesses to his immediate surroundings while, ‘Samaria and the rest of the world’ include witnessing among one’s enemies and people he does not know.
Bishop Ulmer further said citizens from Libya, Egypt and Cyrene, all nations of Africa witnessed the day of Pentecost and this means Africa has a role to play in the spread of the gospel under the influence of the Holy Spirit.
“The Holy Spirit is a helper, like an umbrella that covers you when the storms of life comes against you; it’s like a paramedic who comes to your aid during emergencies. The Holy spirit is like a parachute which opens up to save you from crashing,” he said.
Bishop Ulmer also called on Christians to engage in discipleship, saying, “Discipleship is transgenerational. Life in Christ is about receiving and releasing and the assignment is to pass it on to at least four generations.
Many churches, he said, are busy doing other things like improved church buildings and good music while missing out on the assignment of evangelism.