Sunday, January 11, 2009

And the gospel shall be preached to the entire world

"And this gospel of the kingdom shall be preached in all the world for a witness unto all nations; and then shall the end come. " Matthew 24:14

Gideons mark 100th year giving Bibles

"NASHVILLE, Tenn. -- Long before cable television, spa treatments and eco-friendly soaps and shampoos became staples in hotel rooms, there was the Bible -- the Gideon Bible.And the book with the familiar two-handled pitcher and torch on its cover that most guests find inside hotel nightstands doesn't appear to be going anywhere any time soon."

"Gideons International is celebrating its 100th anniversary distributing Bibles and has begun efforts to hand out more Scriptures in the U.S. to boost a distribution rate that's remained relatively flat in recent years. Nearly 76.9 million Gideon Scriptures were given out in nearly 85 languages in 187 countries last year. Close to 1.5 billion Scriptures have been distributed since 1908, when the Gideons began to place Bibles in hotel rooms."

"Since then, the nondenominational evangelical group run by businessmen has spread its tremendous reach, also giving out free Scriptures at hospitals, schools and prisons and in the military. "This is not a church-sponsored, clergy-led effort," said Leith Anderson, president of the National Association of Evangelicals, an umbrella group for evangelical churches and organizations. "It's individuals that go around and distribute Bibles. It's an astonishing accomplishment."

Gospel preached...Around the World . . .

* There are 260,000 Gideons and Auxiliary members in more than 9,000 local groups worldwide.
* Approximately 1.3 billion Scriptures have been distributed worldwide since 1908, and more than 500 million Scriptures were distributed in just the last 10 years.
* 70.7 million Scriptures were distributed last year.
* On average, more than two copies of God's Word are distributed per second.
* Distributed in 183 countries. [How many countries are there in the world? The generally accepted answer is: 195.]

There is nothing more important than connecting people with the Word of God. Thank the Lord for the work of the Gideons. Do you have a spare bible? Most Americans have several. Is there someone you know who doesn't have one? How about carrying a spare bible in the car, just in case you meet someone on the spot who is willing to receive the gospel? That did happen to me once. It was and still is a gratifying moment to hand the willing receiver his own bible. It just might make an eternal difference.

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