The Indian sub-continent is, I believe, on the edge of a giant revival which will dramatically influence the restoration of Israel and the global church – potentially the biggest revival in human history, apart from the coming great global revival just before the return of the Lord (Amos 9:13). Here are some of the reasons for drawing this conclusion:
Firstly, God is interested in numbers, because he wishes to populate heaven and depopulate hell. India’s population is projected to overtake China’s 1.42 billion by 2027, according to the UN’s 2019 World Population Prospects report. God revealed his heart for the lost city of Nineveh in Jonah 4:11, and his heart towards population centres has not changed:
And should I not have concern for the great city of Nineveh, in which there are more than a hundred and twenty thousand people who cannot tell their right hand from their left-and also many animals?
Secondly, for centuries there has been a great westwards movement of the Holy Spirit around the world, starting when the Apostle Paul was prevented by the Holy Spirit from travelling eastwards into the Roman province of Asia, but was called westwards into Europe (Macedonia) through a dream of a man crying out to him to come (Acts 16:6-10). After Europe, the gospel spread rapidly in the Americas. That flood of Holy Spirit revival and church growth crossed the Pacific and hit South Korea between 1977 and 1997. China now has by far the largest church in the world, somewhere between 100 and 200 million people, due to recent growth. India is located directly west of China.
From the west, men will fear the name of the Lord, and from the rising of the sun [the east], they will revere his glory. When the enemy comes in like a flood, the Spirit of the Lord will raise up a standard against him. “The Redeemer will come to Zion, to those in Jacob who repent of their sins”.
Thirdly, India will likely benefit from the Back to Jerusalem movement, which aims to send 100,000 missionaries from China along the ancient “silk roads” (historic trading routes) to Jerusalem (Zion). India is directly on those silk roads, although growing conflict between the two giant nations may disrupt this movement.
Fourthly, India has by far the most unreached people groups in the world, according to Joshua Project research. God will not leave the unreached in that situation. Matthew 24:14 prophesies:
And this gospel of the kingdom will be preached in the whole world as a testimony to all nations, and then the end will come.
Fifthly, Indian churches and mission agencies engage in large scale radical evangelisation. Teams of Indian missionaries go out, often bare foot and without money, from village to village, boldly declaring the gospel. Galatians 6:7 says “A man reaps what he sows”.
One influential pastor in North India wrote to me:
“The harvest is plenteous but the laborers are few”. In this land some parts of our country are without any Gospel witness whatsoever, such as north India. So, we concentrate on north India because this part of India is strategically important in completing the un-finished task of world evangelization.
Sixthly, India is activating the Genesis 12:3 clause concerning Israel:
I will bless those who bless you, and whoever curses you I will curse.
India is now an established major trading partner of Israel, with large scale technological, agricultural, space and intelligence collaboration. In 2017, Narendra Modi became the first Indian prime minister to visit Israel, while Binyamin Netanyahu returned the visit in 2018, the second Israeli prime minister to visit.
Seventh, persecution is often a key factor in church growth. India’s Christians are coming under increasing persecution from the Hindu majority, especially in the towns and villages. Official census figures say there are 28 million Christians (2.3% of the population), although I spoke to another church leader who says the reality is more like 10%, or 140 million. The nation has just moved up to tenth place on Open Doors’ global watch list for persecuted countries. Tertullian famously said, “The blood of the martyrs is the seed of the Church”. Yeshua said in John 12:24:
Very truly I tell you, unless a kernel of wheat falls to the ground and dies, it remains only a single seed. But if it dies, it produces many seeds.
Finally, revival is already hitting the Indian sub-continent and will continue to spread. Thirty years ago, Nepal had almost no believers, and the nation was entirely closed to missionaries. Today there is a Christian population of somewhere between 400,000 and three million, depending whether you refer to official statistics or other sources. Currently, Afghanistan has the second fastest growing church in the world at 16.7% annual growth according to Operation World research, as well as being the second most persecuted country in the world, according to Open Doors.
Where God wants to bring revival, he calls his people to pray – let’s pray!