by James Merritt

This content is part of a series.

Crazy Love (1 of 4)
Series: Magnetic
James Merritt
John 13:34-35


1. There is something that we all take for granted and think very little about except for maybe one day a week and that is the church - Christianity. Yet, one of the most amazing statistics you will ever hear is that 1-out-of- every-3 people on this planet, 2.2 billion people, claim to be Christians and are a part of the church. It is amazing for so many reasons.

2. If you want to go back to the very first church, it started out with about 120 people in the Roman Empire. At the end of the 1st century, there were fewer than 10,000 Christians and it made up only .00017% of the 60 million people in the empire.

3. By the year 200, there were about 200,000 believers in the Roman Empire making up .36%. By the year 250, almost 2% of the population, more than a million people were Christians. In just 2 generations later, by the year 300, Christians made up approximately 10% of the population numbering over 6 million. By the 4th century, there were 35 million Christians in the Ancient World and if you do the math, Christianity grew 40% per decade for hundreds of years. The question is, not just how did the early church survive, but how did it thrive? The Las Vegas odds would have been stacked against you. The founder of the church and Christianity was a peasant, a carpenter, from a no-name town, in a small country that was under the dominance of the Roman Empire.

4. In the beginning, Christianity was considered depraved and was in many parts illegal. The persecution of Christians was relentless and unending. At least two of the persecutions were empire wide with the intent to destroy the church.

5. The earliest Christians didn't have church buildings and met in homes. They had no access to the mass media of their day. They had little money, absolutely no political influence, and didn't even have a Twitter account. After the Apostle Paul, they didn't really have any ''big n ...

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