You’ve probably heard people say the world is getting smaller when referring to the real-time interconnectedness around the globe. I love being able to hear from friends in Europe or Asia minutes after posting something on Facebook. It almost (but not quite) feels like I’m sitting right there with them, sharing a cup of coffee. News reports from the other side of the planet are available within minutes online.
But there’s another way that the world seems to be shrinking. It’s getting smaller because we’re getting bigger. Every day, more people call our planet home.
The world population didn’t reach its first billion until 1804. That took about 5,000 years. After that, it took a little over a century to attain the two billion mark in 1927. And then 32 years to hit the next milestone – three billion in 1959. That means that when I was born, there were only two billion plus (practically three billion . . . I’m not that old) inhabitants on earth. As of yesterday, there are officially seven billion of us. We have more than doubled in my lifetime.
The growth keeps speeding up. We achieved four billion just 15 years later, in 1974 – the year I graduated from high school. The world reached five billion in 1987, six billion in 1998, and seven in 2011. The experts predict that we’ll be at eight billion by 2025.
This may not be as interesting to you as it is to me. But what I hope grips us all is the fact that there are more people every day who need the basics of life: food, water, safety, and love. Jesus came to earth to seek and to save the lost, to love them with an everlasting love, and He transferred that task to us. There are now seven billion human souls who need a Saviour. What are we going to do about that?