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While church attendance in Europe and the United States is declining, it’s exploding in Africa. A Pew report says in Nigeria, 89% of people go to church, while in England only 10% go and in the United States only 22% do. Jesus called attention to one reason why this kind of disparity exists, in Luke chapter 4. In the synagogue at Nazareth, He explained how God withheld His blessings from the people because of their lack of faith and obedience to Him. He said, “Certainly there were many needy widows in Israel in Elijah’s time, when the heavens were closed for three and a half years and a severe famine devastated the land. Yet Elijah was not sent to any of them. He was sent instead to a foreigner—a widow of Zarephath in the land of Sidon. And there were many lepers in Israel in the time of the prophet Elisha, but the only one healed was Naaman, a Syrian.” Here is what we learn: When a person or a nation turns away from God and goes about living independent from Him, God lets them go. He then bestows His blessings elsewhere. If the church in Africa is exploding, it may be that people elsewhere have decided they do not need God. The only solution to that is to repent and turn back to God.

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