The Jakarta 2023 Conference: 'Christ Reigns Over All Nations'

An Indonesian choir presented hymns during the Jakarta 2023 Global Convention on Christian Faith held in Jakarta, Indonesia, during October 2-5, 2023.
An Indonesian choir presented hymns during the Jakarta 2023 Global Convention on Christian Faith held in Jakarta, Indonesia, during October 2-5, 2023.
By Karen LuoOctober 17th, 2023

The Jakarta 2023 Global Convention on Christian Faith was held in person in Jakarta, Indonesia, featuring the theme "The Eschatological Reign of Christ Over All Nations”. Stephen Tong and other world Christian leaders spoke at the convention.

More than 2,000 people from 19 countries attended the four-day convention, according to the hosts, Reformed Evangelical Movement International and Stephen Tong Evangelistic Ministries International (STEMI), which the Indonesian Chinese pastor Dr. Stephen Tong founded. This conference consisted of ten serial plenaries on the book of Ephesians shared by the world’s renowned leaders, ten workshops, three theological foundation seminars, daily worship and prayer, a music concert conducted by Tong himself, and testimony videos.

Dr. Stephen Tong said in two plenaries that Ephesians was the most important volume in the Bible covering the church. Christians are saved from sin in that they “followed the ways of this world and of the ruler of the kingdom of the air”, thus living a life of battle. Even the life of Christians seems harder than that of non-Christians due to the struggle against sinful desires, but we can overcome it by the “blood of the Lamb and by the word of their testimony.”

Mentioning his September mission trip to the United States, the 83-year-old Tong felt regretful for the decline of Christianity in America. “When I went to the United States the first time, Asian students were not qualified to enter great seminaries. Fifty years later, I went again. Those grand seminaries have been sold one after another due to a financial shortage. I said to myself with sadness, ‘Why I am trying my best to expand God’s kingdom bigger and bigger in Asia, but why the United States is so declining that it even has to sell the seminaries?’”

“How serious mistakes has Christianity made that God has sold them? Are there world Christian leaders who have the authority to lead global Christians to have hope? Where are God’s servants after His heart? Why would such an elderly person stand on the stage to preach a sermon to you?” he asked.

“Unless God gives us a new round of revival, I would not see any hope in the church.”

Tong mentioned that the convention’s theme, “The Eschatological Reign of Christ Over All Nations,” is a promise of God. “Augustine wrote a book called The City of God that says that this world will become all of God’s creation.” He urged Christians to believe in the eschatological reign of Christ over all nations and that the kingdom of this world will become the kingdom of God, according to Revelations.

Highlighting the Reformed doctrine of “the Ascended King,” the host encouraged participants to have faith in Jesus Christ and expect his second coming no matter which country they lived in. Pastors of Chinese descent living abroad urged people to pray for the church in China.

Other speakers included Rev. Richard Pratt, founder and president of Third Millennium Ministries; Rev. David Platt, founder of Radical; Dr. Philip Ryken, president of Wheaton College; and Dr. Michael Oh, global executive director and CEO of the Lausanne Movement.

It's worth noting that there were 12 other participating organizations, including STEMI, the Gospel Movement Chinese Pastors, the Gospel City Network Malaysia, Covenant College, See Jesus, and Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary.

Before the convention, a pre-conference titled “The Eschatological Reign of Christ Over Education” took place to explore Christian education and its application in Asia.

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