"Take up your cross and follow me," Jesus Christ said to the young man who asked what he should do.
Later, at the Last Supper, Christ said to his disciples: "Go ye therefore, and teach all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost." **
At the time Jesus Christ began his mission upon the earth, the term "Christian" was applied to his followers. It was often a derisive term and in many times throughout history it has been extremely dangerous to be called a Christian. The Romans crucified Christians and set them on fire. And many eras of bloodshed and danger were yet to come for the followers of Christ. Historians estimate only ten thousand Christians existed in the world at the end of the first century A.D. Now there are more than one billion Christians around the world and 126 million in the United States. They have taken up their cross and followed the living example of Jesus Christ. Throughout the centuries they have endeavored to go forth into all the lands preaching the Christ, His life and message.