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Where We Are

You must understand that in the last days scoffers will come, scoffing and following their own evil desires. –II Peter 3:3

I was recently looking at the results of a national study on the “Beliefs, Preferences and Practices” of the American people.  It is the first of its kind study in fifteen years.  Several things in particular caused me to “sit up and take notice.”  The first was that over four in ten Americans  (42.3%) believe “God is the full realization of human potential.”  More than one in four  (27.9%) agree with the statement: “Everyone and everything is god.”  When asked about religious preferences almost one in four (22.6%) answered “none.”

Another study by the Barna group and examined in a book by David Kinnaman, “You Lost Me,” deals with the mass exodus of young Christians from church.

These and other data paint a sobering picture of the state of Christianity and the church along with prospects for the future.  In light of that what is a Christian to do?  For some it becomes an exercise in spiritual “hand-wringing.”  For others, the response is “We know the outcome.”  Jesus said “I will build my church and the gates of hell will not prevail against it.”  So, let’s go merrily on our way to heaven and “to hell (literally) with the rest of the world.”

However, Jesus warned this would happen.  And in that context, he gave us our orders: “Go and make disciples, followers of Jesus.”  How can we do that in a world like ours?  There is no easy answer.  However, there is one thing we must do.  Make sure our/my life models Jesus.   Nothing so disarms the enemy, so attracts others to him.  We see too many Christians (I use the word loosely) who disprove the good news.  We have too many churches where it is not taken seriously and who settle for a thin religious veneer rather than transformed lives.

A former professor of mine, Dr. James Robertson, used to say (in his rich Scottish brogue) we need to “adorn the gospel.”  He was saying we need to live so our living is good advertisement for God’s way.  Everything else depends on God’s people being like Jesus.

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