Wednesday, August 11, 2010

Declining Christianity

You may not have noticed, but Christianity is losing ground. The percentage growth of the world population exceeds the percentage growth of the Christian faith. What we’re doing isn’t working. Or at least it isn’t working as well as it should. I realize that we have no control over how many people accept the gospel, but we have the responsibility to share it anyway. I realize that many people hear the gospel and reject it. And maybe the world is on final approach to the last judgment and we’re losing ground because the Lord is about to put an end to this period of grace. There’s plenty of maybes, but I don’t like to just throw up my hands and say, this is just the way it’s going to be. I don’t like to be on the losing side of anything. I don’t like that it makes God appear weak because his people aren’t accomplishing what he has called us to do.

The most important thing we can do to turn this thing around is to pray. There is much that God can do that can change the current trend. We don’t fully understand what God can do, but if we ask him to show himself strong in this situation with the expectation that he will we can look for the trend to change. But we should not expect it to change with prayer alone. God often works through us. His chosen method of reaching the world is the preaching of the gospel. We must get out and share the gospel with the lost around us or they will not accept Christ.

But I see some potential problems. One problem is that Christians have let too much of the world into the churches. Bible study and prayer is a lost art in many churches. The church services are filled with great praise songs and the preacher is eloquent, but the members are spiritual babes. The members know nothing of worship. The preacher rarely preaches about sin and the need for repentance. The membership doesn’t recognize sin when they see it. While adultery might be seen as sin, fornication is often ignored. Some churches are not only allowing sodomy but are making statements to the effect that anyone who doesn’t isn’t a Christian. Some Christians may not support such things on Sunday, but at home they take pleasure in television shows that do. How can we possibly expect God to hear and respond to our prayers when we offer them with unclean hands and from unclean lips?

We Christians must repent if we are to see the decline of Christianity turned around. We must confess our sins to God and repent if we want him to hear our prayers and use us to reach the lost. We must learn to recognize that is right and wrong so that we can take a stand against sin and encourage righteousness. Only then will the world be able to look at us and realize that there is something different about us. We don’t want them looking at us and seeing people who are just like them. We want them to see us as an example of what they can be when they turn their lives over to Jesus.