As a prophetic people living in a prophetic time, we Christians should be focused on the commands of Jesus rather than self-indulgent, extra-biblical and emotional activities that are distractions from The Great Commission.
Jesus said in Matthew 28:19-20, “Go ye therefore, and teach all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost: Teaching them to observe all things whatsoever I have commanded you.”
In Mark 16:15, he said, “Go ye into all the world, and preach the gospel to every creature.”
Are we effective witnesses? Are we as a whole obeying and serving Jesus? According to a recent poll by the American Culture and Faith Institute, we have some work to do.
Executive Director and Founder, George Barna, developed a measure that evaluates if a person has confessed their personal sin, asked Jesus Christ to save them, and believes they will live eternally in Heaven only because of His grace toward them. Barna reports that the “proportion of adults who meet the born-again criterion has been on a downward trajectory since 2010. For the 15-year period from 1991 through 2005, an average of 40% of the adult population qualified as born again. That average rose slightly, to 44%, during the five years from 2006 to 2010. Since that time, however, the mean has plummeted to just 36%, with 2017 producing the lowest proportion of born-again adults since Barna began the tracking process in 1991.”
According to Barna’s research, the 2017 average indicates that just 31% of adults are born again, and this trend is not likely to reverse itself.
Barna says, “An analysis of faith by age group indicates that America’s two older generations are more likely to be born again than are younger adults: 33% of those age 65 or older and 37% of people ages 50 to 64 are born again. In comparison, 31% of those in their 30s and 40s are born again while only 23% of adults under 30 fit the criteria. As older Americans pass away, the population proportion of younger adults will increase, continuing to drive down the born-again proportion in the years to come. Children and teenagers are exhibiting a lower likelihood of becoming born again, too, further limiting the possibility of the growth of this segment.”
Barna noted, “Fewer churches emphasize and equip people for evangelism these days, and the results are obvious and undeniable. The implications of ignoring gospel outreach – especially among children, who are the most receptive audience to the gospel – are enormous. All the ‘church growth’ strategies in the world cannot compensate for the absence of an authentic transmission of the good news of what Jesus Christ has done for humanity.”
Herein is the problem in my opinion: the vast majority of churches are teaching doctrines of self-improvement rather than service and obedience to God. Many have lost sight of the importance of being born again and the subsequent enthusiasm for serving the Lord and spreading the good news. We all need to prayerfully consider these trends.
Have a Blessed and Powerful Day!