14 Sep It’s a Great Day to be a Christian!!!
For many who walk in faith with a deep belief in the Lord Jesus Christ, this chapter of history in America has been heartbreaking. Culture and government have made a hard and calculated turn away from many of the traditions that were originally woven into the fabric of this country. The Word of God is no longer recognized by this culture or in the arena of government. Marriage is being redefined. Biblical conviction is being called intolerance and no longer is it socially popular to call yourself a Christian. In view of these changes, some ask, “Is this the end of Christianity and the church?” The answer to that question is a very strong and definite NO! In fact, I agree with the writing of Stu Weber when he tells us that it is a great day to be a Christian!
“I hope you are wonderfully excited about the opportunities you have in this world and this culture in this day! You ought to be! This is a magnificent time to be a Christian. The darker our culture grows, the brighter and more radiant light becomes. Don’t be discouraged. Don’t lose heart. Don’t withdraw. Don’t retreat.” ~Stu Weber
Weber is right when he says that the more that culture embraces darkness, the brighter and more radiant is the light of Christ. We as the people of God, the followers of Christ, are being presented with a great opportunity. This may be our “Queen Esther Moment.” We were made for such a time as this! This is the dawning of a new day for the church. The overwhelming darkness of our culture and society will accomplish what Paul writes about in the first three chapters of Romans. God has turned us over to our own selfish desires so that we might become broken and begin to see our desperate need for Him and for a Savior. This seems like a dark day, but it may well give way to the greatest season of revival we have ever known.
The data from a Pew Institute survey is alarming. According to the survey, the number who call themselves Christians has declined by 7% in the years between 2008 and 2014. Certainly this should cause us to ask the question why? However, if you look deeper at the numbers, you begin to see what is happening in America. Ed Stetzer has an interesting and viable reason for this change. Basically, Stetzer believes this drop in not among “convictional Christians,” but is rather found in the category of “nominal Christians.” In his article entitled From Nominals to Nones, Setzer writes this:
“The big trends are clear, the nominals are becoming the nones, yet the convictional are remaining committed.
In other words, Americans whose Christianity was nominal—in name only—are casting aside the name. They are now aligning publicly with what they’ve actually not believed all along.
The percentage of convictional Christians remains rather steady, but because the nominal Christians now are unaffiliated the overall percentage of self-identified Christians is decline. This overall decline is what Pew shows—and I expect it to accelerate.”
Believe it or not, there is some good news statistically speaking regarding the growth of evangelicals in America. Statistics show that from 2007 to 2014 the number of evangelicals in America rose from 59.8 million to 62.2 million. We obviously have not heard that statistic from the media.
The evidence is clear…the church is NOT dying. In fact, those who are born again believers in the gospel that proclaims that we are saved by grace seem to be slowly growing even in this dark season of history. Praise the Lord!
Finally, I challenge you to make the most of this opportunity. We are the people of God. Jesus called us the Light of the World. The Apostle Paul called all who believe to “shine like stars” in a dark and dying world. Don’t hide your light out of fear or some politically correct social system. People need the Lord. America needs us to pray, to engage the culture, to act with compassion and proclaim that there is a better way. Let us seize the day! Let us cry out in the spirit of Mordecai and Queen Esther… “We were made for such a time as this!!!”