2 Timothy 3:16-17 – “All Scripture is breathed out by God and profitable for teaching, for reproof, for correction, and for training in righteousness, that the man of God may be competent, equipped for every good work.”
A few days ago, a friend of mine sent me an article about a church in New Jersey which challenged every one of their congregants to read the entire New Testament in 40 days. In response, over 3,300 adults and children signed up for it. The article went on to say that every day, over 700 people in America give up on reading their Bibles.
Matthew 4:4 – But he answered, “It is written, “‘Man shall not live by bread alone, but by every word that comes from the mouth of God.’”
What is it about Americans? USA Today poll said that Only 11%,” of Americans read the Bible every day. More than half read it less than once a month or never at all. 18% of born-again Christians read their Bibles once a day, while 23% who professed to be Christians said they never read their bibles at all.
Romans 15:4 – “For whatever was written in former days was written for our instruction, that through endurance and through the encouragement of the Scriptures we might have hope.”
Christianity on the world stage is exploding in growth! The American church is declining! According to the Hartsford Institute for Religion Research, the average size of a church in America is 75 people. Churches that have attendance between 7-99 people are in 59% of all of the churches in America! The church I go to is in the minority. I attend Chesapeake Christian Fellowship which has between 1,000 and 1,999 attenders every week. According to the Hartsford Institute stats, that puts CCF in the top 2% of all of the churches in America!
Hebrews 4:12 – “For the word of God is living and active, sharper than any two-edged sword, piercing to the division of soul and of spirit, of joints and of marrow, and discerning the thoughts and intentions of the heart.”
What is going on in America that is causing the church to decline?
Joshua 1:8 – “This Book of the Law shall not depart from your mouth, but you shall meditate on it day and night, so that you may be careful to do according to all that is written in it. For then you will make your way prosperous, and then you will have good success.”
Look at Joshua 1:8. In reading that Scripture above, if we are to meditate on the Word day and night and not let it depart from our mouths, then God will give us good success. The world defines success in attaining money, clothes, houses, boats, etc…. God is looking at this from a different way. How many souls will go to heaven when their time comes. THAT, church, is what success is based on in the Christian’s life. THAT, church, is what we need to have in our churches today. Not fiscal success. Not even success in having the most attenders. BUT SUCCESS THAT COMES THROUGH TURNING THE GREAT COMMISSION INTO THE GREAT COMPLETION! We need to be winning SOULS for Christ.
Churches have gotten away from the Bible. People have been waiting for me to stand on my soapbox on this blog and tell you what I believe with regard to hot button issues, but I have not truly done that because it is important to know that the Word of God is for ALL, not just a group who reads Christian apologetic blogs. But I believe homosexuality is a sin. I believe abortion is murder. I believe that this world, including many churches, has been attracted to all sorts of false idols that take away from the TRUE nature of God.
When the Bible gets changed or watered down by the Christian community, God will take away the successes in soul-winning that was so prevalent in years past.
CHURCH, WE NEED TO GET BACK TO THE BASICS OF THE BIBLE! STOP CHANGING IT TO FIT THE WORLD’S MOLD! WE NEED TO BE COUNTER-CULTURAL!
Everyone thinks you are a rebel if you are going out getting drunk every night, doing drugs, getting pregnant out of wedlock, or smoking or whatever else the world has to offer. I will tell you today, there is only ONE true rebellion left in this world and that is reading your Bible. NO ONE IS DOING IT! That is the last true rebellious nature is reading and adhering to a Biblical standard. You want to be a rebel? Read your Bible!
Psalm 119:105 – “His Word is a lamp unto my feet and a light unto my way.”
As we navigate this world, we need a compass (ok, you have to listen to the lyrics of this song for those of you who aren’t into the punk scene, but really, this song fits and this band is a friend to my family after meeting them at Purple Door). There are moral absolutes in this world. The Bible is printed form of God’s moral absolutes. It is our compass to lead us to where we need to be. It is our lamp that leads us through the dark night of this fallen world and into a promised land.
If we neglect to read the Bible, then we will get lost. Caught up in a world that only looks out for itself. Understand that God is not a malicious God, only desiring to please Himself. If He was, Christianity would not have flourished since the crucifixion of Christ. But God came to earth to be a sacrifice for us. He took a bitterly dark world and added a little bit of light, a little bit of color. He gave us a hope.
If you are reading this and realize that you do not have the hope that comes through Christ, then I urge you today to reach out to me. Send me a message to firstname.lastname@example.org and I will reply with my phone number. We can talk on the phone and pray together. Through God, we’ll get you on the right path to life everlasting and love eternal.