|Good morning everyone,|
Our theme for this month: “Christian community”
Our Bible verse for today: “And let us watch out for one another to provoke love and good works, not neglecting to gather together, as some are in the habit of doing, but encouraging each other, and all the more as you see the day approaching.” Hebrews 10:24-25 (CSB)
Our thought for today: “We’re losing ground quickly”
In recent years there has arisen an increasing flood of sermons, Bible studies, blogs, essays, articles, and research studies from pastors, denominational leaders, ministry leaders, seminary professors, and Christian research institutes, sounding the alarm that the Christian community in the USA is weak and getting weaker. In 1937 70% of Americans reported that they regularly attended church services every week. In 2021 that number was down to somewhere between 21-28%, depending on the survey. Even among those who identify themselves as “committed” church members, only 55% attend faithfully every week. Another 30% of self-identified “committed” members average once per month. That culture of absenteeism is killing our churches.
Worse, recent research from Lifeway, Gallup, and the Pew Research Institute found that anywhere from 60-70% of “conservative” Christians are no longer certain that Jesus is the only way to heaven. Despite the Lord’s clear declaration in John 14:6 “I am the way the truth and the life, no one comes to the Father except through me”, almost two-thirds of professing conservative Christians cannot say with certainty that statement is actually true. Those same surveys found that approximately 30% of conservative Christians now believe that homosexuality is a Biblically acceptable lifestyle.
My friends, Christian influence in the USA is rapidly declining. Just in the short period of almost thirty years that I’ve been in this profession, I have experienced churchwork becoming increasingly more difficult for pastors. Just getting people to attend regularly is a struggle, and pastors everywhere are asking, “How can we teach people sound doctrine and strengthen them to lifestyles that honor God if they don’t even show up?”
I don’t mean to sound desperate or discouraged. I’m not. Jesus is still on the throne and I’m still saved. In the end, Jesus wins and Satan loses. But we do have a fight on our hands. The struggle is real and it’s getting worse.
All this month I would like to explore with you the importance and value of Christian community. In these evil days we’re living in, now more than ever, it’s essential for Christians to be united, to stay together, to be faithful, and to keep each other strong.
(Join us at Oak Hill Baptist Church every Sunday morning at 10:00. Join us in-person if you are close by, or if you’re geographically distant or a shut-in, then live online at www.YouTube.com/oakhillbaptistcrossville)
|Copyright © 2023 Oak Hill Baptist Church, All rights reserved.|