Matthew 16:26, “For what is a man profited if he should gain the whole world, and lose his own soul, or what shall a man give in exchange for his soul?”
We live in an interesting time. According to polls (although I’ve never been polled) more people say they’re “born again,” than not. In fact the number has been said to be as much as 80% in the USA. Yet crime, i. e., homicides, burglaries and robberies, fraud and extortion, are greater than ever in the history of our country, at this present time. How can it be that we have such a high percentage of “born again Christians,” as the pollsters say, in the light of all the atrocities? Logically, we must conclude that the pollsters are wrong. Somehow, they’re missing the boat, or perhaps they’re not asking the right questions, or perhaps they’re not interpreting things right, due to their own ignorance of what it really means to be “born again.”
Personally, I believe the problem to be misinterpretation. The pollsters aren’t realizing that the gospel (good news from the Bible), as it’s emphasized today, is no longer that which the Lord Jesus Christ and the apostles preached, i. e., the gospel that was, “Once for all delivered to the saints” (Jude 3). The gospel that is basically taught now in the “mega-churches,” is drastically watered down from the gospel preached by the apostles, and by Bible believing Christians throughout history since the resurrection of Christ, and by the reformers.
BASICS OF THE TRUE GOSPEL
There are two basic elements in the true gospel that are (at best) superficially addressed by those involved in the ecumenical movement of our day. The two elements are: mankind’s sin, and God’s righteousness. They are, at best, brushed off, or replaced by mere extrinsic representations of God’s Holy Word.
Mankind’s sin is defined in the following way, first in Psalm 14; repeated in Psalm 53; and, again in Romans 3:10-17, as Paul writes by inspiration of the Holy Spirit: “As it is written, there is none righteous, no not one: There is none that understandeth, there is none that seeketh after God. They are all gone out of the way, they are all together become unprofitable: There is none that doeth good, no, not one. There throat is an open sepulchre: with their tongues they us deceit: the poison of asps is under their lips: Whose mouth is full of cursing and bitterness: Their feet are swift to shed blood: Destruction and misery are in their ways: And the way of peace they have not known: There is no fear of God before their eyes.” This is God’s description of humankind without the Lord Jesus Christ. The mega church, and those involved in the present ecumenical movement take a “Yes, humankind is somewhat bad” approach to the sin problem, barely scraping the surface in regard to the total depravity of man depicted in Romans 3:10-17. Consequently, their knowledge and opinion of the complete redemption purchased by the blood of Jesus Christ, is also quite inadequate.
Being born again entails a change. We become “new creatures.” My contention is this: If 80% of the people in the USA were born again, would we still have all of the crime and wickedness that is presently extant in our country? I think not!
THE SOLUTION TO OUR DILEMMA
Surely, this isn’t that hard to figure out, nor is it that hard to resolve. We who are born again by God’s Holy Spirit must pray for a spiritual revival that encompasses the entire world. That is what God said to Solomon in 2 Chronicles 7:14: “If my people, who are called by my name humble themselves and pray and seek my face, and turn from their wicked ways, then I will hear from heaven, and I will forgive their sin and heal their land.” Is your church involved in praying for such a spiritual revival? Then make it your priority to stir up such a notion within your church. This is what I intend to do in mine.
Now what God says in 2 Chronicles 7:14 is a promise; and, unless I’m terribly deluded, God want us to claim His promises, and hang on to them like bulldogs. You may tell me, “That was a promise to Solomon, not to you.” Well, it’s mine now, because I just claimed it! Join me. We can’t go wrong trusting the True and Living God! Let’s get back to being God trusting, and promise claiming Christians!
With love in the Lord Jesus, from a sinner saved by grace,