By Reverend David Whitney
October 30, 2016
What is happening to the Christian faith in America? Is it advancing or retreating, growing or shrinking?
George Barna on Decmber 18, 2013, released his research where he asked Born Again Christians if they believe they have a personal responsibility to share their faith with others. Seventy-three percent of Born Agains said yes in that survey. When this conviction was put into practice however, the numbers shift significantly downward.
Video of the sermon
When asked did they actually share the gospel at least once this year to someone of different beliefs in hope that they might accept Jesus Christ as their Savior, only about half (52%) say they actually did so. If you have ever built a campfire you know the most difficult phase is to initially get the fire self-sustaining even for just a few moments. You build a pile of kindling leaving enough room for airflow to accelerate the flame, but also enough material to enable the flame to continue by burning new material.
If your kindling is damp you have an additional hindrance; you need sufficient heat to dry out the wood before it will burn. The artificial means of starting the fire, a match, contains all it needs to ignite the initial kindling, but if the other factors are not properly arranged, the fire will not last. Good fire building techniques are essential not only at the start but throughout the burn cycle. Unless you add fuel to the fire when necessary the fire will go out. It takes constant maintenance to have a fire which continues through the night. Jesus taught us that this was true of the Christian faith; unless we go forth and make disciples the Christian faith would die out on earth. In fact Jesus even asked His disciples in (Luke 18:8) “Nevertheless, when the Son of Man comes, will He really find faith on the earth”?
We are only one generation from seeing the Christian faith extinguished from earth and from these united States unless we make true disciples. This was not a new commandment Jesus was giving, but a restatement of the commandments to the people of God that arose in the midst of that great deliverance God was working for His people through the 10 plagues He brought to Egypt.
When we examine Deuteronomy 6:20-25 and Joshua 4:4-7, 20-24, we see there is a multi-generational vision of making disciples. A Father, as the spiritual leader in his home, is to recount the glorious victories against the enemies of God given to us in Scripture. He is to tell them to his children, and he is to do likewise with his grandchildren. All to the end that “the mighty things I have done in Egypt, and My signs which I have done among them, that you may know that I am the LORD.” Parents passing on their faith in Christ to their children and grandchildren are an essential part of God’s plan for building the kingdom of our Lord Jesus Christ.