Recent surveys of the next generation are shocking some church leaders. Evangelical authors Thom and Jess Rainer, in their book, Millennials, polled a cross section of the 18-30-year-olds and found only 13 percent of the 75 million alive today, were Bible believers. That fits the "narrow way" concept of Matt 7 and a smaller percentage than that "turned the world upside down" in the book of Acts. But it takes a sold-out, no-looking-back commitment that is rare in today`s churches.
Lance Ford, in his new book, Revangelical, quotes a statistic that only 3 percent of non-Christian millennials hold a favorable view of evangelicals. He blames the perceived image of evangelicals in the culture of being "harsh, judgmental, compassionless and homophobic."
Ford places much of the blame on Christians who have played politics instead of putting faith first in their lives and reflecting the love and grace of Christ. While this is true, we have also failed to counter the intense campaign by the humanist schools and godless government to shove Bible believers into the margins of life.
Russell Moore, head of the Southern Baptist Ethics & Religious Liberty Commission, made a point in his acceptance speech for the position. He observed that the American culture is now in a post-Christian position and that Bible believers should shift to a "prophetic" stance. Instead of assuming that America is basically "Christian," we need a more realistic view of the lost condition of most people and do more to stand and speak God`s Truth (in love) to their ignorance, indifference or even hostility. Jesus wept over Israel`s confusion because the shepherds, instead of nurturing the sheep, were abusing them with heavy bondage to mind-numbing rituals and regulations.
A review of the messages of the Old Testament prophets to a wayward nation of Israel finds a striking parallel between this "post Christian" America and paganized Israel. Remember: without righteousness, America is doomed. Do not think that a political move can free us from the need for a revival. Righteousness is what exalts a nation, not any political position. Legalizing sins such as abortion, adultery, and sodomy brings God`s reproach, lifted only by repentance. (See Prov. 14:34.)
Soul winners, we must redouble our efforts while we still can. The freedom to witness is increasingly in jeopardy because we have followed ungodly leaders in schools, entertainment, as well as government.
America`s slide into paganism is not limited to any election period, but began many decades ago when godless humanists were allowed into our schools, colleges and even some churches. God told Israel in 2 Chronicles 7:14 that if His people humbled themselves, prayed and turned from their wicked ways, He would heal their land. For too long, God`s people have slept through the paganizing of America. Now, it is up to us to obey this verse and hope that He will bring the promised healing.
Most revivals in history have been preceded by an intensive saturation with no-nonsense gospel tracts. Only the gospel will help people see that their salvation is not in more government, but in trust in their Creator and making life work His way. The Old Testament prophets were not afraid to deliver God`s message and certainly won no popularity contests. The government at that time, usually the king, mounted powerful opposition to their message.
If Russell is right, we need to exert the same boldness in speaking the truth in love to this and the coming generation. But, don`t be surprised if the king (government) is not happy and you end up in a prison ministry.