By Carl McMurray
Sunday School Adult Quarterly took a national survey and compiled the following statistics. Although the survey was not taken specifically among our brotherhood, it nonetheless provides some interesting information since attitudes that are common in the world are often shared (to some extent) by New Testament Christians. It was found that among church members .. .
10% cannot be found,
20% don’t attend,
25% admit to not praying,
35% admit they never read their Bible,
40% don’t contribute financially,
60% never give to special efforts,
70% never assume any responsibility,
85% never invite another to worship, 95% never won another to Christ, yet,
100% expect to go to heaven.
There would seem to be some plain conclusions that we could draw from the above figures. Namely .. .
It is no wonder that our society is veering off course. Church members only comprise a percentage of the population, and over a third of them “never read their Bibles!” That means that over a third of them actually have no idea about the answers to some of the most important questions in this life (and the next) including questions like, “Am I really saved?”, or “What is really right and wrong?” They are being influenced on subjects like homosexuality, abortion, divorce and remarriage, and training children without really knowing what God says. Since they never study themselves, their beliefs are based purely upon what someone else tells them. I don’t know what you think, but that’s a little frightening to me. In addition to this though .. .
Over two-thirds of church members misunderstand God’s word. The Bible teaches God’s people not only how to be saved eternally, but how to live fully in this life. God speaks of how to handle my job, how to live with my fellow man (even when he’s not easy to live with), how to live under government authorities, and how to serve him in Christ’s church. If seventy percent “never assume any responsibility” in the church, that says they don’t understand what God is saying, because he places some responsibility on everyone. Of course, half this number have already stated that they never read their Bibles. They, admittedly, would not understand. But, another 35% are reading. The fact that they’re not involved says their reading is not doing them any good. They are not acting upon what they learn.
Kidding ourselves seems to be the popular pastime of most people in this country. The very book that we’re ignoring says, “Test yourselves to see if you are in the faith; examine yourselves!” (2 Cor. 13:5, NASV). We become offended if someone suggests that “I am not a Christian.” Yet is seems evident that a high percentage of us don’t even know what a “Christian” is. We don’t worship, we don’t talk with our Father, we don’t listen to his directions, we don’t assist in his work and we don’t even think it’s important enough to share with others. We’re trying to teach our children how to live and we don’t even know how to live ourselves. Yet, we all eagerly expect to go to heaven. To quote Al, from the popular TV show, Home Improvement, “I don’t think so, Tim.”
It’s past time to “get real.” We need to set time aside for personal devotion. It’s time to get involved. It’s time to study regularly, pray hard, find Christ’s church among all the compromising counterfeits and be part of it. I believe that our souls, the souls of our children, and the spirit that brought this nation to its once-great position are worth saving. But, it won’t happen as long as I keep letting Satan tell me, “I’m all right,” when I’m not! The apostle Paul say’s, “examine yourselves.” God bless your efforts.
Guardian of Truth XLI: 3 p. 21
February 6, 1997