Summary: Why is Christianity in America declining? Why are professions of faith and baptisms on the decline. Christianity is not a religion but a relationship. Church is not a place we go or something we do it is God's people doing His will.
I have a very serious question to start us off with this morning. Why is Christianity on the decline here in America? I am sure there are probably as many answers as there are people.
• Could it be because Christianity is competing with so many other religions?
• Could it be because TV and Film always portrays Christianity as sticks in the mud?
• Could it be because most of the people you see in leadership positions do not show much Christianity?
• Could it be because preachers are not preaching the Word of God?
• Could it be because we live in a society where there is so much to do and so little time to do it all?
• Could it be because the cost of living is so high so much focus has to be on making a living?
I am sure it could be any of those answers and so many more, but there is a much more basic answer. So let me ask this question another way.
Why are churches in America on the decline, baptisms on the decline, and professions of faith on the decline? You may say that is kind of the same question Bro. Scott and I would agree but there is a little difference. Some churches are not on the decline.
• Could it be because some churches don’t have the financial resources of other churches?
• Could it be because some churches have better preachers than other churches?
• Could it be because some churches are in a better location than other churches?
• Could it be because some churches have so many other churches close by that they are trying to get the same people?
I am sure it could be any of those answers and so many more, but there is a much more basic answer.
I am going to ask you a series of questions but before I do I ask that everyone bow their head and close their eyes. No one looking around the answers to these questions are between you and God but I want you to physically answer these questions not just hear them and not respond. I want you to honestly, before God this morning, answer these questions, not with your churchy, pharisaical, this is what the answer should be response, but with a from the heart, God’s honest truth answer this morning.
• Are you a born again Christian?
• Do you want to see lost people saved?
• Do you want to see this church grow?
• Do you want to know what the problem is?
• Do you want to fix the problem?
With heads bowed and eyes closed listen as I read our text this morning.
Before I give you the basic answer to the question I want you to understand that I am not standing before you as someone who has it all worked out, someone who lives a perfect life, folks there are even some of you that have a better grasp on this than me. But I am standing before you as a man who has surrendered his life to God to be a messenger on God’s behalf to His people. I am standing before you as a man who loves each and every one of you and wants to see you grow into the man and woman God wants you to be.
Now having said that let me re-ask the questions for this morning and then give you the most basic answer. Why is Christianity on the decline here in America? Why are churches in America on the decline, baptisms on the decline, and professions of faith on the decline? The answer, YOU!
What is Christianity? Is it just some religion that people can choose out of many? NO, if it is then it is not worth anything. No Christianity is people who have had a personal encounter with God and have committed their life to Him. If there is a problem with Christianity, then it is a problem of the people who claim to be one.
What is Church? Is church a place we come to meet, greet and eat? Is church something we do? Is church a place we go? NO, church is the people of God (Christians) coming together to do the will of God. So if there is a problem with Church, then it is a people problem not a money problem, or a program problem, or a location problem.
So then if Christianity is people who have had an encounter with a living God and Church is those people coming together to do with will of God and you have said you are a Christian then you are a part of the problem. People do not view Christians or Church by what they see on TV or the movies, they view them based on what they see in your life. Christianity’s problem is not that it is competing with the world and all the world has to offer, the problem is the people who are Christianity are more involved in the world than they are in relationship with the God they once had an encounter with. The Church’s problem is not that there are not enough lost people to go around, or not enough money to go around, or a shortage of people telling you if you do this program or that one, if you go and knock on doors, if you do this or that you will grow. The problem is church is about you and not about God. It is about your will being done not about God’s will being done. It is about you getting your needs met not you meeting God’s needs.