Summary: A holy life lived to the glory of God attracts outsiders to ask, "What must I do to be saved?"

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“What must I do to be saved?” [1]

I fear many vital, even essential words are disappearing from common usage today. Society as a whole is becoming linguistically impoverished. Some words have been misappropriated; they will never be returned to their proper place in English vocabulary. “Gay,” for instance, once meant joyful or happy. To say someone is gay today has an entirely different meaning; and those who wish to identify themselves as “gay,” are anything but joyous. Other words simply disappear. Increasingly, as I read correspondence and watch postings on on-line forums, I witness fewer and fewer people who appear able to distinguish between the contraction “you’re” (for “you are”) and the possessive pronoun “your.”

Because the Faith permits itself to be influenced by the culture in which it is immersed (instead of influencing culture), people of faith reflect this same deficit with even more alarming consequences. We seldom hear the pulpit speak of being saved, or speaking of redemption. Modern church goers are decidedly uncomfortable whenever the preacher speaks of being lost. “Hell” has become an explicative rather than a place of eternal punishment for those banished from the presence of the Living God. The consequence of our neglect is that those who are lost are not being warned of their peril; and the saved are unaware of their responsibility to turn those who are lost from their imminent danger. Moreover, the redeemed are woefully ignorant of the precious treasure that we possess in God’s salvation.

Two articles posted on CNSNews this week illustrate the danger facing the Faith. The first item, a report of census data released for England and Wales, reveals that fully one-quarter of the British population refer to themselves as either atheists or agnostics—they have no affiliation with any faith. Moreover, the fastest growing religion in Great Britain appears to be Islam. The number of self-identified Christians has dropped significantly during the last decade. Figures released in the United States reflect a similar trend. [2]

The Faith once delivered to the saints competes for the souls of family, friends and colleagues midst a cacophony of voices in the marketplace of ideas. When we speak the language of Zion, understanding what we are saying, we will not only have a hearing, but we will present the superior plea. When we no longer are convinced of the veracity of our argument and when we cease to employ the language of Zion, we become merely another voice within the din of competing shouts and cries within this dying world.

In another article discussing the reaction of unions to the passage of right-to-work legislation in Michigan, the head of the United Auto Workers is quoted as saying, “Labour, civil rights, faith community, LGBT. Environmentalists—all of us got to come together and stand up for an America that has prosperity for everybody.” [3] Why is the faith community lumped in with these groups? Such compromise would have been unthinkable even a few short years ago!

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