Personal Responsibility for Fewer Believers
Yesterday I wrote about believing in the resurrection of Jesus Christ, Finding a Piece of Peace. This evening I logged onto facebook and discovered a friend had posted the most recent statistics on Americans who believe in the resurrection.
How do you think Americans belief compares to last year?
According to this article the Rasmussen reports that since last year there was a 13% decrease in Americans believing that the resurrection of Jesus Christ is a historical fact.
13% decrease in one calendar year.
Christian friends, not only are we not moving forward, but we are straight up backsliding ourselves. The people sharing our pews don’t even accept the resurrection as fact. How can we expect non-believers to accept the resurrection as fact if we don’t believe it ourselves?
After Jesus’ resurrection and before He ascended He gave some instructions to the disciples.
I can’t speak for you, but I think that I need to listen to this commission, pray that God would send me, and be intentional in my teaching.
That commission? It wasn’t meant just for those eleven men. No, it applies to each of us who have been redeemed by His blood.
First, we must go. No more sitting on the sidelines and waiting for someone else to do it or even someone else to walk beside us while we do it. I must get up and go.
Then we must make disciples. It isn’t enough for me to point someone in the right direction and then hope and pray they find their way. It’s my responsibility to take them under my wing, shepherd them to the Shepherd, and then walk beside them as the grow.
Baptize them in the name of the Father, and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit. Is salvation all I have to do? Based on the Great Commission, no. Salvation then baptism. However, baptism doesn’t bring about salvation. Jesus Himself was baptized. If He’s our example, then we too should be baptized.
Finally we should teach them to observe all the things that Jesus has commanded us to observe. Sometimes this one is tough. We want to let people figure it out on their own. We don’t want to step on someone’s toes or hurt their feelings. Unfortunately, Jesus tells us to teach them to observe all things that He has commanded us to observe. We don’t get a by here. No excuses. We must teach.
If I lived this out everyday of my life I don’t think 13% of Americans would have stopped believing this year.
Do I think that highly of myself? Absolutely not. I think I’m not doing what I’ve been instructed to do, and that if I was others would be being influenced for Christ.
Every person I influence for Christ would then in turn influence someone else for Christ, who would influence someone else for Christ, who would influence someone else for Christ, who would influence someone else for Christ, who would, well, you get the idea, right?
It wouldn’t take too many of us doing what we were commissioned to do before that 13% decline would instead be a 13% increase.
So as I look inside myself, as I internalize that 13% decline, as I take it personal instead of blaming someone else, I have to wonder, am I alone? Am I the only one who dropped the ball this year?
Because the truth is, if we aren’t part of the solution (the increase) we are part of the problem (the decrease). What are we intentionally doing to live out the Great Commission in 2013?
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