Wednesday, October 8, 2014

Calling Millennials to Stand Firm in a Demoralized Nation

The morals of a nation do not rest on the shoulders of politicians but on those who call themselves followers of Christ.  When moral corruption takes hold of a nation, perhaps we should get our eyes off of the government and run a spiritual checkup on the church.

But maybe we need to take it a step further and start with asking God to evaluate our own hearts? 

We live in a crucial time in history where black and white issues have become gray. The moral code of God's holiness has been mocked by situational ethics and political correctness.  In a world that is quickly falling apart Christian millennials should take a step back and reevaluate the high cost of being a follower of Christ.

Contrary to our culture Jesus told his disciples:
  • Put aside your selfish ambitions
  • Take up your cross
  • Follow me 

Jesus goes on to say, "If you try to keep your life for yourself, you will lose it. But if you give up your life for me, you will find true life. And how do you benefit if you gain the whole world but lose your own soul in the process? Is anything worth more than your soul?"

So Jesus is basically saying...
  • To keep your life, you loose it
  • To give your life to Christ, you keep it
  • To gain the world, you lose your soul
  • To give your soul to Christ, you gain your soul 

What you might not realize is this: the habits you form today create a lifestyle that influences your future as well as the future of our church and nation. The way you spend your time, the value you place on money or possessions and the people you hang out with all reflect the value system of your heart.

The morals of this country rest on the personal decisions you are making in your life. Are you putting Christ first? Are you following Jesus command of setting aside selfish ambitions, taking up your cross and following Him?

Repentance of a nation starts with individuals who are willing to sacrifice their life to stand in the gap for the Glory of God. Are you willing to join them?

Sunday, September 14, 2014

Barna Group Says "The Nature of Churchgoing is Changing"

"While tens of millions of Americans attend church each weekend, the practice has declined in recent years. According to our 2014 tracking data, overall church attendance has dipped from 43% in 2004 to 36% today. But beyond a dip in attendance numbers, the nature of churchgoing is changing" states the Barna Group. 

"Regular attenders used to be people who went to church three or more weekends each month—or even several times a week. Now people who show up once every four to six weeks consider themselves regular churchgoers."

Why is the nature of churchgoing changing? In America we have more religious freedoms than most countries on earth. We can meet without fear for our lives and yet we don't take advantage of this opportunity. There are abundance of churches to to join but sadly many churches are losing members. 

Here is a question I've been wrestling through lately. Could our reasons for attending (or not attending) church be drastically different to those of the New Testament church? Way deep down I think we need to ask the question, why do we even go to church? 

"When you come to church, when you worship Him, you’re not doing it for God really. You’re doing it for yourself." Victoria Osteen's words seriously bother me. Not because of her shocking disregard for being Biblically sound but because it could still be an underlying reason why we attend to church. 

"Millennials who are opting out of church cite three factors with equal weight in their decision: 35% cite the church's irrelevance, hypocrisy, and the moral failures of its leaders as reasons to check out of church altogether", Barna Group reported. "In addition, two out of 10 unchurched Millennials say they feel God is missing in church, and one out of 10 senses that legitimate doubt is prohibited, starting at the front door." 

What if our value system for WHY we go to church needs to be evaluated? What if we are searching for "the good life" in all the wrong places? The following video is just a teaser for my next post...

" do you benefit if you gain the whole world but lose your own soul in the process? Is anything worth more than your soul?" (Matthew 16:26)