Over the past several years, I’ve had believers in my immediate family tell me that there are many people in our nation coming to know Christ. I’ve heard reports that there are more Christians now than at any time in history. I’ve been told that more believe in America today than any other time in the history of this country.
But if these things are so, what Christ are they coming to? It’s been my experience as a pastor over the past 15 years that there are far more “believers” who want nothing to do with the Christ and the cross of the bible than there are those who actually hunger for God’s word. I don’t see people coming in droves to be in Christ’s “presence,” or even being willing to suffer with Him in His sacrifice.
I do see the droves going to churches where the gospel is rarely preached and when you ask the members of such churches what the gospel actually is, then you get statements like, “just do your best, like all the rest.”
With all these people who are supposedly Christians, why is our nation so morally bankrupt? Why is there no real effort on the part of the church for holiness and turning away from sin? Why are there so few who actually even know what holiness is?
I’m sorry if I’m skeptical. But I think the words of Christ are more true in our day than they have been in any previous day of our country: “Enter by the narrow gate; for wide is the gate and broad is the way that leads to destruction, and there are many who go in by it. Because narrow is the gate and difficult is the way which leads to life, and there are few who find it.”
I get the impression that the Jesus many people know, is not the One found in the pages of Scripture who suffered and sanctifies us through suffering as well. They know a Jesus that points away from the narrow way, and the difficulties found there. They know a Jesus that points to the American Dream of prosperity and pleasure. They know a Jesus that has nothing to say on our moral condition, but loves everyone unconditionally, without stipulation, without judgment being rendered, without salvation being offered. In other words, they don’t know the living and true Christ of the cross.
But these are just my impressions.