Faith: Reacting to exodus of faith
Two things Christians can do to lead people to God
BACKUS — In the last few months there have been several articles coming out on my social media page discussing what they see as a mass exodus from the faith that is taking place within our country.
And speaking with other clergy and those leaders of the faith, this mass exodus has reached into all traditions and denominations.
Now there are perhaps many different reasons as to why this is happening, but what has been on my mind more than anything else is the question: What can we do to turn the tide?
It has been this question that has prompted me this year to take our congregation into the book of Acts where we find over and over the testimony of what can happen to a world if only we will get back to the root of who we are and have been called to do as believers.
And that is witnessing.
Now as we look deeper into the Book of Acts, we actually find where the people witnessed in several different ways.
One, by sharing the message of what Jesus has done on our behalf. And what was it that Jesus did?
Jesus came and atoned for the sins of the world and opened the way for us to now be in the right relationship with our heavenly Father and then called on us as believers to give people the invitation to experience the saving grace of Jesus for themselves.
And two, we can be a witness of the faith through the way we live our lives.
If we live out our faith in a genuine manner, I believe there will be people who will be attracted to what Jesus has to offer.
So both the sharing of his message and living out the faith are both essential if our desire is to see open doors into the hearts of those we are wanting to share the gospel message with.
So understanding our role in witnessing, what is it that keeps us from taking these steps of witnessing into the very people we love and care about? Is it fear, being labeled, fear of rejection or even persecution?
I believe Jesus understood how vulnerable we could succumb to fear and hinder his will and our responsibility to carry out the great commission; therefore, he also promised to give us all a power unlike anything we have ever received that will enable and empower us to overcome any burdens of fear that may be holding us captive.
That is what the Day of Pentecost is all about.
God sending the gift of his Holy Spirit down into each believer not only to empower us to live the life he called us to live, but also to enable us to step out in faith and proclaim with boldness that Jesus loves them and desires a personal relationship with all who will open their hearts and allow him to be the Lord of their life.
So my challenge this year to my congregation is, facing the fact that although we may not be able to turn the tide of society as a whole, each of us could help turn the direction of one person’s life around with the message that Jesus saves.
And perhaps for all of us who call ourselves believers, this is the door we all need to seek and then enter if our desire is to reach the lost.
Share with others the message of the eternal hope and forgiveness that is found through Jesus Christ.
That is my challenge to our church family and may this also be your heart’s desire as well.
John Rister is the pastor at Backus Nazarene Church.