Hardly a day goes by without the media informing us of the moral decline in our times.
A recent study led the BBC news headlines concerning integrity. (Centre for the Study of Integrity at Essex University.) Dishonesty is endemic from big business to the ordinary man in the street. It was especially noted that immorality was more accepted and under age sex the norm of the day. Our secular leaders are worried by such findings. The church should be more concerned.
The need to speak out.
Never was there a greater need for the church to stand up and proclaim the gospel. But what is the message we are hearing from many of the churches today?
For many years now I have listened to Radio 4’s Sunday morning service. During that time all denominations have been recorded. I cannot recall hearing one message that has spoken out against the many evils of the day. No mention of repentance or judgment. No mention of the New Birth, without which no one will see the kingdom of God. (John 3 v 3)
Almost without fail, the listeners (Possible in the millions) are assured that God is love and His care never fails. And so the formal prayers cover most of the issues of the day, yet week by week nothing changes. The sermons assume that we are a Christian nation and gives the impression that all will be well in the long run. Yet the UK continues to have the largest Prison population in Europe and we top the lists of teenage pregnancies, with our STD Clinics with massive waiting lists, and we are getting more dishonest in all aspects of life.
This is all part of ‘Contemporary Evangelism’, with its message of ‘God loves everyone’, and wants us to come to a party, or a fun day; some groups of Christians go out on the streets giving our boxes of chocolates.
Nothing is said of God’s holy character, or of God’s hatred for sin. No call to repentance and sorrow for sin. This was always part of the message that has sounded out through the centuries, and this is the message that brought into being the Baptists, Methodist, Salvation Army and indeed all the major mighty movements for God is this land.
Days of decline
All of those denominations are in decline today. We are seeing empty churches everywhere; so ‘Contemporary Evangelism’ is not proclaiming the gospel, as it is in the New Testament, and therefore is doomed to only increase the problems we face as a nation. It cannot offer a remedy because it does not diagnose the disease.
I am calling for a return to the Word of God. Our nation needs reminding of the 10 commandments. Our Government must be held responsible for the laws passed which undermine the Word of God.
Where does the gospel start?
The gospel starts with a call to repentance. This was the method of the Lord Jesus and also His disciples. Repentance means facing up to the wrongs in our lives, and turning away from them. Next comes faith, which means to trust in the Lord Jesus as the only Saviour from sin, this forgiveness being secured by His death on Calvary and resurrection, we are then baptised, an outward witness that our lives have been changed. We then receive the Holy Spirit, who brings a new life, this leads us into a holy life, yet one of service,through the local church, to our communities.
The Gospel of the New Testament is always contemporary to every age, sin is a universal problem, and the gospel is a universal solution.
If we water down the message to suite the age in which we live, then we also weaken the effect of the message, we don’t produce repentance nor changed lives.
Christian Evangelism Resources aims to equip Evangelical churches to reach out to the people, finding members in the churches with the gift of evangelist and encouraging them to go out with the message.
Not to depend on the ‘professionals’ to come in and do it for them, nor the ‘big bang events’ from the centre, but ordinary believers serving God with their spare time.