It Is Time for A Change
May 1, 2005
INTRODUCTION: The context of Paul's teaching is growing and maturing into "Christ-likeness." Personally, I have been a believer for over 32 years and I should be more like Him now than when I first "got in." Testimony: Jesus Christ changed my life.
The content of this message is to deal with the State of the Church (The Body of Christ). The Bible records from history the "life change" that comes from people of different walks of life once they had a personal encounter with Jesus Christ. For instance, 11 of the 12 disciples were so changed that they embraced Christ and their commitment to Him, even though, ultimately, it would lead to their death.
In my research I found some wonderful and surprising findings, according to George Barna's 2004 Report:
1. Hundreds of thousands of Americans embrace Jesus Christ as their Savior for the first time in any given year.
2. For many years, the long-term commitment to Christ by people who were saved as children has been questioned. A national survey revealed, however, that people who embrace Christ before the age of 13 are more likely to remain absolutely committed to Christ in their adult years than are people who accept Christ in their teenage or adult years.
3. Churches and parachurch ministries have made divorce a widely-discussed matter in the past two decades. Yet, a majority of born-again adults do not believe that divorce is a sin (excluding cases in which adultery is involved)
4. Public opinion was evenly divided on the Federal Marriage Amendment. The underpinning of this division was the notion that there is no moral truth on which to base such a law, and, therefore, people ought to be free to make their moral choice without legal intervention.
5. For the typical adult in America, the number of movies they watch during the year is greater than the number of worship services they attend.
6. Adherents of non-Christian faiths are twice as likely as born-again Christians to engage in fasting for religious purposes.
Some Disappointing Realities:
1. Born again adults who have been married are just as likely as non-born-again adults who have been married to eventually become divorced. Because the vast majority of born-again marriages occurred after the partners had accepted Christ as their Savior, it appears that their connection to Christ makes less difference in the durability of people's marriages than many people might expect.
2. Faith has had a limited affect on people's behavior, whether related to moral convictions and practices, relational activities, lifestyle choices, or economic practices.
3. The sources of people's greatest spiritual fulfillment are relatively bland in nature. Elements that reflect more intense involvement in faith or a relationship with Christ are among the least common sources of people's spiritual fulfillment.
4. Just half of all Protestant Se ...
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