by Paul List:
From time to time, I hear people say things like, “I wonder what it would have been like to walk with Jesus when He was here on earth.” I certainly understand their wonder and desire to see the Creator in action. However, we have exactly what He wanted us to have, the Gospels. In Luke 8:1, we do not have to wonder what it would have been like to walk with Jesus. “Soon afterwards, He began going around from one city and village to another, proclaiming and preaching the kingdom of God. The twelve were with Him” Here we see Him doing exactly what He was sent to do. He was preaching and teaching the good news of the Kingdom of God. His was a message of sin recognition, repentance, forgiveness, salvation and peace with God. This is the Gospel. Jesus lived His life exactly as He expected us to live.
In the next two verses, we also learn that Jesus lived a life sharing the Gospel while mentoring others to do the same, “and also some women who had been healed of evil spirits and sicknesses: Mary who was called Magdalene, from whom seven demons had gone out, and Joanna the wife of Chuza, Herod’s steward, and Susanna, and many others who were contributing to their support out of their private means.” He had His twelve, plus other women who also followed Him. We learn that His ministry was supported by their personal wealth. I believe this is why the church today is in decline in America. Firstly, we have assumed the people we see in church know the Gospel. Secondly, we have failed to be mentored by born again believers, aged saints who have lived a long time in the Word. Thirdly, we have failed to follow Jesus’ example and mentor the next generation of Christians. Fourthly, we have failed to teach the next generation that the work of the previous generations needs to be continually supported by the next generation, both spiritually and physically.
I pray this month you will be intentionally praying about who you are called to mentor. God has made in you a new spirit. That spirit is to follow Christ in all of His ways. You are called individually to do your part in spreading the good news of the Kingdom of God. You are called to seek out a person to mentor. This could be someone already in your life that you are already mentoring; on the assembly line, on the farm, at school, or even in your own home. Only God can reveal who it is you are called to bring up alongside you in the faith. If our generation drops the ball, there is no telling how far it will roll before the church in America is non-existent.
European countries have failed to fulfill the Great Commission and now are the most secular places on earth. Norway, for example, is reporting a church attendance of less than 5% while still recognized as a Christian nation. We are going to see those numbers here in the states as well, if we do nothing. In America, only 34% of the population regularly attend church services. (Pew Research) As we look back at hundreds of years of Christian heritage, keep these numbers in mind. They are shocking, but real. Each year the attendance slips lower and lower.
But there is hope in the gospel, the only thing that can rebuild the church of Christ.
God created the world and everything in it. Sin came into the world through man and corrupted God’s creation. God made a way to reconcile creation back to Himself by coming down as a man and dying for our sins. If we repent of our sins and accept Jesus Christ as our Lord and Savior, we can be made right in God’s eyes and He will make in us a new spirit. Then we can live forever with God in Heaven.
Soli Gloria Deo.