52% of Americans say they believe that the Bible is God’s authoritative Word – 80 to 85% say they are Christians.
36% say they believe people should live by Scripture. This does not mean that they actually live by the Word of God as contained in the Bible – just that they believe you should.
45% of Americans say they operate by a mixture of God’s commands and their own inclinations – thus living their lives “somewhat Christian” but more a personalized interpretation of God’s Word based on their likes and dislikes, opinions and life-styles.
15% ignore God’s Word if it conflicts with their own plans – placing desire and want over principle and Truth that they say they believe in.
Source: the Culture and Media Institute
It becomes worse when you look at the trends and statistics for the youth in today’ culture. More on that in a couple of days.
Today – let’s look at what these statistics are telling us about the lives of those who declare themselves to be believers in today’s culture.
1> They don’t honestly believe that God’s Word is their only authority and contains THE Truth upon which to base decisions and life choices.
2> They are building their lives on the sand (according to the words of Jesus) and not on the rock of His Word.
3> When the storms of life come along – tests, trials, trouble, tribulations – their lives, like a house of cards, will tumble and crash to the ground – being destoyed.
4> They will blame God because He didn’t fulfill some promise or other that they do believe in and have claimed for their lives – thus being mad at Him and probably seriously ticked at the Church they have attended
5> They live a life of “selected obedience” to the Word of God and thus come across to non-believers who have some idea of what the Bible teaches as hypocrites
6> They think they are Christians when, most likely, they simply said a sinner’s prayer or responded to an emotional moment. They saw that as an encounter with God or a touch from God. They think they are safe from an eternity in hell when, in reality, they are false converts and in danger of an eternity separated from the God they claim to worship and serve – however much in a selective manner.
7> They are self-deceived and in deep trouble – having been innoculated against ever catching the real thing – biblical Christianity.
8> The Church is in trouble because many of those who profess to be believers are not living according to God’s Word and thus hold to an outward form of their religion and deny the power thereof to change and transform a life from the inside out.
9> The Church and the “believer” are not proclaiming the real Gospel, not living by the power of the true Spirit and are not following the real Jesus. Paul would say they are in trouble and much to be pitied.
We have much work to do within the Church before we will be very effective as the Church in reaching out and telling others of the difference the real Jesus and obedience to His Word – the Truth – is making in our lives.