- 80-90% of people who are recorded as making “a decision for Christ” in today’s Evangelical churches do not go on to committed discipleship. They are lost to the faith within a very short time, many of them immediately.
- These people will generally be harder to reach again in the future (for simple reasons that we will discuss another day).
- Of the 10-20% that can still be found in church attendance a year later, many join the swelling ranks of evangelicals who demonstrate little or no difference in lifestyle than unbelievers.
What are we to make of this state of affairs? Quite simply this: the Church is full of false conversions.
How has this happened? It is the natural (entirely predictable) result of the “gospel” that is now preached from the majority of Evangelical pulpits worldwide. We are simply not preaching the same message that was fearlessly declared by Jonathan Edwards, John Wesley, George Whitefield, C.H.Spurgeon, D.L.Moody, Charles G.Finney, and a host of others who God so powerfully used to bring untold numbers of unbelievers to thoroughly committed faith in Christ. Our “gospel” in fact is not the same gospel that was preached by the Church-at-large up until the 20th century.
What is the difference? During the last 100 years a monumental shift has taken place. Biblical evangelism (as laid down in the New Testament and modeled in the teaching of Jesus Himself and the early church) uses the Law of God to expose to men their sinfulness and the wrathful judgment that they are subject to when they must stand before a holy God and give an account. Only when a person is convicted of these realities by the Holy Spirit will they truly REPENT and cling to Jesus Christ as their only Savior.
You can sum up the deficiency of today’s Church in one word. The “R” word. The missing grace. REPENTANCE.
What is the ‘gospel’ we are preaching today then? There is no doubt that Ray Comfort has accurately diagnosed the problem when he writes:
If right now you are saying to yourself, “What’s wrong with that? That sounds like the gospel to me!” – you need to be taken back into God’s Word to see the real message of true gospel preaching:
“The tragedy of modern evangelism is that, around the turn of the twentieth Century, the church forsook the Law in its capacity to convert the soul and drive sinners to Christ. Modern evangelism therefore had to find another reason for sinners to respond to the gospel, and the reason it chose was the issue of ‘life enhancement.’ The gospel degenerated into ‘Jesus Christ will give you peace, joy, love, fulfillment, and lasting happiness.’ Something like this is usually said, ‘You will never find true happiness until you come to the Lord. You have a ‘God-shaped vacuum’ in your heart that only He can fill. God will heal your marriage and take away that addiction problem. He’ll get you out of financial difficulty and be your best friend.'” (Ray Comfort, The Problem with the Modern Gospel.”)
1. Bookmark this blog now to read future posts which will continue on this vital subject.
2. Add your question or comment to these posts and let’s have some good discussion about it.
3. I HIGHLY RECOMMEND you get Ray Comfort’s book “The Way of the Master”. You can download the 1st Chapter for free … HERE. If you’re not a reader, you can watch a video summary of the same concepts entitled “Hell’s Best Kept Secret” … HERE.
Change MUST come!