Recently, at a meeting, a leader from a declining denomination in the United States, spoke of declining baptisms in their churches again this year as though it had become the norm. I have to agree that for an individual to hold this view or attitude as the NORM, would be “normal” with someone who has lost sight of Jesus commands “to go make disciples”, Matthew 28:18-20.

Jesus’ command involves evangelizing lost people. Making disciples and communicating truths about Jesus could be labeled as “Evangelistic Discipleship”. While we are explaining the truths of the Gospel to lost individual they are in the early stages of possibly of becoming a disciple of Jesus Christ or a believer in Jesus.

A family serving as foreign missionaries recently returned to our church, where they had grown up physically and spiritually. John, (not his real name) made a profound statement, “A church that is not growing is dying”. The Church of the Lord Jesus Christ must heed the words of this missionary who is seeing people come to faith in Jesus and seeing new churches start out of the evangelism efforts.

Have we made the grievous error of putting the cart before the horse. We are starting churches before there are new believers who become the church. This is not the New Testament model that the Apostle Paul and the early church used. God’s plan was to first proclaim, evangelize lost people. And when a handful of people responded by faith in Jesus and trusted Him as Lord and Savior, then a church began to gather.

Nowhere in Scripture does God tell us to exalt the name of a church or denomination. We are commanded to exalt the Name of Jesus. If your church has a bad name in the community it may be for three reasons. First, church members could have unconfessed and are living an unholy life before others. Second, a church might be suffering persecution because of the intentional evangelism efforts, but this will change as people trust in Jesus. Third, a church has developed a bad name in the community and they need to figure out the error and change it.

God forbid that any God called man or woman would simply say, “that we expect to see less people saved” or “we expect to see less baptisms” as though it is the New Normal. God forgive us for our disobedience! We are a disobedient people and we need You to restore us with a heart for evangelizing lost people! Please put a fire in our bones to proclaim Jesus Christ to lost people.

With the direction that people in America have taken, down a very dark, sinful and godless path, when reading Romans chapter one, the question comes to mind, “has God turned America over to its own desires and sin?” I pray that God would cause sinners to become so sick of their sin that people would become more open to the Gospel than ever before. God give us an obedient heart, help us let out the evangelistic zeal that You have put in us at the moment of our salvation. Let us proclaim Your Word with power, passion and persuasion. Amen.

America needs to hear more of the Word of God and not less. Let us obey the Lord Jesus’ command and go make spiritually dead people alive with the Living Word of God!

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