Many including myself have often lamented that Christianity has lost a lot of ground in Canada.  We have pointed to the decline of the United Church and other mainline churches.  We see the aging and greying of our local congregations.  The Bible has been frozen out of schools and public discourse.  Margarete Wente  speaking of the United Church writes:  “But today, the church is literally dying. The average age of its members is 65. They believe in many things, but they do not necessarily believe in God. Some congregations proudly describe themselves as ‘post-theistic,’ which is a good thing because, as one church elder said, it shows the church is not ‘stuck in the past.'”

Is this lost ground something that we can recover?  Is it our job to recover it?  Once I thought that we could and we should.   I felt that bold witness to churches and communities who have abandoned their belief in God and His Word was what was needed along with prayer and perseverance.  But now I’m begining to think that this is a lost cause.  The liberal churches and the many communities that have abandoned their belief in Scripture and what God’s Word says about the world have lost their ‘saltiness’.  Jesus said; “You are the salt of the earth. But if the salt loses its saltiness, how can it be made salty again? It is no longer good for anything, except to be thrown out and trampled underfoot.”  (Matthew 5:13)

The lost ‘saltiness’ of churches and lukewarm Christians along with the indifference or outright hostility of most people in our society has been ordained since the beginning.  Scripture tells us: “But mark this: There will be terrible times in the last days. People will be lovers of themselves, lovers of money, boastful, proud, abusive, disobedient to their parents, ungrateful, unholy, without love, unforgiving, slanderous, without self-control, brutal, not lovers of the good, treacherous, rash, conceited, lovers of pleasure rather than lovers of God— having a form of godliness but denying its power. Have nothing to do with such people.”  (2 Timothy 3:1-5)

The problem is exacerbated by liberal clerics (I won’t call them Christian clergy) who promote and profess an empty social gospel of cheap grace and moral relativism.  Scripture describes them as well; “But there were also false prophets among the people, just as there will be false teachers among you. They will secretly introduce destructive heresies, even denying the sovereign Lord who bought them—bringing swift destruction on themselves.  Many will follow their depraved conduct and will bring the way of truth into disrepute. In their greed these teachers will exploit you with fabricated stories. Their condemnation has long been hanging over them, and their destruction has not been sleeping.”  (2 Peter 2:1-3)

Scripture is telling us that this is going to happen and we can’t redeem the situation.  The only redeemer is Jesus.  God is going to take care of those who believe His Word and repent; “For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life.” (John 3:16)

God is also going to take care of those who do not.  Again Scripture tells us how this is going to work; “The coming of the lawless one will be in accordance with how Satan works. He will use all sorts of displays of power through signs and wonders that serve the lie, and all the ways that wickedness deceives those who are perishing. They perish because they refused to love the truth and so be saved. For this reason God sends them a powerful delusion so that they will believe the lie and so that all will be condemned who have not believed the truth but have delighted in wickedness.” (2 Thessalonians 2:9-12)

What can we do in this world if dealing with lost ground isn’t our job?  Jesus told us to share the Gospel; “Therefore go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, and teaching them to obey everything I have commanded you. And surely I am with you always, to the very end of the age.” (Matthew 28:19,20)  This is a job where Jesus promises us He’ll be right along side every step of the way.

What about those that don’t care for the Gospel, His Word or the walk of holiness that it requires?  Jesus was clear on that too; “Let the dead bury their own dead, but you go and proclaim the kingdom of God.” (Luke 9:60)  And who do we proclaim it to?  We share the Gospel with those in trouble, in need and broken.  Jesus’ mission is our mission; “The Spirit of the Lord is on me, because he has anointed me to proclaim good news to the poor. He has sent me to proclaim freedom for the prisoners and recovery of sight for the blind, to set the oppressed free, . . . ” (Luke 4:18)

By the Grace of Jesus Christ, I can  do that!

Praise the Lord!

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