April 2024 – Elders Message

Where have all the Christians gone?

On March 20 at our Wednesday service, Pastor Cody Hauch touched on something that has been weighing on my mind for a while.  He stated that it is expected that in the coming generation, Christians will be in the minority in America.  I’ve been looking into this myself and it has been disheartening to me.  Christians are already a minority in England.  What does it look like to you here in Bemidji, where we have the opportunity to make a real difference?  Why are we seeing such a precipitous decline in Christianity across the world?  Are these the end times?

It might be easy to make a case that we are now near the end times.  We might even be tempted to dig into Revelations and look for signs that we are nearing the apocalypse right now.  While every earnest study of the Bible is healthy, making predictions outside of what has been revealed to us in the Bible might not be healthy for us.  Revelations was written to encourage the faithful but also to prepare Christians for persecution around 2000 years ago.  Much is written in which I am not in the least prepared to understand, much less capture in writing, which is a danger when delving into Revelation, but…  The Roman Empire encompassed the seven churches to which the letters were written and the congregants were surrounded by atrocities before God.  These Christians were encouraged to be strong in their faith and to warn against being a part of the sinful acts that were taking place all around them, even though they might be persecuted for it.  They risked death by refusing to worship Caesar or one of the prescribed “gods” of the day.  It was a dangerous time for sure!  What do the current times look like?  What are the prescribed “gods” of our day of which the Bible still warns us?

Should I really be disheartened knowing that us Christians may soon be a minority in our country or our community?  We are not the first, and we will not be the last to witness believers turning away.  Time and time again since the Old Testament, God’s people have chosen to turn away from His Word and His promises.  So, what should we do about this now?  Though I come up short in all regards, I am confident in the answer:

We need to hear God’s Word.

We need to read God’s Word.

We need to study God’s Word.

We need to embrace God’s Word.

We need to show our children how to embrace God’s Word.

We need to continue to be an example to our children and our community of how Christians live.  Our individual example in our community may be the most important thing we can do to show what Jesus’ love has done for all of us.