An article in the Daily Oklahoman today (12/20/2011) should be an encouragement to Christians. It was written by Rachel Zoll and it was entitled, “Study Shows Shift in Christian Population”.
The article stated that, “…Christians overall remain the largest religious group in the world, according to a new analysis released Monday.” Christians should rejoice over this information. The Gospel is reaching people. People are being changed, for the better. They are meeting and following the Lord of the universe.
The article goes on to say that, “…Christians are still the world’s largest faith group, with nearly 2.2 billion adherents.” This is very positive and should encourage Christians to be even more involved in witnessing and evangelization.
The article says that, in most countries, Christians are the religious majority. Zoll tells us that, “Christians comprise nearly 80 percent of the U.S. population…” Even taking into consideration that many ‘professing’ Christians have no real relationship with Jesus Christ, and are therefore ‘Christians’ by name only, these are still encouraging statistics.
However, what if this was not the case? What if there was only one Christian in the world…and you were that Christian? Do you have the kind of deep faith it would take to stand against every other person in the world and remain faithful? Could your beliefs stand the kind of persecution that Christians encounter in third world countries?
There are too many Christians whose faith cannot withstand the mocking of their friends or relatives. This ‘faith’ could never stand up to the criticism and ridicule of a skeptical world. Too many so-called believers do not take their relationship with God to be important enough to dedicate the time and energy it takes to maintain that relationship.
A new year is swiftly approaching. It is the prayer of this writer that Christians would ask themselves this question: “If everything was taken away from me and no one else on earth was a Christian, would I still have faith in Jesus Christ?”
If the answer to that question is a confident “Yes”, then praise God and continue what you are doing. However, if you are not sure that that Jesus, “…is able to keep you from stumbling and to present you blameless before the presence of his glory with great joy…” (Jude 1:25 ESV), then it is time to reevaluate your walk with God and commit to doing whatever it takes to improve your relationship with Him.
While Zoll’s article contained some very encouraging facts, our relationship with God does not rest on how many others profess belief in Him. Our relationship with God rests on the basis of our trusting the life, death, burial, and resurrection of Jesus Christ as being the payment for our sins.
May 2012 be the year of recommitment to our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ.