Signs of a Dying Christian Life (and a Dying Church)!
In his companion book to the “Share Jesus Without Fear” evangelism training program, William Faye shares some signs of a dying Christian life. I share these with you here and add two more to his list.
- Not sharing one’s faith – Sharing our faith with others is not a special gift from God given to a select few. It is a commandment from Jesus for every child of God and is the main job we have in this life! (Acts 1:8)
- Having only Christan friends – Certainly our closest friends, the ones with whom we share our personal thoughts and from whom we seek guidance and advice, should be true, spiritually minded Christians. However, if we hope to share the Gospel with others effectively, we must develop relationships with a basic amount of trust, friendships, with those who have yet to know our most trusted companion, Jesus.
- Not expanding one’s field of influence among the lost and hurting – This sign goes along with the previous one. Our culture is constantly pressuring us. For some this means that withdrawal to one’s comfort zone, usually away from the public, becomes the norm. For others this means that though one may be publicly involved in many events, one should not mention religion in any form. How can people ask us for a reason of the hope in us if they never see us, or we don’t display the hope in us by sharing our praise of God’s greatness? (1 Peter 3:15)
- Not spending significant time in God’s Word – I have recently been reminded of my own failure in this area. I was challenged by several fellow ministers to read through the Bible, not study it but read it. As a pastor, I spend considerable time studying Scripture in preparation for sermons and Bible studies. However, I have rediscovered the pleasure I had as a child when my mother would have to tell me to turn off my reading lamp each night because I was reading my Bible past my bedtime. By reading at a rather quick pace, 90 days through the Bible and 30 days through the New Testament, I am experiencing the beauty in the story of God’s love for and personal involvement in humanity. For more on this, see the previous post True Discipleship.
- Neglecting personal prayer time – Personal prayer time should include far more than asking God to fix and bless my messes. When was the last time you spent more than 30 seconds praising God for the great job He has done, is doing, has planned to do? How often do you spend more than a moment asking God what He is doing around you and how He wants you to be involved? Without intimate communication with the One who desires to have a love relationship with us, our love grows cold and we become insensitive to His desires.
Is your life an example of the abundant life that Jesus promised to His followers? Jesus is still saving people and still desires to have them involved in the adventure of His kingdom business. Will you join me in repenting of not following God’s instructions for His children and engaging a world of souls needing salvation through repentance and faith in Jesus presented by Passionate People Serving the Powerful Potentate?