According to a study released by the Pew Forum on Religion and Public Life, nearly half of all Americans changed their religious beliefs. More than 35,000 adults were surveyed to document the diverse and dynamic U.S. religious population. The director of the Pew Forum, Luis Lugo said: “The American religious economy is like a marketplace—very dynamic, very competitive. Everyone is losing, everyone is gaining. There are net winners and losers, but no one can stand still. Those groups that are losing significant numbers have to recoup them to stay vibrant.” What can we make of these shocking figures?
This is the sad consequence of the belief that conversion is something that man does. Conversion is the work of God. When God converts someone, they undergo a life-transforming experience. It’s not the kind of thing that you can walk away from.
May I suggest that those who walk away from their conversion experience were never really converted in the first place? First John 2:19 says: “They went out from us, but they were not of us; for if they had been of us, they would no doubt have continued with us; but they went out that they might be made manifest that they were not all of us.”
Because so many people believe that conversion is the work of man, man has to invent gimmicks and schemes to win a crowd. Many evangelists are no more than religious hucksters trying to sell off Jesus like someone would sell a goat at a farm show. Since talking about sin and repentance is bad psychology, and might scare new converts off, we minimize the Gospel and leave out some of the most important parts.
But this is not evangelism. True biblical evangelism involves presenting Jesus Christ in the power of the Holy Spirit that men and women, boys and girls accept Him as Lord and Saviour, and serve Him in the local church.
There are multiplied thousands of so-called Christians in America and yet America is morally and spiritually bankrupt. Judging from the moral tone of our society, we could very well elect a profligate rascal into office as our public leader. People may think that America is a “Christian nation” but we don’t behave like one.
Didn’t Jesus teach this very thing, and people left and no longer followed Him?
Yes, that’s right. Jesus said, in John 6:44: “No man can come to me, except the Father which hath sent me draw him: and I will raise him up at the last day.” And then, in verse 64 Jesus said, “But there are some of you that believe not.” The verse goes on and says, “For Jesus knew from the beginning who they were that believed not, and who should betray him.” Verse 66 says, “From that time many of his disciples went back, and walked no more with him.”
Salvation is the work of God. False substitutes will only produce inflated results.