Saturday, November 19, 2022
“For I speak to you Gentiles, inasmuch as I am the apostle of the Gentiles, I magnify mine office: If by any means I may provoke to emulation them which are my flesh, and might save some of them” (Romans 11:13,14 KJV).
The operative term here is “some!”
According to a contemporary researcher, just 6% of Americans have a biblical worldview: to wit, only this small remnant of the purported “Christian” United States actually believes we should think and live according to a literal, historical interpretation of the Holy Scriptures. A mere 37% of professing “Christian” pastors have a biblical worldview (mainline Protestant leaders are 32%, but Roman Catholic leaders are 6%). In decreasing order, here are the percentages of church members who agree with the biblical worldview: 78% of Southern Baptists, 51% of Evangelicals, 48% of Baptists, and 37% of Pentecostals. Overall, a meager 2% of Millennials—those born between the years 1980 and 2000—have a biblical worldview.
Friends, these are truly some alarming and dismal values, but, frankly, they are likely overestimates. Whoever believes “we are bringing in God’s kingdom by preaching the Gospel” is surely mistaken! Postmillennialism—“Jesus will come back to reign once we reform Earth”—is ignorance. Yet, if these figures are accurate, and unbelief runs rampant amongst those who attend and even lead church services, why should we bother to try to share the Bible with anyone at all? Why preach the Gospel of Grace when so few will receive and believe it? Today’s Scripture serves as a reminder that soul-winning has been the Christian’s challenge for 20 centuries.
The Apostle Paul wrote Romans during the Acts period, when he himself was travelling to and preaching Jesus Christ in synagogues (Jewish places of worship) throughout the Mediterranean world (for a few examples, see Acts 9:20, Acts 13:5,14, Acts 14:1, Acts 17:1-4,10,11,17, Acts 18:4,5). Read those contexts. Lost Jews would persecute him and his converts, for they so hated the Lord Jesus Christ whom he proclaimed and served (the same Christ their nation had murdered on Calvary’s cross years earlier!). Yet, Paul endured those struggles and sufferings in ministry to try and save even “some of them….”