Why So Little Interest in Jesus?

Jesus and “born again” were hot topics in the 60’s and 70’s. Today people suppress a yawn when we bring Him up. We can feel the growing anti-Christian sentiment around us, but what’s more alarming is that our neighbors’ have no interest when we bring up Jesus, our faith, Jesus, or things Christian.   Polls by Gallop and Barna document the decline of the church’s reputation over the last 50 years. But they fail to note that Jesus’ popularity has plummeted along with the church.

What’s behind His eroded reputation?  How about direct disobedience of His command to “love one another.” and his prayer, “Father,may they be one.”

 We have failed  to reach two generations of young people and are losing a third, many of whom are being taught to actually hate Jesus. Has our failure to obey Jesus’ mandate  a reason why?

Billy Graham s success wasn’t primarily his preaching. I helped lead two of his campaigns in New Jersey. He  would not come to a city if a sizable number of church leaders there did not join together in prayer and support of the campaign. This was one of the keys to his popularity and his fruitful efforts to win others to Jesus. .

 What was his authority? By this shall all men know you are my disciples, “If you love one another as I have loved you.” John 13, 34,35. And Jesus’ prayer, “May they be one Father, as we are one that the world may believe.”

The Love Revolution  a book about Jesus’ forgotten and neglected command ,  written by Pastor Gaylord Ens, greatly impacted the men’s group I am in. He, myself and other believers are praying for the body of Christ in the U.S. to wake up to the Great Command of Jesus  to “love one another,” and his prayer, May they be one Father, as we are one that the world may believe.”

Doesn’t the failure of Christian leaders to bring their flocks together and competition among churches rather than cooperation, show our disrespect for Jesus’  New Covenant command–His new order for a New Order? What if leaders would reach out to neighboring churches and explore ways to bring their flocks together to witness and do good works? What if local  churches were known for their mutual cooperation and united loving actions rather than their competition? Jesus promised obedience to this agape love would make a positive impact on our neighbors. Why don’t folks get this?

Please pray with us to lift Jesus higher as we recall and practice His mandate for us to love one another and his prayer for our spiritual unity.

Your comments are valuable. Please let us know you are out there. Thanks.

 

When God Reveals Himself

“When you said, ‘Seek my face’, my heart answered, ‘Thy face, Lord, will I seek’--Psalm 27.8 “Ask, and it shall be given; seek and ye shall find; knock, and it will be opened.” Matt. 7.7

Imagine the mystery of the universe lying behind this great, heavy curtain.

  • The atheist stands before it, declaring, “There’s absolutely nothing back there.”
  • The agnostic comes and has no doubts, “We can never know what’s back there.”
  • The philosopher expounds on and on about what lies behind the curtain.
  • The religionist explains it with a host of creeds, doctrines and rituals.
  • The humble penitent comes to the curtain, asks, seeks and waits…until the curtain opens and the Lord God, King of the universe, reveals Himself

God revealed Himself first in real history. That first Christmas He actually did show up, coming to us as a babe. He lived among us, suffered with us, forgave us, saved us from sin and guilt and proved his love by dying for us. We celebrate Easter because He really did rise up from the tomb, conquering our worst nightmare—death. To top it off, he offers those who will ask and receive, the incredible gift of eternal life.

God reveals Himself today to us if we ask and seek. Surrounded by skeptics at an Ivy League University, I was on my way to becoming an atheist. But I had not given up my  curiousity, so I must have been asking and seeking. One weekend I chose to be among bright, eager, young believers. They lived out their faith, sharing their love for Jesus Christ with me. I joined them singing a hymn by Charles Wesley: “Amazing Love, How can it be, that thou my God hast died for me.” Those words floored me.

Could it be true? Is Jesus, who I heard all my life, died for me, really God?  I had to know, so I got alone and—well I guess you would say I prayed, though it was more like a challenge. “God, if you really love me and died for me, surely you can reveal this to me, can’t you?” Then I waited and guess what. That curtain opened for me. I knew and felt to be in the presence of the Holy. There was no doubt. It was all true, so I surrendered to Him and my life changed forever.

We come to know God the way we come to know anyone. Let’s say I go into McDonald’s, sit down next to this guy and we get talking. After some small talk, we ask each other some personal questions. By asking and answering we come to know something about each other. We might continue with this and eventually form a friendship. But if I don’t care enough to ever ask or he doesn’t ask, can we ever come to know each other?  Wouldn’t we leave McDonald’s as we came—complete strangers. To know God or anyone, we must care enough to ask and seek.

I am still asking God questions. I have found prayer includes asking, seeking, listening and waiting. God, as it turns out, delights in opening the curtain, revealing Himself and answering my questions. Over the years, we have formed a close bond this way, as He continues to reveal Himself to me. He speaks to my heart by His Spirit and to my mind by His Word, the Holy Scriptures. God’s servant, Paul surely grasped this, writing, “…that I may know him in the power of his resurrection and the fellowship of his sufferings.” 

Would you consider taking this challenge by honestly asking Him, seeking Him and knocking. He will surely open that curtain for you.

Please make comments. They keep us going.