For years the polls have been reporting a steady decline in church attendance and in those who identify themselves as evangelical Christians. I’ve seen recent estimates that we have fallen below 50% of the population.
Living in a hostile culture where the majority of those in influence tend to ignore, mock, or actively despise the Gospel can make Christians feel isolated and insecure. We may be hesitant to speak openly about our faith for fear of derision or reprisal.
What we fail to remember is that even half of the U.S. population would make a mighty army. Also, there might be many among those polled who hesitated to declare their genuine belief, not wishing to seem backward or unsophisticated to the pollsters.
Throughout the Bible, the followers of Jesus are instructed to love one another and encourage one another, especially in the face of persecution. It was the support of fellow believers that made the spread of the Good News possible.
How dangerous it was in those days to proclaim that Jesus is Lord! The current uncomfortable situation for believers can’t compare to the martyrdom experienced by the early Christians.
First Century believers risked everything to go boldly and openly, to their neighbors first, then farther afield, wherever their steps carried them, sharing the Gospel and proclaiming their faith in Christ in obedience to His command.
19 Go therefore and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, 20 teaching them to observe all that I have commanded you. And behold, I am with you always, to the end of the age.”Matthew 28 (EVS)
Ordinary people, just like you and me, trusted Jesus, and shored up by their fellow believers in the Body of Christ, the household of faith did extraordinary things.
9 And let us not grow weary of doing good, for in due season we will reap, if we do not give up. 10 So then, as we have opportunity, let us do good to everyone, and especially to those who are of the household of faith.Galatians 6 (ESV)
Be bold in sharing your faith. The next person you meet may well be a fellow believer, one who needs your encouragement to speak out. It is more important than ever that we openly support our fellow Christians, letting each one know that they are never alone in this spiritual battle.