In doing some research for my school paper, I came across a startling statistic that will keep me up at night. According to ARDA, in 2010 there were almost 64,000 people in Flagler County who claimed no affiliation with a Christian denomination! (http://www.thearda.com/rcms2010/r/c/12/rcms2010_12035_county_name_2010.asp) The implication is that at least 64,000 of our neighbors and friends are going to Hell. God has entrusted these people to the Church in Palm Coast, and we are failing miserably.
This is graph should be our wake up call. We cannot “do church” the way we’ve always done it. We are not winning the war for the souls of mankind.
I am going to print this graph out and give it to each of you. Please post it where you will see it everyday while you are busy doing the “work of church.” Under the graph I will include the question, “Is what you are doing right now going to make a difference in the lives of 64,000 people?” If not, then why are we doing it?
We are not winning the war for the souls of mankind.
May the words of Paul be our words, also. Thank you for serving with me as we work to help 64,000 people reconcile with God!
2 Corinthians 5:11-20
Because we understand our fearful responsibility to the Lord, we work hard to persuade others. God knows we are sincere, and I hope you know this, too. Are we commending ourselves to you again? No, we are giving you a reason to be proud of us, so you can answer those who brag about having a spectacular ministry rather than having a sincere heart. If it seems we are crazy, it is to bring glory to God. And if we are in our right minds, it is for your benefit. Either way, Christ’s love controls us. Since we believe that Christ died for all, we also believe that we have all died to our old life. He died for everyone so that those who receive his new life will no longer live for themselves. Instead, they will live for Christ, who died and was raised for them.
So we have stopped evaluating others from a human point of view. At one time we thought of Christ merely from a human point of view. How differently we know him now! This means that anyone who belongs to Christ has become a new person. The old life is gone; a new life has begun!
And all of this is a gift from God, who brought us back to himself through Christ. And God has given us this task of reconciling people to him. For God was in Christ, reconciling the world to himself, no longer counting people’s sins against them. And he gave us this wonderful message of reconciliation. So we are Christ’s ambassadors; God is making his appeal through us. We speak for Christ when we plead, “Come back to God!”