When you consider the society in which we live, it is not difficult to conclude that a de-Christianization has occurred and continues to occur at an ever-accelerating rate. The most tragic thing about this de-Christianization is that it is also taking place within the ranks of Christians.
This is happening to such an extent that Christianity, for the most part, no longer makes an impact in society. Jesus describes His disciples as the light and salt of the world. When this light and salt loses its power, those Christians end up falling prey to worldliness, becoming de-Christianized.
The authority of the scriptures rejected
During the Reformation, the reformers preached Sola Scriptura, “by scripture alone;” however, the denominations that today profess to be the successors of the Reformation, have forsaken this faithfulness to God’s Word, and have even forsaken the tenets of their respective denominations. The Bible is called The Holy Scriptures, but many of today’s Christians reject its authority.
Modern theologians have often been forerunners in this process of de-Christianization and have rejected the authority of The Holy Scriptures. This is the reigning spirit of the times. It results in Christians becoming more and more worldly. “The forgiveness of sin” has almost become a “permission to sin” and justification of the repentant sinner has almost become a “justification for sin.”
The obedience of faith
The apostle Paul wrote in Romans 1 about his ministry of apostleship and his goal of bringing about obedience to the faith among all nations, to the honor of God’s name. (Romans 1:5) He ends the same letter by writing about “obedience to the faith.” This message is sorely lacking in churches today. There is neither preaching about “discipleship” nor “obedience to the faith.” Only those who are obedient are true believers. And only disciples (learners) experience what Paul states, “…but, speaking the truth in love, may grow up in all things into Him who is the head – Christ.” Ephesians 4:15.
A message for young people?
Churches and assemblies are afraid of losing their young people, and the spirit of the times gives them good reason for concern. We, however, have experienced over a long period of time that preaching the obedience of faith actually excites and inspires young disciples. Paul writes in 1 Corinthians 1:18 that the message of the cross is the power of God. Therefore, he was afraid of preaching the gospel in such a way that the cross of Christ would lose its power. See also verse 17. In Galatians 2:20 we see a good example of how Paul preached the Word of the cross: I have been crucified with Christ; it is no longer I who live, but Christ lives in me. Churches and assemblies that lose the Word of the cross either lose their young people, or else have to watch the coming generation become more and more worldly and alienated from a life in God.
May each person who reads this take Paul’s exhortation in Romans 12:2 to heart, “And do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind, that you may prove what is that good and acceptable and perfect will of God.”
That which is good. That which is acceptable to God. That which is perfect. The disciples who have this as their longing and heart’s prayer will have a completely different development from people whose lives become increasingly worldly.