That you will walk in a manner worthy of the Lord, to please Him in all respects, bearing fruit in every good work and increasing in the knowledge of God (Colossians 1:10, NASB1995).
Following Jesus should keep us on a path of deepening spirituality. There are ups and downs in our walk, but we should be maturing in Christ.
I asked a friend for a definition of “spiritual maturity”…
Maturing in Christ means that a Christ-follower is developing into someone who can do the works for which they’ve been set apart (Ephesians 2:10). It means that they are being equipped for ministering to others within the Body of Christ (Ephesians 4:11-16; 2 Timothy 3:14-16) and living and speaking the good news of God’s Kingdom outside that Body (Matthew 28:18-20).
It’s a great definition that should describe all of us who claim Jesus as Lord.
Recently, a Pew Research article hit the headlines of Christian blogs and news sources saying that by 2070, Christianity would be a minority religion in the U.S.A.
My thought was, “How can this happen if believers are maturing in Christ?” Then I thought, “Are Christians really maturing in Christ?”
Let’s imagine a revival in your church next Sunday. Your pastor preaches a sermon that on Heaven’s scorecard of Christendom’s great sermons, comes in second just below the Sermon on the Mount by Jesus.
One hundred people accept Jesus as their Lord and Savior. What happens to those 100?
- 80 percent walk away from faithfulness within three months
- Of the 20 percent left, five years later only 20 percent of them are growing or maturing in Christ.
Another friend of mine (I hang out with smart people) said, “According to my math, 20 percent of 100 is 20 and 20 percent of 20 is 4.”
That means that the 100-person revival at your church in the Fall of 2022 yields only 4 (the exact number is 4.3) people after five years.
The other 96 people are disgruntled, disillusioned, or outright denying their previous faith. If these statistics are accurate, no wonder the church in the U.S.A. is fast becoming a minority religion.
What should we do? We might say, “Pray for revival!”
But Jesus doesn’t tell us to pray for revival. He gives us another prayer (Luke 10:2) and also a command for our obedience in discipleship (Matthew 28)…
And he said to them, “The harvest is plentiful, but the laborers are few. Therefore pray earnestly to the Lord of the harvest to send out laborers into his harvest” (Luke 10:2).
We are to pray for workers! The harvest is plentiful but there are few disciplers. If a revival came, 80 percent would walk away.
The reason for the “walk-away” rate of new believers and the “walk-away” rate of believers, as Christianity trends toward a minority religion, is a lack of spiritual maturity and vitality.
The Bible’s solution is workers who are disciplers. Yet few believers have been discipled, know how to disciple, or have ever discipled someone.
The failure of Christianity in the U.S.A. is a failure of discipleship.
The command of Jesus is to…
Go and make disciples!