Listen to this devotional:
Listen while you read: "O Breath Of Life"1 (Lyrics)
Acts 2:41 – Those who accepted his message were baptized, and about three thousand were added to their number that day. (NIV)
In the last twenty years, the Church of Scotland has sadly lost 40 percent of its membership. Britain is becoming more secular as each year passes. Despite trying to accommodate worldly and cultural views into its organization, the Church is diminishing. It appears that appeasing society is a big turnoff for the people of Scotland. In a desperate bid to be relevant, the Church of Scotland has become inessential and ineffective.
The church is meant to be radical, not relevant. It's supposed to promote the truth, not trivia. Apologetics is not about the church saying sorry to the world for being Christian; it's about the church feeling sorry for the world because people are not Christian. We have a message to proclaim and a mission to accomplish. Whenever we forget this or fail to live up to the Great Commission, the church diminishes, and congregations die.
Scotland is now a mission field. If the Church of Scotland truly wants to grow again, it has to stop pandering to the people and start proclaiming the gospel. That will involve a lot of courage and will challenge people's lifestyles all over Scotland, but if the next generation of Scots is going to become Christian, then ministers need to stop preaching what the masses want to hear and start prophetically proclaiming what God wants to be said.
Long ago, when Peter preached on the Day of Pentecost, he didn't hold anything back. His people were guilty of crucifying Christ, and they needed to repent. If Peter had sugar-coated the message, then perhaps, no one would have responded. Instead, he proclaimed the unpopular truth, and over three thousand people were baptized that day. It's a lesson that we should constantly keep before us. It's an act of courage that we should be continually espousing and evoking.
Point to ponder: How might these principles apply to my congregation or denomination?
Prayer: Lord Jesus, grant us the temerity to proclaim the gospel truthfully, no matter what it costs and however much it challenges us. We want the whole world to experience Your wonderful salvation, but we have grown timid about witnessing to Your way, truth, and life. Remind us that life is a test as well as a journey. Help us to grow Your church in our communities and countries, and across the entire planet. In Your holy name, we sincerely pray. Amen.