March 5, 2008
Let us hold fast the confession of our hope without wavering, for He who promised is faithful. And let us consider how to stir up one another to love and good works, not neglecting to meet together, as is the habit of some, but encouraging one another, and all the more as you see the Day drawing near. Hebrews 10: 23-25
When I was growing up, my parents lived in two homes—the second was about a mile from the first. With the exception of his time in the military, my father worked at the same job and we always attended the same church.
But times are changing. Today, people move around and few expect to remain in the same home, or hold the same job, for all of their working years.
Having interviewed more than thirty-five thousand adults, the Pew Forum on Religion and Public life has discovered mobility is also true when it comes to denominational loyalty. Hearing that information, Luther might ask: “What does this mean?”
According to the U.S. Religious Landscape Survey, it means America is about to “lose its status as a majority Protestant nation”, Christianity is “at 51 percent and slipping.”
According to a sociologist at Penn State University it means, “there is a dropping confidence in organized religion, especially in the traditional religious forms.”
According to the Pew Forum it means half of American adults are leaving the faith traditions in which they were raised. It means mainline Protestant churches are declining while the percentage of people who have no affiliation to any church is growing.
Weakening commitment to the Christ and His church is not something new. Even the Apostles recognized the problem. To prevent souls from slipping away from the Savior’s salvation, Paul wrote: “Let us hold fast the confession of our hope without wavering; let us consider how to stir up one another to love and good works.” Then he added, let us not neglect meeting together; instead let us encourage each other as we see the last day approaching.”
Friends, the last day is approaching and for that reason I ask you to join me in asking the Lord to send His Holy Spirit upon our land. Let us pray that while people’s lives, homes, and jobs may be transient, their faith in the crucified and ever-living Savior will not be. Let us encourage each other even as we reach out to those who think Jesus has nothing to offer.
THE PRAYER: Dear Lord Jesus, because You have forgiven and loved me, may I, and my church do all we can to share Your blessings with searching souls. May we support and strengthen each other so all who see us may also see You. In Your Name. Amen.
Pastor Ken Klaus
Speaker emeritus of The Lutheran Hour®
Lutheran Hour Ministries