In 2001 Dr. RL Hymers, Jr. in an article “A Warning to Those Who Think They Are Saved,” said that most church members and preachers are unsaved, adding, “Dr. Rod Bell, president of the Fundamental Baptist Fellowship of America, estimates that 50% of church people are without Christ. His estimate concurs with that of Bob Jones, Sr.… in the 1940’s he also fixed the estimate at 50%. Dr. BR Lakin estimated that 75% are lost. WA Criswell would be surprised to see even 25% of his church members in Heaven. Dr. Bob Gray, the longtime pastor of the prestigious Trinity Baptist Church of Jacksonville, Fla., once said that probably 75% of those he baptized were not saved. Billy Graham puts the figure at 85% while AW Tozer and Southern Baptist consultant Jim Elliff raise it to 90%.”
Those are just a few of the many quotes noted spiritual leaders have made concerning the body of Christ, the church. If these estimates even come close, is there any wonder many churches today are having little if any success? Growing a crowd is not where it’s at. While people represent souls and the more in that assembly the more will hear the message is true, but the power in a church comes in the form of the Holy Spirit’s presence living in the lives of the redeemed, blood-bought, born-again believer. A lot of churches, like a vehicle with a miss on one of its cylinders, may look like a functioning engine yet lack the power it should have.
As a believer, have you enjoyed the thrill and wonder of leading a person to Christ? If not, then why not? Perhaps it’s time to take a good look at your spiritual life, not only for your sake but for the sake of others.
A person is either born once and dies twice or they are born twice and die only once. It is something you must be sure about. It was Jesus who said, “You must be born again.” I think one of the saddest things will be for a person to live their whole life and stand in front of Jesus and hear, “depart from me I never knew you.” Self-deception is the saddest kind of all.
From Our Missionaries
Ebenezer, West Little Rock: Ruben Isturiz writes, “We finished our second week of praying in homes for each family leader, and it was two weeks full of blessing. Each home we visited was grateful that the pastor and his wife took time to visit and pray.
“Sunday, we did not have a Celebration Service in the temple — both the American church and the Hispanic mission had online worship services. The reason was to protect them from the snow, and there are also many sick people. In Ebenezer alone, we have 11 patients from flu or COVID. We also have the father of one of our members who is very ill in Mexico has gotten worse. Pray for this time of difficulty.
“This is the last week that I have to wear the monitor my cardiologist prescribed before I have to send it to Arizona. From there, they will send the results to my doctor. The blood test my cardiologist asked for was normal. I had one more episode of irregular heartbeat so, for now, the doctor ordered me to take an aspirin and blood pressure pill daily. We are all in the hands of our God.
“This week, some Berean Groups (cells) will begin their activities on Wednesday for 15 weeks. We have chosen a group of leaders to take a novo.org workshop that will be a blessing in leadership development. It will be a lot of homework, and we pray that God will be glorified in our midst.”
Faith Chapel, Flippin: Johnny Shew writes, “The weather shut us down this week. The winter storm brought us about four inches of snow in Flippin. Luckily, for the first few hours, it was melting as fast as it fell. Cancelling services is so hard, but everyone’s safety comes first. It gave me time to study though, for an exegetical preaching workshop I am attending this week at Oak Park in Little Rock. I am very excited about that.
“On a positive note, Sunday was a joyful occasion because, 32 years ago, my lovely wife and I were joined together in marriage before the Lord. So we celebrated together, thankfully, before the Lord. I truly am thankful for her, and for all that He has done for us in the past 32 years. It gets better every day! Thank you for your prayers. Please continue, He is answering them.”
The Table, Springdale: Clinton Morris writes, “Winter has finally arrived. Well, the snow at least. Quite a few people were out sick. Please pray for those who are struggling with illness.
“We are finalizing some scheduling aspects for this year and are excited to see what God is doing in our area.
“One of our couples found a new church that was closer to where they lived. I am excited that they found a church family that is under five minutes from their house. It had been a 35-minute drive for them.
“I am looking to get more involved with the college campus this year, and one of our couples is planning on helping in this area of ministry. Stay safe and God bless.”