In America, is the Gospel Still the Gospel? Matthew 16:13-20

In America, as a rule, I am fearful that the gospel has become “popularized” – tainted and, in some ways, lost. This is in its presentation and demonstration. I believe that, as congregations, and as individuals, we, Christian Americans have not represented Christ clearly to the world.

A new Pew study says that “Four in five American adults say they ‘believe in God.’ Of these believers, 70 percent say they believe in the God of the Judeo-Christian Bible.” Let’s do the math.

  • Four out of five American adults are 80% of the adult population.
  • 70 percent of the 80% say they believe in the God of the Judeo-Christian Bible.
  • This means that 56% of American adults believe in the God of the Judeo-Christian Bible.
  • There are 252 million American adults.
  • Are you ready for this? 141,000,000 American adults claim to believe in the God of the Bible!

My response to this – Really? I’m sorry, but I have a very difficult time believing that all these so-called “believing” Americans are Christians – true followers of Christ. Look at the state of our American culture. We are a culture in ruins. And those who attend our churches are no better off.

If 141,000,000 American adults truly believed in God as the Scriptures define belief and God,

America and the world would be a much different place.

What do Americans mean when they say that they believe in the God of the Bible? And, is the fact they say they believe enough for salvation? “Well, Gary, Jesus did say that if we ‘believe’ we will not ‘perish’, that we would ‘have eternal life’. Right?” Yes, but not in the way we have come to “believe”.

Something is fundamentally wrong. Somewhere, somehow, in America,

the message of Christ has become muddled, weakened and of little effect.

I am haunted by the words of Christ to his disciples recorded in Matthew 16:19 “I will give you the keys of the kingdom of heaven; whatever you bind on earth will be bound in heaven, and whatever you loose on earth will be loosed in heaven.”

We can debate about what all Christ meant when he said “Keys” and “binding and loosing”, but on one point I believe we all can agree is that THE key Christ is referring to, THE key that opens the doors of heaven, is his gospel – his life, death, burial and resurrection, and God’s plan of salvation by grace, through faith, alone.

What’s your take? In America, is the gospel still the gospel? Do you believe the American gospel is of little impact? Do you believe 141 million American adults are Christians? I look forward to reading your thoughts.

Gary Brown

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