I wonder if followers of Christ today know what their calling means.
Think back to Scriptural accounts of the calling of the first disciples. They responded to a personal encounter with Jesus. Jesus issued his simple instructions, “Come follow me.” Those three words changed their lives and then the world.
Some of them understood the challenge. Leave your work, your family, anything that hinders and come follow Jesus. They did not seem torn at the prospect. In the Gospel of Mark, they responded immediately. Take no thought for yourself. It was if they embodied the teachings of Jesus at the time they responded.
Those callings were certainly unique in history, however many have continued to respond to the call to be a disciple through the ensuing centuries. Lives continued to change as a result of the response. The encounters with Jesus were not in the physical, but through the reading of God’s Word, through the listening to the preaching of God’s Word, and perhaps through personal encounters with others who followed. They were real encounters because lives changed through the response. Come follow me still meant the same thing.
It still means the same today, but I wonder if we are waiting for a “tweet” from God? Today’s modes of communication have rendered the saints less able to discern when they are hearing a call from the Lord. I’ll Google it and see what God says. My Blackberry sends me daily reminders to check on that sound bite from God. I have to have my I-Phone during church because I have this neat Bible app where I can look up Bible verses and get daily devotionals. It’s like we are at the moment in history when Gutenberg invented movable type and the Bible became available to the masses. The Tweeted Bible, the I-Phone app, the e-Bible, they are all new ways to communicate God’s Word.
If God twittered you today, would you hear Him? If Jesus twittered the masses, how many would respond? Can we personally encounter the God of Scripture through a tweet? The test is in the response. What is happening today among young Christians and their knowledge of Scripture? Gallup polls show declines in Bible reading and in participation in Bible study (Google it). Further, belief in God shows a decline in the polls.
Some of the Barna polls describe an even dimmer situation (Google it). Basic doctrines of the Christian faith are simply not being absorbed. For example, accessibility to God’s Word has increased and our general knowledge of His Word has decreased. Belief in a sinless Christ, in the accuracy of Scripture, and the belief that Satan is real all show significant declines in belief. It seems that devotional application is taking precedent over exposition and theology in the nation’s pulpits.
Do we need to be concerned? I think it would be appropriate for Christians to reflect on these issues and see if something needs to change in our encounters with the Lord. This may be a first step in countering some of these trends.
- GOD SPEAKS: NOW IS THE DAY OF SALVATION 2 Cor.6:2. (oneway2day.wordpress.com)
- Can You Trust the Words You Read in Your Bible? by Mark D. Roberts (trinityspeaks.wordpress.com)
- Why Read the Bible? – Day 1 of 32 – God and Engaging the Bible: Part 1 (christlikeministriesnwa.wordpress.com)