Monday, October 12, 2020
A new survey this year by George Barna and Arizona Christian University shows most Americans no longer believe that Jesus is the only path to salvation. Instead, they believe being a good person is sufficient.
More than two-thirds believe having some kind of faith is more important than the particular faith with which someone aligns himself to. And 68 percent of those who hold that viewpoint call themselves Christians, including 56 percent of self-described evangelicals, 62 percent of self-identified Pentecostals, and 77 percent of Catholics.
Of those who say someone can gain their own salvation by “being or doing good,” slightly greater than half of self-described Christians claim this false doctrine including 41 percent of those who identify as evangelicals, 46 percent of those identifying as Pentecostals, and 70 percent of all Catholics.
Also 58 percent of Americans, after being taught moral relativism in public schools for decades now, believe that no absolute moral faith exists and the basis of truth are factors or sources other than God. Seventy-seven percent believe right and wrong are not determined by the Bible, and 59 percent deny the Bible is God’s authoritative and true Word.
All of these beliefs clearly go against the Word of God. Jesus very clearly stated, “I am the way, and the truth, and the life; no one comes to the Father, but through Me” (John 14:6). He also said, “He who does not enter by the door of the fold of the sheep, but climbs up some other way, he is a thief and a robber… I am the door; if anyone enters through Me, he shall be saved and shall go in and find pasture. The thief comes only to steal, and destroy; I came that they might have life, and might have it abundantly. I am the good Shepherd; the good Shepherd lays down His life for the sheep” (John 10:1, 9-10). Acts 4:12 clearly states, “And there is salvation in no one else; for there is no other name under heaven that has been given among men, by which we must be saved.”
Furthermore, no matter how much goodness we try to achieve, or believe we have achieved, it is of no avail in God’s eyes. The prophet Isaiah says, “For all of us have become like one who is unclean. And our righteous deeds are like a filthy garment” (Isaiah 64:6). The Hebrew word for “filthy garments” literally means “menstrual rags”. That is how God sees our goodness. Elsewhere Isaiah informs us, “But your iniquities have made a separation between you and your God. And your sins have hidden His face from you so that He does not hear” (Isaiah 59:2). In Romans 6:23 we read, “For the wages of sin is death, but the free gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord.” Only Jesus, God’s Son, the perfect Man, can take away our sin. He did this through His blood that was shed on the cross as a substitution for you and me. He bore our punishment. Only His shed blood makes us worthy to approach God. Jesus told us to repent, deny ourselves, and follow Him, believing and recognizing that He died in your place.
This is the true message of salvation that Christ brings to the world. He rose from the grave as proof that redemption and abundant eternal life comes only from Him. The fact is that nearly half of all who claim to be part of evangelical or Pentecostal churches do not recognize these Biblical truths. This is a sad commentary on what is being taught from the pulpit today. Too much of what is being preached is a false “feel good” gospel that often omits the requirement of repentance from sin and surrendering one’s life to Christ. Yet that is required for salvation. Too many churches have merely become another venue of entertainment while ignoring the mandate to make disciples of all men. The results from this poll prove this point. May revival in this nation begin in the church, and specifically from our pulpits!