Though we live in the information age there are still questions that come up that Google and Alexa cannot answer for us. As the religious landscape of our country shifts the types of questions that our friends and neighbors have about faith are changing too. There was a time when most Americans believed in God, accepted the Bible as the Word of God, and attended church services somewhere with regularity. In those times most discussions surrounded getting to the truth about what the Scriptures taught about salvation, the church, and worship. That day has passed. In 1999, 70% of Americans said they belonged to a church or some other religious institution but in 2020 that number decreased to 47%. A 2019 survey found that only 3 in 10 Americans attend church services weekly. This does not mean that those subjects we use to discuss with ease are unimportant; it just means we need to know the questions people are asking so we can provide the proper biblical answers (Prov. 18:13; 1 Pet. 3:15).
Not only has our culture at large become less religiously-minded, but Christians have sort of lost a step when it comes to knowing the Bible and being able to discuss and defend what we believe. The most recent data shows that among those who claim to be Christians and believers in the Bible our knowledge has declined, and our regular reading of the Bible is not in line with what we say we believe (Psa. 1:2; Acts 17:11). If we are going to engage our unbelieving world we will have to be sure of what we believe for ourselves first (2 Cor. 4:13). A part of the work of the pulpit in the local church is to equip members with the necessary knowledge to develop and deepen their faith so that we can collectively grow to spiritual maturity (Eph. 4:11-16).
In the month of July, Neal and I will be preaching a series of lessons on Sunday mornings in a series we are calling: Answering Life’s Most Important Questions. We are going to look at five questions and seek to show those who do not believe why we believe the way we do on these subjects. At the same time, we are hoping to provide assistance and ammunition to Christians to be able to discuss these subjects with kindness and confidence with their friends and loved ones (2 Tim. 2:24-26). While none of us has all the answers, we believe that God does (Rom. 11:33-36). Please try and be present for every service and invite friends and neighbors who may be in search of these answers that we all desperately need.