I am going to make a statement I never thought I would say in my lifetime(sorry but remember, I grew up in Georiga!): I love Mississippi! We love the town, we love our new church, we love the restaurants, we love the change of seasons (even the cold). So in short you could say that Pastor Chad Everson is quickly becoming a Mississippian (is that right?) Now saying that, I was also impressed and alarmed at two statistics I saw on our State, the first is found on this link http://www.gallup.com/poll/114022/State-States-Importance-Religion.aspx
That’s right Mississippi is number one in the Nation in saying that “Religion is an important part of their life.” In fact 85% of people asked responded positively to this question. Just in case you didn’t study the poll, Vermont was at the bottom with 42% of people answering affirmatively. Now, what does all this mean to us as believers? Well, notice how the question is asked, “is religion important?” If you, like me, have been raised in the South, then you know that you rarely run into anyone that doesn’t have some religious affiliation. In fact, as I took a look at this poll I had to wonder what State would have the most true believers. It burdens me as I write this that most, if not all, who are reading this blog will be dead in 100 years or less - and the saddest part is that the majority of those who answered in an affirmative way to the Gallup Poll will be in Hell. What hurts me more is that in all probability, many who are presently members of Trinity Baptist Church will be in Hell. I want to challenge you to read Matthew 7, as we are told that there will be many who genuinely thought they were saved who are not. Now unless you think I’m exaggerating a point, one would be hard pressed to explain how we can be the number 1 religious state, and also be number one in teen pregnancy. http://news.yahoo.com/s/ap/20090107/ap_on_he_me/med_teen_births This poll gives quite another picture of Mississippi. How is it that “religion” can be so major, and yet immorality be so high? The only conclusion one would be able to draw is that religion may be a part of people’s life, but in reality it makes very little impact on people’s lives. It may give us moral codes but in truth, it can not and will not change the heart of man. We are at our core wicked, sinful, depraved.
In conclusion the only thing that will ultimately help Mississippi, Vermont, Alaska and the World is not saying a prayer, or going to Church but a life changing encounter with the one true God. One that must involve faith and repentance - this is what is missing in every state and in many churches. When Christ takes over a life, it is evident by total change - this can’t be measured by statistical data. Salvation is measured by a Holy God and a changed life, and that test will ultimately be all that matters. So, are you religious or are you changed?
By the way, I would welcome comments! If you want to make comments or ask questions about any of my blogs, simply click on the title of the blog and a new screen with the blog will open. Scroll down, and at the bottom of the screen a “post comment” box will allow you to write me. I will review all comments before they post to the website, but I will also respond…thanks again for taking the time to be a part of this endeavor!