Well Kept Secret
“Jesus answered and said unto him, Verily, verily, I say unto thee, Except a man be born again, he cannot see the kingdom of God.” John 3:3. According to the Barna Research Online a whopping 85% of the American population claim to be Christian, but out of that grand total only a group of 35 to 42 percent actually claim to be born again. Barna’s study gave way to some very interesting boasts. When the first group was asked why they were staking claim to being Christian the answers were: 1) Because I live in a Christian nation. 2) Because my family is Christian. 3) Because I go to church at least twice a year. But even more interesting was the last figure that the Barna research group posted, that only about 8% of American adults believe that salvation comes by faith in Christ alone, and without any human works. Wow! Throw the Bible out, no one’s reading it anyway.
There are massive, very dark clouds hovering over the landscape of many Christian Churches these days. We should all be painfully aware of the move in many “Christian Organizations” to modify the Bible so it will better fit into their own worldview. It’s amazingly sad today as we watch so many “Christians” ignore or eliminate the Chief Cornerstone, the Originator of their faith, while embracing other religions in an attempt to unify all religious people groups. By eliminating Jesus and His claim of exclusivity (John 14:6), the promoters of universalism are paving the “way” for all religions of earth to reinforce their own claims that the god they worship is precisely the same God we all worship, thus magnifying the erroneous concept that all religions lead to Heaven.
The Barna Research Group, in their attempt to come up with somewhat of a complete figure as to how many people might actually be born again believers in Christ, concluded that as of 2006 about 25 million Americans fell into this category. The population of the United States has, in recent years, surpassed the 300 million mark. I’m not sure what that does to Barna’s 85% Christian population figure, but it seems to me there are a lot of closet Christians in the US. When we read figures such as 85% of all Americans are claiming to be Christians shouldn’t we be seeing a much different America than what we currently have? I don’t know about the rest of you but as I imagine this huge majority of Americans praying 2 Chronicles 7:14 I see God moving His protective hand over American, healing this land once again as America glorifies God as her sovereign Lord. Excuse me, I seem to have traveled to Neverland for an instant.
Satan’s deception and depravity know no bounds, he’s even convinced a huge segment of Americans that they are Christians, yet when questioned about their faith just a small minority profess that they are born again. The larger portion of those interviewed haven’t a clue as to what it means to truly be a Christian. Thus the reason for the massive amount of depravity which is currently sweeping our nation should be of no surprise to the truly faithful.
People believe that simply by admitting they are Christian there will be some automatic reward set up for them to reap. As true Christians know that just isn’t the case. If indeed these folks are actually Christians then their true identity has been a “well kept secret.” The vast majority of these professing Christians treat Christianity as though it were a plague. There seems to be a huge dark locked box somewhere perfectly camouflaged containing the beliefs of these professing Christians which they only bring out and expose to light at Christmas or Easter. How quaint, it’s just their little secret.
Sadly, this attitude of secrecy is far more pervasive even in the born again community than most fully grasp. How many of us who stake claim to Christ keep Him to ourselves only to trot Him out on Sunday mornings during church services? That born again designation is a well kept secret among many of the brethren when it comes to co-workers, some family members, and even many of our friends. I remember a letter I received a couple of years back about a woman who had recently become a Christian only to be told by her “best friend” that she had been a Christian for 30 years. Just another well kept secret.
Here’s the rub, when we take on the name of Christ we become His worldwide ambassadors. I personally can’t conceive of anything that would be more insulting to the King of kings (Jesus the Christ) than for His ambassadors to keep Him hidden, as though they were ashamed of Him. “For whosoever shall be ashamed of me and of my words, of him shall the Son of man be ashamed, when he shall come in his own glory, and in his Father's, and of the holy angels.” Luke 9:26. I know what you’re thinking; those I’m talking about aren’t even born again so they haven’t really taken on the name of Christ. True, the majority of those mentioned in the survey above aren’t really born again, but what about the other 8% who indeed stated that they are born again? Are we openly professing our faith in Christ, or are we being discrete so as not to offend anyone? Do we have the boldness of Paul or is our Christianity a well kept secret?
Our youngest daughter has placed Christian symbols all over the back of her truck, and anyone who pulls up behind her at a stop light will know immediately she’s a follower of Jesus Christ. She doesn’t keep her faith in Christ a secret, she never has. Our daughter sees following Jesus Christ as a natural lifestyle. While today proclaiming Jesus as Lord is looked upon as a mental imbalance, our daughter sees being born again as the only way to live. We were condemned by family and friends because we kept her out of public school and instead of sending her into the lion’s den we determined that God would be more pleased if we homeschooled her. We turned off our TV when she was 10 years old. Now that she’s 21 she has a faith embedded Christian worldview that other parents only dream about as they watch their children fall into one depravity after another.
Sometimes our Christian lives get so entangled with the world that we begin to lose our perspective on the future. Those of us who take the word of God literally and seriously know that Jesus is due to make an appearance to the faithful very soon. The Bible is so jam packed with prophecy (advance history lessons for the faithful) that there is no possible way apart from shear ignorance to dismiss God’s history lessons as merely colorful exaggerations. Those who have no use for the prophetic nature of the word of God have no real concept of who God is.
When we become forcefully pressured by the world to get all we can while we can, materialistically speaking, that pursuit can overwhelm us to the point that Jesus becomes no more than just a hindrance. When Jesus Christ becomes a mere hindrance to His follower’s, secrecy inevitably ensues and it’s time to place our God in the closet. What’s the old adage? Out of sight out of mind? When Jesus is out of your mind, you too are out of your mind.
I know people who wear Jesus on their cuff when they are around other Christians. That’s when they talk the talk and walk the walk. But when they are confronted by the lost people of the world, their faith in Christ becomes one of the best kept secrets of all time. Are they ashamed, or scared, or are they simply able to turn their Christianity on and off like a water spigot? Jesus said “If ye love me, keep my commandments.” John 14:15. How can any born again believer in Christ claim to love Jesus yet ignore Him as made evident by their lifestyle. Since the Holy Spirit has been sealed within all born again believers in Christ, denying Christ will become an impossibility. Our Christianity should never be kept secret from anyone, especially the lost folks of this world.
Keeping Jesus secret is akin to denying Him. Our Creator God has a very specific remedy for anyone who accepts Him as Lord, then denies Him before men. “But whosoever shall deny me before men, him will I also deny before my Father which is in heaven.” Matthew 10:33. Denying Christ is to grieve the Holy Spirit. “And grieve not the holy Spirit of God, whereby ye are sealed unto the day of redemption.” Ephesians 4:30. Power is given to every Holy Spirit sealed person alive, the power to admit before the evil of this world that Jesus Christ is Lord. Denying Christ is a simple test as to whether or not a person is actually Holy Spirit sealed.
“But we see Jesus, who was made a little lower than the angels for the suffering of death, crowned with glory and honour; that he by the grace of God should taste death for every man… Wherefore in all things it behoved him to be made like unto his brethren, that he might be a merciful and faithful high priest in things pertaining to God, to make reconciliation for the sins of the people. For in that he himself hath suffered being tempted, he is able to succour them that are tempted.” Hebrews 2:9, 17-18.When a man, woman, or child for that matter, becomes born again they are no longer their own. They have been bought and paid for with blood, the blood of the Messiah. Since this be the case, should we not also be just as open and positive as we possibly can with all peoples, knowing full well the sacrifice that was made on our behalf?
As we live and walk the Christian walk there is a sacrifice that needs to be considered daily. “Then said Jesus unto his disciples, If any man will come after me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross, and follow me. For whosoever will save his life shall lose it: and whosoever will lose his life for my sake shall find it.” Matthew 16:24-25. How many born again believers in Christ are prepared to deny themselves for Christ? Now give this a thought, how many “Christians” that belong to that 85% figure above would be willing to deny themselves for Jesus’ sake? The current and future real number of believers in the United States of America is known only to God. And that exact number will be Raptured very soon. Then those who claimed to be Christians but hadn’t a clue as to what that designation actually means, will stare at the huge void which was just created in front of them. Then they will shake their heads in unbelief of what has just transpired, ultimately they may realize they really never had a clue.
Approximately 25 million people will disappear in the twinkling of an eye from the American scene. What a void that will create. All those still alive who placed their lives in Jesus’ hands, and His alone for salvation, will disappear one day soon. Not just from America but from every corner of the globe. All those who claim the name of Christ without the rebirth from above will soon realize their claim was in vain as their only claim to fame will be pain. Be careful about keeping secrets, especially when it comes to your faith in Christ.
God bless you all,