Some troubling research according to Greg Laurie:
- Only 1 in 20 Christians has ever shared the Gospel.
Let’s combine that with some data from ARIS 2008:
- US Population = 307,006,550
- Self-proclaimed Christians in US = 233,324, 978 (or 76%)
- 1 in 20 US Christians who has ever shared the Gospel = 11,666,249 (or 4%)
What does Jesus have to say about this?
Therefore, everyone who will acknowledge Me before men, I will also acknowledge him before My Father in heaven. But whoever denies Me before men, I will also deny him before My Father in heaven. (Matthew 10:32-33)
One of the definitions of deny is “to refuse to grant a request.” If 19 out of 20 self-proclaimed Christians won’t acknowledge Jesus with their lips and deny his
request command to make disciples (Matthew 28:19) and be witnesses (Luke 24:48, Acts 1:8) then what are we to conclude?
What does the apostle Paul have to say about this?
If you confess with your mouth, “Jesus is Lord,” and believe in your heart that God raised Him from the dead, you will be saved. One believes with the heart, resulting in righteousness, and one confesses with the mouth, resulting in salvation. (Romans 10:9-10)
Our modern interpretation of “confess with your mouth” is to come forward after a church service and shake the pastor’s hand. For Paul and for the early Christians, confessing Jesus meant proclaiming to others your confidence that Jesus is Lord with the understanding that you might lose your life as a result.
We are not saved by works (by saying something for example). Ephesians 2 makes it clear that we are saved by grace. But we are “created in Christ Jesus for good works…” (Ephesians 2:10) Isn’t it clear that one who truly believes in his heart will also confess with his mouth? It makes you wonder how many of the 19 out of 20 self-proclaimed Christians are even saved? After all, Jesus says, “You’ll recognize them by their fruit.” (Matthew 7:16)
Can We Draw A Conclusion?
Not really. Only God knows who is truly saved. Besides, “confessing” doesn’t mean “sharing the Gospel” per se and statistical figures can’t be applied universally and infallibly. If they didn’t share the Gospel, might they have shared their personal testimony or given someone a Bible? Statistics can be misleading and our interpretation of the data can be slanted. I’m not even sure where Greg Laurie is getting his info.
Having said that, my guess is the number of true disciples may be closer to the 11.7 million (or 4%) than the 233 million (or 76%) but it doesn’t matter what I think. The point is that roughly 1 in 20 Christians has ever shared the Gospel. It’s not our job to determine who’s in and who’s out. It is, on the other hand, our mandate and our privilege to share the amazing good news. Now that we know so many Christians aren’t sharing, let’s help equip them to join in the task!
The research may be troubling, but enough about the bad news, we’ve got good news to share!