Is the United States a “Christian” nation? A few years ago our President declared that we are no longer a “Christian” nation. His comment generated a rather spirited discussion in the media, with many commentators taking exception to his assessment. A survey was subsequently published indicating the percentage of people in this nation who claim to be “Christian” has dropped significantly, though they are still in the majority. The same survey also showed a significant increase in people who claim no belief in God.
The lives of many people demonstrate little respect or appreciation for “the church.” Most of those who fall into this group are not atheists. Some claim affiliation with a church, but in reality it’s only token affiliation. For many, though they believe in God, seldom do they even think about the church. It’s not that they feel any hostility toward the church, the church simply holds no place in their mind. A prime reason for a lack of respect and appreciation for the church is a lack of understanding of what is the church.
This world is an uncertain place, and life herein is equally uncertain. History is filled with examples of such uncertainty. Many people would take security in the supposed sovereignty of their country. But the geographic landscape of this world is always in a state of continual flux. In its day the Assyrian empire was mighty, but it no longer exists. Egypt was once a powerful, conquering nation but ceased to be so many hundreds of years ago. The Babylonian empire was sweeping in its conquests, but its reign of power was comparatively brief. The Persian empire was even more impressive in its might, but its empire status ceased long ago. The Greek empire under Alexander was like no other before it. Long since gone. The Roman empire far surpassed all of those previous to it, including that of the Greeks. It crumbled well over one thousand years ago.
The greatest gift ever given is salvation through Jesus Christ. Paul wrote of this gift in his letter to the Romans. “For the wages of sin is death, but the gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord” (Rom. 6:23). In his letter to the Ephesians Paul stated, “For by grace you have been saved through faith, and that not of yourselves; it is the gift of God,” (Eph. 2:8). The Hebrews letter calls it “the heavenly gift” (Heb. 6:4).
Gary L. Hutchens