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Sunday, August 25, 2013

A Latent Stumbling Block

Edward F. Lundwall, Jr.

Part 1 - A Shocking Statistic

It came during a regular exhortation to be sure of salvation in the Church service; the Pastor reported an alarming statistic. He quoted a reliable survey found that 75% of Christian youth lost their faith while attending a secular college! A year or so later, while I was attending the First Baptist Church in Jacksonville, Florida, several leaders agreed, but added that 89-90% of Southern Baptist youth who went to secular universities lost their faith!

I was astounded! This was completely unacceptable to me, and it should be to everyone who is called to be a shepherd (pastor) of Christ’s lambs (young Christians) John 21:15; Matthew 9:36-38. For only people who have overcoming faith have eternal life: “For whatsoever is born of God over-cometh the world: and this is the victory that over-cometh the world, even our faith” (1 John 5:4).

Why was this falling away completely unacceptable to me and to the Lord Jesus? At a missions conference, I heard Dr. Brushwilder relate how that if the world’s unconverted population ran four abreast and dropped into hell as they ran passed the pulpit, the line would never stop! What a terrible thought! Even though, I didn’t feel that I had anything to offer, I felt God’s call to give my life to try to make a difference, so since 1953, I have oriented myself as the Apostle Paul wrote of himself: “So, as much as in me is, I am ready to preach the gospel ...!” (Rom. 1:15).

It has been the great joy of my ministry to have seen hundreds pray the sinners’ prayer for salvation (Rom 10:13), but it has been my great burden that they endure in their faith. As the Apostle wrote: “For now we live, if ye stand fast in the Lord” (1 Thess. 3:8; cf. Matt.13:16-23; 1 John 5:3-5).

One of my laments in our current time is to see many fundamental pastors who go to great lengths to get people to make professions of faith, but do very little in obeying the Lord when He said to Peter: "... Simon, son of Jonas, lovest thou me more than these? He saith unto him, Yea, Lord; thou knowest that I love thee. He saith unto him, Feed my lambs.” (John 21:15) so that they maybe “Rooted and built up in him, and established in the faith, as ye have been taught…” (Col. 2:7).

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