Tom Papania's Blog

Tom's Blog on Prison Ministry, Gods Saving Grace and Mafia redemption

Wednesday, July 9, 2008

TRUE Christianity: one generation away from extinction


Do you realize that Christianity is only one generation away from becoming extinct? If we continue to fail to witness to each upcoming generation, eventually Christianity will become extinct!!
As an Evangelist with a Prison Ministry here in Cobb County for the past 20 years, I have noticed a trend in the last year or so in the prisons. Younger people are committing crimes and being incarcerated at an alarming rate. The majority of these young people come from homes where their parents never attended church or had any religious upbringing. Some go as far back as their grandparents having no church affiliation. How do you present Christianity to someone who has never had it in their upbringing in any type of manner?
We shout so loud on Sundays but what about the rest of the week? Why aren’t we shouting Monday through Saturday the same way we do on Sundays? Did we build our church buildings with the intentions that the shouts could only be heard inside the walls? I doubt that very seriously but it seems to be a pattern we have fallen into. Why are we so bold with our faith inside the church walls and so meek and timid or outright scared outside the walls? Do you seriously think some one who does not know Jesus Christ as their Lord & Savior is just going to drive by your church and say “Oh, what a lovely church, I’ll think I’ll go in there?” I have not heard of anyone yet who has done that. But I have heard that those people will usually go inside if they are given an invitation by a church member. Maybe it takes giving that same invitation 100 times. Isn’t it worth it to see a life change right before your very eyes? That is the greatest miracle of all!!
In the Book of James, Chapter 1, verses 22 through 27, the Word of God confronts us boldly with the extent of our faith. Are we just hearers of the Word and not doers? With the amount of unsaved and unchurched people in our communities, I could safely say most of must be just hearers of the Word. When the shouts do not go outside the walls, no one can hear them but those inside the walls. These Scriptures clearly demonstrate what we become as only hearers and not doers. The Scriptures say” we forget what manner of man we were”(verse 24). Do we forget we are children of the most High God outside the church walls? Do we leave our Christianity inside the church walls only to return to it the following Sunday ? Heaven forbid. In verse 25, it says if we are doers of the work, we shall be blessed in our deeds. I’ll take a blessing any day.
In the Prison Ministry there is a thing called “Jailhouse Religion.” It is appropriately called, for when most inmates are released, their religion stays behind in that prison. So, using that analogy we can also say we have “Sunday Religion.” When we leave our churches on Sunday, our religion stays there. That’s why there are so many lost and hurting people in our communities. We are not bringing the church to them, we are waiting for them to come to us!! Church, it’s not going to happen.
I know we can win our communities for His Kingdom. God has given His all to us so we can accomplish that. But it takes a doing on your part also. Stop saying you are waiting on God. God has been waiting on you!! He’s equipped you with all you’ll ever need, now go out and put His Word to good use. You won’t have to look far to find a lost, hurting soul who needs Jesus. They probably have been right before your eyes for years and you have been blind to it. God didn’t create the church to be a mausoleum for Saints. He created it to be a hospital for sinners!!
I was 40 years old before someone ever witnessed to me and it changed my life from a life of crime to a life of Christ.
If God can do it with me, He can do it with anyone. All it took was one person to invite me to their church and the Holy Spirit did the rest. Today I am an ordained minister who travels the world bringing the Good News.
Let’s commit to be doers of the Word and no longer just hearers if we sincerely want to win our communities for Christ.
Let’s stop playing church and get down to doing God’s business. We are part of God’s army and he wants us in action, not on the sidelines.

Evangelist Tom Papania
God’s Saving Grace Ministries
Powder Springs, Ga. 30127