What is a “None”? A “None” is one of the growing number of Americans who do not identify with any religion. According to a Pew Research Center report (dtd. 10/9/12, “Nones on the Rise”), the number of “nones” is on the increase “in the last five years alone, the unaffiliated (nones) have increased from just over 15% (2007) to just under 20% (2012) of all U.S. adults.” That equates to one in five adults in America. The number of lost souls in our nation continues to grow. It is as Jesus said: “The harvest is plentiful…” (Matthew 9:38). Yes, the harvest fields are ripe, ripe with lost souls, but it seems that the fruits of the harvest are clinging tighter to the vine of sin as societal changes continue to fertilize it. As many in our nation continue to call for tolerance, trying to convince us that the gay and lesbian lifestyle is the new norm, still insisting that an unborn baby is a choice, and as many in the world no longer take the sanctity of marriage seriously, the harvest field seems to be harder and harder to work in. Not to mention the many church bodies in the United States who continue to water down the Word of God, striving to make God’s Word conform to their lifestyles instead of striving to make their lifestyles conform to God’s Word. Add in the efforts of secular society to drive Christianity underground by making policies against displaying crosses, having Bibles in the workplace, or by insisting that the Ten Commandments no longer be displayed in our nation’s courthouses or store employees ordered not to say “Merry Christmas” – just to name a few of the efforts out there to silence the Christian Church.
What are we as God’s children to do—we who have been called by God into this arena to do His work, called into this time and this place to bear witness to the truth of God’s plan of salvation? The answer, as always, is found in the Scriptures. It all begins with us trusting in the power of the Word, just as Jesus told Jairus before He resurrected his daughter: “Do not be afraid; only believe” (Mark 5:36). Trusting God and the power of the Word, we can go forward with the tenacity of the Apostle Paul, who fearlessly proclaimed the Gospel. Even after being stoned in the city of Lystra and left for dead, he continued to preach and teach the Word of God. All we need do is share the Word of God with others. Once the Word is in their hearts and minds, it is the work of the Holy Spirit that will guide and direct how and when the Word works in that particular individual. We share the Word, always trusting that God’s Word will not return to Him void, but will accomplish what He pleases (Isaiah 55:11).
Back to the “nones”… The Pew Report also showed that 74% of the “nones” were brought up in Christian homes. This is significant because they already know who Jesus is, and may just need a little direction from Scripture. “Train up a child in the way he should go, and when he is old he will not depart from it” (Proverbs 22:6).
-Rev. Larry Wentzlaff