Q: Did you see the results of the recent poll that claimed the number of Christians in our country is going down, and the number of people who have no religion is going up? Do you think it was accurate? - M.G.
A: Yes, I did see this poll - and I have no reason to doubt its accuracy. In many ways, our society has become more and more secular in recent years, and one sign of this is the growing number of people who completely ignore God.
But this isn't the whole story. I often think of the parable Jesus told of the wheat and the tares (or weeds). (You can read it in Matthew 13.) In this parable, Jesus told about a farmer who discovered that his enemy had secretly sowed weed seeds in his field - although the farmer didn't realize it until the plants were already growing. Only at harvest time could they be separated.
This, Jesus said, is a picture of the world: "The good seed stands for the sons of the kingdom (of God). The weeds are the sons of the evil one (Satan)" (Matthew 13:38). In other words, we shouldn't be surprised when evil (like the weeds) increases - but at the same time, God's work is also increasing and growing stronger. The two grow together side by side! We see this in many parts of the world today.
Pray for our nation, and pray especially for those around you who do not know Christ. Pray too that God will make you a witness of Christ's love to others. Christ's final instructions to His disciples still stand: "You will be my witnesses ... to the ends of the earth" (Acts 1:8).