Episode 503

Online Church Attendees, Remote Agolas Transformed By Gospel & Faithless Prayer

Dec 18, 2023

Online church attendees read the Bible more than onsite worshipers. Last fall, IMB missionary Steve Evans and Angolan Baptist partners Ezekiel Castelo and João Quintas traveled to the border to share the Gospel with unengaged and unreached micro people groups — people with populations of less than 100,000. And, Americans love to pray but are often unclear about how, or if, God answers prayer.

Transcript

Online church attendees read the Bible more than onsite worshipers. Nonbelievers outpace Christians in valuing several pro-social Bible-based behaviors. And Black Americans are more spiritually vibrant than whites and Hispanics.

The American Bible Society ranks those tidbits among the top findings from its 2023 State of the Bible, the 13th installment of the ABS’s intensive survey of Americans’ relationship with Scripture.

Online worship flourished as a necessity during the COVID-19 pandemic, but many continued to favor online engagement after the pandemic waned. ABS found online worshipers rank higher in several markers of spiritual vitality than onsite worshipers, findings that “dispel any notion that online attenders are less devoted Christians.”

While 32 percent of in-person worshipers report using the Bible at least weekly on their own, 74 percent of online worshipers report doing so, a discrepancy ABS said is “so striking it deserves more study.”
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Last fall, IMB missionary Steve Evans and Angolan Baptist partners Ezekiel Castelo and João Quintas traveled to the border to share the Gospel with unengaged and unreached micro people groups — people with populations of less than 100,000.

The journey was tedious and time-consuming. But oh-so-worth it.

Of the more than a dozen people groups in the area, the men interacted with eight of the groups.

When they share the Gospel, they share the message that Jesus transforms lives. Two people from the Muhimba people group committed their lives to Christ.
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Good News for Today is sponsored by The Voice of the Martyrs

Good News for Today is made possible through our friends at The Voice of the Martyrs, a nonprofit organization that serves persecuted Christians around the world. Founded in 1967 by Richard and Sabina Wurmbrand, VOM is dedicated to inspiring believers to deepen their commitment to Christ and to fulfill His Great Commission — no matter the cost. Find out more and sign up for their free monthly magazine at vom.org/goodnews.
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Americans love to pray but are often unclear about how, or if, God answers prayer. For instance, while nearly 80% of evangelicals pray, barely over a third of them believe their prayers influence God’s actions.

Charles Spurgeon once said, “If you believe in prayer at all, expect God to hear you. If you do not expect, you will not have. God will not hear you unless you believe He will hear you; but if you believe He will, He will be as good as your faith.” 

Jesus Himself taught the importance of “believing prayer” when He said, “Therefore I tell you, whatever you ask in prayer, believe that you have received it, and it will be yours” (Mark 11:23- 24). 

God is sovereign and often overrides our unbelief, but we should never assume success in faithless prayer.

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