Monthly Archives: July 2017

During a TV advertisement from the not to distant past, a guy named Tom Peterson, in an attempt to sell his wares, banged on a window pane & yelled “Wake up, Wake up!” .. It reminds me of myself & a few others who are doing the exact same thing by ‘shouting from the rooftops’ the warnings of impending prophetic fulfillment to a sleeping & dying world. ..

Matthew 24:10-11 says,  “At that time many will turn away from the faith and will betray and hate each other, and many false prophets will appear and deceive many people.” .. Here I go again quoting from Matthew 24, but to me, it is one of the most descriptive writings of biblical scripture when it comes to defining the times we are living in … not to mention that it consists of direct quotes from Jesus Christ Himself! .. (see also Mark 13 & Luke 21) …

Let me start by talking about those who are turning their backs on their faith. .. To have ‘peaks & valleys’ is one thing, or ‘dry spells’ as we refer to them, but to turn away from our faith is quite another matter. .. How can this happen? .. What could cause people to turn their backs on such a wonderful Savior? .. Let’s look for a moment at just some of the reasons why this can, & will as Jesus says, take place in these increasingly difficult times. ..

I believe it starts with the foundation built either on rock or sand. .. Matthew 24:24-27 states,  “Therefore everyone who hears these words of mine and puts them into practice is like a wise man who built his house on the rock.  The rain came down, the streams rose, and the winds blew and beat against that house; yet it did not fall, because it had its foundation on the rock.  But everyone who hears these words of mine and does not put them into practice is like a foolish man who built his house on sand.  The rain came down, the streams rose, and the winds blew and beat against that house, and it fell with a great crash.” ..

We already have witnessed what has happened in Europe. .. Church attendance is down to less than 5% of the population in most all places. .. People have simply walked away from their faith because the Church stopped providing the foundational truths of Christ’s teachings.. They’ve become complacent & lukewarm, and as a result, they’re suffering a spiritual death. .. Can this happen in America? .. You bet it can! .. and it is! ..

I remember back when I went to Church as a young boy, I never heard anything about the third part of the God-head, the Holy Spirit. .. He was ‘put on the shelf’ because of His controversial aspects. .. As a matter of fact, all I really needed to do back then was to just ‘say’ that I accepted Jesus Christ as my Savior & that was enough. .. I then received my ‘Get Out of Hell Free’ card & went on my merry, sinful, hypocritical way. .. I believe they called it ‘eternal security.’ ..

So what about today’s young people? .. These statistics I’m about to share may shock you, but here they are. .. Less than 3% of today’s millennial generation (ages 18-35) in America has a biblical worldview. .. Worse, of just this one group, ages 18-23 have a less than 1% biblical worldview! .. These astonishing numbers are put forth from the highly respected Barna Group. .. A biblical worldview, as defined by this Barna study,  is – “believing that absolute moral truth exists;  the Bible is completely accurate in all of the principles it teaches;  Satan is considered to be a real being or force, not simply symbolic;  Jesus Christ lived a sinless life on Earth;  and God is the all-knowing, all-powerful creator of the world who still rules the universe today.” .. George Barna, who directed the research, commented on the ‘troubling’ generational pattern that suggests,  “Parents are not focused on guiding their children to have a biblical worldview.” .. He goes on to say, “One of the challenges for parents, though, is that you cannot give what you do not have.” .. The research goes on to show that less than 10% of these parents have this worldview! ……

Enough about the kids & their parents! .. What about the churches they’ve either been, or quit attending? .. Isn’t this the true purpose & mission of the Church? – to teach the fundamentals, or ‘worldview’ of our faith? .. I notice crosses out front of most of them. .. I wonder how many of us are realizing the full meaning of the real cross. ……

Warren Cole Smith, an evangelical journalist & author of ‘A Lover’s Quarrel With the Evangelical Church,’ says that most mainstream churches have lost their way. (Amen!) .. Instead of sticking with core biblical principles, they promise feel-goodism, technological fads, & church-as-entertainment. .. He goes on to say, “For the sake of money and power and status and celebrity – we’ve made ‘church’ easy.” .. I believe he is very accurate in his statement. .. In just the past few years, I’ve personally experienced this in many instances. ..

2 Timothy 4:3-4 says, “For the time will come when men will not put up with sound doctrine.  Instead, to suit their own desires, they will gather around them a great number of teachers to say what their itching ears want to hear.  They will turn their ears away from the truth and turn aside to myths.” ……

For different reasons, Christians of various sorts have tinkered with the Gospel of Christ as though it needs ‘adjustments.’ .. No major alterations, most will tell us, but just some minor tweeking here & there. .. And these changes often begin by their declaring that there is no real change involved – simply a shift in emphasis. .. The following are just a couple of examples ……

*Brian McLaren, an ‘Emerging Church’ leader, described the future way of life for the Christian. .. In a recent  interview on Christian Post , he said, “I think our future will also require us to join humbly and charitably with people of other faiths – Muslim, Hindu, Buddhist, Jewish, secularists, and others, in pursuit of peace, environmental stewardship, and justice for all people, things that matter greatly to the heart of God.”

*Terry Neal, a faith reporter for the Hamilton Spectator stated,  “We need faith, but the faiths of our fathers are tired now, or spent forces.  We must recognize this whether we are Muslims, Sikhs, Jews or Christians.  We are now a global village, and only a global worldview will suffice.”

And of course, there are hundreds more that are less subtle & much more obvious .. and sadly, these are the folks the young people are listening to! …

So we can see how easy it is for people to turn their backs on their faith in these days. .. They have no foundation with which to weather  the ever-increasing spiritual storms leading up to our Lord’s soon-coming return.

The teachings of Matthew 24 go on to say:

*Verse 12 – “Because of the increase of wickedness, the love of most will grow cold …”

*Verse 10 – “At that time many will turn away from the truth and will betray and hate each other …”.

And 2 Timothy 3:1-4 really sums up these times we are living in by saying,  “But mark this:  There will be terrible times in the last days.  People will be lovers of themselves, lovers of money, boastful, proud, abusive, disobedient to their parents, ungrateful, unholy, without love, unforgiving, slanderous, without self-control, brutal, not lovers of the good, treacherous rash, conceited, lovers of pleasure rather than lovers of God – having a form of godliness but denying its power.” …….

I challenge each of you to read these passages carefully, completely, and prayerfully. .. Then I challenge each if us to go to our Church bodies & ask the tough questions – are our youth getting the fundamentals of our faith!? .. Are we, the adult body, being given the ‘food’ to strengthen our foundations for these perilous times? .. Or are we getting entertained followed up by ‘ear candy?’

Jesus said in Matthew 24:32-34 that we will know the season of His return …

“Now learn this lesson from the fig tree:  As soon as its twigs get tender and its leaves come out, you know that summer is near.  Even so, when you see all these things, you know that it is near, right at the door.  I tell you the truth, this generation will certainly not pass away until all these things have happened.”

I believe with all my heart that we are that generation! …

Finally, in Revelation 3:14-22, Jesus tells us about the condition of the 7th Church, the last church, being lukewarm. .. He then goes on to say that He would “..spit you out of my mouth.” (vs. 15) …

As I mentioned earlier in this commentary, as a young man, I was never exposed to the true power of God through the Holy Spirit. .. I praise & thank God that I’ve witnessed this in my life! .. Because of this blessing, I KNOW that I can now weather these coming storms. .. My foundation is now built upon solid rock! .. Hallelujah! …..

Matthew 7:13-14 says,  “Enter through the narrow gate.  For wide is the gate and broad is the road that leads to destruction, and many enter through it.  But small is the gate and narrow the road that leads to life, and only a few find it.” …

Remember … we are the light of the world in these dark times. .. May our light shine bright on as many as possible while there is still time. .. Let’s make every attempt to help ‘widen’ that narrow road while we can. ..

Until next time,

Red

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