NUMBER OF CHRISTIANS DECLINING RAPIDLY IN SO CALLED DEVELOPED COUNTRIES

The percentage of younger Americans being raised in nonreligious homes is growing rapidly according to statistics from the Public Religious Research Institute.

Only 65 percent of Americans now identify as Christian while those who identify as religiously unaffiliated swelled to 26 percent of the population. The drop in the number of Americans identifying as Christian reflected a 12 percent decline when compared to the general population 10 years ago. The decline was visible across multiple demographics but particularly among young adults.

Nearly one in five (19%) Americans switched from their childhood religious identity to become unaffiliated as adults, and relatively few (3%) Americans who were raised unaffiliated are joining a religious tradition. This dynamic has resulted in a dramatic net gain—16 percentage points—for the religiously unaffiliated.

In the 1970s, only about one-third (34%) of Americans who were raised in religiously unaffiliated households were still unaffiliated as adults. By the 1990s, slightly more than half (53%) of Americans who were unaffiliated in childhood retained their religious identity in adulthood. Today, about two-thirds (66%) of Americans who report being raised outside a formal religious tradition remain unaffiliated as adults,” PRRI said.

A similar situation exists in the UK, Europe and Australia. Sadly, also many of those that profess to be Christian are not born again believers and are increasingly compromising with the world and its values.

In the last days before Jesus return, He told His disciples we can expect the following:

“Then they will deliver you up to tribulation and kill you, and you will be hated by all nations for My name’s sake. And then many will be offended, will betray one another, and will hate one another. Then many false prophets will rise up and deceive many. And because lawlessness will abound, the love of many will grow cold. But he who endures to the end shall be saved.” Matthew 24: 9-13

Persecution of Christians is on the increase as we insist on the truth about God’s laws concerning morality, particularly homosexuality, marriage and gender. How soon will it descend to “hated by all nations for My name’s sake.

PROPHESIED APOSTASY – CONFIRMED BY STATISTICS FROM BARNA RESEARCH

David Barton, a well-respected Christian historian revealed the following information on the Strang Report by Stephen Strang of Charisma Media. The Podcast was entitled:

Insight Into America’s Christian History with David Barton

In the USA, the Barna Group recently put three massive polls in the field on Christian values and beliefs. The results were staggering… 72% of churches and senior pastors do not agree with the Bible and do not agree with its teachings.”

The survey was conducted among 384,000 churches and senior pastors. Only 28% of American Christians actually believe the Bible is true and agree with its teachings. To make matters worse, among those 28% that believe the Bible is true and agree with its teachings, Barton says, 97% say the Bible speaks directly to hot-button political topics today. But those same people said they refused to preach about those issues because they were political.

“That puts us at 2.8% of pastors addressing what the Bible addresses if it’s also in the news,” Barton says. “Now that’s a problem. We also have a problem when only 14% of Christians read the Bible every day. … And only 9% of Christians have a biblical worldview. … So we’re looking at a nation that doesn’t think biblically.”

This modern trend of unbiblical thinking stands in stark contrast to the common mindset during our nation’s founding, Barton says.

“When you look at the founding of America on the side that was the really biblical side, they were very covenantal as a people, and they believed in covenants,” he says. “As John Winthrop said, ‘If you deal treacherously with God in this endeavour, you’ll bring judgement.’ … And they viewed their contracts as covenants. As a matter of fact, that’s why the longest-lasting treaty back in history was between Pilgrims and the Wampanaugs. And it wasn’t the Pilgrims who broke the treaty; it was the Wampanaugs who broke it.”

In this way, Barton explains, the Bible-minded colonists of early America acted like Israel. Israel had a covenant with God that could not change. That’s how these early colonial Americans viewed their national covenant with God.

“We’re now in a place described three times in the Bible where everyone did what was right in their own eyes,” he says. “[They say,] ‘I can choose my identity if I want.’ … So we now have 92 legally recognised identities in America. … So I would say that it’s not ‘Where’s God?’ It’s ‘Where’s God’s people and why have they stopped studying His Word and why do they no longer believe what He said?’

Exactly what we are seeing playing out in the world is revealed in God’s Word. The Pharisees and Sadducee’s did not discern the time of Jesus first coming despite the three hundred plus prophecies and likewise despite the many more prophecies of Jesus second coming much of the church is oblivious to the truth therein.

Paul describes the events preceding the Day of the Lord (Jesus second coming): “Let no one deceive you by any means for that Day will not come unless the falling away comes first, and the man of sin is revealed, the son of perdition.” 2 Thessalonians 2:3

Jesus describing the end times tribulation: ” Then they will deliver you up to tribulation and kill you, and you will be hated for My name’s sake. And then many will be offended, will betray one another, and will hate one another. Then many false prophets will rise up and deceive many. And because lawlessness will abound, the love of many will grow cold. But he who endures to the end shall be saved.” Matthew 24:9-13

END OF ALL THINGS IS AT HAND

Peter gives clear instruction on what believers need to do at the time of the end of all things. 

But the end of all things is at hand; therefore be serious and watchful in your prayers. And above all things have fervent love for one another, for “love will cover a multitude of sins.” Be hospitable to one another without grumbling. As each one has received a gift, minister it to one another, as good stewards of the manifold grace of God. If anyone speaks, let him speak as the oracles of God. If anyone ministers, let him do it as with the ability which God (Holy Spirit) supplies, that in all things God may be glorified through Jesus Christ, to whom belong the glory and the dominion forever and ever. Amen.” 1 Peter 4:7

Note that Peter concentrates on the state of church, how important it is for individuals to be serious and watchful in our prayers, to have fervent love for one another, no grumbling, no gossip, to not grieve the Holy Spirit nor quench His work in our lives so that “God may be glorified through Jesus Christ to whom belong the glory and the dominion forever and ever”

Peter understood that fiery trials will come during the end times:

“Beloved, do not think it strange concerning the fiery trial which is to try you, as though some strange thing happened to you; but rejoice to the extent that you partake of Christ’s sufferings, that when His glory is revealed, you may also be glad with exceeding joy. If you are reproached for the name of Christ, blessed are you, for the Spirit of glory and of God rests upon you. On their part He is blasphemed, but on your part He is glorified.” 1 Peter 4: 12-14

Jesus warns us to expect tribulation and even death but also tells us that “this gospel of the kingdom will be preached in all the world as a witness to all the nations, and then the end will come.”

“Then they will deliver you up to tribulation and kill you, and you will be hated by all nations for My name’s sake. And then many will be offended, will betray one another, and will hate one another. Then many false prophets will rise up and deceive many. And because lawlessness will abound, the love of many will grow cold. But he who endures to the end shall be saved. And this gospel of the kingdom will be preached in all the world as a witness to all the nations, and then the end will come.” Matthew 24: 9-14

The powerful cry, “Jesus is coming!” is seldom heard in God’s house today. Very few Christians live with a sense of expectancy, looking and yearning for Jesus’ return. How has this happened? The New Testament gives many warnings that mockers will appear in the last days, ridiculing the doctrine of Christ’s coming.

Peter writes, “There shall come in the last days scoffers, walking after their own lusts, and saying, Where is the promise of his coming? For since the fathers fell asleep, all things continue as they were from the beginning of the creation” 2 Peter 3:3-4. This mocking can be heard today: “What does anyone have to fear? All things continue just as they always have. There is no reason to fear a Judgement Day, because it simply isn’t coming.”

Jesus gives a warning to church leaders. 

““Who then is a faithful and wise servant, whom his master made ruler over his household, to give them food in due season? Blessed is that servant whom his master, when he comes, will find so doing. Assuredly, I say to you that he will make him ruler over all his goods.” Matthew 24: 45-47

It is the reason I am posting this warning here on http://www.livingeternal.net and putting up resources – power point sermons and videos for the end times church on http://www.powerpointsermons.net

 

 

EXTENT OF DECEPTION IN THE LAST DAYS

Another revealing article from Creation Ministries (www.creation.com) this time from Lita Cosner. It demonstrates the extent of the deception that is occurring in these “last days” , which confirms the Bibles “end times” prophecies, “many false prophets will arise and a great falling away occurs, even the elect being deceived”, Matthew 24:11, 2 Thessalonians 2:3

Lita Cosner’s Report: A reader sent in a video by a Dr Tim Jennings, a Christian psychiatrist, about homosexuality, transgenderism, and Christianity, and asked us for a response. We normally do not respond to videos, because of the time involved to watch and fairly interact with such media, but we felt the teaching value in this case merited an exception.

Dr-Tim-Jennings

Dr Jennings calls out the Christian community for “a lot of ignorance and a lot of misinformation.” He believes that “We have to start with facts, we have to start with truth.” He asks, “Are you willing to look at evidence and facts or do you want to hold beliefs that are refuted by evidence, facts, and truth?”

But when he goes into these ‘facts’, we find that they don’t prove what he thinks they prove. Most of his arguments involve very rare abnormalities.

First, he brings out Androgen Insensitivity Syndrome, where a person is genetically male (XY), but has no testosterone receptors, so the child develops to look outwardly female (but lacks a uterus and ovaries). Dr Jennings makes the first of many errors in his video when he says that all babies begin as females, and hormones, particularly testosterone, cause the baby to masculinize. At fertilisation, every individual is either genetically female (XX) or male (XY) (yes—there are a handful of intersex chromosomal conditions, most commonly Klinefelter’s—but these are rare), and the baby develops as a female or a male according to the genetics. Dr Jennings inadvertently acknowledges this when he says that the male baby has testes even with AIS.

The next condition is chimerism, the extremely rare condition where one embryo absorbs his or her fraternal twin early in development, resulting in one individual with two distinct sets of genetics. He claims that this can result in someone with both male and female DNA. So someone could have a male brain genetically, and a female body, and so on. Then he claims that epigenetic markers affect whether the brain is masculinized in the womb or not.

His AIS and epigenetic arguments basically say that hormones can determine someone’s sexual identity. But then the chimerism argument says precisely the opposite—that genetics determine sexual identity. Which is it? Of course, this discussion of chromosomal and developmental conditions leaves out the fact that most people who identify as homosexual or transgender are biologically healthy males or females with no ambiguity or genetic defect.

Then Dr Jennings goes in a completely different direction and notes that sometimes trauma can confuse a person’s sexual identity, and gives an anecdote involving one of his counselees. In that counselee’s case, resolving a trauma led her to realise that she was not a lesbian after all, but heterosexual. But how can we tell someone who is ‘naturally’ homosexual from someone who is confused because of a trauma? And how can we even ask that question when it is now forbidden to even raise that as a possibility?

Dr Jennings then turns to Romans 1, and says that “exchanging natural relations for unnatural ones” means that naturally heterosexual people were engaging in homosexual relations as part of Roman fertility cult worship. He argues Paul wasn’t talking about people who are naturally homosexual. But sexual orientation as a core element of our personality wasn’t even conceived of until less than 200 years ago. In the Roman world, free men in particular would engage in both homosexual and heterosexual acts with a variety of partners—the only thing that was taboo was for a free male adult to assume a ‘submissive’ role.

Then he criticises Christians with “imperial” and “legal” ways of reading the Bible. I think that’s extremely judgemental of him—my brain development was shaped in the womb to make me think in imperial and legal ways. In any case, he says that Christians think homosexuals should act like heterosexuals. That’s not true. Rather, Christians recognise that the Fall affects us in different ways in our bodies, our minds, and our relationships. All of us have to submit ourselves to Scripture which challenges each of us in different ways.

Dr Jennings says that we should present the truth in love, and this will leave people free. While I would agree with him about this principle, we would disagree vastly about the proper application. I do not believe it is loving to present a false gospel to any person that says that Christ is powerless to transform them—regardless of what needs to be transformed.

BALANCING GRACE AND TRUTH

The majority of the churches in America, but not only America, are seeking to please the masses rather than convict. Judgement is never mentioned; repentance is rarely sought and sin is often excused. We want to build a church rather than break a heart, be politically correct rather than biblically correct, coddle and comfort rather than stir and convict. This leaves people confused and deceived because we teach and live a form of Christianity void of repentance … void of truth.

The church and our nation desperately need to hear “the voice of one crying in the wilderness” to awaken, convict and restore. It was not so long ago that we were concerned about the fall of America. America cannot fall because she has already fallen. We are now picking up the pieces of a broken nation reflected in our laws, our personal lives, our families and our children. America’s moral heartbeat has ceased because we cut off the source of life. We need resuscitation, renewal and revival of the truth. Biblical truth.

When people, groups, denominations or movements depart from absolute truth and thus quench and grieve the Spirit of God, they become mechanical in their approach to Christianity and lose the ability to guide. The Word of God is not in their hearts “as a burning fire” (Jeremiah 20:9), but relative, powerless and debatable. This is what we see today.

The “moral” laws in the Old Testament such as killing, stealing, lying, adultery, sexual immorality and so on are all valid today. Jesus referred often to the Old Testament, and said that He didn’t come to abolish it, but to fulfil it. For example, Leviticus 20:13a states, “If a man lies with another man as with a woman, both of them have committed an abomination.” To suggest that this verse is invalid today is to advocate the dangerous practice of redefining or deleting what God has said. Not to mention other stories in the Old Testament that highlight the dangers of homosexuality and all sexual sin.

Jesus condemned “all” sexual activity outside of marriage between a man and woman when He said, “For out of the heart proceed evil thoughts, murders, adulteries, sexual immorality, thefts, false witness, and blasphemies. These are the things which defile a man” (Matt. 15:19-20). Jesus was implying that all sexual activity outside of marriage between a man and a woman is harmful and immoral. The word “fornication” in the Greek is porneia, where the word “pornography” comes from. We cannot say, “But I was born this way.” I was born to lie, cheat, lust and deceive, but this doesn’t make it right. It makes me sinful and in need of a Saviour.

The consequences of wrong actions may have changed, but the moral implications remain the same. For instance, even though we no longer stone to death those who commit adultery, this does not mean that adultery is acceptable or any less dangerous. Adultery is wrong even though there aren’t legal consequences. The laws of a nation should reflect God’s Word, but they are never above it!

Romans 1:18-32 and 1 Corinthians 6:1-20 tells us that when mankind does not see fit to acknowledge God, and they suppress the truth; God will give them over to a depraved mind—to do those things that are not proper. This should put the fear of God into us all. Homosexual behaviour, and sexual sin in general, is comparable with dishonouring the body and turning from God. John Piper said, “The sexual disordering of the human race is a judgement of God for exchanging Him for the creature.”

Jesus said that since the beginning of creation, God created them male and female in order that they would be joined together and become one flesh. He adds, “What therefore God has joined together, let not man put asunder” (Mark 10:9). Marriage between a man and a woman is God’s plan since creation. No matter how many laws are passed in favour of gay marriage, it will not change God’s mind.

Jesus would often speak out against sin, but His love and mercy also reached out to those who regretted and hated their condition. Forgiveness is a mark of genuine faith. We should have compassion for those who struggle with same-sex attraction because we all struggle with sin, but at the same time, we should not condone or excuse this type of sin any more than we condone or excuse any other sin.

Taken from an article “Is Being Gay “God’s Greatest Gift to Us”? in Charisma News by Shane Idleman founder and lead pastor of Westside Christian Fellowship just north of Los Angeles