As the world spirals towards the end of 2010 and braces for 2011, it is not difficult to sense mounting fear and anxiety spreading virus-like to all nations and peoples. Each continent is struggling with threats of terrorism. Headlines that were once discarded because they told of problems ‘over there’ are now blood pressure contributors because they speak about here, at home, where we live.
Economy is another calamity. The stock market is fluctuating at a dizzy pace. Welfare is a multi-billion dollar industry and in some places, at least the U.S. government has borrowed to the gills just to meet daily pensions and benefits.
The end of the year ‘lame duck’ session in U.S. politics stands out as a profound demonstration of political panic on parade. No time for debate or research, just vote. These same ‘delegates’ will ask to be re-elected to the same fiasco at the next election. They will make promises, they cannot afford to keep and the cycle of decline will journey on.
There is a frightening root to the chaos of our day, it was revealed by the Barna Group in their end of the year analysis. In an article: “Six Megathemes Emerge from Barna Group Research in 2010” – (December 13, 2010), they have a bullet performer at Number One: The Christian Church is becoming less theologically literate. (www.barnagroup.org)
The Barna research found a disturbing number recognized Easter as a ‘religious holiday’ but only a minority linked it with the resurrection of Jesus Christ.
The survey revealed only a few believed faith should be ‘a focal point of their daily life.’ A small number recognized the Holy Spirit as a living entity.
So frightening were the findings, Barna could only predict that ‘biblical literacy is likely to decline significantly.’
It sounds like the terror tactics of the enemy is having a field day throughout the world but more concerning, in churches.
The situation underlines the truth of John 10:10 “The thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy; I came that they may have life, and have it abundantly.”
The ‘I’ is Jesus, not a sweet-talking, captivating preacher, teacher, pastor or priest. If regular sermons tickle your ears and drip with Dr Feelgood warm fuzzies, get out of there.
The Word comforts certainly, but the Bible is described as a ‘two-edged sword.’ It cuts sin and challenges the Christian towards holiness and righteousness.
“For the word of God is living and active and sharper than any two-edged sword, and piercing as far as the division of soul and spirit, of both joints and marrow, and able to judge the thoughts and intentions of the heart.” (Hebrews 4:12)
Has the Word ‘pierced’ your heart lately? Has the Word judged ‘the thoughts and intentions of your heart?” Make no mistake candy bar christianity is the greatest concern on our planet right now.
Nations threaten to build bigger bombs. Terrorists are planning to poison food in an attempt to achieve their murderous goals. Iran seeks its nuclear weapons but all of that amounts to a hill of beans compared to the Christian who worships the living God.
Power and Authority
When the Lord commissioned His disciples He said ‘Go into all the world, make disciples.” In that order, He unleashed the most powerful divine force to change things. It’s called evangelism.
Many churches stopped meaningful evangelism because unkempt people sat in the pews. They had long hair, even rings in weird places. They stood out as a sharp contrast to the suits.
I was confronted in one church because motorbikes were parked in an area reserved for ‘the elders.’
If Satan can lull the church into believing in his lies and deception, our children will suffer. If evil is allowed to continue another one hundred years, one can only imagine what grotesque circumstances will emerge.
I am so sorry, Mr Preacher, If you do not teach from the Bible, you are part of a serious problem. Would you like some encouragement?
“Is not My word like fire?” declares the LORD, “and like a hammer which shatters a rock?” (Jeremiah 23:29)
As you consider the New Year, also commit yourself to the Word of God. If you seek ‘fire’ and ‘a hammer which shatters a rock’, here it is.
Our world will never find peace with more bombs, nuclear or otherwise.
When Jesus said, “My Kingdom is not of this world’ (John 18:36) it challenged many. It means His Power and Authority is not derived from this fallen world. In John 8:32 He said, “You are from below, I am from above.”
This is the force we need to be His instruments of change.
Read John 1:12 from the Amplified Bible – “But to as many as did receive and welcome Him, He gave the authority (power, privilege, right) to become the children of God, that is, to those who believe in (adhere to, trust in, and rely on) His name.”
We have His authority, power, privilege and right, so what are we waiting for?
The Apostle Paul is a great example of a faithful Christian who took God at His word.
He wrote to the church in Thessalonica and said this:
“For this reason we also constantly thank God that when you received the word of God which you heard from us, you accepted it not as the word of men, but for what it really is, the word of God, which also performs its work in you who believe.” (1 Thess. 2:13)
The world needs that proof demonstrated with power and authority right now. Disregard the wishy washy counterfeit. Embrace the Word of God and let it ‘work in you who believe.’