Will Jesus Find Faith on Earth?
We live in a day of mega churches with thousands of attendees. Joel Osteen, for example meets in a former NBA basketball stadium in Houston with somewhere in the area of 30,000 in attendance per week. Old mainline denominations are going the way of the Dodo bird, but new, hip, seeker friendly churches are bursting at the seams!
Ray Comfort in his excellent 2010 book, “God Has a Wonderful Plan for Your Life: The Myth of the Modern Message“ says: “One evangelist, for example, claims that his worldwide tour has led nearly 1 million people to make decisions for Christ since 2007.
A denomination reported nearly 2.5 million decisions for Christ in 2008. One international organization reported over 10 million decisions for Christ in 2009, and another ministry has seen an incredible “45 million documented salvations” worldwide in just six years.”
This sounds like really good news, right? Not so fast. As Old Festus Haggen of “Gunsmoke” would say, “You just hold your horses there, Matthew! Unfortunately, all is not well and these statistics are deceiving. When you take a deeper look things are not as rosey as they first appear in the evangelical church.
An October 2003 survey conducted by the Barna Group of those who profess to be born-again Christians, 49% believed that living with someone of the opposite sex in a sexual relationship without being married was morally ok. The same study found that a full one third believed killing a baby in the mother’s womb was acceptable.
“In 2001, a survey conducted by the Alan Guttmacher Institute in New York found that ‘13 percent of abortion patients describe themselves as born-again or evangelical Christians.’ That is, of all those who actually murdered their own unborn children, nearly one in eight professed faith in Jesus Christ.” ~ Ray Comfort book
“World” magazine reported that the “Promise Keepers” organization shamefully stated that 53% of their men admit that they visit porn sites every single week! This statistic is not confined to the pews. A survey of 6,000 pastors conducted in 2002 found that 30% of PASTORS had viewed Internet porn in the last 30 days!
Ray Comfort continues:
“Among individuals who describe themselves as Christian, for instance, close to half believe that Satan does not exist, one-third contend that Jesus sinned while He was on earth, two-fifths say they do not have a responsibility to share the Christian faith with others, and one-quarter dismiss the idea that the Bible is accurate in all of the principles it teaches.
Think for a moment of the implications of such a theology. Here we have millions of ‘believers’ who supposedly confess that Jesus is Lord, and yet they think He sinned. They either don’t know what the Bible teaches about the Son of God or they believe it is inaccurate when it says that Jesus ‘knew no sin’ (2 Corinthians 5:21), that He was ‘in all points tempted as we are, yet without sin’ (Hebrews 4:15), and that He ‘committed no sin, nor was deceit found in His mouth’ (1 Peter 2:22).
Furthermore, if Jesus sinned, it would mean that He was not the spotless Lamb of God the Scriptures say He was (see 1 Peter 1:19); that His sacrifice was not perfect; and that when God accepted Jesus’ death as an atonement for our sins, He sanctioned a ‘contaminated payment’ and is therefore corrupt by nature.
Sadly, the multitudes who profess faith in Jesus, yet deny His sinless perfection, appear to be strangers to true regeneration. The Jesus they believe in isn’t capable of saving anyone.” ~ Ray Comfort book
The Bible warns us that in the last days before the return of Jesus Christ to Earth that there would be a great falling away from the true faith.
Celebrities like Aaron Rodgers are coming out every little bit and admitting that they were never true believers. Kevin Max, the vocalist of Grammy-winning Christian band DC Talk, recently announced on Twitter that he has left evangelical Christianity. Other “exvangelicals” who have denounced Christianity include John Piper’s son Abraham Piper, “I Kissed Dating Goodbye” author Josh Harris, former “Hillsong” worship leader Marty Sampson, and Moody Bible Institute professor Paul Maxwell.
What are we to make of all this? It is actually quite simple. We should not be so shocked that the sheep and the goats flock together in churches. The wise and the foolish virgins were both seen as believers until the bridegroom came. The wheat and the tares always grow up together as Jesus said it would be. Judas Iscariot appeared to be a believer and fooled all the other 11 disciples! Though Judas was able to fool his fellow disciples he never fooled Jesus for a single moment.
Aaron Rodgers and these other reprobates were never wheat but tares who fooled many for a long time. They at least had the integrity to tell the truth that they are not believers. Many are still fooling themselves and others that they are believers, but God is not fooled.
People going to a church doesn’t automatically make them a true believer any more than putting a frog in a cookie jar makes it a cookie! It used to be popular to be a Christian believer and a church goer, but that is no longer the case. Politicians in the past could not get elected until recently if they did not claim to be a Christian. Being a Christian is no longer popular and now it is even unfashionable and politically incorrect so those who hold no real faith are dropping out or falling away.
Many might be tempted to say that there are hypocrites in the church and that is true, but just because there are counterfeits doesn’t mean that there are not still genuine believers. None of these well known figures leaving their “faith” behind affects my faith whatsoever and it shouldn’t yours either.