Ramblings on Christianity in America

August 24, 2007

Last night I was reading this recent article on CNN that had one particular fact that really stood out to me. Out of 750 random American Christians polled, nearly eight out of ten said that people of other beliefs could get into heaven. That's almost 600 out of the 750. Wow.

Some other interesting statistics from the poll:

  • 62 percent polled say that American society has strayed too far from its religious foundation in the past 50 years.
  • 45 percent said religion should have no influence on government decisions.
  • 36 percent said religion should have some influence, but not the major factor.
  • 57 percent say they believe the Book of Revelation's description of the violent end of the world, where all but Christians perish.
  • Almost 20 percent believes it will happen in their lifetime.

For those 600 who said that people of other beliefs could get into heaven, what happened to the words of Jesus in John 14:6?

“Jesus said to him, “I am the way, the truth, and the life. No one comes to the Father except through Me.”
(John 14:6 NKJV)

When Jesus said that no one comes to the Father but "through" Him, He was speaking of much more than the simple action of confessing the name of Jesus. While confession of faith in Jesus is an all-important factor in coming to the Lord, action must follow words. To come to the Father "through" Jesus also means to embrace His lifestyle, fully embrace and obey His commands, and to come to Him on His terms rather than our own.

If our faith is simply a mental acknowledgement and not a deep heart comprehension that affects our choices, our words, the way we spend time and money, and how we love others - knowing that God's eyes are upon us - then it is simply empty words and not true faith at all.

As I've been talking to folks this week during my visit to New Hampshire, we've all agreed that Christianity in America has become an add-on to our lives to make it better. We live out our lives and throw a little Jesus in there to make us feel better about our compromise and passivity and to give us some fun friendships at cookouts and pot-luck dinners. But all over the world, the Lord is stirring something in men's hearts to be discontent with the powerless expression of Christianity in our day.

Folks all across the world are responding to the Lord's call to prayer and fasting. In massive numbers, believers are gathering to seek the Lord and to contend for the true gospel to go forth in the nations once again. 24/7 prayer watches are being established around the world to ask God to change the understanding and expression of Christianity in our generation.

As Jesus' return approaches, the darkness is getting darker and the true light is getting brighter. Jesus promised a worldwide witness to the true gospel of the kingdom would be raised up before He returns.

“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.”
(Matt 24:14 NKJV)

This is good news! Contrary to the other facts in the poll, a real Jewish man will come back very soon to rule the planet from Jerusalem! Religion will be the one and only factor in every single one of His decisions (Isaiah 2:3, Micah 4:2), and the world will finally experience true peace and blessing. My heart will never be truly satisfied until that day.

Comments

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That 20%

What I found most interesting about that article was that 1 in 5 actually believe the end-times will come in their lifetime. I would assume they didn't poll IHOP (definitely not, actually - that number would have been much higher!), so I guess it's another example of what Mike always says about this generation being the only generation to truly believe the Lord was coming back in their lifetime. How fascinating...and encouraging.