America has over 300,000 churches, but few would contest that our Christian influence is decreasing as the nation becomes more secularized. Our biblical values are no longer being consistently demonstrated and promoted and therefore, do not translate out from behind church walls and into culture. Why are there so few speaking up for Jesus Christ and for righteousness in public anymore? Hope for revival remains, and a remnant of committed leaders and believers are doing their part, but because of the posers and pretenders, American Christianity has almost become a joke. People in the Middle East look at Hollywood, the Internet, and our government. They see our education system, media, and the people we elect. They observe our greed, idolatry, and society as a whole and refer to us as “The Great Satan.”
The country has strayed so far from where we used to be morally, economically, politically, and spiritually, the United States is hardly recognizable when you read our true, unedited history. Yes, we have been under heavy attack by the enemy of our souls and the battle is raging. But too many of us stopped caring and too many churches have been on a diet of cotton candy instead of steak. Christians must take responsibility and change course before it’s too late.
Unless we admit the truth and act accordingly, this nation is toast. Evil began knocking centuries ago, but in the last hundred years – and particularly in the last fifty – we thrust the door wide open and invited evil in! Rather than resist the sin that used to repulse us and cause us deep remorse, we have warmed up to it and have welcomed godlessness with open arms. Tolerance, grace, and a “judge ye not” attitude are the norm in many churches, while repentance and holiness have practically become four-letter words.
It is time to wake up and strengthen what remains and is about to die (Revelation 3:2). We have neglected the study and application of God’s Word. We have failed to share our faith and openly discuss every human being’s biggest problem – sin. We have not resisted the world’s ways, and in fact, we’re just like them.
The country is sick and the church is on life support; should we not call on the Great Physician to heal and save her? Why are so few willing to talk about the fact that sin seems to be celebrated rather than confessed? Are we so wrapped up in our own selfish lives or distracted by the latest technology to care? It’s as if we’d rather mind our own business than help the brokenhearted. People are losing hope; many are dying without Christ and going to hell – and we’re going to the mall.
Because the church is struggling, so is the nation. Instead of being a beacon of light to the world, America has paved perverted pathways into deeper darkness. Rather than be an example of godliness, we have become a stench in the nostrils of a holy God. (But we do have the best entertainment, sports, restaurants, and reality shows, don’t we?)
What has been our collective reaction to immorality? We have chosen silence. Let’s just be honest with God: We are too busy, and for the most part we have little concern for the people Jesus Christ died a horrible death to save. The truth is – Silence never saved anybody. Lost souls rarely put their trust in Jesus on their own, and indifference rarely turned a sinning Christian back to a forgiving God.
If we are truly His followers, shouldn’t we be living differently? Peter asks, what sort of people ought you to be in holy conduct and godliness, looking for and hastening the coming of the day of God? (2 Peter 3:11-12). We are in big trouble, my friend. The world is imploding, time is running out, and the door through which people can be saved is closing. God’s judgment is coming to America and it will start with the church.
Our hearts should be breaking! People all around us and across this country are feeling empty and hopeless. Just as Jesus wept for Jerusalem while acknowledging its judgment, should we not weep for America as the signs clearly point to God’s impending judgment on a once-mighty, blessed nation? Do we expect God to stay His hand of judgment and continue blessing a rebellious and narcissistic people with His protection and provision?
Our country has forgotten how to blush and has cast aside all moral restraint while forgetting our Christian history. Profanity and adultery are commonplace; the murder of babies in the womb is legal and often celebrated; we have perverse parades, judicial tyranny, and a power-grabbing government with no accountability. A biased and progressive media cheers for immorality, Christ-less education, and makes a mockery of marriage.
We allow Hollywood to dump filthy garbage into our living rooms, and as a result, we welcome witchcraft, blasphemy, and the glorification of sin. We have become desensitized to the influence of liberalism within the church.
One might argue, “But God is still on the throne.” Sure. I agree He is sovereign over all events and circumstances. He remains all-powerful, but He does not control us or force people to love Him. God was also on His throne in 1973 when we legalized abortion, and soon America will be closing in on 60 million babies murdered in the name of “choice.” Christians helped elect the most pro-abortion, anti-Christian president in our history – twice. Do you suppose God cares how we vote?
God is still on the throne alright – and He is preparing to judge a complacent people who continue ducking the issue of sin.
I am not blaming President Barack Obama for the mess this country is in today – the decline began decades ago. But we are the ones who most recently rejected God and elected a king just like Israel once did. We chose a man who is now doing exactly what he declared he would do if elected – transform the United States of America. By now, most informed citizens understand what he meant in 2008. Obama is certainly not obeying the teachings in the Bible, nor does he care about the heart of God for America. As he tramples the Constitution, he is simply following his own heart and further weakening a nation bent on immorality.
He promised change, didn’t he? Oh, I see – you failed to look into his past beliefs, associations, and history. You gave him the benefit of the doubt and didn’t want to feel guilty for not voting for the first half-black president. How irresponsible. With progressives, atheists, and socialists already in our government, the pump was primed and the stage was set for Obama’s America. By chipping away at the moral and spiritual foundations of the United States, he and his minions have successfully taken us further from the Judeo-Christian principles and the God who prospered us in the past. And the church is silent.
As the Eric Holder Justice Department gave states the go-ahead to ignore the will of tens of millions of Americans across the country, radical federal judges are overturning laws implemented to protect marriage between one man and one woman. The Supreme Court now leans left as well.
If you are not a Christian, I don’t blame you for the condition of our country or whom you vote for, though I vehemently disagree with your worldview. I do challenge you, however, to read this book to the end as you may be surprised by the truth and history contained in these pages. Perhaps you’ve not heard the good news of Jesus Christ clearly explained.
The blame is squarely on the church in America. We have failed to be effective witnesses for our Lord Jesus Christ. Too many professing believers do not represent authentic, Bible-based Christianity. We have been sold on appearing spiritual, pursuing comfort, and living for self. I speak from experience because I used to have one foot in the church and another in the world.
It is impossible to be a part-time Christian.
The word Christian means “of or relating to Jesus Christ” and “a diminutive Christ.” This implies a person who thinks, acts, talks, serves, and speaks like Jesus. Effectiveness for the kingdom of God starts with our own individual commitment to live for His glory rather than our own. It is not complicated: Know the Lord and make Him known to others.
IDENTIFYING THE PLAYERS AND THE PROBLEMS
In the Christian camp there is quite a diverse mix of beliefs, lifestyles, and opinions.
- First, a remnant of mature Christ followers remains committed to His cause; these believers love the Lord with all their hearts, representing an authentic, vibrant faith, and have a God-fearing, biblical worldview. They love others and shine for Jesus; they share the gospel with the lost, and they are unafraid to confront sin in the church.
- Second, another category of believers profess to be saved and maybe grew up in a religious home; they make it to church and may read the Bible occasionally. But they love this world, are more concerned about the approval of man, and not very passionate about the things of God. They may be considered lukewarm. It is often hard to tell the difference between their lifestyle and that of unbelievers.
- Others have no idea what the true gospel is, but say they’re going to heaven and consider themselves to be “a good person.” They probably do not attend church often, and their lives show little fruit. They do not think there is a literal hell and do not believe the Bible is God’s inspired Word. They have never seriously trusted in Jesus Christ.
For the purposes of this book, when I refer to “professing Christians,” the general meaning is those who say they are Christians but don’t believe the whole Bible nor do they live according to its precepts in every area of their lives. They may fall in the second or third category above. The fruit in their lives – their actions, behavior, and words – fails to reflect the teachings of Jesus Christ, and they have a limited understanding of God and His Word. Professing Christians confuse onlookers by their lives and can reflect negatively on Christianity.
Professing believers also include those who think they’re Christian because they grew up in America or in a family that attended some church once a week. They may claim salvation, but have no idea what repentance and sanctification are, and they only like the parts of the Bible they agree with. Typically, they do not believe Jesus is the only way to God, and they often think Christianity should be more “relevant” and more like the world.
These professing believers avoid engaging in cultural battles; they criticize believers who do engage, and are more interested in what movie is playing in the theatres this weekend. This segment of America’s religious population ignores the greater spiritual war manifesting in society and couldn’t care less about the Left’s progressive march through the major institutions toward their godless utopia.
Finally, there are enemies of Christ and of biblical truth – an unrelenting segment of people who are more active and emboldened to attack Christians than ever before. Some have masked themselves as moderates and have even crept into the church. They aim to silence the opposition and eliminate everything good and moral. They hate Jesus, the Bible, America and her history, and they fight to eradicate any influence of the Judeo-Christian God from society. They are freely and continually marketing and advancing evil with little resistance from Christians.
On both sides of this epic battle, some people are uninterested and unengaged, simply wanting to live and let live. They may be Christian or atheist, conservative or liberal, religious or nonreligious, but they don’t speak up or fully commit to their leader’s (Jesus or Satan) cause. They pretty much stay out of the battle. These players are insignificant and irrelevant, keeping to themselves. Also on both sides are people who don’t know why they believe what they believe; this should never be the case with mature Christians.
Some people have made up their minds against Christianity when they never have had the whole gospel explained to them. They must be challenged with the question “If the Bible were true, would you believe it?” Are we prepared to have such conversations or debates? This is one of the reasons you and I are still alive today.
But sanctify Christ as Lord in your hearts, always being ready to make a defense to everyone who asks you to give an account for the hope that is in you, yet with gentleness and reverence (1 Peter 3:15).
This is a spiritual battle that manifests in the physical realm as the devil prowls around like a roaring lion seeking someone to devour (1 Peter 5:8). Even if it were possible to avoid conflict, shouldn’t our love for sinners move us to action, and doesn’t our love for Jesus compel us to speak and do what He commands?
With America heading for destruction and judgment, now more than ever, disciples must be established in the faith as we seek to make more disciples. Dedicated followers are to stick close to the Leader and obey His teachings, and true witnesses are to publicly testify to the grace of God and hope in Christ alone. We are not to accept, accommodate, ignore, or approve of people’s sin. We are called to tell them the truth and do our best to live as examples of that truth.
America has more Christian churches and more resources than ever before – more than any other country in the world – so why do we look less and less like a Christian nation every day? We have more Bibles, seminaries, Christian music, and Christian entertainment than ever before. We have the fanciest churches, the finest Christian colleges, countless ministries and non-profits, and we have an abundance of Christian radio, television, and Christian bookstores across the country. Now consider the dwindling amount of Christian influence in our culture today.
Something is drastically wrong.
With all of these resources, why are most kids falling away from God by the time they reach junior high school, and over 80 percent of Christian youth leaving the faith by their second year in college?
Christians in America are facing indoctrination from a multitude of directions. Schools instruct our children in evolution, environmentalism, and earth worship. Later they learn about Freudian psychology, social justice, and homosexuality. We are deluged with secular entertainment, promiscuity, and promotion of the abortion business. Society is inundated with Marxism, socialism, and secularism.
Our lives are bombarded with atheism, witchcraft, false religions, and liberalism. Even in some church denominations, liberals (some may refer to them as religious “progressives” or the “Christian Left”) have gained power and introduced theological heresies including New Age philosophies.
We must now define what it means to be Christian because the hypocrisy of some can be confusing to a watching world. In addition to loving the Lord our God with all our hearts and loving our neighbor as ourselves, here are some characteristics of mature Christians:
1. Preach the gospel to all creation (Mark 16:15) and make disciples of all nations (Matthew 28:19); preach the Word in season and out of season (2 Timothy 4:2) in order to reach the lost, hopeless, hurting, and afflicted with the good news.
2. Teach others to observe everything Jesus commanded (Matthew 28:20); encourage, train, and restore by calling to reconciliation (2 Corinthians 5:20) believers who have conformed to this world and are struggling with sin. When necessary, confront, correct, and rebuke (2 Timothy 3:16).
3. Contend for the faith (Jude 1:3) and be prepared at all times to defend the truth while giving a clear, convincing answer, explaining what we believe and why we believe it (1 Peter 3:15). Rather than approving of or participating in sin, expose it (Ephesians 5:11), always pointing people to the saving truth of Jesus Christ.
Can we accomplish any of these things by being silent? Can we avoid the spiritual warfare every Christian must endure? The world often interprets the silence of Christians as our approval, indifference, or both.
Francis Schaeffer said:
“We as Bible-believing evangelical Christians are locked in a battle. This is not a friendly gentleman’s discussion. It is a life and death conflict between the spiritual hosts of wickedness and those who claim the name of Christ.”
Opposition is guaranteed. Most of us understand in today’s culture that living our faith in public will attract resistance, ridicule, and even hatred. If we remember our struggle is not against flesh and blood (Ephesians 6:12), we will not take it personally when people come against us. Their problem is with Jesus Christ, not us.
If we are serious about our faith, others will know.
The primary message of Jesus and John the Baptist was, Repent, for the kingdom of heaven is at hand (Matthew 3:2; 4:17). The message has not changed. One big problem we have today is fewer believers are willing to talk about God’s law, sin, the cross, and repentance. Evangelist and author, Leonard Ravenhill, once said, “There’s one thing we need above everything else; it’s something we don’t talk about these days. We need a mighty avalanche of conviction of sin.”
Let’s acknowledge there are gaping holes in the armor of American Christianity. We are not as strong as we think we are, and the church is a far cry from the spotless bride for whom Christ will return. Too often we get worn down and end up compromising our biblical convictions. I was compelled to write this book to address our indifference and investigate solutions to the lack of salt and light in society. Throw in the anti-Christian agendas and we have a dangerous combination. We are instruments chosen by God to be messengers of truth. We must speak for Him regardless of the consequences. No, it’s not hip and popular. Yes, we will be verbally attacked and ostracized at the very least. But who are we trying to impress?
For am I now seeking the favor of men, or of God? Or am I striving to please men? If I were still trying to please men, I would not be a bond-servant of Christ (Galatians 1:10).
God needs more watchmen on the wall to warn the church to repent. Some may respond, “but if I say anything about people’s sin, they’ll accuse me of judging.” Is it too much to ask to help a backslidden believer or to save someone for eternity when Jesus sacrificed everything? Because He died for us and rose again to give us life, the least we can do is speak up.
The choice is ours. We have the right to remain silent. We have the right to keep our faith to ourselves and go about our own business. We have the right to avoid confrontation, coast through life, and ignore the evidence of a collapsing culture. We have the right to stay out of politics and public debates and deny the signs of the times. We have the right to live in comfortable complacency in the privacy of our own homes and limit our church activity to Sunday mornings.
We have the right to allow people around us to go to hell. But can we honestly love others and not share with them the most important, wonderful, life changing, lifesaving truth about salvation through Jesus Christ? God has committed to us the message of reconciliation (2 Cor. 5:19). We have the most urgent, vital message in the world, one by which God miraculously transforms hearts and lives. What a privilege that He uses broken vessels like you and me!
It’s time to sound the alarms, rally the remnant of committed believers, and take our positions. God’s love and mercy endure forever and His patience means salvation (2 Peter 3:15). We must act quickly; God is not finished with us yet and there’s hope for America, but His judgment will not be held back much longer.
You will hear this theme throughout the book: Without addressing the issue of sin and without the preaching of the gospel, there can be little conviction leading to repentance. As a result, fewer hearts and lives will be changed for Christ, and our culture will remain on its current pace and path of deterioration.
I pray this book may be a wake-up call and your response will be one of action rather than hitting the snooze button and rolling over. Christians are one of the only preserving influences on culture and what’s left of morality. One goal of this book is to encourage more believers to take this faith seriously. I also hope to inform younger Christians by equipping them to face the hostilities of an anti-Christian culture.
When culture is darkest, light shines the brightest. We have the Word of God to renew our hearts and minds. Impacting culture for Christ starts with you and me. It is not easy, but God promises it will be worth it. With persistent prayer, anything could happen.
Imagine getting this message out to the church. Imagine more converts and better follow-up with new believers. That impact could result in bolder disciples, stronger Christians, thriving churches, faithful witnesses, a national revival, and a culture transformed for Christ.
As Christians go, so goes America. There is a cost and there are consequences to our silence, but there are rewards for our faithfulness to the gospel and obedience to God’s Word. The choice is ours to make.
But having the same spirit of faith, according to what is written, “I BELIEVED, THEREFORE I SPOKE,” we also believe, therefore we also speak, knowing that He who raised the Lord Jesus will raise us also with Jesus and will present us with you. For all things are for your sakes, that the grace which is spreading to more and more people may cause the giving of thanks to abound to the glory of God. Therefore we do not lose heart, but though our outer man is decaying, yet our inner man is being renewed day by day. For momentary, light affliction is producing for us an eternal weight of glory far beyond all comparison, while we look not at the things which are seen, but at the things which are not seen; for the things which are seen are temporal, but the things which are not seen are eternal (2 Corinthians 4:13-18).