The coming apostasy (falling away) of the church is for some of us the most dreaded prophecy the Bible predicts. It may look like the world would be better off with John Lennon’s world with no religions but in fact that will be the world’s worst nightmare. America is sliding fast toward becoming the next great post Christian nation behind Europe. This is what all Godless societies throughout time immemorial have thought would be their final advance. Secularism has always labored under the notion that civil government and secular society is all they need to get it right. Perhaps as it pertains to kooky religions, cults, heresies and pseudo Christian religions that may be true. The absence of real Christianity as given to us by Christ himself will produce a vacuum that no one can bear.
As a young man and a new believer I was told that true Christianity as not a religion at all but a great love affair. The people of God love God and his son Jesus Christ. Oddly it is because they find out how much he loves them and are awestruck by his compelling gift of forgiveness and eternal life.
In the Muslim religion God is painted as a murderous entity that requires that we kill and destroy anything or anyone who will not submit to its tenants. It is a picture that is diametrically opposite the picture of Christ dying on the cross not for anything he had done but for the sins in thought, word and deed done by all mankind. This is what draws enlightened men and women who have exercised reason good judgment and faith after investigating and prying into the matter with full cognizance. In other words Christianity requires some real thought not just the consent of dumbbells.
Christians don’t worship other Gods because they think they’ve got the best one. Rather he is the only one. There is only one creator and one redeemer and one King that shows up at the end of time to rule for all eternity. God is not jealous of other Gods, because there aren’t any. See now that I, even I, am he, and there is no god with me, De 32:39.
Mans insistence in creating other gods is evidence only of mans persistence in idolatry. Beyond that the darker and more sinister truth is that the god of this world (Satan) does not stop short of deceiving men with standard temptations. In addition to fame, fortune and power he has religion and those with the proclivity toward it in the palm of his hand. God knew better than to trust men to go shopping for a true religion as if they were trying to find a nice cut of meat. That also is what separates Christianity from any and all other religions.
God provides a revelation of who he is and exactly what he wants in the person of Jesus Christ. He allows no shopping around and does not encourage guesswork. Thank God. The only thing he doesn’t do is force faith on us but as a loving God allows us to see what he has done and to decide for ourselves if we want to get onboard. How else could he be sure if he had the right ones? If I was God I wouldn’t want the coerced, the threatened or the cajoled around me either. That’s not love!
We don’t believe because we are forced and we don’t obey on that premise either. Jesus said we would only obey him if we loved him. John 14:21 More amazing is that when we do decide to obey him the first, greatest and most compelling commandment of all is to spread the love around. Matthew 22:37 No diatribe against Islam or any other religion in the world here, just one deal…love. Got love?
Trying to imagine America without these people that love is harder for me to imagine than a world without the oceans or the moon or the trees. I have worshipped with faithful Catholics and Protestants of every kind. I have never needed an ecumenical manifesto to see that when they worship God in “spirit and in truth” they are all one regardless of what church they hail from.
I can’t see a country where there are not huge Catholic cathedrals and every sort of Baptist, Methodist, Presbyterian, Pentecostal and other types of churches to numerous to name spotting the roadsides in every city, town and village in America. I can’t imagine the names of the great evangelists no longer being mentioned like Billy Sunday, Billy Graham and great teachers such as Donald Barnhouse, R.C Sproul and others. It wouldn’t seem right, it wouldn’t be America.
Hearing the gospel being bellowed late at night on powerful radio stations while riding down the highway would leave only the secular rant of the news caster and the farm reports and God knows what kind of music. Many a soul would not have pulled their car over to the side of the road weeping after hearing of the love of God toward them. Not seeing the telecasts of TBN, CBN and televised gospel crusades would make television the “vast wasteland” a former head of the FCC once called it.
More than just the loss of familiar Americana the absence of the Christian faith and its visible churches would create a void for which there is no substitute. Godless secularism by its very nature requires a confidence and a strong will to maintain. After all it requires man to pull himself up by his own bootstraps. Intelligence, savvy human will and lots of other exaggerated notions are required to prop up pure existentialism. But Christ knows us better than that. We are not always strong, smart or aware but more often than not we are weak, wishy washy and woeful. Guess what, God doesn’t care about that, he only cares about you.
To the end of my feeble life I will always thank God that on any day of the week I can freely call a pastor, find a good church or a group of people to pray with. I will be thankful that I live in a country where I am not hindered from doing this at least for this moment in time. May God help us in our future?
Can the rush grow up without mire? can the flag grow without water? Whilst it is yet in his greenness, and not cut down, it withereth before any other herb. So are the paths of all that forget God; and the hypocrite’s hope shall perish: Job 8:11-13