Summary: Many people still believe in God but the the number is declining. In this message, we will learn three things from the Book of Judges that will help us get to know Him better.
3 These are the nations the Lord left to test all those Israelites who had not experienced any of the wars in Canaan 2 (he did this only to teach warfare to the descendants of the Israelites who had not had previous battle experience):3 the five rulers of the Philistines, all the Canaanites, the Sidonians, and the Hivites living in the Lebanon mountains from Mount Baal Hermon to Lebo Hamath. 4 They were left to test the Israelites to see whether they would obey the Lord’s commands, which he had given their ancestors through Moses.
5 The Israelites lived among the Canaanites, Hittites, Amorites, Perizzites,Hivites and Jebusites. 6 They took their daughters in marriage and gave their own daughters to their sons, and served their gods. 7 The Israelites did evil in the eyes of the Lord; they forgot the Lord their God and served the Baals and the Asherahs. 8 The anger of the Lord burned against Israel so that he sold them into the hands of Cushan-Rishathaim king of Aram Naharaim,[a] to whom the Israelites were subject for eight years.
Today we are going to get to know God better.
According to a new Harris Poll, Americans' belief in God is still strong but slowly declining.
It means that many people still believe in God here in the U.S. but the number is much lower than the previous years.
Here are the partial survey results.
A strong majority (74%) of U.S. adults say they believe in God, but that's down from the 82 percent who expressed such a belief in earlier years.
Belief in miracles, heaven and other religious teachings also declined in the latest poll, as follows:
--72 percent believe in miracles, down from 79 percent in 2005;
--68 percent believe in heaven, down from 75 percent;
--68 percent believe that Jesus is God or the Son of God, down from 72 percent;
--65 percent believes in the resurrection of Jesus Christ, down from 70 percent;
--64 percent believe in the survival of the soul after death, down from 69 percent;
--58 percent believe in the devil and hell, down from 62 percent;
--57 percent believe in the Virgin birth, down from 60 percent.
A very disheartening statistics.
I also went to the website of the religion survey of the NY Times.com and read the article of David Leonhardt explaining the same thing.
He writes: "The rise of those who do not believe in God is one of the most striking social trends in the United States.
At the same time, Americans who identify as Christians or who believe in God are declining.
More and more people are identifying themselves as "atheists", or "agnostics."
This group made up 15.8% of the United states population in 2014, up from 10.3% only seven years earlier.
And this is likely to continue because young people today are much more likely to be secular than older adults."
However, in the midst of all of these results, the article said that people of all culture "continue stubbornly to believe in a higher power. It's a singular belief for such modern times."
Quoted from Faith Matters by Michael Guillen at www.usnews.com
In spite of the declining belief in God, people still believe in a "higher power."
But the problem with that is they could not be able to explain what that "higher power" is all about.
And with the latest Star Wars movie, people have the impression that God is merely a Force such as the expression: "May the Force be with you!"
Indeed, people are being taught about God from the movies.
And if the movies are wrong, then, people's beliefs are also wrong.
But the truth is, God is more than a Force.
According to the Bible, God is powerful who has created the Universe and all the things that we see.
When He speaks, all things came into being.
Our God is holy who desires sinful man to live a holy life in harmony with Himself.
According to the Article 1 of our Statement of faith on the Triune God:
1. We believe in one eternally existent, infinite God, Sovereign Creator and Sustainer of the universe; that He only is God, holy in nature, attributes, and purpose. The God who is holy love and light is Triune in essential being, revealed as Father, Son, and Holy Spirit."
Here we read the words: Sovereign (Supreme Ruler), Creator (the Architect or designer of the Universe) and Sustainer that describes who God is.
It says further that He is Holy in nature (or in character), in attributes and in purposes (or in disposition).
And He is revealed as the trinity composing of the Father (the Creator), Son (The Redeemer) and Holy Spirit (The Comforter).
There is only ONE God but in essence working together in Unity for the redemption of mankind.