Summary: Part 2 of spiritual decline message
11, August 2002
Dakota Community Church
Leading Indicators of Spiritual Decline
When there is economic decline, governments pretend all is well.
When there is spiritual decline, Christians pretend all is well.
Sometimes you know but others don’t and sometimes others know and you have deceived yourself.
With the economy:
- Rising unemployment.
- Lower consumer spending.
- Higher inflation rate.
- Declining dollar value
First Three Spiritual Indicators:
1. Rising Doubts.
a. God and Christianity.
b. Self. – Doubting yourself and your ability to fulfill the call of God.
Moses – Exodus 4:10-13
Gideon – Judges 6:15
Jeremiah – Jeremiah 1:5-7
Peter – Luke 5:8
3. Increasing devotion to symbols of spirituality.
Next Two Spiritual Indicators:
- After all I’ve done for these people I deserve a little rest!
- That’s good enough; I’m not getting paid to do this.
Calm or secure satisfaction with oneself or one’s lot
1: the quality, state, or fact of being indifferent
2 a archaic: lack of difference or distinction between two or more things b: absence of compulsion to or toward one thing or another
32 For the waywardness of the simple will kill them, and the complacency of fools will destroy them;
Zephaniah 1: 11-18
11 Wail, you who live in the market district  ; all your merchants will be wiped out, all who trade with  silver will be ruined.
12 At that time I will search Jerusalem with lamps and punish those who are complacent, who are like wine left on its dregs, who think, `The LORD will do nothing, either good or bad.’
13 Their wealth will be plundered, their houses demolished. They will build houses but not live in them; they will plant vineyards but not drink the wine.
14 "The great day of the LORD is near-- near and coming quickly. Listen! The cry on the day of the LORD will be bitter, the shouting of the warrior there.
15 That day will be a day of wrath, a day of distress and anguish, a day of trouble and ruin, a day of darkness and gloom, a day of clouds and blackness,
16 a day of trumpet and battle cry against the fortified cities and against the corner towers.
17 I will bring distress on the people and they will walk like blind men, because they have sinned against the LORD. Their blood will be poured out like dust and their entrails like filth.
18 Neither their silver nor their gold will be able to save them on the day of the Lord’s wrath. In the fire of his jealousy the whole world will be consumed, for he will make a sudden end of all who live in the earth."
What lies behind us and what lies before us are trivial matters when compared to what lies within us!
Frank Laden, the former coach of Utah Jazz in the seventies, had problems with a basketball player, and so he summoned the talented but troubled man to his
office. Looking the player in the eye, the coach finally asked, "My son, I can’t understand it with you. Is it ignorance of apathy?" What was the
player’s typical unconcern response? The player said, "Coach, I don’t know and I don’t care!" (Sports Illustrated "They said it!" 1990 Oxmoor House 26)
Quote. (John Maxwell)
Do It Anyway!
People are unreasonable, illogical, and self-centered. – Love them anyway!
If you do good, people will accuse you of selfish ulterior motives. – Do good anyway!
If you are successful you will win false friends and true enemies. – Succeed anyway!
The good you do today will be forgotten tomorrow. – Do good anyway!
Honesty and frankness make you vulnerable. – Be honest and frank anyway!
The biggest people with the biggest ideas can be shot down by the smallest people with the smallest minds. – Think big anyway!
People favor underdogs but follow only top dogs. – Fight for an underdog anyway!
What you spend years building may be destroyed overnight, - Build anyway!
People that really need help often attack you if you help them. – Help people anyway!
Give the world the best you’ve got and you’ll get kicked in the teeth. – Give your best anyway!
5. LOSS OF PURPOSE.
A wise man once said, “The grand essentials of happiness are: something to do, something to love, and something to hope for.” Put it another way and you find that the key to happiness in life is to have a clearly defined purpose for living. With that in mind, it is amazing how few people have a clearly defined purpose in life.
- You need a reason to be!
- You had it at one time if you don’t now.