Summary: Ten things that will be of encouragement as we enter into 2001.
THE 10 MOST ENCOURAGING THINGS
I SEE IN 2001
1. SINCE 1996, BIBLE READING AMONG ADULTS HAS RISEN FROM 34% TO OVER 40% (BARNA RESEARCH).
2. AMONG CHURCH WORKERS, 9 OUT OF 10 PRIZE FAITH AS THEIR CHIEF LIFE’S GOAL (BARNA RESEARCH).
3. VOTERS TURN OUT MORE AMONG BORN-AGAIN CHRISTIANS THAN FROM NON-BELIEVERS (BARNA RESEARCH).
4. THERE IS A PRAYER MOVEMENT IN THE WORLD AMONG CHRISTIANS, AND IT’S MOST ACTIVE AMONG CHARISMATICS / PENTECOSTALS.
5. IN THE PAST TEN YEARS, THE NUMBER OF ROMAN CATHOLIC ADULTS WHO BELIEVE IN SALVATION BY GRACE ALONE--APART FROM WORKS--HAS RISEN FROM 16% TO 24%.
6. THERE ARE OVER 8,000 MEGA CHURCHES IN THE U.S. WHILE 32 YEARS AGO, (1968) THERE WERE LESS THAN 100 CHURCHES THAT AVERAGED OVER 1,000 IN ATTENDANCE.
7. REVIVAL IS BREAKING OUT IN COUNTRIES AROUND THE WORLD--ARGENTINA, AFRICAN TRIBES, KOREA, SOME CENTRAL AMERICAN COUNTRIES, ETC. I DO NOT SEE ANY EVIDENCE OF REVIVAL IN AMERICA.
8. WHEN UN-CHURCHED AND NON-CHRISTIANS ARE SURVEYED, OVER HALF ADMIT THEY ARE SEEKING MEANING AND PURPOSE IN LIFE. THIS COULD BE THE BASIS OF A NATIONAL REVIVAL, BUT REVIVAL ALWAYS BEGINS IN THE CHURCH.
9. EVIDENCES OF THE SOVEREIGN HAND OF GOD: GIVING US A CONSERVATIVE PRESIDENT-ELECT WHO WILL STAND FOR THE LIFE OF THE UNBORN, THE TRADITIONAL FAMILY, A STRONG NATIONAL DEFENSE, AND FRIENDSHIP OF THE NATION OF ISRAEL. (THESE FOUR POINTS WERE THE FOUR PLANKS IN THE PLATFORM OF MORAL MAJORITY). EVEN THOUGH MANY TRIED TO BROADEN THE PLATFORM AND ADD OTHER AGENDA ITEMS, I KEPT MORAL MAJORITY FOCUSED, SO IT COULD BE EFFECTIVE).
10. GOD SPARED AMERICA FROM THE THREATS WE FEARED OF THE Y2K POTENTIAL DISASTER.
10 THINGS THAT DISCOURAGE ME
1. BORN-AGAIN ADULTS ARE JUST AS LIKELY TO EXPERIENCE DIVORCE AS NON-BORN- AGAIN AMERICAN ADULTS (27% BORN AGAIN, 24% NON-BORN AGAIN).
2. THE GROWING ACCEPTANCE OF HOMOSEXUALITY AS AN ALTERNATE LIFE STYLE AMONG THE YOUNG.
3. THE DESIRE TO HAVE A CLOSE PERSONAL RELATIONSHIP WITH GOD RANKS 6TH AMONG 21 LIFE GOALS FOR ALL AMERICANS, ACCORDING TO BARNA RESEARCH; “LIVING A COMFORTABLE, MEANINGFUL LIFE STYLE” RANKED FIRST.
4. A GROWING NUMBER OF LAY LEADERS IN THE CHURCH WHICH HOLDS A RANGE OF UNBIBLICAL VIEWS, SUCH AS THE NON-EXISTENCE OF SATAN, THE NON-REALITY OF THE RESURRECTION, AND BELIEF THAT JESUS SINNED.
5. A GROWING NUMBER OF CHRISTIANS WHICH ALLOWS FOR ALTERNATE WAYS OF SALVATION APART FROM JESUS CHRIST ALONE.
6. BORN-AGAIN PEOPLE SPEND SEVEN TIMES AS MUCH ON ENTERTAINMENT AS THEY DO ON CHURCH GIVING.
7. THE GROWING NUMBER OF EVANGELICAL CHURCHES (NOT SBC CHURCHES) THAT ARE ALLOWING WOMEN TO ASSUME THE OFFICE OF PASTOR IN LOCAL CHURCHES. I’M NOT ANTI-WOMEN, I JUST WANT TO BE TRUE TO THE BIBLE. I HAVE ALWAYS KNOWN WHAT GEORGE BARNA HAS DISCOVERED, THAT THE MAJORITY OF AMERICAN CHURCH WORK IS DONE BY WOMEN. LET ME GIVE YOU A RULE I’VE READ IN DR. TOWNS’ WRITINGS:
WHERE WOULD THE CHURCH BE,
IF WOMEN HAD NOT DONE
WHAT WOMEN HAVE DONE?
WHERE COULD THE CHURCH BE,
IF MEN WOULD NOW DO
WHAT MEN SHOULD HAVE ALWAYS DONE?
8. ONLY 44% OF BORN-AGAIN ADULTS AND 90% OF BORN-AGAIN TEENAGERS SAY THEY BELIEVE IN ABSOLUTE MORAL TRUTH (BARNA RESEARCH).
9. ONLY 8% OF CHRISTIAN ADULTS TITHE TO THE CHURCH AND 16% GIVE NOTHING IN A GIVEN YEAR.
10. FEWER THAN ONE-THIRD OF ALL TEENAGERS ARE LIKELY TO ATTEND CHURCH ONCE THEY LIVE INDEPENDENT OF THEIR PARENTS.
If you have never really accepted Jesus as your personal Savior, would you do it right now? Do not delay or put it off. If you would like to receive Christ by faith, pray this simple prayer in your heart:
I acknowledge that I am a sinner. I believe Jesus died for my sins on the cross, and rose again the third day. I repent of my sins. By faith I receive the Lord Jesus as my Savior. You promised to save me, and I believe You, because You are God and cannot lie. I believe right now that the Lord Jesus is my personal Savior, and that all my sins are forgiven through His precious blood. I thank You, dear Lord, for saving me. In Jesus’ name, Amen.
If you prayed that prayer, God heard you and saved you. I personally want to welcome you to the family of God and rejoice with you.
For more information on the TRBC Pastor’s Bible Class, log on to the Internet for TRBC Home page at www.trbc.org/pbc.