2019 will bring powerful and unique challenges and opportunities for the Christian Church in America. Satan’s battle against the Church will intensify as he acquires more and more allies to join him in his plan to neutralize the Church by making it look more like the secular culture it is supposed to resist and oppose.
We start this new year by looking at the prophetic signs of 2018 that might be pointing to the return of the Lord, along with the increased persecution of true believers around the world. Is this persecution a preview of the life coming for true believers in America?
Mike’s Opening Thoughts Transcript: Stand Up For the Truth 2019
As we start a new year, our ninth year broadcasting Stand Up For the Truth, I want to give you an idea on an area we will be focusing on heavily in 2019.
We will continue to look at national and world news that affects Christians, but it is clear what is happening in the world. The hatred of Jesus and His Word is increasing dramatically and Paul’s warnings in Romans 1 of God turning people over to a reprobate mind because they rejected His truth seems to be happening with greater frequency.
The persecution of Jesus’ true church is accelerating around the world. China, India, Iran and Russia are sending clear warnings to Christians that their allegiance better be to government and not God. In India, dominated by the Hindu religion which has always been seen and promoted as a non-violent religion, radical Hindus have went on a killing spree bent on destroying Christian churches in India.
Politically the intense battle between Globalists bent on world government, and Nationalists who believe individual nations should be able to enforce their own borders and laws, is raging throughout Europe and America. And make no mistake Globalism is the vehicle through which a one-world government will one day be ushered in, just as the Bible warns.
We will continue to report and bring perspective on these and other issues, pointing us to the Bible to determine truth and understand the spiritual ramifications of what is going on.
But we are also going to take a more in-depth look at what is happening to Christianity here in America within our own churches. I am convinced there is a great schism going on in virtually every Christian denomination; a schism we haven’t seen the likes of since Luther’s Protestant Reformation. Once you get beyond the denominational quirks and peculiarities, we see something much more important happening: there is a spiritual war going on for the very soul of Christianity in America.
When we look at the condition of Christian Churches in Communist China, I believe we see the future model of churches here in America. The day is coming when the Supreme Court will uphold a government request to bring churches and Christian organizations more under government control. When this happens, everything will change for Christian Churches in America and I believe we will see the “China Model” come to fruition in America where there will be state-endorsed Christian Churches that surrender to Caesar instead of submitting to God, effectively rendering them useless in proclaiming the gospel and truth of God’s Word. Some churches who choose to remain faithful to God’s Word will slowly be driven underground.
I believe professing Christian Churches in America can be roughly divided into three camps presently:
- 20% or so remain solidly grounded in God’s Word and teach the full council of it. They are dedicated to equipping believers and developing committed disciples of Jesus Christ.
- 20% or so have already probably gone off the deep end spiritually…they have caved to secular society and have sold out to political correctness so as to be more “seeker friendly”.
- The remaining 60% or so are standing on a spiritual fence, and they will either decide to return to being strong, biblical churches or cave in to pressure and secular thought and slide into eventual apostasy.
We are seeing an increasing number of churches compromising with secular culture. The Church Growth movement ushered in by Peter Drucker via Bill Hybels and Rick Warren seems to have become the gold standard by which many churches gauge success these days. Rather than opposing secular culture and its growing sinfulness many churches who buy into the Church Growth movement seem to be embracing secular culture in their methods and teaching.
Americans who want more and more things of this world are finding an ally in the Prosperity Preaching movement, where we are told we can have all the things of this world as long as we have just enough Jesus to be saved.
A strange blend of Christian teachings and New Age philosophy is infiltrating an increasing number of churches. Yoga and Transcendental Meditation, hallmarks of Buddhist and Hindu teachings, have established a foothold in a growing number of churches, creating spiritual confusion.
Recent studies over the past year that we will cover in the coming weeks show an alarming rate of ignorance about God and the Bible within professing Christian circles. Only one in three people who call themselves “born-again believers” now think the Word of God is absolute truth, and experts predict that only 4% of our youth will ever become truly born-again believers. So the future leadership of our church and nation are in peril.
We have seen increased pressure from government, education and media to dismantle Christianity in America. To date, these efforts have often been more subtle, but they will intensify in the coming few years and the pressure on Christian churches will become increasingly intense. What we faced here in DePere, Wisconsin, is but the first shot over the bow aimed at silencing biblical Christian Churches, and Satan has only begun his efforts. He has government, media, education and public opinion on his side as true biblical Churches face increasing pressure to cave in or be marginalized.
Church leaders will be forced to make a decision that will have eternal spiritual consequences for their members: Will they remain faithful to God and His Word or cave in to pressure for growth and acceptance, surrendering to secular culture?
Now we request you, brethren, with regard to the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ and our gathering together to Him, 2 that you not be quickly shaken from your composure or be disturbed either by a spirit or a message or a letter as if from us, to the effect that the day of the Lord has come. 3 Let no one in any way deceive you, for it will not come unless the apostasy comes first, and the man of lawlessness is revealed, the son of destruction, 4 who opposes and exalts himself above every so-called god or object of worship, so that he takes his seat in the temple of God, displaying himself as being God. 2 Thessalonians 2:1-4
Almost one-third of the Bible relates to eschatology or Bible prophecy. I think we can conclude that a lot of what is happening today foreshadows “things to come.”