By Jim Josephsen
Mainstream Christians fit perfectly the Biblical portrayal of individuals living in the end time; having a form of godliness but denying the power thereof. The New Living Translation renders this statement by the Apostle Paul as follows: “They will act as if they are religious but will reject the power that could make them godly.”
It is obvious Christians at large, embody this prophetic description; but none greater than American Christians.
A recent survey conducted by the Pew Forum on Religion & Public Life produced a most distressing finding. Seventy percent of Americans with a religious affiliation (the majority labeling themselves Christian) don’t feel their religion is the only way to eternal life. Although it is thought this finding promotes a positive view of an ever increasing “religious tolerance” within America (you know, increased political correctness), the sad reality is the Christian faith is becoming ever more transient, blending in practice, diminished in power, empty and vain.
The survey also noted, within mainline Protestantism, 83 percent believe more than one religion can provide the way to eternal life; of the members of Black Protestant churches 59 percent agree. Additionally, 79 percent of Catholics accept this concept. Interestingly, of those of the Jewish faith, 82 percent think theirs is not the only way to eternal life.
American Christianity needs to examine itself, to take a good hard look at its beliefs and its commitment to its faith, doctrines and tenets. The Pew Forum study is a wake up call, a necessary concern to anyone who puts his or her trust in Jesus Christ, who calls him or herself a Christian, especially if one lives in the United States.
The concern is not with Islam or Buddhism or with those of the Hindu persuasion. The concern is not with Taoism, Shintoism, Jainism or Sikhism. The concern is with none of the hundreds of other pagan, polytheistic, nature and humanistic-focused, cult and occult, vain religions across this world; many of which are openly allowed within the United States. The concern is with none who worship the created and reject the Creator. The concern is with none of these heathen practices.
The concern is with the Christian professing peoples and in particular, Christian professing people within the United States. The concern is with those who claim Jesus Christ as the only way to salvation; for the absolute truth is Jesus Christ IS the only way to salvation and Eternal Life – that is eternal life which comes after the grave by way of the resurrection. The gift of God is eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord. And there is no other way.
If your religion, your faith, does not humble itself before the feet of Jesus Christ and does not promote what the Apostle Peter taught, Repent and be converted – be baptized in the name of Jesus Christ for the remission of sins, then your religion is vain, empty and temporal and is destined to fail; it doesn’t have the promise of and cannot offer eternal life.
Belief in Jesus Christ is only the beginning for any one who seeks eternal life. But in addition to belief is the practice of faithful living, of righteous works, of obedience to God and to the Laws of God and a fearful respect of the following: Whosoever therefore shall be ashamed of me, said Jesus Christ, and of my words in this adulterous and sinful generation; of him also shall the son of man be ashamed, when he comes in the glory of his Father with his holy angels. There is no horseplay or compromising with Jesus Christ and His religion.
American Christians are growing increasingly confused and becoming increasingly skeptical of their own faith. Americans are becoming increasingly lazy when it comes to their own beliefs. A sort of Christian paralysis, a Christian complacency is emerging. The proverbial cliché – can’t we all get along – comes to mind. If we are all “one big happy family,” then perhaps we can live in peace and this country will find its way back to prosperity, unity, purpose and worth. And no wonder! American Christians have itching ears, stimulated by the desire to learn the ways of the other gods.
Christian pacifism is becoming more omnipresent in America, as an emerging national psyche encourages a requisite kindness and tolerance for all other religions. In the past, a sort of Christian patriotism was dominant. Bumper stickers with the words, God Bless America, were proudly displayed. Now the newcomer among bumper stickers is one which is worded, God Bless All Nations. Interestingly, on this sticker is a display of some twenty or so of the major world religious symbols. Let’s be nice to all these religions, seems the prevailing mantra in America.
Now it goes without saying, America is a Christian (Protestant) nation, although the percentages of other religions are progressively on the rise. And why not, with the influx of immigrants from the south, east and west, other religious practices are becoming more noticeable, more tolerated.
Within the Christian faith, it has been noted that 57 percent of evangelical church adherents also believe many religions can lead to eternal life. This group of believers you would think would be most adamant in their protection of the “faith once delivered.” But evangelicals are still Protestants.
Where is all this pluralism, this tolerance and acceptance of others’ faiths, this political nicety taking this country? Can any good come out of it?
Would Jesus Christ accept this nation’s attitudes and beliefs? After all, it is His religion (His way of life), His teachings, His doctrines, His Words which are actually being called into question. The irony is, American Christians are leading the charge with their double-mindedness, their uncertainty.
The absolute truth, which should be bedrock, without doubt, in the minds of Christians is that Jesus Christ is the only way to Eternal Life. When the Apostle John recorded the words which Christ spoke, I am the way, the truth and the life: no man comes to the Father except by me, John was preserving absolute truth. John also witnessed that he that believes on the Son has everlasting life and he that believes not the Son shall not see life but the wrath of God abides on him (or her).
Jesus Christ, called the Messiah, the very Son of God, the one who is the God of the Old Testament, the God of Judah and Israel, who came in the flesh to redeem His creation, taught a faith, a religion (actually a way of life), introducing the New covenant, and did so requiring no compromise, no deviation. This is a reality that American Christians have to accept and practice or their doom is sure.
When the Apostles went about preaching the Truth of God and the Gospel of the Kingdom, these teachings were specific and matter of fact. There is one body (referring to the Body of Christ which is the Church), one spirit, one calling one Lord, one faith, one God the Father of all. Many church leaders throughout America have perverted this plain truth.
The shame and mockery of American Christianity today is manifest in the feeble doctrines fashioned by both men and women who have contrived teachings that are in direct opposition to the doctrines Jesus Christ taught, the faith once delivered to the elect.
Certainly the shame set across America is found in the multiple religions, including the hundreds of Christian denominations dotting our cities and confusing our populace. A house divided shall not stand. And America’s religious house is crumbling. Not so surprisingly, just like America’s housing and financial institutions because all are built on sand, mud and mire.
With over two decades now of required diversity training, with the steady repetitious drone of higher education and liberal Christianity showcasing rejection and contempt for the Judeo-Christian God while promoting humanism, pluralism, inclusivism and secularism, it is little wonder why our country has lost its knowledge of the true God.
God has a controversy with the inhabitants of this land. There is no knowledge of God and this nation will be destroyed for lack of knowledge of God and his laws.
How true is the prophetic injunction, forasmuch as this people draw near with their mouths and with their lips do they honor me but have removed their heart far from me and their fear toward me is taught by the precepts of men.
The Pew Forum reported the facts as they are. There is no getting around the reality that American Christians are ambivalent toward their faith and disassociated from the teachings of their namesake, Jesus Christ.
The years of constantly promoting a Jesus who is all love and nothing but; of Jesus psycho-Babel, of what He can do for you psychologically; of preaching smooth things, things the people want to hear to satisfy their personal immorality; of God’s tender mercies and nothing but; of can’t we all get along, after all Jesus loves the little children mindset, has taken the power out of American Christianity.
The same Jesus Christ who taught mercy, love and forgiveness also taught, if you will enter into life (eternal life), keep the commandments. That same Jesus, the real Jesus, was emphatic when he said “think not that I am come to destroy the law and the prophets; I came not to destroy but to fulfill.”
Protestant Christianity in America has run amuck clearly because Protestant Christianity has incorporated into its manufactured worship of Jesus many pagan beliefs and rituals (which it continued to perform after protesting from its Mother Catholic Church). Christmas, Easter, Sunday-worship, the immortal soul, the trinity, are doctrines that quickly come to mind.
The same Jesus Christ who taught mercy, love and forgiveness is also warning an ambivalent America, “I know thy works that you are neither cold nor hot: I would you were either cold or hot, so then because you are lukewarm and neither cold nor hot, I will spue you out of my mouth”. Jesus Christ will not tolerate being second to anything. He will not tolerate your uncertainty. He alone is to be worshipped and through Him alone is salvation.
American Christians had better wake up. You had better wake up. American Christians have a form of godliness but deny the words, the teachings and commands of Jesus Christ. There is only one faith and one Savior. In Jesus Christ only is the way of salvation and eternal life. There is no compromise. No other religion or religion’s gods will save you.