Living in a Post-Christian Culture

Who Is God in Your Life?

Ask most people if they believe in God... and they'll tell you "yes". Of course, they will qualify their answer with something like, "I believe in something... I don't know what it is but I believe there is a power greater than myself," sometimes referring to a "higher power." Others may not refer to Him as "God," rather instead Allah, Buddha, or Brahman. Still others see god and the Universe to be the same and find their god in trees, water, rocks, or whatever. Still yet others who consider themselves progressives in our society have elevated humanistic man as their god.

There seems to be no consensus about who or what God is. Throughout the ages, people have developed many perspectives of who God is and conduct their lives accordingly through that lens, or world view. Many today hold to a politically correct relativistic conception of God where everybody is seen as equally right, thus allowing God to be whatever you want it to be.

As of 2000, approximately 53% of the world's population identifies with one of the three Abrahamic religions (33% Christian, 20% Islam, <1% Judaism), 6% with Buddhism, 13% with Hinduism, 6% with traditional Chinese religion, 7% with various other religions, and less than 15% as non-religious. Most of these religious beliefs involve a god or gods. [National Geographic Family Reference Atlas of the World p. 49]

I'm not quite sure how to wrap my arms around the idea that God is whatever you want it to be on the one hand and, on the other everybody is right. Seems like nonsense to me. Either God is the eternal being who created the universe and all there is... the whole man, the whole universe, and all of reality and existence, or he is the Creator of none of it. You simply can't have it both ways.

This is what the LORD says— your Redeemer, who formed you in the womb: I am the LORD, who has made all things, who alone stretched out the heavens, who spread out the earth by myself, [Isaiah 44:24]

If God is only the Creator of some divided platonic existence which leads to a tension between the body and the soul, the real world and the spiritual world, if God is only the Creator of some spiritual little experiential "praise the Lord" reality, then he is not much of a God. Indeed, he is not I AM at all.

Is there One True God or are there many gods?
It's pretty obvious to me there are many gods. They are not all "creator God" nor are they all equal. The first commandment stipulates “Thou shalt have no other gods before me” (Ex. 20:3). That commandment assumes that other gods do exist, and even though the other gods exist, the people who follow the Mosaic Commandments shall not embrace any of those other gods as gods who compete for the loyalty of the people.

So, perhaps instead of asking as I did earlier, "Who is God in your life?", a more appropriate question would be "Which god are you following?"

It's pretty clear most people believe there is a god, and are following some god. However, it's NOT the same God they are all following. Even among the montheistic religions that say there is but ONE god, there still seems to be different gods at the center of their worship. I suppose you only have to look at how they live their lives to help identify the god they follow.

Even among self-proclaimed Christians, they may claim to believe in a common God, but they don't follow the same God. As the progressive humanist philosophies have invaded the Chruch, the relativism within the Church has become as pervasive as it is outside the Church. Following God's commandments and following Jesus means many different things to different people. It seems as if what people are wanting to do is to paint God, Jesus, and the Scripture into their own self-defined box - or to mold God into their image rather than allowing God to mold them into His image. They worship the created rather than the creator. Is it any surprise there is so much disunity in the Church and so much confusion in the world?

If our Christian lives are allowed to become something spiritual and religious as opposed to something real, daily applicable, understandable, beautiful, verifiable, balanced, sensible, and above all united, whole, if indeed our Christianity is allowed to become this waffling spiritual goo that nineteenth-century platonic Christianity became, then Christianity as truth disappears and instead we only have a system of vague experiential religious platitudes in its place.
(Franky Schaeffer V, Addicted to Mediocrity (Westchester, IL: Crossway Books, 1981), pp. 27-28.)

A Lesson From Jeremiah's Generation
Christians around the world and particularly in America should learn the lesson of Jeremiah 18. The Israelites had forsaken their trust in one true God and were following other gods. God spoke to Jeremiah and showed him through the damaged vessel of the potter that He would start over with the Israelites after sending them into exile as punishment for their idolatry. America stands at that same place of judgment today, to pluck up, and to pull down, and to destroy it; <v.9> unless she turn away from her idolatries and turn from their evil.

We need to be alert to the possibility of the consummation of events at any time. That means we are aware of the events unfolding in the world that shape our destiny.

Implied in our alertness, is also readiness. We need to be preparing ourselves for Christ's return which could happen at any moment. As we see the time of His return edging closer, we should intensify our efforts of fulfilling our calling of preaching the gospel so that others might too be saved.

Do not be deceived: God cannot be mocked.
A man reaps what he sows. [Galatians 6:7]

Enemies of Revival
Apathy, complacency, ignorance, fear, compromise, carnality, and spiritual self-satisfaction are the main enemies of revival. Many churches seem to want the congregation to leave God at church while they live the remaining six days of the week in a hypocritical spiritual vacuum just like every one of their heathen hell-bound neighbors.

To the angel of the church in Laodicea write: These are the words of the Amen, the faithful and true witness, the ruler of God’s creation. I know your deeds, that you are neither cold nor hot. I wish you were either one or the other! So, because you are lukewarm—neither hot nor cold—I am about to spit you out of my mouth. [Revelation 3:14-16]

You say, ‘I am rich; I have acquired wealth and do not need a thing.’ But you do not realize that you are wretched, pitiful, poor, blind and naked. I counsel you to buy from me gold refined in the fire, so you can become rich; and white clothes to wear, so you can cover your shameful nakedness; and salve to put on your eyes, so you can see. [Revelation 3:17-18]

Overcoming Life's Obstacles
The Apostle, Paul, identified for us where the battleground takes place. It takes place in our thought process. And, it is that thought process which the devil uses to fill our minds with false ideas and visions of defeat. Paul says to think on the more positive things:

"Finally, brothers, whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable - if anything is excellent or praiseworthy - think about such things. Whatever you have learned or received or heard from me, or seen in me - put it into practice. And the God of peace will be with you." [Phil. 4:8-9]

These are the things we need to focus our minds on.

We need both a dynamic concept of mission and also a dynamic concept of life in the power of the Holy Spirit in order to move effectively in God's will. More and more power is ours as we seek Him at greater and greater depths, increasingly submitting to His promptings, and courageously launching out in obedience to His commands. Our resolution should be (in Hudson Taylor's words) to "Expect great things from God and attempt great things for God."

The Message
SharingThe message that is needed is one of conviction of sin and the fear of God. Until men and women realize that they have violated God's laws and that this world is ripening to reap His wrath, they will not see their need for the forgiveness which Christ bought with His blood. That message will be increasingly difficult to deliver in the days ahead, but it is the only one that will prevent "converts" from coming to Christ for the wrong reasons and thereby being set up to follow the Antichrist when he appears.

When all is said and done, and your life has come to a close, where will you spend the rest of your eternity?

We need to be aware of what's happening!
Throughout church history, there have been those who have (to use Dwight L. Moody's words) become "so heavenly minded that they were no earthly good." They quit their jobs, sold their property, and sat and waited for Jesus to return. All of them have been embarrassed, of course, because it is unbiblical to set dates for His coming. It is also unbiblical to become careless and lazy just because we believe Jesus is coming soon.

Just as tragic are those self-proclaimed Christians who sit passively on the sidelines as Satan spreads his evil throughout society. They believe there is nothing they can do and instead are satisfied to wait on the Lord to judge the evil. However, the day will come they too will be judged guilty of the crimes they allowed to flourish (See Psalm 50:18).

When you saw a thief, then you consented with him, and have been partaker with adulterers. [Ps. 50:18 AKJV]

"When thou sawest a thief, instead of reproving him and witnessing against him, as those should do that declare God's statutes, thou consentedst with him, didst approve of his practices, and desire to be a partner with him and to share in the profits of his cursed trade; and thou hast been partaker with adulterers, hast done as they did, and encouraged them to go on in their wicked courses, hast done these things and hast had pleasure in those that do them." [Matthew Henry's Whole Bible Commentary]

Although they know God’s righteous decree that those who do such things deserve death, they not only continue to do these very things but also approve of those who practice them. [Romans 1:32]

Wake Up!
We need to continually grow in our faith! We need to spend more time in the Word, in prayer, and focusing on Christ. Many of the signs around us are designed to wake us from our slumber. God does not pour out His wrath without first warning us.

The Lord is not slow in keeping his promise, as some understand slowness. He is patient with you, not wanting anyone to perish, but everyone to come to repentance. [2Peter 3:9]

God wants us to know He will return. God's seeming delay in bringing about the consummation of all things is a result not of indifference but of patience in waiting for all who will come to repentance. God is giving us every chance to repent of our sin and return to Him. He is being patient with us because He wants everyone to come to repentance. Either we turn back to God or we will suffer His just punishment.

The delay of Christ's return is related to the preaching of the gospel of the kingdom to the whole world. God wants everyone to hear the gospel and does not desire anyone to perish eternally (1Tim. 2:4). This does not mean that all will be saved, for if a person rejects God's grace and salvation, then he or she remains lost.

This Jeremiah Project web site is my response to the situation in America today, a "famine in our land of hearing the words of the Lord" - Amos 8:11

In these pages we will look at the world today from a distinctively Christian worldview. I won't "tickle your ears" but rather proclaim the sometimes hard truth that America so desperately needs to hear.

Vic Bilson
Jeremiah Project

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The Compromised Church
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Reader comments...
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