New Year’s Message for 2007
Church attendance has been steady for 60 years:
Evangelicals have increased:
American church membership has risen from 17% at the Revolution to 34% in mid-1800’s to +60% today
For 150 years there have been employed clergy at a rate of 1.2 for every 1000 people
For decades 95% of Americans have professed a belief the existence of God or a universal spirit and a large
percentage belief in heaven, hell and an after life
Total church contributions since 1955 has been 1% of the GNP
Religious belief and religious activity tend not to decline with income and in most cases increases with education.
We are in the early years of the fourth generation.
These are some of the signs we are in the midst of a revival
1) Importance of discussion and application of Values in:
producing more movies with a Christian theme and with family values. Why? Because people are willing to spend their money on them.
3) Absolutes and discussion of God are returning to public debate and to schools. Why? Because people believe things are becoming morally worse. In 2002 67% of the people believed morals where getting worse. In 2006 that number has grown to 81%. In four years 14% more people believe things are getting worse in the area of morals. This indicates that 81% of the people recognize a problem.
4) Intelligent Design is rocking the scientific world. Science is demanding that we recognize a creator.
a. After years of public education teaching evolution 64% of the people still believe God created them.
b. Only 2 out of every 10 people believe they evolved.
c. Why is this happening? Why has evolution failed to capture people’s hearts? Because of Romans 1 – God has made it clear in creation that he exists and that he is the creator. 45 minutes in a class room can not alter the truth that students see everywhere they look. There is a God.
d. In 1995 44% of the people believed that evolution was had totally been proven true. Ten years later in 2005 that number had dropped to 38%.
e. This is what people today believe about where they came from:
i. 12% believe they evolved with no God
ii. 31% believe they evolved with God helping
iii. 53% believe creation happen just like the Bible says
5) Atheism is losing any ground it gained in the 1900’s
a. Anthony Flew the famous spokesman for atheism through out the 1900’s is now in his 80’s. About 2 years ago he rejected atheism and became a deist (believes in a God who created and started the world but is not daily involved in running the universe.)
b. Anthony Flew debated CS Lewis in the famous 1948 debates.
c. Flew became a deist because of Science and DNA research. He believes the evidence demands that there is a creator
6) Sociological Studies are showing traditional beliefs about men and woman and about children are correct.
7) Secular Humanism is unraveling because it is based on a self-defeating philosophy.
a. They teach that everything came out of chaos by chance. There was no reason, no logic and no order.
b. But they believe they figured this out by using reason, logic and order.
c. The problem is that the very fact that they have reason, logic and order means that chaos and chance can not produce their world or themselves
We are living in times that have seen or are seeing these things occur:
1. It is said that a new mega-church (more than 2,000 people
in worship) is formed in the
2. Rick Warren's, The Purpose Driven Life, has sold more than twenty-five million copies.
4. "The Passion of the Christ" produced $370 million in domestic sales.
5. Tim LaHaye’s book series "Left Behind" has sold over 65 million copies.
6. The media and political parties recognized the influence of the evangelical vote in the 2004 presidential election and the 2006 election.
7. Willow Creek (20,000 weekly attendance), and Harvest
Bible Chapel (8,000 weekly attendance) are having a large impact on the
Ephesians 4 “to prepare God’s people for works of service”
1 Peter 2:9 “We are a royal priesthood.”
1 Timothy 2:5 – there is one mediator or priest between God and man, Jesus Christ
John 4 – Samaritan woman at the well
Revelation 2:6 – Nicolatians in
Revelation 2:15 – Nicolatians in
Acts 20:26 – the clergy are fierce wolves
The greatest opportunities of the entire church age have been laid at the door of the Laodicean church and Jesus is knocking.