With all that's happening along America's Gulf Coast, I wonder if we're looking at this crisis through "spiritual eyes?" Rather than speculate why such devastation was permitted, we should make sure God knows that He has the attention of His church. Pastor and author Henry Blackaby is fond of saying that, whenever adversity strikes, get ready: God's about to move in a powerful way! And you have to know that God would only allow something this catastrophic to take place, if He were planning to move in a fashion bigger than a Category 4 hurricane! Alas, we truly need for Him to move among his people.
For if we are to believe the results of a recent Newsweek/Beliefnet® poll, 68 percent of self-identified evangelical Protestants and 83 percent of non-evangelical Protestants say that yes, according to their own religious beliefs, "a good person" who isn’t of their particular religious faith can "go to heaven or attain salvation!" Nationally, 79% of the 1,000 Americans surveyed said the same thing--and the figure is an astounding 91% among Catholics!
To me, this is a development even more staggering than the impact of Hurricane Katrina, the Asian tsunami, 9/11, and all the world’s disasters combined! Indeed, this is a crisis of belief with implications on the order of billions of souls, worldwide.For if, indeed, nearly 7 of every 10 Christians believes there is more than one way to heaven…then, they have missed the point, at the very least...and at the worst, they offer a worthless testimony to their friends, family, neighbors, acquaintances--and the nations.
"For God so loved the world that He gave His only Son, that whoever believes in Him should not perish, but have everlasting life (John 3:16 NIV)." Sounds pretty inclusive so far, right? But then there's John 3:18--"Whoever believes in Him is not condemned, but whoever does not believe is condemned already, because he has not believed in the name of the only Son of God (NIV)!" You can't have one without the other. It's akin to those who love the message of the first half of John 14:6--"I am the way and the truth and the life"...but don't care to finish the verse..."No one comes to the Father except through me (NIV, emphasis mine)."
Yes, it's time to look about with eyes of faith, because God's about to move; we need for Him to move among us, in a supernatural way. I believe we stand at an important juncture in the history of this nation, and in the story of the Christian faith in America. We're at the brink of spiritual disaster, and--should the Lord allow that to happen--the light is dimmed or flickers out, not just here, but all around the world. Restraint is lifted, and the evil one is enabled to wreak his havoc nearly unchecked. The Christian church is never more than a generation from extinction, as a friend of mine is fond of saying. And I can only mourn for the children of that last Christian generation in America.
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About Mark Daniels
Mark Daniels is a broadcasting veteran of more than 30 years, and currently serves as the Programming and Marketing Manager of WFIL/WNTP in Philadelphia. His daily talk show and On the Mark commentaries have consistently won top honors from the PA Association of Broadcasters, as well as past awards from the Philadelphia Press Association, Excellence in Media, and others. Daniels serves as host of the nationally-syndicated Christian ministry program, The Bible Study Hour with Dr. James Montgomery Boice. He is a church elder and Bible conference president. Mark Daniels can be heard weekdays at 4pm ET on www.wfil.com, and The Mark Daniels Show can be seen weekly on WBPH-TV 60 (WBPH.org).
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