They Live Far, Far Away
We are frequently visited by missionaries who have been on some mission field and are back to report on their work. Recently I have heard more than once in their report of the hunger and response to the Gospel in their respective fields. I look around me here in America, and I don't see that hunger and response without hard work to find an occasional convert; so what's the difference. With much thought and self examination. We in America have watched for about a generation and we have witnessed a decline in the reactions of people who claim to know Jesus.sm
With professional evangelists, evangelical clubs and media oriented christianized broadcasts, our image of Christianity has been heavily influenced by a modern world. We have Christian movie stars, Christian sports heroes and Christian cults. People from just any walk of life can refer to themselves as Christian.
In the 70's I debated a 'minister' on a local tv station in Ansonia, CT. He was pastor of the Metropolitan Church of Hartford, Ct. He was an out of the closet homosexual. Some time near that time I heard on the radio the 'testimony' of a street walker in Louisiana who claimed to be a saved Christian. She felt her ministry was to be a comfort to men on the street. Believe me there are worse stories than that today!!
At any rate, we here in America have been overshadowed by an image of Christianity that cradles sinners who are yet in their sins and have been blinded to accept a wicked world as normal and acceptable. How long has it been since you have witnessed a fellow or female who have been gloriously saved from the pit of hell itself? When did you last see a tear stained altar in your Church where someone just dumped their heavy load of sin? When was the last time you watched as a person walked out of deep darkness into the brilliance of the glorious light of Christ?
Missionaries still witness such scenes today, yes, today. They are flocked by multitudes who are grasping for a New Testament or even a Gospel tract. Revivals are breaking out in the humble, poor villages of third world countries. No! It is not because they are ignorant people! No! It not because they have not been educated. It is because they know their souls are empty. It is because they are helpless without a holy God. It is because they know they are living in Spiritual darkness. They are hungry for truth, because they have not heard it and rejected it!!!
Maybe, we here in America are destined to return to the darkest of time. Maybe God will allow us to sink deeper into despair of the agonies of being without God.
All this could be, if the Lord tarries. But, what if we are living in the last time? Romans 1:18-32 describes the present America and it is pretty obvious that we have been turned over to a reprobate mind. Is it possible, that a country, that once led the world in its Christian influences, could become so decadent that even the lost world would thumb their noses at our hypocrisy? God used Ezekiel to pronounce judgment upon Jerusalem for the self same reason. He told how he had placed Jerusalem in the middle of heathen nations, so she could be a testimony to the glories of God. But, instead she became a blight and a shame to her neighbors. We are a perfect example of what happened to Israel in Deuteronomy. We have waxed fat, we have forgotten the God of our salvation, we have turned our own way.
All this explains why other countries are still responding positively to their need of God while America yawns and makes fun of religion in general.
Until we as Christians stand for truth of scripture. Until people know that salvation is not just a free ticket to Heaven, but is connected to heart repentance. Most Churches preach a good works gospel and never God's warnings against sin & satan. People are never confronted of their shortfall before God.