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Pastor Greg Answers: Is Christianity in Decline?

A New Beginning / Greg Laurie
The Truth Network Radio
May 15, 2021 3:00 am

Pastor Greg Answers: Is Christianity in Decline?

A New Beginning / Greg Laurie

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May 15, 2021 3:00 am

In this brief podcast episode, Pastor Greg Laurie tackles the question of whether Christianity is in decline in our world and talks about the rise of the “nones”—those who don't hold to any faith in particular. He explains how seemingly declining numbers of Christians can actually be a hopeful sign for evangelism, encouraging us to take opportunities to share our own faith. 

We live in a time in which many seem to be falling away from the faith, but as Pastor Greg encourages us, “A true believer will always come back home again.” There's always hope for prodigals and those who have backslidden. 

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Hey everybody, Greg Laurie here. You're listening to the Greg Laurie Podcast and my objective is to deliver, hopefully, compelling practical insights in faith, culture, and current events from a biblical perspective. To find out more about our ministry, just go to our website, harvest.org.

So thanks for joining me for this podcast. Believe, because we believe in absolutes. We believe in the scripture. You know, media could hardly contain its glee at the findings of a survey of what Americans believe. The LA Times trumpeted in a headline, US has become noticeably less Christian. Major study finds.

Did you read that survey? And so it looks like there's less Christians in America today. The article went on to say, for probably the first time in US history, the total number of Christian adults has declined. Is that true? See, things are not always as they appear.

Here's what I think is really happening. I think cultural, Bible-built Christianity is becoming a thing of the past. There was a day when most Americans, say in the 50s or the early 60s, if asked what their faith was, they would say, I'm a Christian. Even if they didn't go to church except for Easter and Christmas, they would say, I'm a Christian. There was a certain quasi-biblical worldview where we understood that a man and a woman married, raising a family was a good thing.

We understood that there was right, there was wrong, that the Ten Commandments were true. But now as we've drifted further away from those things, there's just a lot of people that aren't playing the game anymore. They're no longer saying, I'm a Christian. They're saying, I'm not a Christian.

Or I'm an agnostic. And they've come up with a new designation for this category. They call them the none.

Not N-U-N-S, but N-O-N-E-S. They're nuns. They're just into spirituality. They're not really sure what they believe. So what we have now are people who are being more honest about their lack of faith in God. Listen, that doesn't leave me hopeless. That leaves me hopeful. As my friend Russell Moore said, commenting on this, he says, I just see more people to evangelize now.

I just see greater opportunities. Jesus said in Matthew 24, this gospel will be preached in all the world and then will the end come. So we clearly have our marching orders. But here's the thing. The Bible warns that in the end times, there will be an apostasy.

What is that? That means that people will fall away from the faith. Matthew 24, 12 says, because lawlessness will abound, the love of many will grow cold. 2 Thessalonians 2 says, the day will come, but first there'll be a great rebellion against God. 1 Peter 4 says, the Spirit clearly teaches that in the last time, some will depart from the faith, giving heed to seducing spirits and the doctrines that demons teach.

But here's the deal. I don't think we're so much seeing people who are believers ceasing to be believers. I think these are people who are never believers to begin with, who are just walking away right now. Because here's what I believe. If you're a true believer, you may go astray for a time, but a true believer will always come back home again.

They'll always come back home. Raised in a Southern Baptist church. She went to church on Sunday morning and Sunday night and Wednesday night.

So when she was of age, she couldn't get out of that house fast enough. And ran from her faith pretty much for her entire life. She didn't teach me anything about the Bible. She never took me to church.

She didn't want it to have any influence on me at all. So what happens? Well, I become a Christian.

I'm a preacher. So things weren't working out so well for my mom. But in reality, they were working out very well.

Because thankfully, at the end of her life, only a month before she died, she came back again. That's because a prodigal will always come home. So here's a question to ask yourself. Are you a pig or a prodigal?

Say, what kind of thing is that to say? Well, they're both in the Bible. In Peter, we read about a pig. A pig returning to its slop, or the mire.

And a dog returning to its vomit. See, you can make a pig a pet. Pigs make good pets, I'm told. And so you can take your pig out. You can get him a little outfit. I had a friend once, he had a pig as a pet.

And I'm not making this up. They would take it to the beach. He says, but the problem is, they get really sunburned.

So I said, what are you doing? He says, we put lotion on it. Who would want that job? Time to put the sunscreen on the pig again. I'd be like, give me that spray stuff, I'm not touching it. But the reason a pig will go back to the mire is because that's the way they cool themselves off, you see. So it's the nature of a pig. And a dog will return to its own vomit.

This is one of the reasons I know the Bible is true. Not because it predicts a future, but also because I've seen dogs eat their own barf. Haven't you? Does the dog's mind? Does he think, I'd really like a hot meal right now. And he eats it?

He's happy. Then he'll go wash it down with toilet water. And then someone says, oh, dogs have very clean mouths. Okay, you let them lick you then in the face, I don't want it.

I see people kissing the dog. They don't return to their own vomit. I'm always putting cats down, but they're always choking on fur balls, that's their issue. But why does a dog return to its own vomit? Why does a pig return to the mire?

Because that's their nature. A pig is a pig. Just like a horse is a horse. Of course, of course.

If you don't know what that meant, that means you're too young. Because that was an old TV show called Mr. Red that had a talking horse. And all the time he would say, oh Wilbur.

Right? You know, a true Christian by where they end up. And a true believer will always come back. I wonder if there's not some people here right now listening to me that have been going astray and it isn't time for you to come back home again. And recommit your life to the Lord.

Or for some others that have never committed their life to Jesus Christ. Alright, I'm gonna lead you in a prayer and I want you to pray this prayer. Out loud, after me, right where you stand. Again, as I pray, pray this out loud after me.

Okay? Wherever you are. As I pray, pray this out loud now. Pray this.

A moment forward. As your disciple. As your servant. As your friend. Thank you for loving me. And calling me. And accepting me. In Jesus' name I pray. Amen. And by the way, if you want to find out how to come into a personal relationship with God, go to KnowGod.org. That's K-N-O-W-G-O-D dot org.
Whisper: medium.en / 2023-11-18 14:00:39 / 2023-11-18 14:03:46 / 3

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