In Matthew 24, Jesus explained that those living in the last days, before He returns for His true and devoted disciples, would witness repeated religious deception, social and political upheavals and natural calamities. “But,” He said, “the end is not yet.” These concerning circumstances would regularly re-cycle, with increased intensity and frequency. Finally, near the end, believers would experience increased religious bigotry, persecution and even martyrdom, causing “the love of many [to] grow cold”(24:12).
The Pew Research Center recently reported some disturbing statistics on the changing religious landscape in America. Among its findings:
- The Christian share of the U.S. population is declining, while the number of U.S. adults who do not identify with any organized religion is growing.
- These changes are taking place across the religious landscape, affecting every region of the country, as well as many demographic groups.
- The drop in Christian affiliation is occurring among Americans of all ages, but it is particularly pronounced among young adults, 18-35.
One commentator, Charley Mefferd, has noted that “these statistics underscore what Judge Robert Bork noted 20 years ago in his landmark book, Slouching Towards Gomorrah: that the foundations of American culture are crumbling and our nation is on a downward moral slide.” Now, two decades later, Mefferd relates that the breakdown of the nuclear family, the push for so-called “homosexual marriage” and a deeper slide into paganism show that America’s “slouching” has become more of a “sprint.”
Needless to say, new generations of Americans desperately need to hear the gospel of Jesus Christ! Pastor Tim Clark, who serves as the senior pastor of The Church on the Way (Van Nuys), shared a very significant sermon recently (United Across Generations, May 17, 2015), which I urge you to listen on the church’s website— http://www.tcotw.org/media.php?pageID=139 . It gives a profound perspective to the challenges of our day and the changes we need to be willing to make, if we are to be effective extenders of the Kingdom of God, even to “…generations yet unborn” (Psalm 78:5-7).
Let’s mutually work to evangelize the lost, by every means and medium possible, while it is day, “for the night is coming, when no one can work” (John 9:4).