Rod McNair | Page 2 | Tomorrow's World

Rod McNair

Are Churches Dying?

Is Christianity dead? In this video, learn the Bible’s answers about two end-time groups—a false church and a true church—and the meaning of “I will build My church, and the gates of Hades shall not prevail against it.”

[The text below represents an edited transcript of this Tomorrow’s World program.]

Why the Decline in Church Attendance?

In 1882, philosopher Friedrich Nietzsche famously declared “God is dead.” Today, more than 140 years later, some might argue “THE CHURCH IS DEAD.” Or… at LEAST churches are DYING. And who could blame them for thinking that? Look around. In the Western world, church attendance is plummeting. Society is changing. Biblical morality is being ridiculed. And a sense of shared values seems to be evaporating before our very eyes.

The news feeds reflect this trend—and NOT just in America. Here are some recent headlines:

  • “Losing My Religion: How the UK is leaving the Church and gaining conspiracy theories”
  • “How Canada’s religious makeup has shifted over the past 20 years”
  • “Is Christianity dying in Australia? Here’s how to redeem it from the bottom up”

For many of us, these headlines might resonate. In cities and towns all over the Western world, church attendance is down. More churches are closing each year in the United States than are opening—in some years by a margin of almost 1,500 (“Study: More churches closing than opening,” ReligionNews.com, May 26, 2021).

And some predict that 1/3 of Canada’s churches may close in the coming years. (“Secularization: A Third of Canada’s Churches Will Close,” WorldReligionNews.com, March 17, 2019).

So, what does the future hold for the modern Christianity of our Western nations? Will it die out altogether?

There are answers. All we have to do is open our Bible to find them. And along the way, we might even uncover some surprising things about this topic you’ve not heard before.

So, let’s dive right in and find the answers to this question: “Are Churches Dying?”

I’ll be right back.

A Social Drift Away from Religious Involvement

Welcome to Tomorrow’s World, where we help you make sense of your world through the pages of the Bible.

Look at traditional American churches today. As secularism makes massive inroads, it’s clear churches are in decline. In October of 2019, The Pew Research Center ran an article entitled, “In [the] U.S., Decline of Christianity Continues at Rapid Pace.” Here’s what the article noted:

“In 2018 and 2019, 65% of American adults describe themselves as Christians when asked about their religion, down 12 percentage points over the past decade. Meanwhile, the religiously unaffiliated share of the population, consisting of people who describe their religious identity as atheist, agnostic or ‘nothing in particular,’ now stands at 26% up from 17% in 2009” (“In U.S., Decline of Christianity Continues at Rapid Pace,” PewResearch.org/religion, October 17, 2019).

In real numbers that shift represents tens of MILLIONS of people. That’s a huge change in the American religious landscape, in just ten years.

What will the nation look like after a few more decades? Here’s one estimate, again by the Pew Research Center:

“The Center estimates that in 2020, about 64% of Americans, including children, were Christian. People who are religiously unaffiliated, sometimes called religious “nones,” accounted for 30%…. [T]he projections show Christians of all ages shrinking from 64% to between a little more than half (54%) and just above one-third (35%) of all Americans by 2070” (“Modeling the future of religion in America,” Pew Research Center, September 13, 2022).

Churches in America are on a downward trend. But again, it’s not just happening in the U.S. only. The trajectory is the same in other Western nations. Consider this report from Australia, from The Canberra Times, on June 28, 2022:

“The Christian churches in Australia currently find themselves in a perfect storm. The recently released data from the 2021 census makes the reality clear. The future of Christianity in Australia will be as a minority. Just 44 percent of Australians now identify as Christians, down from 52 percent at the 2016 census” (“Is Christianity dying in Australia? Here’s how to redeem it from the bottom up,” Canberra Times, June 28, 2022).

Again, an astonishing drop, in a short period of time, in Australia.

What about England and Wales? In a 2021 census taken there, for the first time ever those who identify as Christians were a minority, down from 59.3% around 2012, to 46.2% in 2022 (“Losing My Religion: How the UK is leaving the Church and gaining conspiracy theories,” Euronews.com/culture, December 4, 2022). This is in a nation where the reigning king has as one of his official titles, Defender of the Faith. Think about that. The political ramifications for this new cultural shift are staggering.

Canada has been on the cutting edge of woke culture in recent years. And not surprisingly, the number of church-goers there has taken a massive hit. In 2001, 77% of the population identified as Christian. But by 2021, that had dropped to only 53% (“How Canada’s religious makeup has shifted over the past 20 years,” The Star, October 26, 2022).

What’s behind this shift? Why is it happening? Many have tried to answer the question. And certainly, one factor that has quickened the pace of falling church attendance was the COVID-19 pandemic. Almost overnight, businesses, government buildings, restaurants, gyms, movie theaters and yes, even churches—were shut down. People were told to worship from home. And technology made it possible. Many churches streamed their service[s]. And for a short-term crisis, this certainly kept people at least somewhat connected.

But fast forward to the present. For many, the temporary emergency measure has become a long-term condition. For those on the fringes, it’s become easier to simply drift away. Others have discovered they can be a church member in the comfort and privacy of their own home, without ever having to attend a service. The advent of online worship has fundamentally changed how many people look at going to church.

The online experience has undoubtedly been a blessing for churchgoers who are infirmed or otherwise can’t physically attend in person. But for those who CHOOSE to be disconnected from an actual group, that’s a disturbing trend in itself. In how many ways are we as a society becoming more disengaged and more disconnected from each other as each week goes by?

We’ve discussed where we are as a culture, our present situation. But where is it heading? What does the future hold for the churches in the Western world?

And more importantly, what does Jesus Christ think about all this? After all, He’s the Head of the Church, isn’t He?

God’s True Church Will NEVER Die—But Where is It?

In Matthew 16:18 Jesus said,

“I will build My church, and the gates of Hades shall not prevail against it.”

The word “Hades” just means the unseen place of the dead. A pit or a grave. So, this statement means that Christ’s Church, His Church, would never die out. The grave would not consume His Church. There would always be someone, somewhere who was a living, breathing, and faithful disciple of Christ, all the way up to His return. Notice further, in Matthew 28:18:

“All authority has been given to Me in heaven and on earth. Go therefore and make disciples of all the nations… teaching them to observe all things that I have commanded you; and lo, I am with you always, even to the end of the age” (Matthew 28:18–20).

Will Christ’s Church die out? No way! What this passage tells us, again, is that Jesus Christ will be personally involved in directing His Church, right up until His return. Notice one more passage that shows this, in Matthew 24:14:

“And this gospel of the Kingdom will be preached in all the world as a witness to all the nations, and then the end will come.”

Christ’s church will not die. We don’t have to be concerned about that. But there IS something that we should be concerned about. You see, Bible prophecy predicts not just the presence of one church that calls itself Christian, but two, in the end-times.

Now, you might say, “that’s no big deal, there are hundreds and even thousands of Christian denominations.” And that’s true. In fact, according to the International Bulletin of Missionary Research, as of 2014, there were 45,000 denominations that identify as Christian around the world.

But when the Bible describes the church, it doesn’t list 45,000 groups. It lists two. It breaks down all the different churches that have multiplied through the centuries into two groups. And the future of those two groups is foretold in the Book of Revelation.

The Book of Revelation is full of symbols. Floods represent armies and horns represent kings or kingdoms. And the Book of Revelation uses women to represent churches. What we find is there are two distinct women identified in the book.

Let’s look at one of them. We find a description of her in Revelation 17:1:

“Then one of the seven angels who had the seven bowls came and talked with me, saying to me ‘Come, I will show you the judgment of the great harlot who sits on many waters, with whom the kings of the earth committed fornication, and the inhabitants of the earth were made drunk with the wine of her fornication.’ So he carried me away in the spirit into the wilderness. And I saw a woman sitting on a scarlet beast which was full of names of blasphemy, having seven heads and ten horns” (Revelation 17:1–3).

This is one of the women identified in Revelation. But it’s a harlot woman, committing fornication, making inhabitants of the earth drunk with spiritual error. And she is riding on a beast. In other words, she is a politically powerful church, directing the actions of a corrupt government or kingdom. Going on in verse 4:

“The woman was arrayed in purple and scarlet, and adorned with gold and precious stones and pearls, having in her hand a golden cup full of abominations and the filthiness of her fornication. And on her forehead a name was written: MYSTERY, BABYLON THE GREAT, THE MOTHER OF HARLOTS and of the abominations of the earth. I saw the woman, drunk with the blood of the saints, and with the blood of the martyrs of Jesus…” (Revelation 17:4–6).

John describes this woman, or church, as being fabulously rich. She also has harlot daughters—other churches that essentially teach the same thing, but have spun off from her. He also notes she is also responsible for putting to death true and faithful followers of Christ. The Book of Revelation shows this church will exercise great power for a period of time, but then its demise will be sudden. Notice verse 15,

“Then he said to me, ‘The waters which you saw, where the harlot sits, are peoples, multitudes, nations, and tongues. And the ten horns which you saw on the beast, these will hate the harlot, make her desolate and naked, eat her flesh and burn her with fire. For God has put it into their hearts to fulfill His purpose, to be of one mind, and to give their kingdom to the beast, until the words of God are fulfilled. And the woman whom you saw is that great city which reigns over the kings of the earth” (Revelation 17:15–18).

This powerful church—symbolically a woman—will in the end be devoured by the beast power she rode. And we are warned to not be a part of this system! Notice this in Revelation 18:4:

“And I heard another voice from heaven saying, ‘Come out of her, my people, lest you share in her sins, and lest you receive of her plagues. For her sins have reached to heaven, and God has remembered her iniquities” (Revelation 18:4–5).

So, should we be worried about declining church attendance today? Well, there is a much more urgent concern. That is, that we don’t fall prey to a false church that is not Christ’s church at all, no matter how good it looks on the outside.

Notice more detail about this woman, this church, in Revelation 13:11:

“Then I saw another beast coming up out of the earth, and he had two horns like a lamb and spoke like a dragon” (Revelation 13:11).

What do the two horns symbolize? Well, Jesus is identified as the Lamb. So, this leader will appear to be like Christ, that he’s a man of God—a Christian. But clearly, there’s something amiss, for he speaks like a dragon. Who is the dragon? Satan the devil. So this leader is speaking not the words of Christ, but the words of the devil. And he will deceive millions, and perhaps billions of people.

Notice verse 13:

“He performs great signs, so that he even makes fire come down from heaven on the earth in the sight of men. And he deceives those who dwell on the earth by those signs which he was granted to do in the sight of the beast…” (Revelation 13:13–14).

So, what do we see here? Bible prophecy shows a great religious revival in the future. But don’t be fooled. It will be a counterfeit. And it will deceive great masses of people into THINKING they are following Christ.

Identifying Signs of the True Church of God

The first is a harlot woman, representing a rich, politically active and corrupt church. What is the identity of the other woman? She is identified as the faithful and obedient church following Christ. Revelation 12:1 speaks of her:

“Now a great sign appeared in heaven: a woman clothed with the sun, with the moon under her feet, and on her head a garland of twelve stars. Then being with child, she cried out in labor and in pain to give birth” (Revelation 12:1–2).

In other words, this is talking about the Old Testament congregation. The faithful men and women during that period, who were God’s people, from the time of Adam and Noah and Abraham and Moses. It grew into a nation, and from that nation came the Messiah. He was born as a baby, and grew, and eventually gave His life for the sins of the world. Going on in Revelation 12:5,

“She bore a male child who was to rule all nations with a rod of iron” (Revelation 12:5).

That’s speaking of Jesus Christ. His destiny is to rule all nations on earth, when He returns. Going on in verse 5,

“And her Child was caught up to God and His throne. Then the woman fled into the wilderness, where she has a place prepared by God, that they should feed her there one thousand two hundred and sixty days” (Revelation 12:5–6).

Now it speaks of the woman again. And it’s talking about what happened to Christ’s faithful followers within a few hundred years after the first century.

You see, early in church history, there arose a branch of the church that was not faithful to Christ’s teachings. And that branch grew so powerful it eventually outnumbered the true followers of Christ. In the booklet, Dr. Meredith explains this. He quotes from Professor Rufus M. Jones, in The Church’s Debt to Heretics. Mr. Jones states:

“If by any chance Christ Himself had been taken by His later followers as the model and pattern of the new way, and a serious attempt had been made to set up His life and teaching as the standard and norm for the Church, Christianity would have been something vastly different from what it became. Then ‘heresy’ would have been, as it is not now, deviation from His way, His teaching, His spirit, His kingdom.… What we may properly call ‘Galilean Christianity’ had a short life, though there have been notable attempts to revive it and make it live again, and here and there spiritual prophets have insisted that anything else than this simple Galilean religion is ‘heresy’; but the main line of historic development has taken a different course and has marked the emphasis very differently” (The Church’s Debt to Heretics, 1924, pp. 15–16, emphasis added).

What we find is Christ’s true followers had to flee into hiding during those intervening centuries, to escape persecution. That’s what’s represented in Revelation 12 by the 1,260 days—symbolic for 1,260 YEARS—in the wilderness. Fast forward to the time of the end, in Revelation 12:7:

“And war broke out in heaven: Michael and his angels fought with the dragon; and the dragon and his angels fought, but they did not prevail, nor was a place found for them in heaven any longer. So the great dragon was cast out, that serpent of old, called the Devil and Satan, who deceives the whole world; he was cast to the earth, and his angels were cast out with him” (Revelation 12:7–9).

Notice this. Satan has deceived the whole world. This is critical to understand. Not only will there be great, massive deception by a false church in the last days. But when you come to understand it, the bulk of nominal Christianity has been operating under a great deception for centuries. Most people who call themselves Christians simply follow traditions of men, not the Christianity of the Bible.

So, what about those who really DO follow Christ? The Bible shows God offers them protection, on earth, through the Great Tribulation. Notice in Revelation 12:13:

“Now when the dragon saw that he had been cast to the earth, he persecuted the woman who gave birth to the male Child. But the woman was given two wings of a great eagle, that she might fly into the wilderness to her place, where she is nourished for a time and times and half a time, from the presence of the serpent” (Revelation 12:13–14).

Some people think this refers to the church being raptured. No, it’s simply taken into a wilderness. Heaven is not a wilderness. The children of Israel came out of Egypt symbolically on eagles’ wings —that’s mentioned in Exodus 19:4. But we know they just walked. It’s the same concept here. Going on, verse 15,

“So the serpent spewed water out of his mouth like a flood after the woman, that he might cause her to be carried away by the flood. But the earth helped the woman, and the earth opened its mouth and swallowed up the flood which the dragon had spewed out of his mouth. And the dragon was enraged with the woman, and he went to make war with the rest of her offspring, who keep the commandments of God and have the testimony of Jesus Christ” (Revelation 12:15–17).

Notice this—the indication is that those who are faithful and protected will also have been people who had the testimony of Christ and were keeping the commandments of God. That’s not the Jews, that’s God’s genuine church.

For you and me, if we really are followers of Christ; if we obey His commandments—all ten of them—and are covered with the blood of His sacrifice, and are led by His Holy Spirit, He says He will watch out for us in the coming dark days.

So, is the church going to die out? Well, Christ’s church will never die. By the same token, there are sobering warnings about not being taken in by a persuasive but false version of Christianity in the future, and frankly, right now as well.

The Faithful Will Inherit the Kingdom of God

Notice in Revelation 19:7:

“Let us be glad and rejoice and give Him glory, for the marriage of the Lamb has come, and his wife has made herself ready. And to her it was granted to be arrayed in fine linen, clean and bright, for the fine linen is the righteous acts of the saints. Then he said to me, ‘Write: “Blessed are those who are called to the marriage supper of the Lamb!”’” (Revelation 19:7–9).

The faithful woman, the church—those who have given their loyalty and their allegiance to Christ—will actually be granted immortality at His coming. What a fantastic destiny for those who have eyes to see and ears to hear. Let’s ALL strive to make sure WE are part of that faithful and forgiven Church that will marry Christ at His return.

Thanks for watching! If you enjoyed this video, be sure to like and subscribe to our channel so you can watch more videos on different Bible topics.

And if you would like a copy of our free Bible Study Guide, Restoring Original Christianity, go to TWTV.org/Original or click the link in the description.

See you next time.


Israel’s Son and America’s Future



North America 1837 map

One man’s ancient overcoming of adversity reveals the future of modern nations as they face the challenges of our present day.

Raising Good Kids in Today’s World

Learn three ways to face parenting problems from the Bible story of Lot, found in Genesis 19. Rod McNair examines Lot’s parenting struggles—similar to common parent issues today—and how to identify what needs to change.

[The text below represents an edited transcript of this Tomorrow’s World program.]

A Sad Lot in Life

About 4,000 years ago, there lived a man in the land of Canaan, in what today is the general area of the nation of Israel. His name was Lot, and he was the nephew of Abraham. He had a wife and a family, a place of prominence in society, and had grown quite wealthy. You might say he was successful. But then, something went terribly wrong.

Lot lived in the ancient city of Sodom. Sodom and its sister city Gomorrah were judged and destroyed by God for their decadence and corruption. But this story is not just of the downfall of a sinful city, but the tragic collapse of a family as well. Lot escaped with his life, but his family paid a dear price. What can we learn from the story of Lot? How can this apply to us, in a world of increasing evil? How can we expect to guide our family, our children, in our society today?

So, how can we raise good kids today? I’ll be right back with the answer.

Sin Is Attractive Now but Destructive Later

Welcome to Tomorrow’s World, where we help you make sense of your world through the pages of the Bible. About 4,000 years ago there lived a man named Lot. He was the nephew of Abraham, the ancestor of the children of Israel. Before Lot moved to Sodom, he lived near his uncle Abraham. But as their flocks and herds grew, the land wasn’t large enough for both of them, so they had to separate. So, Abraham told Lot to choose which direction he would go, and Abraham would go the opposite. Notice how the story unfolds in Genesis 13:10:

And Lot lifted his eyes and saw all the plain of Jordan, that it was well watered everywhere... like the garden of the LORD (Genesis 13:10).

When Lot saw the land surrounding Sodom, he was impressed. It looked good. It was fertile and lush, a perfect place to raise his flocks and herds. But there was something wrong with this area as well. What was it? Let’s read in Genesis 13:11–13:

Then Lot chose for himself all the plain of Jordan, and Lot journeyed east… and Lot dwelt in the cities of the plain and pitched his tent even as far as Sodom. But the men of Sodom were exceedingly wicked and sinful against the LORD (Genesis 13:11–13).

You see what was happening. Lot was drawn to Sodom, because it looked good—a place to grow wealth, to raise his flocks, to raise his family—a rich and fertile land. But the inhabitants had a way of life totally contrary to what he had learned from his uncle Abraham. Sodom already had a bad reputation.

The point is, Lot chose to move toward Sodom, not away from it. And he made that choice, even though there were warning signs that this was not a good idea. It eventually brought disastrous results on his family and on his own life, as we’ll see later in this program.

But what does that have to do with us now, living in the end-times? Let’s discuss our first key to raising kids in our world today:

1. Resist the pulls of the world.

The Bible tells us that as Christians, we must resist the temptations of this world, and be different. This is even more important as we find ourselves at the end of the age. We’ve got to discern the direction the world is going, and choose instead to embrace God’s way. Jesus inspired the Apostle John to write these words in Revelation 18:4:

And I heard another voice from heaven saying, “Come out of her, my people, lest you share in her sins, and lest you receive of her plagues. For her sins have reached to heaven, and God has remembered her iniquities” (Revelation 18:4–5).

Sodom was judged and destroyed for promoting a lifestyle in direct violation of God’s ways. The Book of Revelation shows that the society of the last days will be promoting the same anti-God ways. That end-time society will be judged and punished, just like Sodom. And God says to Christians, don’t get caught up in that world. Be different, come out of it, and you can be spared.

So, why should this concern parents? Well, our children soak up the environment they grow in. The choices we make—whether we are coming out of the world, or being drawn into it—directly affect the viewpoints and attitudes our children will adopt. Many well-meaning, loving parents are unwittingly allowing the world to have too much influence on their children. The corrosive nature of the world erodes the values the parents hold dear. And one day, too many parents are shocked to discover their children don’t hold their values at all.

Maybe part of the solution is understanding what it means to come out of the world. Are we to run away and isolate ourselves from society? That’s not what Christ meant when He said this in John 17:15:

I do not pray that You should take them out of the world, but that You should keep them from the evil one (John 17:15).

We must function in this society. We have to work and make a living to provide for our families. But we also must protect our children from the corrosive nature of this world. And that means evaluating our decisions. Do our choices reinforce our efforts to train our children God’s ways? Or do they unknowingly tear down the character we’re trying to help them build?

Today, through technology, the world comes to us. Through our televisions, our computers, and our phones, we can literally feed on the world’s anti-God values if we’re not careful. Think about the themes that come flooding into our lives through entertainment and media. Our homes should be havens of peace that promote Christian values of love, self-control, and faith. But too often, we allow the world to inundate us with violence and selfishness, immorality and rebellion. If these corrosive themes fill our homes, why would we be surprised if they fill the minds of our children?

As parents, we need to be the primary influence in our children’s lives. No, we can’t shelter them from the world forever. But we CAN protect them and nurture them so that as they approach adulthood, they are ready and prepared to resist the pulls of the world.

The World Rubs Off On You… Quietly

As we mentioned before, Sodom WAS beautiful. It was green, lush, and prosperous. But it was wicked and rebellious as well. God sent two angels—who appeared as two ordinary men—to warn Lot and his family that the city would be destroyed. We read in Genesis 19:1 that Lot met these men at the gate of the city, and invited them into his home. He knew it would be dangerous for them to stay out in the open square all night.

But things did not go well that evening. The men of the city surrounded Lot’s house, demanding that he bring out these men, that they might abuse them. They even violently threatened Lot, almost breaking down his door. You can read the story for yourself in Genesis 19.

But notice Lot’s response to them. We read it in Genesis 19:7:

[Lot] said, “Please, my brethren, do not do wickedly! See now, I have two daughters who have not known a man; please, let me bring them out to you, and you may do to them as you wish; only do nothing to these men, since this is the reason they have come under the shadow of my roof” (Genesis 19:7–8).

As a father of daughters of my own, I can’t even begin to comprehend why Lot would say such a thing. On the one hand, he was risking his life to protect these men under his care. On the other hand, he was brazenly willing to put his daughters in unspeakable humiliation and danger themselves, in the place of these men.

How could Lot possibly think this way? Well, let’s think this through. We know Sodom was well-known for its extremely lax morals. Maybe Lot’s actions were an illustration of how tainted his own thinking had become by being immersed in that world. He was a righteous man—2 Peter 2:7 says that—but perhaps he had absorbed more of Sodom than he thought.

What about today? Is there a lesson for parents today, seeking to navigate the dangers of our anti-God world? There is. And that brings us to our second key to bringing up children in today’s world:

2. Don’t underestimate how the world is affecting you.

Like it or not, we are living in this world. And the world affects us more than we may realize. It’s good to ask ourselves, how is the world impacting me? Do my spouse and I find ourselves getting impatient and critical with each other, when we don’t intend to? Maybe we’re allowing the spirit of selfishness that pervades out world to rub off on us. Do we watch tv shows or movies filled with casual sex and immoral behavior? If we do, that’s going to affect how we think, ourselves. Do we find ourselves getting anxious or negative, for no good reason? There is a spirit world out there that is actively broadcasting a message of anger, animosity, and fear. Are we absorbing it? Then we shouldn’t be surprised when our thoughts, our words, and our actions reflect the world more than they reflect our professed Christian beliefs.

The Apostle James gives helpful advice on learning how to discern what is coming from the world, and what is coming from God and His word. He writes this in James 3:14:

… If you have bitter envy and self-seeking in your hearts, do not boast and lie against the truth. This wisdom does not descend from above, but is earthly, sensual, demonic. For where envy and self-seeking exist, confusion and every evil thing are there. But the wisdom that is from above is first pure, then peaceable, gentle, willing to yield, full of mercy and good fruits, without partiality and without hypocrisy.

In order to know how to guide our children, we need to first look at the fruit of our lives. Is there love, joy, peace, faithfulness, and self-control? These are just a few of the fruits of God’s Spirit, as outlined in Galatians 5. Or, is there selfishness, disrespect, outbursts of wrath, and impure thoughts and actions? It’s critical we examine our own selves first, to know how to help our children.

James said we must not “lie against the truth.” There is objective truth, and the Bible defines what it is. And yet, overwhelmingly, our society does not recognize universal truths, especially when it comes to morality. The Barna Research Group reported on this in a 2018 study:

We live in an increasingly ‘post-truth’ political climate…. Over time, consensus on key moral principles has waned, and the younger generations are now inheriting this new moral landscape (“Gen Z and Morality: What Teens Believe (So Far),” Barna.com, October 9, 2018).

The report goes on to explain how each generation, in general, approaches sex before marriage:

21% of Gen Z strongly believes sex before marriage is wrong—though they are mostly on par with other generations.

Think about that statement. The beliefs of Generation Z—that is, those born from 1996 to 2015—are roughly the same as other ages, when it comes to their views on sex before marriage. In fact, only 22% of both “Elders” and “Boomers” believed sex before marriage is wrong. That’s only 1 percentage point difference than Generation Zs. Do we see any correlation between what the younger generation thinks with what they’ve been taught by the examples of the older generation?

We might blame the youngest generations for the moral slide. But who taught them? Who showed them the way? Who gave them excuses to adopt a relativistic worldview? If we are parents, we have to look at our own examples. And we must not underestimate the corrosive effects of society on US, which in turn affects our children.

The Purpose for Children—And the Importance of Protecting Them

Sodom and Gomorrah were destroyed. But Lot’s wife, tragically, turned to view the destruction of those sinful cities, and died.

Lot escaped with his two daughters, and the story ends with another sad event in the lives of Lot and his family. Let’s read that in Genesis 19:30:

Then Lot went up… and dwelt in the mountains, and his two daughters were with him… Now the firstborn said to the younger, “Our father is old, and there is no man on the earth to come in to us as is the custom of all the earth. Come, let us make our father drink wine, and we will lie with him, that we may preserve the lineage of our father” (Genesis 19:30–32).

And that’s exactly what they did. The eldest daughter the first night, and the other daughter the next night. And so, Lot had children by his two daughters, and those children grew to become the Ammonites and the Moabites. Now, it’s a little hard to fathom the thinking of these young girls. What a shame, they were so confused in their value system, that they thought it would be a good idea to commit fornication, and even incest with their father. You must wonder, where was the spiritual training? Did Lot really teach his children about God, His Laws and His way of life? Was God real to them? Or, were they sort of left to just learn from their peers?

Lot was a conflicted individual. On the one hand, he is described as a righteous man in 2 Peter 2:7. But on the other hand, we see a man whose example didn’t always measure up to his beliefs. And I think we can assume, despite being a good man overall, Lot did not fully discern his God-given duty to teach his children.

It wasn’t that he wasn’t capable. If you review the beginning of the story, you’ll find Lot was a prominent citizen in Sodom. We read that in Genesis 19:1, he “sat in the gate of the city.” That meant he may have even been a high official in Sodom. And yet, even though a prominent and relatively successful citizen, Lot appears to have not made it [a] priority to teach his children spiritual values.

That brings us to our third key to raising good kids in today’s world,

3. Make teaching your children spiritual values a high priority.

When we think of our own lives, maybe we can relate to Lot. As parents, we sometimes struggle with our own burdens and stresses. We may feel overwhelmed from time to time. We strive to live as best we can, but we know our example isn’t perfect. And we sometimes feel inadequate guiding and teaching our children. Yet, as Christians, we must make the spiritual training of our children a high priority. And God will help us if we ask Him to.

In the book of Deuteronomy, God taught Moses the principles of living a godly life, so he could teach the parents, and they were then to teach their own children. Notice how He describes that Deuteronomy 6:5–7:

You shall love the LORD your God with all your heart, with all your soul, and with all your strength. And these words which I command you today shall be in your heart. You shall teach them diligently to your children, and shall talk of them when you sit in your house, when you walk by the way, when you lie down, and when you rise up (Deuteronomy 6:5–7).

God wants us as parents to make it a habit to talk with our children—to use normal, everyday situations to teach the principles of godly living. And we do it in ways children can understand. We teach them godly values, such as: Don’t hit your sister. Take turns on the playground. Share your toys. Pray to God. Show respect to your elders. Don’t throw your peas on the floor. You get the idea.

Notice Malachi 2:15,

But did He not make them one, having a remnant of the Spirit? And why one? He seeks godly offspring. Therefore take heed to your spirit, and let none deal treacherously with the wife of his youth (Malachi 2:15).

Marriage as an institution was created by God. And why? Because God loves children and wants to bring “many sons to glory,” as it says in Hebrews 2:10. But He doesn’t just want lots of children running around who are rebellious, confused, miserable, and disrespectful to authority. He wants godly children. He wants sons and daughters who have learned to exercise self-control and self-restraint. He wants to see our children have learned to care for and love other human beings. Notice what [the Apostle] Paul says:

Children, obey your parents in the Lord, for this is right. “Honor your father and mother,” which is the first commandment with a promise: “that it may be well with you and you may live long on the earth. And you, fathers, do not provoke your children to wrath, but bring them up in the training and admonition of the Lord” (Ephesians 6:1–4).

The Ten Commandments include one just for families: Honor your father and your mother. It’s our job to help our children understand what that means. And sometimes we must gently but firmly correct them for behavior that doesn’t measure up. Not because we hate them, but because we love them. They may not like it at that moment, but that’s ok. They’ll be ok. None of us likes correction when we get it. But if we teach and even correct them in love, in a spirit of teaching them a better way, over time they’ll understand. And they’ll grow more secure, knowing there are clear boundaries of right and wrong.

Seek God’s Protection and Follow His Laws

A few years ago, doctors Gordon Neufeld and Gabor Mate collaborated on a book entitled Hold Onto Your Kids: Why Parents Need to Matter More Than Peers. On page seven of the book, they make a powerful statement of the challenge facing parents today:

For the first time in history young people are turning for instruction, modeling, and guidance not to mothers, fathers, teachers and other responsible adults but to people whom nature never intended to place in a parenting role—their own peers. They are not manageable, teachable, or maturing because they no longer take their cues from adults. Instead, children are being brought up by immature persons who cannot possibly guide them to maturity. They are being brought up by each other (Hold On to Your Kids: Why Parents Need to Matter More Than Peers, 2014, p. 7).

What a summation of the experience of too many children growing up today. That’s the world we live in. But as we’ve reviewed the story of Lot today, we can see these challenges are not really new. Other generations have faced the difficulty of raising children in corrupt societies. What we need to do is learn from their experiences. Our story and our family’s story does not have to end up like Lot’s. Consider what God said regarding Lot’s uncle, Abraham. He was living in the same time, but took a very different path than Lot. Notice what God said about Abraham in Genesis 18:19:

For I have known him, in order that he may command his children and his household after him, that they keep the way of the Lord, to do righteousness and justice, that the LORD may bring to Abraham what He has spoken to him (Genesis 18:19).

God takes special note of parents who are striving to live godly lives and pass on His truth to the next generation. And God will help them, if they sincerely ask Him for help. God cares about you and your children.

Thank you for watching! If you enjoyed this program, remember to like and subscribe so you don’t miss another Tomorrow’s World video.

And if you would like a copy of our free DVD, Raising Good Kids In A Bad World, go to TWTV.org/KID or click the link in the description.

See you next time.



Don’t Fall for Perfectionism



Don’t Fall for Perfectionism

No one is perfect except Christ—yet we seek to be like Him. So, should we be perfectionists?

The Best a Man Can Do

Take on the challenge of how to be a good man, be a good husband, and become a better dad. Rod McNair shares three tips from the Bible to help you fulfill the role of a father as God intended—and how to be a better man.

[The text below represents an edited transcript of this Tomorrow’s World program.]

Have Men Just Become Obstacles?

Not long ago, I attended the college commencement exercises for my daughter. It was an exciting day for the students who had worked so hard to finish their studies. As I watched, it was gratifying to think about the hard work and determination it took for each of those graduates just to be there. One of the top students in the class gave the valedictorian address. He was a young man, probably in his early 30s, who had distinguished himself as an outstanding student. He told his story and gave a really remarkable speech. He spoke of challenges and obstacles—some very personal—that he had overcome. It was quite touching. He was there with his wife and his young daughter, and I couldn’t help but feel admiration for this man and what he was already making of his life.

Toward the end of his talk, he spoke of the women in his life—his mother, his daughter, his wife—and how important they were to him. But then his speech went down a perplexing path. He addressed the men in the audience and said, “Really the best thing we can do for the women in our lives, is just get out of the way.”

I thought to myself, Wow, what a shocking statement! Out of all the things that we could say to a generation of young men, that’s the best we can expect? At that moment, there were thousands of men in the audience. I thought of them. I asked myself, Is this going to inspire them to dream great dreams, to be builders of society, and to strive to serve and give of themselves to their families? When the best we expect of them is just “Get out of the way”?

I walked away shaking my head. Not because I’m against men learning to honor and respect and admire the women in their lives. No, quite the contrary. Rather, I thought, what a shame for the opportunity missed to show both men and women they can help each other. See, life is made up of relationships, the most important being marriage. And a marriage partnership between a man and a woman takes teamwork and sacrifice on both sides.

What is the best a man can do? How can he be successful in marriage and in life? The answer doesn’t come from the woke agenda of our modern world that believes masculinity is toxic. Rather, the answer lies in understanding a man’s real purpose. And that purpose is revealed in the Bible.

The modern, secular, radical agenda is not giving our young men and boys the true perspective they need.

Three Keys to the Potential of Men

Welcome to Tomorrow’s World, where we help you make sense of your world through the pages of the Bible.

Is the highest ideal we can expect from a man, just to “get out of the way” of women? Or were men and women designed to work TOGETHER to succeed? If you’ve been watching this program for any length of time, you know we hold the Bible to be the source of wisdom for life. It was inspired by God, and it gives us advice about how to make our relationships work.

God made men to be men. He made women to be women. He put us in marriages and in families. And not surprisingly, He has instructions for men on what we can do to make our relationships work. So, what’s the best a man can do to achieve his God-given potential? We’ll identify three things in today’s program.

#1: Love and honor your wife

Now, that’s simple, you might say. Everyone does that. If you’re married, you love your wife—otherwise why would you get married? But stop and think for a moment. Maybe we DON’T fully understand what it means to love and honor your wife, since so many marriages end in divorce.

Look at the statistics. In the United States, if you were married in the 1950s, 25 years later you have about a 25% chance of being divorced. If you were married in the 1970s, 25 years later you have almost a 50% chance of being divorced. That’s an American tragedy (“Marriages and Divorces,” OurWorldInData.org, 2020).

But it’s not just in the United States where so many marriages are failing. In England and Wales, a similar trend is occurring. In England and Wales, if you take all the marriages entered into in the year 2000, 17 years later, almost 35% of them had failed. This is not just an American problem, nor is it just in the British Isles.

A Psychology Today article written in 2019 reports, “Globally, in the nearly four decades between 1970 and 2008, the divorce rate has more than doubled…” (“Divorce Rates Around the World: A Love Story,” PsychologyToday.com, February 3, 2019).

The title of the article was “Divorce Rates Around the World: A Love Story.” I wouldn’t call that a love story. I’d call that a painful and heartrending disaster.

So, what is wrong with marriage today? Maybe we don’t know what “love your wife” really means. Now, of course, we can’t lay all the blame for divorces on men—both men and women have a part to play. But in the context of our topic today, shouldn’t we be looking at what men contribute to their side of the marriage, so they can be better at truly loving their wives?

Many have overlooked the fact that the Bible gives practical and direct advice to men about love and marriage, so notice what the Apostle Paul said in Ephesians 5:28:

“So husbands ought to love their own wives as their own bodies; he who loves his wife loves himself. For no one ever hated his own flesh, but nourishes and cherishes it…” (Ephesians 5:28–29).

So, think about this, men. Do you take care of yourself? Do you look after your health, your well-being, your needs? Of course you do. We all do. Paul is saying, if you’re married, treat your wife like you would treat yourself. Talk with her. Be aware of her needs. Be patient and thoughtful even when she’s down or upset. That’s what love is. It’s not just a passing feeling or romantic notion. It’s a commitment to care for another human being as you’d care for yourself in good times or bad.

Now, think about it. Would men AND WOMEN be happier if real LOVE was emphasized in our culture? I think the answer is obvious. The Apostle Peter echoed the same instruction to men in 1 Peter 3:7:

“Husbands, likewise, dwell with them with understanding, giving honor to the wife, as to the weaker vessel, and as being heirs together of the grace of life, that your prayers may not be hindered” (1 Peter 3:7).

The Bible tells men to honor women. Not to demean them. Not to put them down. Not to insult them or abuse them. But to honor them.

Now, some will take issue with Paul for saying women are the weaker vessel. But it’s really not hard to understand. In fact, in the article, “What Science Tells Us About Transgender Women Athletes,” the authors put it succinctly: “Men are, on average, bigger, faster, stronger and have greater endurance than women…” (Quoted from “Experts Cite Data and Research For Why Transgender Participation Should Be Outlawed in Female Sports,” Swimming World Magazine, May 12, 2022).

There are exceptions of course. But by and large, this is true. So why did God create men to be bigger and stronger? To dominate women? To crush them physically or emotionally? No. Rather, it was God’s intention that a man learns to care for, nourish, and protect the woman he’s committed himself to.

There was a time in naval history when the unwritten rule was, if a ship went down, the women and children would get the lifeboats first. This code of conduct was popularized in 1852 at the sinking and evacuation of the Royal Navy ship HMS Birkenhead. It was thereafter called the “Birkenhead drill” because of the ship captain’s insistence that the men give up their lives for the protection of the women and children that were on that ship. The same standard was applied at the sinking of the Titanic. Many men gave up their spot on lifeboats to their wives and children. And they themselves died in the icy waters of the north Atlantic. One has to wonder, have we come to the point in our history where men today would feel no sense of responsibility to protect women in an emergency such as that? Is that who we are?

Men were designed to stand up for and cherish and protect their wives to their last breath.

A Godly Standard for Male Behavior

Husbands and wives are to work as a team, not as competitors. And men need to be inspired and challenged to care for and care about their wives. Loving and honoring wives is vital. But that’s not all there is. In this segment we’ll examine a second challenge for men to be their best.

About 3,000 years ago there lived a very wise king. In fact, his reputation spread far and wide. We have many of his teachings preserved in the Bible. His name was Solomon. And from Solomon we get our second challenge to men:

#2: Fear God and keep His commandments

What does this have to do with a man’s relationship with his wife? Let me explain. This phrase is actually taken straight out of the Bible. Let’s read it together. It’s found in Ecclesiastes 12:13:

“Let us hear the conclusion of the whole matter: Fear God and keep His commandments, For this is man’s all” (Ecclesiastes 12:13).

When Solomon summed up the purpose of life, the meaning of life, and why we’re here. This is what he said. Fear God. Keep His Commandments. This is man’s all. Now, we understand “man” here to be “mankind,” or “humanity.” But let’s step back and apply this scripture to the half of humanity that are called men. What if every last man on this earth would be doing this today? How would it change the world? How would it change the world for women?

Well, first of all, if all men feared God, there would be no crime. There would be no domestic abuse. There would be no fear for women walking down a dark, abandoned alley late at night.

Now, what does “fear God” mean? God doesn’t want us to be frightened or terrified of Him. It just means He wants our attention, our focus, and our obedience. He wants us to deeply respect Him and hold Him in awe. Why is that? Because He’s in Heaven and we’re on earth. He made us, He controls everything around us. And He knows us better than we know ourselves. He knows what we need to do that will really make us happy in the long run.

What about the commandments? They simply are the Ten Commandments, as found in the book of Exodus, in the Old Testament. You know, the Ten Commandments often get a bad rap today. They’re seen as harsh, demanding dictates from an unloving and uncaring God. But have you ever actually looked at them to see what they say? Many of them actually teach us how to love our neighbor. Let’s look at the command against adultery. This is found in Exodus 20:14:

“You shall not commit adultery.”

What’s adultery? That’s an old word that means having sexual relations with someone who is not your wife. Now, how out of fashion is that? And yet, imagine all of the broken marriages torn apart because of infidelity. Certainly, infidelity can be the cause of actions of either the husband or the wife. But let’s focus on the men right now. What if men, from little on, were taught to be faithful to their wives, till death? That sex is a precious gift that only belongs in a lifelong, committed marriage relationship.

Do we see how keeping this and other of the Ten Commandments would make the world a safer and more secure world for women? Women don’t need men to get out of the way. Women need men to fear God and keep His commandments. That would make a radical and monumental change for the better.

But we can take this one step further. Because Jesus explained in Matthew 5:27 that there is physical adultery, and then there is adultery of the heart;

“You have heard that it was said to those of old, ‘You shall not commit adultery.’ But I say to you that whoever looks at a woman to lust for her has already committed adultery with her in his heart” (Matthew 5:27–28).

Pornography is a curse in our Western nations. It’s not just a curse for men—women get hooked, too. In fact, according to a 2016 working paper by researchers for the University of Oklahoma,

“Men who started watching pornography partway through a 2-year period doubled their chances of divorce. For women, that number tripled” (“Divorce rates double when people start watching porn,” Science.org, August 26, 2016).

At a 2002 meeting of the American Academy of Matrimonial Lawyers, attorneys gathered were surveyed about the effects of porn on divorce. What were the results of the survey?

“‘An obsessive interest in Internet pornography’ was a significant factor in 56 percent of their divorce cases the prior year” (Opinion: “National Review: Getting Serious On Pornography,” NPR.org, March 31, 2010).

So, stop and think this through. What if men were taught, from a young age, that it’s not only wrong to commit fornication and adultery, but it’s wrong to even harbor lustful thoughts toward a woman? What if our culture would support parents’ efforts to protect their children from inappropriate images in the media, in movies, and on the Internet? What a different world this would be.

If you are a man and watching this now, think about your life. Think about your relationships. If you have a porn problem, get help. Get past it. Overcome it. Porn is sin. And sin destroys trust. Sin tears apart marriages. Yes, God can forgive, and He WILL forgive, if we repent. But we first must admit we’ve sinned and must have a DEEP desire to overcome it with God’s help.

Jesus Christ—The Ultimate Male Role Model

A few years ago, a well-known men’s skin-care products company set off a firestorm by a commercial they ran. The commercial not-so-subtly suggested that we should accept the progressive media view that men in general are toxic bullies and need to improve. The slogan of the commercial was, “The Best Men Can Be.”

We’ve already seen that God intended for men to care for their wives, to cherish them and protect them. So, yes, men should not be bullies. But the commercial didn’t tell the whole story. It didn’t finish the narrative of what men should attain to.

How can a man be “the best that he can be?” Let’s talk about that now.

#3: Become like Jesus Christ

Almost 2,000 years ago, there was a man who walked this earth, whose name was Jesus Christ. Many in our secular, humanistic culture of today don’t want to hear about Him, but He was the ultimate man. He was the standard. In fact, He was God in the flesh. He had been at the throne of the Father for all eternity past, and He emptied Himself of His divine privileges.* We read of that in Philippians 2:6. Referring to Jesus Christ, Paul writes,

“… who, though he was in the form of God, did not count equality with God a thing to be grasped, but made himself nothing, taking the form of a servant, being born in the likeness of men. And being found in human form, he humbled himself by becoming obedient to the point of death, even death on a cross” (Philippians 2:6–8, English Standard Version).

He had been at the throne of God, with the Father. He gave that up for us. To become flesh and blood. To walk with us. He humbled Himself.

But He wasn’t a weakling. There is a common misconception of Jesus Christ as being a sort of effeminate individual who was soft and weak. Perhaps it’s because many pictures portray Him that way. But think about it. He was a carpenter. He was a builder. And back then there were no power tools. His hands were strong and used to work.

Again, it doesn’t mean He was weak because He cared for the interests of others. In fact, here’s an example of the type of man He was, in Matthew 21:12,

“Then Jesus went into the temple of God and drove out all those who bought and sold in the temple, and overturned the tables of the money changers and the seats of those who sold doves” (Matthew 21:12).

Jesus Christ wasn’t a bully. But He also wasn’t afraid of taking strong action when it was required. The Temple was the house of God, and when He found crooks there taking advantage of and cheating the people, He stopped them, and threw them out. Notice what Paul wrote to the church in Ephesus, in Ephesians 4:13,

“Till we all come to the unity of the faith and of the knowledge of the Son of God, to a perfect man, to the measure of the stature of the fullness of Christ” (Ephesians 4:13).

If you’re a man who cares about your family and your wife, commit to becoming like Christ. If you want to make a difference in your world and build something worthwhile, become like Christ. If you want to set a strong and solid example for others to follow, become like Christ.

He’s the standard. He is the measure. He set the pace. And that’s what this world needs more of. And that’s what women need. Men like Christ.

I think one of the most touching and powerful passages in the Bible is at the end of Christ’s life, when He’s hanging on the stake, and He speaks to John, the disciple He was closest to. Let’s read it together:

“Now there stood by the cross of Jesus His mother, and His mother’s sister, Mary the wife of Clopas, and Mary Magdalene. When Jesus therefore saw His mother, and the disciple whom He loved standing by, He said to His mother, ‘Woman, behold your son!’ Then He said to the disciple, ‘Behold your mother!’ And from that hour that disciple took her to his own home” (John 19:25–27).

Jesus loved the whole world. Every human being. That’s why He gave His life. That’s why He allowed men to kill Him. So you and I could have a way out of sin. But even as He was hanging there, in his last moments, He did not forget the woman who had bore Him and raised Him. He ensured His mother would be cared for, just before He died—the last act of a dynamic, powerful, caring man.

Don’t give in to the cynical view of today, the idea that the Bible puts down women and tells men to do so. Nothing could be further from the truth. The Bible holds men accountable for treating women well, and challenges them to do so, with God’s help.

God Made Men to Be Strong Leaders—For the Good of All

If you are a man, think about your life. Think about how you treat others. Think about how you interact with women, especially your wife. Are you living up to the standard of Jesus Christ? If you have young boys, it’s your responsibility to teach them how to be a real man. Not just a macho reflection of a movie hero, but a real man. Like Jesus Christ. To honor and respect women. Not just to “get out of their way.”

What if you’re a woman? What about the men in your life? If you have a husband, respect him. Value him. Appreciate what he does for you. Tell him you are thankful for how he sacrifices for you. And raise your boys to be valiant and faithful men themselves who respect women and value their own masculinity.

We are living in difficult times. But God is looking for men—and women—who can rise to the challenge.

In 2 Chronicles 16:9 we read this:

“For the eyes of the LORD run to and fro throughout the whole earth, to show Himself strong on behalf of those whose heart is loyal to Him” (2 Chronicles 16:9).

Men, it’s not enough just to get out of the way. For the sake of the women in our lives, we must become what God wants us to be.

If you found this video helpful and want to learn more, be sure to order your free copy of our study guide, God’s Plan for Happy Marriage. Just click the link in the description to order, it’s that easy. And remember to like and subscribe to our channel so you can watch more videos on biblical topics.

Thanks for watching. See you next time!

* Editor’s Note: The telecast originally said “emptied Himself of His divinity,” which was a mistake on our part. Rather, Jesus emptied Himself of His divine power and prerogatives when He became flesh, as we have long taught and published and as explained here. We apologize for the error.



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