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Why are increasing millions of professing Christians going about inventing their own religion—seeking "spiritual values" apart from attendance at any organized denominational church?
Over the last decade or two, millions of Americans have dropped out of "mainstream" Christianity! The situation is similar in Britain, Canada and elsewhere. Many people are simply turned off by what they call "organized religion."
Why are increasing millions of professing Christians going about inventing their own religion—seeking "spiritual values" apart from attendance at any organized denominational church? The results of a recent survey conducted by the program on Public Values at Trinity College in Hartford, Connecticut, were shocking to many. The 2008 survey asked, "What is your religion, if any?" Only one response grew in every single state: none. About 15 percent of the American people claim no religion at all. As Seattle Times columnist Lance Dickie recently reported, "Old mainline churches of Protestantism are statistical figments of their graying imaginations. The Episcopal Church represents 1.1 percent of the population. Internal feuds drove away a million parishioners—about a third—from 2001 to 2008. The number of 'Christians, unspecified' grew from 8 million in 1990 to 16 million in 2008, but the attitudinal shift is even bigger…. Indeed, the idea of a personal God is losing ground to a vague, deist force" ("America's evolving religious profile is a revelation," March 19, 2009).
Again, why? What is going on?
The truth is that people are increasingly discovering that modern professing "Christianity" does not have the answers people need in their lives. It does not really explain the real purpose for human existence. It does not explain the meaning of current events and the exciting prophetic occurrences that are taking place. In fact, most modern churchianity is out of touch with ultimate reality.
My friends, as the old saying goes, "Truth is a powerful thing." It is hard to hide from the Truth, evade the Truth and run from the Truth. For eventually it will catch up with you. As many of you readers know, the genuine Truth is that this world's "Christianity" has departed very far from what Jesus Christ and the original apostles practiced and taught. This world's "Christianity" often contradicts itself in many, many ways. It often tells us to "keep the commands" of God. Yet it denies the command to keep the seventh day holy—which God's word clearly commands from one end of the Bible to the other. It denies the instruction to keep the annual Holy Days which God instructed His people to keep—and which the early New Testament Christians kept and which will be kept in the coming Millennial reign of Christ (Zechariah 14:16–19).
In fact, mainstream Christians often deny that your Bible clearly describes Jesus Christ's coming thousand-year reign on this earth as King of kings (Revelation 11:15). They seem unable to read or understand the following clear statement in God's inspired word: "Do you not know that the saints will judge the world? And if the world will be judged by you, are you unworthy to judge the smallest matters?" (1 Corinthians 6:2). As God's word tells us, "And he who overcomes, and keeps My works until the end, to him I will give power over the nations—'He shall rule them with a rod of iron; they shall be dashed to pieces like the potter's vessels'—as I also have received from My Father" (Revelation 2:26–27).
And, again, God's word describes the "new song" sung by the true saints describing how Christ has "redeemed" us by His blood, "and have made us kings and priests to our God and we shall reign on the earth" (Revelation 5:8–10).
And finally, "Blessed and holy is he who has part in the first resurrection. Over such the second death has no power, but they shall be priests of God and of Christ, and shall reign with Him a thousand years" (Revelation 20:6).
Modern professing Christianity seems to have cut itself off from the basic reason our Creator made us in His image—to become His full sons and join Christ in ruling over this earth during the coming thousand-year period! That is why we are to "overcome" and grow in grace and in knowledge. That is why we are to develop our spiritual strengths and talents in every way. For if all we had to do was "roll around heaven all day," then there would be no need whatever to develop real character!
But the God of the Bible has called us to be "kings and priests" in His coming government over this earth. That calling gives us a genuine purpose for our lives. It gives us a reason to overcome, to grow spiritually and to become more like Jesus Christ. And it gives us, also, a genuine reason why we should learn to keep God's commandments and His entire way of life. For, very soon, we will be called upon to teach that way in Christ's coming Kingdom—if we are really "overcomers."
That is why genuine Christians who study and believe the Bible are willing to heed such scriptures as Revelation 14:12, "Here is the patience of the saints; here are those who keep the commandments of God and the faith of Jesus." And: "Circumcision is nothing and uncircumcision is nothing, but keeping the commandments of God is what matters" (1 Corinthians 7:19).
No matter what the "mainstream" churches are teaching, there are literally scores of very plain, clear scriptures telling us to keep God's Ten Commandments as a way of life. Most ministers know that when the young man came to Jesus Christ asking the way to eternal life, Jesus answered, "But if you want to enter into life, keep the commandments" and then Jesus began to name some of the Ten Commandments (Matthew 19:16–19).
"How," you may ask, "can people possibly get around this clear instruction from Christ regarding true Christianity?" The confused ministers of "mainstream" Christianity usually evade the issue by saying that Jesus' teaching was "under the old covenant." Yet at the very end of the Apostolic Age we find that the Apostle John was still instructing true Christians, "And whatever we ask we receive from Him, because we keep His commandments and do those things that are pleasing in His sight" (1 John 3:22).
Often, the churches of this world simply talk about various forms of "love." Sometimes love for fellow human beings in general, sometimes love for our neighbors and friends, and sometimes love for sinners—repentant or otherwise. But what is the biblical definition of Christian "love?" God inspired the Apostle John to give the answer: "For this is the love of God, that we keep His commandments. And His commandments are not burdensome" (1 John 5:3).
Could anything be more clear? Yet we behold the spectacle of supposedly "Christian" ministers teaching repeatedly that you need not literally keep the commandments, that Christ's Kingdom will not be set up as a literal Kingdom here on this earth and that the scores of specific prophecies about our time—the "time of the end"—are simply not important enough for them to preach about!
Therefore, we find that "mainstream" churches go along with their "love" and "sweet Jesus" messages—while denying the true Jesus Christ of the Bible who will soon appear as King of kings and Lord of lords to rule this earth and teach all mankind a way of life based on God's Ten Commandments! Since these confused ministers cut off their members from understanding prophecy and the real meaning of world events—these ministers are actually cutting millions of people off from understanding the great purpose being worked out here below by the God of heaven who is guiding the rise and fall of nations and preparing to send Jesus Christ back to this earth as King of kings! And right now Almighty God is preparing His "little flock" (Luke 12:32) to rule with Christ and help straighten out the terrible confusion, suffering, starvation, war, anguish and spiritual emptiness of the people here on planet earth.
Somewhere on this earth, there is a genuine "Church of God"—so named twelve times in your New Testament (see Galatians 1:13; 1 Corinthians 1:2; 10:32; 11:16; 15:9; 1 Timothy 3:15). This small but very dedicated group of people will be those who "keep the commandments of God and have the testimony of Jesus Christ" (Revelation 12:17). They will also be those involved in zealously "doing the Work" of preparing for Christ's Kingdom, going through the "doors" of radio, television and the Internet—plus publishing—to reach all the world with the message of the coming Kingdom of God. They will be those who are genuinely fulfilling 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."
Perhaps your mind is being opened to realize that you are, somehow, being brought into contact with that Church right now as you read this. May God help you to understand! May God help you to act. If you would like further information specifically along these lines, please call us or write us today, or go to our www.tomorrowsworld.org Web site, and request your free copy of our vital booklet, Restoring Apostolic Christianity. May God help you to study this booklet, prove its statements from the Bible and from history, and take action so that you may have a genuine relationship with the Creator of heaven and earth, and begin to fulfill the purpose for which you were created.