Obedience in Trying Times
1970 - 90 % of Americans identified themselves as Christian
2007 - 78 %
2020 - 64 %
2021 – 63 %
2022 – 60 %
2070 – 40 %?
How could a nation or people group move from 90 % to a projected 40 % in just 100 years?
A busy life
Doctrinal changes in ‘organized’ religion
The acceptance of different religious expressions/beliefs
Wanting our children to have a choice as whether to go to church
Peer and social pressure
WE, as humans, are DEPRAVED – morally corrupt
It is in our fallen nature to move away from God and toward sinful pleasure.
The fool hath said in his heart, There is no God. They are corrupt, they have done abominable works, there is none that doeth good.2 The LORD looked down from heaven upon the children of men, to see if there were any that did understand, and seek God.3 They are all gone aside, they are all together become filthy: there is none that doeth good, no, not one .
9 What then? are we better than they? No, in no wise: for we have before proved both Jews and Gentiles, that they are all under sin; 10 As it is written, There is none righteous, no, not one: 11 There is none that understandeth, there is none that seeketh after God. 12 They are all gone out of the way, they are together become unprofitable; there is none that doeth good, no, not one. 13 Their throat is an open sepulchre; with their tongues they have used deceit; the poison of asps is under their lips: 14 Whose mouth is full of cursing and bitterness: 15 Their feet are swift to shed blood: 16 Destruction and misery are in their ways: 17 And the way of peace have they not known: 18 There is no fear of God before their eyes.
All we like sheep have gone astray – Isaiah 53:6
All have sinned and fallen short of the glory of God – Romans 3:23
By nature we are prone toward sin.
From Adam to Noah - 1650 years.
About 2 generations before the world was destroyed by a flood.
The LORD saw how great man's wickedness on the earth had become, and that every inclination of the thoughts of his heart was only evil all the time .
Now the earth was corrupt in God's sight and was full of violence. 12 God saw how corrupt the earth had become, for all the people on earth had corrupted their ways. 13 So God said to Noah , "I am going to put an end to all people, for the earth is filled with violence because of them. I am surely going to destroy both them and the earth.
The easiest thing Noah could have done was just go along.
Serving God will be difficult at times and unpopular
After that whole generation had been gathered to their fathers, another generation grew up, who knew neither the LORD nor what he had done for Israel. 11 Then the Israelites did evil in the eyes of the LORD and served the Baals. 12 They forsook the LORD, the God of their fathers, who had brought them out of Egypt. They followed and worshiped various gods of the peoples around them. They provoked the LORD to anger 13 because they forsook him and served Baal and the Ashtoreths.
We are prone to wander.
1 Tim 6:9-10
People who want to get rich fall into temptation and a trap and into many foolish and harmful desires that plunge men into ruin and destruction. 10 For the love of money is a root of all kinds of evil. Some people, eager for money, have wandered from the faith and pierced themselves with many griefs.
2 Tim 4:10
For Demas hath forsaken me, having loved this present world
We need to be on guard.
We need to live lives of obedience.
So do not throw away your confidence; it will be richly rewarded. 36 You need to persevere so that when you have done the will of God, you will receive what he has promised. 37 For in just a very little while,
"He who is coming will come and will not delay. 38 But my righteous one will live by faith. And if he shrinks back, I will not be pleased with him." But we are not of those who shrink back and are destroyed, but of those who believe and are saved.
It is only he who endures to the end who will be saved.
It is only he who finished the race who receives the prize.
The main issue comes in our lives when we begin to compromise
Isaiah 7:9 - If you do not stand firm in your faith, you will not stand at all .'"
To obey is better than sacrifice – 1 Samuel 15:22
We are called to be obedient, even in trying times.
The question is not, when will they come. But will we remain faithful, obedient when they do?