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Author Topic: The Decline of Christianity  (Read 6398 times)

Frank Mortimer

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The Decline of Christianity
« on: August 02, 2016, 02:03:34 AM »
John:
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There was a time years ago when this forum delved deeply into comparative analysis of the Bible to uncover the deep spiritual truths. There was no other forum like it. I think it still is better than the others but is in steady decline.

I was thinking on what John said in another thread, and I have decided to start this thread to expound on it with my thoughts. I don't think that the forum is in decline at all, I think that intelligence in general and Christianity in particular is in decline, not only here, but all over the world, nation and the web. To me it's proven by nearly all of the good Reformed Websites closing up shop, disappearing from the Internet. Sure there are a few left, white Horse Inn, etc., but there were literally hundreds just a few years ago. Now there are a few blogs and almost none of them defer to the Bible alone.

Here's my theory that I am open to hear your replies, disagreements or rebuttals. I believe that the reason for the decline of Christianity (faithful Christianity) and the rampant moral and spiritual decay in our world is that Satan has been loosed. The defenders of the faith who were once a great army are now only a few, and I don't believe it has anything to do with management of forums, but with the changing attitudes in our society. From an attitude of service to one of being served. Godly virtues are almost non-existent.

Amos 8:11
"Behold, the days come, saith the Lord GOD, that I will send a famine in the land, not a famine of bread, nor a thirst for water, but of hearing the words of the LORD:"

Is this time upon us? I believe that it is. No one wants to hear the word of God anymore, it's all politics, name calling, state gambling, Chest beating, different lusts and seeking fame and fortune over everything else. My point is that there is a reason for this, and it seems to me to be because Satan has been set loose in the world and has deceived the people of the world. Nothing is stable anymore. The spirit of change in the forum is simply a representation of the spirit of change in the church. Foolish, willful thinking, lacking common sense, it all fits in a world that is moved by strong delusion sent from the Lord. Your thoughts?  :thinker:



Dryfus

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Re: The Decline of Christianity
« Reply #1 on: August 02, 2016, 03:00:36 AM »
There is no decline of Christianity, Christianity cannot decline. The church is continuing and cannot be brought down. Just because you cannot see it doesn't mean anything except that the church is an invisible institution. The well received book entitled, The Invisible Church, has suggested that increasingly often Christians are using less formal avenues to access their faith, such as staying at home with their families. I don't always agree with the pessimism I hear at this site.
The whole world is a Stage

Terrell Meyer

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Re: The Decline of Christianity
« Reply #2 on: August 02, 2016, 11:38:54 AM »
It's not pessimism, it's a statement of fact. The church is declining. The very fact that you and many others cannot recognize that is evidence of the cover that is over the children of God that they would think the church is healthy. The church is unhealthy and has been steadily in decline since the early 60's.

Joanne

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Re: The Decline of Christianity
« Reply #3 on: August 02, 2016, 01:43:10 PM »
There is no decline of Christianity, I don't always agree with the pessimism I hear at this site.

Dryfus, you don't know what you are talking about. Get your head out of the sand and face facts. Anyone who can't see the decay of the church is blind.

Here's an interesting article I read last week about just this issue.
  • U.S. Has Become Notably Less Christian, Major Study Finds!
    by David Lauter and Hailey Branson-Potts

    The U.S. has become significantly less Christian in recent years as the share of American adults who espouse no systematic religious belief increased sharply, a major new study found.

    For what is probably the first time in U.S. history, the number of American Christians has declined. Christianity, however, remains by far the nation’s dominant religious tradition, according to the new report by the nonpartisan Pew Research Center.

    The erosion in traditional religious ranks seems likely to continue. Among Americans aged 18 to 33, slightly more than half identify as Christian, compared with roughly 8 in 10 in the baby boom generation and older age groups, the new data show.

    Moreover, in a reverse of previous patterns, younger Americans do not appear to be adhering more to traditional faiths as they become parents. Just the opposite seems to be happening — members of the millennial generation have grown less religious as they age.

    The rapid increase in the number of adults without ties to traditional religious institutions has strong implications for other social institutions and for politics.

    Whether a person attends religious services regularly is among the strongest predictors of how he or she will vote, with traditional religion strongly tied to the Republican Party, at least among white Americans.

    Because the U.S. Census does not ask questions about religion, the Pew Research Center’s massive religion surveys have become a chief source of information on the religious landscape.

    The study found the U.S. still far more religious than most other economically advanced countries. But the significant increase in the share of Americans who do not follow traditional religious belief mirrors trends in Europe and elsewhere.

    “It's becoming much more possible, much more viable, to identify as secular” in the U.S. today, Zuckerman said. In previous generations, a lack of religious affiliation was widely viewed as un-American, he said.

    Nationwide, just short of a quarter of Americans describe themselves as agnostic, atheist or simply “nothing in particular,” up from roughly 1 in 6 in 2007, according to the new study. The ranks of the “nones,” as the study labels them, have grown in large part from people abandoning the religions in which they were raised.

    That trend toward more secularism is particularly strong in the West, where “unaffiliated” is now the single largest religious grouping, at 28%, compared with 23% who identify as Catholic, 22% evangelical Protestant and 11% as mainline Protestant, the Pew data show. The South remains the most heavily Christian part of the nation.

    In the Los Angeles metropolitan region, roughly one-quarter of adults are unaffiliated and about one-third are Catholic, the data show. Two other large Western metropolitan regions, Seattle and San Francisco, rank as the most secular of the country’s largest urban areas, with more than one-third of adults having no religious affiliation.

    Although younger Americans are much more likely to have no religion than older generations, the decline in organized religious belief has affected nearly all population groups — native-born and immigrant; whites, blacks and Latinos; and those with and without college educations, the Pew data found.

    The decline has been sharpest among Americans born since the mid-1960s. And in those groups, organized religion does not appear to be gaining adherents as people age. In 2007, for example, about one-quarter of Americans aged 18 to 26 said they had no religion. Today, in that same cohort — who are now 25 to 33 — just over one-third say they have no religion.

    “If you work in the church, you see it happening. We have growing numbers of congregations that are having a hard time retaining their membership numbers,” said Bishop R. Guy Erwin of the Southwest California Synod of the Evangelical Lutheran Church, based in Glendale.

    “The people who are churchgoers are an aging generation, and they're not being replaced by younger people,” he said. “We can't just assume that we can do the same old stuff and still be successful.”

    Married people are more likely to have a religious affiliation than the unmarried, but both groups have grown less attached to organized religion in recent years, the Pew data show. Among married adults, 18% describe themselves as religious “nones,” while among the unmarried, 28% do. Those who are unmarried but living with a partner are particularly likely to be unaffiliated.

    With the growth of the religiously unaffiliated, Christian ranks have eroded. Roughly 173 million adult Americans identified as Christian when asked last year. That’s just under 71% of the U.S. population, down from 178 million, or 78% of the U.S., in 2007. The total U.S. adult population grew by about 8% during that seven-year period.

    Protestants once dominated the U.S. population, but no longer hold a majority, the study found. About 47% of the U.S. population identifies with some Protestant denomination, down from slightly more than half in 2007.

Erik Diamond

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Re: The Decline of Christianity
« Reply #4 on: August 02, 2016, 02:30:53 PM »
Quote
There is no decline of Christianity, Christianity cannot decline. The church is continuing and cannot be brought down.

You misunderstood what Church on earth is like.  Do you realize that the church always had TWO groups of people:

Professed Christians v.s. Election
Wicked Kings of the Earth v.s. Godly Kings of the Earth
Wicked Merchants of the Earth v.s. Godly Merchants of the Earth
Many are called v.s. Few are chosen
Lot's Sons in Law v.s. Lot
Corporate Church where Abomination can stand v.s. Eternal Church where Abomination can not stand
Blind lead the blind v.s. sheep hear the voice and follow the Shepard
Five Foolish Virgins  v.s. Five Wise Virgins               

Dryfus, what you have said sounds alot like Lot's sons in law.  People like you deny that the church is not that bad, will never fall, or never come under judgment, etc.  They are blind because they can not see the iniquity for what it is that is growing in the church.

Gen 19:14-15 KJV
[14]  And Lot went out, and spake unto his sons in law, which married his daughters, and said, Up, get you out of this place; for the LORD will destroy this city. But he seemed as one that mocked unto his sons in law.
[15]  And when the morning arose, then the angels hastened Lot, saying, Arise, take thy wife, and thy two daughters, which are here; lest thou be consumed in the iniquity of the city.


"For my thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways my ways, saith the LORD. For as the heavens are higher than the earth, so are my ways higher than your ways, and my thoughts than your thoughts." (Isaiah 55:8-9)

Reformed Baptist

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Re: The Decline of Christianity
« Reply #5 on: August 03, 2016, 04:59:44 PM »
There is no decline of Christianity, Christianity cannot decline. The church is continuing and cannot be brought down.

Same thing Israel said.  The congregation is ever continuing and cannot be brought down. Guess what? It was brought down, and by God Himself, because of their sin.

Isaiah 42:24
"Who gave Jacob for a spoil, and Israel to the robbers? did not the LORD, he against whom we have sinned? for they would not walk in his ways, neither were they obedient unto his law."

When will we ever learn  :S_Confused:

Reformer

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Re: The Decline of Christianity
« Reply #6 on: August 04, 2016, 08:43:54 AM »
There is no decline of Christianity, Christianity cannot decline.

 I don't always agree with the pessimism I hear at this site.

 Re 2:10 Fear none of those things which thou shalt suffer: behold, the devil shall cast some of you into prison, that ye may be tried; and ye shall have tribulation ten days: be thou faithful unto death, and I will give thee a crown of life.
 11 He that hath an ear, let him hear what the Spirit saith unto the churches; He that overcometh shall not be hurt of the second death.

Hear what the Spirit says to the churches! This time is a trial of faith for the churches and only those who overcome will prevail through. To claim there is no decline of Christianity is to be naive. To claim Christianity cannot decline is to be naive. To claim we cannot go through great tribulation and must be raptured first is to be naive. To say the church is continuing and cannot be brought down is true in a certain sense, and untrue in another. In the same way that Israel cannot be brought down, but also was brought down. Depends upon which Israel we speak of. Likewise, it depends upon what church we speak of. The corporate body or the spiritual body.

The decline is real, the fall is real and the departing from the faith is real. The reason many cannot see it is because they are part of it. They don't recognize abomination standing in the church nor the false Christs nor the famine. They are under the spell of strong delusion that blinds them to abomination and fornication and the man of sin.

ChelleH

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Re: The Decline of Christianity
« Reply #7 on: August 04, 2016, 02:02:46 PM »
I completely agree that Christianity is declining (rapidly) in America; or is it the influence of Christianity that is declining? I have often wondered if this is an actual evidence yet of end times or Satan's release? Hasn't there always been just a remnant of the truly saved in the corporate churches? What is the state of "Christianity" in the Middle East today where the church actually began? I don't know the statistics but I don't think Christianity is the biggest influence there. Already in the book Revelation we read the warnings against false teaching and apostasy and we know the result. I think also of Europe, the stronghold of the Reformation and just a couple hundred years later Charles Spurgeon was warning of the downgrade. Is this just the nature of what happens to all churches? I think the time has come for the American brand of Christianity to go down the same path. I'm not even sure it is such a bad thing, there are an awful lot of people who are trusting in their claims of belief and their Christian heritage, not Christ alone. They don't even bother to go to a church much less read a Bible and seek out the truth, no wonder even the Christian influence is going. Paul warns us, Peter warns us, John warns us, Jude warns us- the scriptures warn us- about being aware of false teachers and apostasy; it has been part of Christianity since the beginning. Our American churches are full of both, again, is this end times or just the consequences of man-made religion?

I cannot tell you how much I appreciate all your discussions on this site, I look forward to reading everybody's contributions on every topic.  Two years ago I had to move away from my one true Bible study sister in Christ and I have yet to find anyone here who wants to study the Word alone and not just read the popular books of the day.

 I am sorry for not including scripture quotes, I am not that saavy yet, I just figured out how to post a simple reply.(and I couldn't even get a smiley face!!!)

Rich Aikers

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Re: The Decline of Christianity
« Reply #8 on: August 04, 2016, 05:19:42 PM »
I completely agree that Christianity is declining (rapidly) in America; or is it the influence of Christianity that is declining? I have often wondered if this is an actual evidence yet of end times or Satan's release? Hasn't there always been just a remnant of the truly saved in the corporate churches? What is the state of "Christianity" in the Middle East today where the church actually began? I don't know the statistics but I don't think Christianity is the biggest influence there. Already in the book Revelation we read the warnings against false teaching and apostasy and we know the result. I think also of Europe, the stronghold of the Reformation and just a couple hundred years later Charles Spurgeon was warning of the downgrade. Is this just the nature of what happens to all churches? I think the time has come for the American brand of Christianity to go down the same path. I'm not even sure it is such a bad thing, there are an awful lot of people who are trusting in their claims of belief and their Christian heritage, not Christ alone. They don't even bother to go to a church much less read a Bible and seek out the truth, no wonder even the Christian influence is going. Paul warns us, Peter warns us, John warns us, Jude warns us- the scriptures warn us- about being aware of false teachers and apostasy; it has been part of Christianity since the beginning. Our American churches are full of both, again, is this end times or just the consequences of man-made religion?

I cannot tell you how much I appreciate all your discussions on this site, I look forward to reading everybody's contributions on every topic.  Two years ago I had to move away from my one true Bible study sister in Christ and I have yet to find anyone here who wants to study the Word alone and not just read the popular books of the day.

 I am sorry for not including scripture quotes, I am not that saavy yet, I just figured out how to post a simple reply.(and I couldn't even get a smiley face!!!)

Welcome ChelleH,
    Good thoughts. I think that the difference between the various declines in the state of the churches that came before is that at no time was the faith so worldwide, and then so obviously abandoned worldwide in such a manner that there are virtually no truly faithful churches left. I haven't had one truly faithful Christian tell me that there is a faithful church in their area that they can attend. And they have cars and are willing to travel great distances to attend. I've had people tell me there are faithful churches, but when I find out what they believe, I find that they are not faithful Christians. The dearth is worldwide, not just in a local area. That's what's different.

Even in the times of the dissipation and degeneracy of the churches in Asia (middle east) and other bad times like the fall of Rome there were faithful churches and no church would presume to allow homosexuals in it. This era is a whole different generation of false teachers and tribulation from what went before. Not only do people not attend church, the people have no real love of God that was so prevalent of old. Just lip service. There is so much iniquity worldwide that we tolerate these false teachings, including Roman Catholicism, and even support many modern false ideas in many cases.

Matthew 24:11-13
"And many false prophets shall rise, and shall deceive many. And because iniquity shall abound, the love of many shall wax cold. But he that shall endure unto the end, the same shall be saved."

I don't think that this can be said of any era before our time because I do not think that this anti-god sentiment can get much worse. To me, that means the end has got to be near. I know people have said that before, but without the facts of a thoroughly decaying church throughout the world, not just in this city or that town.


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What is the state of "Christianity" in the Middle East today where the church actually began?

The churches of Asia of course no longer exist because they were warned of unfaithfulness, and the gospel that started there spread to the world where it became even greater than those 7 churches. The fall of those 7 churches pale in comparison to the fall of the thousands upon thousands worldwide today. All the churches of all the nations are slowly falling. Just as with all the congregations of Israel, so with all the congregations of the nations. The two don't contrast, they mirror each other in this decay and fall of God's people. Yet as before, a remnant shall be saved who endure to the end.

ChelleH

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Re: The Decline of Christianity
« Reply #9 on: August 04, 2016, 11:14:40 PM »
Rich,

Thanks for the welcome!
 I appreciate the way you laid that out, worldwide apostasy after having had the truth present in all nations is a bit unnerving. I use that  word in the sense of great sadness and amazement that the falling away and lack of desire for truth is so widespread. It sure does seem to point to the end, and Satan being loosed, which is what Frank's original thoughts were.  His description of the state of affairs in the world and sadly the unbelievably great deception amongst the church are too, too accurate. But again I go back to all the verses that warn from the very beginning of the false teachers,( Matt 24: 11-13, Matt 7:15, Acts 20:29, Gal. 4:17, all of 2 Peter!, 1 John 4:1 and all of Jude.) It has always been this way, the gospel comes, some believe and soon after that the false teachers invade. We are just witnessing it worldwide now because of the internet. I think there are still the very few true believers scattered about as it has always been. Maybe the road has been a lot narrower all along than even we thought. The true believers have never fallen away, only the false and it has happened everywhere the gospel has been preached. When these churches go apostate, aren't there still the few real believers that remain? What does the loosing of Satan really look like? Is it that no one will believe the gospel at all? We know he is bound so that he can no longer deceive the nations but the loosing part just says, "till the thousand years should be fulfilled; and after that he must be loosed a little season."  I've thought the end is near for quite a while now as well, but then I remind myself about all the false date setters and also of the fact that we are to be watching and waiting always (as was everyone before us commanded to be.)

Rich Aikers

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Re: The Decline of Christianity
« Reply #10 on: August 05, 2016, 12:34:35 AM »
But again I go back to all the verses that warn from the very beginning of the false teachers,( Matt 24: 11-13, Matt 7:15, Acts 20:29, Gal. 4:17, all of 2 Peter!, 1 John 4:1 and all of Jude.) It has always been this way, the gospel comes, some believe and soon after that the false teachers invade.

I think all those warnings are what we were meant to read in order to know what we are to flee from, and how we are to know it, and how to recognize such abominations, and to be prepared and know that this was foreseen. Without such unfaithfulness and those warnings from Christ, Paul and the apostles, we might not be even attuned to the fact that what is talking place in the churches is so vile to God. Especially the way man likes to overlook things and bend rules and such. Look to the bible history for our example. Didn't God warn Israel again and again about such things, and particularly about the eventual consequences?

Jeremiah 14:14-15
"Then the LORD said unto me, The prophets prophesy lies in my name: I sent them not, neither have I commanded them, neither spake unto them: they prophesy unto you a false vision and divination, and a thing of nought, and the deceit of their heart. Therefore thus saith the LORD concerning the prophets that prophesy in my name, and I sent them not, yet they say, Sword and famine shall not be in this land; By sword and famine shall those prophets be consumed."

Did all the times God warned Israel of the false teachers, prophets and leaders negate Israel's end when Christ died on the cross and the nation fell? No, it confirmed it. What the Lord had proclaimed would come because of their iniquity had come to pass. Did the children of God take heed to His warnings all the years of when the false prophets led the nation astray? No, and so eventually God's word of their total desolation came to pass. Israel just went along its merry way thinking they could never fall despite all God's words about the consequences of falsehoods, right up until the very day that they did fall. That's a lesson for us. Very few people learn anything from God's lessons with Israel. But they should. Because the same thing is happening in God's congregation after the cross that happened before it. Little apostasies that no one learns from, until finally the end comes.


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We are just witnessing it worldwide now because of the internet.


Sure, that's part of it. But that doesn't change the big picture. Witnessing it doesn't change it, nor did it create or help it, it simply gives us quicker knowledge of it. The churches are not becoming unfaithful because of the Internet, the churches were becoming unfaithful for a long, long time. We may have greater knowledge of unfaithfulness, but the cart doesn't come before the horse. The unfaithfulness came first, just as it has done since the dawn of time. Just as God predicted. God knew about the Internet, cameras, television, broadcasts and whatever else we use to get information quickly.  God didn't say knowledge would spread by horse and buggy, He said iniquity would abound. How we learn it abounds is not the point, the point is that it grows and the love of God shrinks and Satan would muster his "worldwide" army against us. The fact that we will know this by being able to get news quickly, I'm sure God took that into consideration. He knows all ahead of time.


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I think there are still the very few true believers scattered about as it has always been. Maybe the road has been a lot narrower all along than even we thought. The true believers have never fallen away,

We all agree with that.


Tony Warren

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Re: The Decline of Christianity
« Reply #11 on: August 05, 2016, 01:58:25 AM »
>>>
What does the loosing of Satan really look like?
<<<

Luke 6:4445
  • "For every tree is known by his own fruit. For of thorns men do not gather figs, nor of a bramble bush gather they grapes.
  • A good man out of the good treasure of his heart bringeth forth that which is good; and an evil man out of the evil treasure of his heart bringeth forth that which is evil: for of the abundance of the heart his mouth speaketh."

Satan is a spirit, and he works within mankind. Thus we will recognize this spirit the same way we recognize those with the Spirit of God. By their fruits. Does the Spirit of God blasphemy, does it defer from authority of the word, or does it condemn truth or call it evil?

1st John 4:1
  • "Beloved, believe not every spirit, but try the spirits whether they are of God: because many false prophets are gone out into the world."

All believers are tasked to try or "TEST" the spirits, and we do that by trying their words or message by the word of God. If their word isn't in agreement with the authority (The word of God), then we should not believe that person. The spirit that is of God is true and its authority is the Word of God. That means their word is a testimony to God's word, rather than contradicts or denies it as the contrary spirit does.


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>>>
Is it that no one will believe the gospel at all?
<<<

That's an impossibility unless all God's people are no longer on earth or are Raptured, since so long as there are God's children on earth, there will be those who believe the gospel. Was that a rhetorical question?


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>>>
We know he is bound so that he can no longer deceive the nations but the loosing part just says, "till the thousand years should be fulfilled; and after that he must be loosed a little season."
<<<

We know a few other things. If Satan was bound specifically so that he Couldn't Deceive the Nations, then his loosing has to mean that this deception that was kept from happening (by Satan being bound), is THEN allowed to happen. This is also unquestionably confirmed by God as He informs us that Satan will then be allowed to deceive the nations, which he was kept from doing in the millennial reign:

Revelation 20:7-8
  • "And when the thousand years are expired, Satan shall be loosed out of his prison,
  • And shall go out to deceive the nations which are in the four quarters of the earth, Gog and Magog, to gather them together to battle: the number of whom is as the sand of the sea."

So we know that Satan was bound by Christ at the cross "so that" he could not deceive the nations that Christ would glean the chosen from to serve in His kingdom (this is the millennial or thousand year reign). After this time is ended, with Christ having gleaned all that God intends for His Kingdom, Satan is then loosed. That means that what He was bound to keep him from doing by the power of the cross until Christ's church was built from the Gentiles (nations), he's now freely allowed of God to do. So taking all that God says into consideration, Satan is bound so that the church could be built from the Gentiles/Nations, and after that he is loosed allowed to deceive. This is also as Christ also "illustrated" in the parable of His coming Kingdom:

Matthew 12:28-29
  • "But if I cast out devils by the Spirit of God, then the kingdom of God is come unto you.
  • Or else how can one enter into a strong man's house, and spoil his goods, except he first bind the strong man? and then he will spoil his house."

Christ is the one come to spoil (or take by conquest) the goods within this strong man's house. Satan is the strong man Christ speaks of. His goods are those deceived and under his control, whom Christ intends to save from the nations. And as Christ says, if He had the power of God to cast out devils, then this Kingdom had come. The reign of Christ had come. The point here is that Christ says there,  FIRST the strong man (Satan) had to be bound in order for Him to do this. Only then could Christ spoil his house. This is the salvation story of Revelation 20's Satan bound and the millennial reign of Christ's Kingdom in a nutshell.


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>>>
I've thought the end is near for quite a while now as well, but then I remind myself about all the false date setters
<<<

The end IS near, how near no one knows. As far as date setters, date setting has nothing to do with this discussion, the prophecy of the end times, the great Tribulation, the falling away or apostasy of the church, the loosing of Satan, the man of sin (or lawlessness) in the Holy Temple, or the abominations that lead to desolation. Your mixing apples and oranges, introducing something foreign that isn't a part of this discussion.

1st Timothy 4:1-3
  • "Now the Spirit speaketh expressly, that in the latter times some shall depart from the faith, giving heed to seducing spirits, and doctrines of devils;
  • Speaking lies in hypocrisy; having their conscience seared with a hot iron;
  • Forbidding to marry, and commanding to abstain from meats, which God hath created to be received with thanksgiving of them which believe and know the truth."

People who believe the end is near are about as close to being date setters as Timothy was. Timothy is not talking about something that was taking place in His day, but something that was coming, an apostasy wherein the church would give heed to seducing spirits with doctrines of the devil. When? When these spirits are loosed from the pit along with Satan.

Revelation 16:13-14
  • "And I saw three unclean spirits like frogs come out of the mouth of the dragon, and out of the mouth of the beast, and out of the mouth of the false prophet.
  • For they are the spirits of devils, working miracles, which go forth unto the kings of the earth and of the whole world, to gather them to the battle of that great day of God Almighty."

Now the Spirit speaks expressly (Clearly, Distinctly) that in the latter times some shall depart from the faith, giving heed to seducing spirits. Deceiving spirits out of the mouths of the False prophets of this Dragon (Satan). It's not like this isn't prophesied again and again and again.  It's not the same old apostasy. It's not the same old tribulation, it's worldwide apostasy and it's GREAT Tribulation, because something has been added, which is Satan has been loosed specifically for this purpose "by God!"


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>>>
and also of the fact that we are to be watching and waiting always (as was everyone before us commanded to be.)
<<<

If the warnings weren't important, God wouldn't have put so many of them in His word addressing these times and this specific issue. These testimonies are there for our learning. He wouldn't say that no one could buy and sell at this latter time except those with the mark of the beast unless there is method and message to the words. Timothy didn't stand in the latter days and declare that in the last days, perilous times were coming, if it was simply the same old thing that he saw in his own day.

2nd Timothy 3:1-7
  • "This know also, that in the last days perilous times shall come.
  • For men shall be lovers of their own selves, covetous, boasters, proud, blasphemers, disobedient to parents, unthankful, unholy,
  • Without natural affection, trucebreakers, false accusers, incontinent, fierce, despisers of those that are good,
  • Traitors, heady, highminded, lovers of pleasures more than lovers of God;
  • Having a form of godliness, but denying the power thereof: from such turn away.
  • For of this sort are they which creep into houses, and lead captive silly women laden with sins, led away with divers lusts,
  • Ever learning, and never able to come to the knowledge of the truth."

Timothy doesn't warn of this apostasy in the last days so we could set dates, but so that we would not be caught unaware by these things coming upon the earth. It's not the same old things, it's something completely different when Satan is loosed that iniquity abounds or increases tremendously as the church is tried. What do we think is the purpose of God telling the church that both Satan will be loosed, and that he will so forth to gather the nations from all over the four corners of the earth, specifically to assault the camp of saints just prior to His second coming? Does that in any way, any way at all, sound like the same old unfaithfulness or just church business as usual? Indeed, how could it be when Satan is loosed, unrestrained that he can gather the nations in order to do this? If he was restrained in the time of the apostle Paul, and the early church, and throughout the Reformation when you say all this unfaithfulness happened before, what will be the evil when he is unrestrained or loosed?

Matthew 24:21
  • "For then shall be great tribulation, such as was not since the beginning of the world to this time, no, nor ever shall be."

No need for us to guess. When Satan is loosed, it will not be the same old tribulation and falling away. It will be greater than has ever been before, nor will ever be. Because afterward, Christ returns for the remnant of His people that are left on earth.

"nosce te ipsum"
 
Peace,
Tony Warren
"I acknowledged my sin unto thee, and mine iniquity have I not hid. I said, I will confess my transgressions unto the Lord; and thou forgavest the iniquity of my sin. Selah. -Psalms 32:5"

ChelleH

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Re: The Decline of Christianity
« Reply #12 on: August 05, 2016, 10:28:24 AM »
Thank you for those verses and explanations,  I have some more questions but I have to think on those things first.

Joe Johnson

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Re: The Decline of Christianity
« Reply #13 on: August 05, 2016, 08:13:09 PM »
There is no decline of Christianity, Christianity cannot decline.

 I don't always agree with the pessimism I hear at this site.

 Re 2:10 Fear none of those things which thou shalt suffer: behold, the devil shall cast some of you into prison, that ye may be tried; and ye shall have tribulation ten days: be thou faithful unto death, and I will give thee a crown of life.
 11 He that hath an ear, let him hear what the Spirit saith unto the churches; He that overcometh shall not be hurt of the second death.

Reformer,
  Am I to assume from this that you believe Satan is already loosed and is casting some of the church into prison that the body is being tried? Is that what you are saying? You believe that this decline is because Satan is loose? If so, my question is why are the nations not gathered together against Israel?

Laura Tomlinson

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Re: The Decline of Christianity
« Reply #14 on: August 06, 2016, 03:51:08 AM »
Joe, like Tony said, if you don't understand why Satan was bound, then you're never going to understand why or when he is loosed. If he was bound to keep the nations from attacking the nation of Israel, then he mst have been bound with sewing thread because Israel was destroyed by the nations not long after Christ went to the cross. Don't you see then that your idea doesn't make sense? If you don't understand why Satan was bound, you will never understand why he is loosed. The answer is in the book  :BibleRead:

 


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