In their September 9, 2021 edition, The Christian Post published an article entitled, “Most Adult US Christians Don’t Believe Holy Spirit Is Real: Study.”

The article claims that of an estimated 176 million American adults who identify as Christian, just 6% or 15 million of them actually hold a biblical worldview, according to a new study from Arizona Christian University.

What is telling is that while most of those who were surveyed believe that God is all-powerful, all-knowing, and is Creator of the universe, more than half of those who believe that truth reject the existence of the Holy Spirit as well as many other teachings and principles that make up the Christian faith.

In fact, according to this study, a majority of those surveyed believe that all religious faiths are of equal value, that people are basically good, and that people can use acts of goodness to earn their way to heaven. Furthermore, the majority of those surveyed do not believe in moral absolutes, but consider their feelings, experiences, and the opinions and input of friends and family as their most trusted source of moral guidance. To top it off, the survey also found that the majority of people believed that having faith matters more than which faith you pursue!

So, let’s look at the reality of this survey: 62% of self-identified born-again Christians contend that the Holy Spirit is not a real, living being but is merely a symbol of God’s power, presence, or purity. 61% said that all religious faiths are of equal value, and 60% believe that if a person is good enough, or does enough good things, they can earn their way into Heaven. Each of these positions are diametric to Biblical Truth and adamantly oppose a Biblical worldview.

This is the result of the religion of progressive secularism being introduced into, comingled with, and codified into a nuevo-Christian western theology that is distinctly non-Christian and unequivocally a heresy.

In March of this year a Satanist TikTokker who identifies himself as a member of the “Lucifer Gang”, took to video to thank “progressive Christians,” saying, “There is a wave of Christian people that I have met on this app, and I have found favor with them. Progressive Christians are what the world needs right now.” These remarks come from a man whose page is filled with anti-Christian arguments, as well as content promoting witchcraft, dark powers, and satanic rituals and imagery. He unequivocally states that he’s found favor with them because of his similarity to them. Progressive Christianity is a reference to a specific viewpoint about Jesus and the Bible. It is Christian thought that emerged out of the Enlightenment and Post-Enlightenment philosophers like Voltaire, Kant, Hegel, and Simon. If you would like to study more about Progressive Christianity, read Lucas Miles’ book, The Christian Left: How Liberal Thought Has Hijacked the Church.

Bill Federer wrote a provocative piece in which he chronicles the history of California, and its deconstruction. From its Christian founding to now, the government shutting down churches. To learn the history of California, you owe it to yourself to read Bill Federer’s article here. The saddest reality of all is to discover that as a nation we’ve lost our solemn sense of God superintending our lives, of our reliance upon His providential care. The truths of Christianity no longer exists in our culture, in our public square, or in our public education because our nation and its culture have chosen to corporately embrace the doctrine, dogma, and ideology of secular religion. Secularists have been working tirelessly for generations at destroying, falsifying, rewriting, repainting, renaming, and completely altering our history until, nothing exists except an endless ‘present‘ in which the State is always right. A compliant people are required if these deceivers are to be able to alter truth and falsify our nation’s past, and to allow our leaders to ultimately claim infallibility by altering the trajectory of our nation’s future.

In the early 1960’s the secularists managed to remove prayer from schools [Engel v. Vitale, 1962] and the Bible from public education [Abington School District v. Schempp, 1963]. In the case of Abington School District v. Schempp, Justice Potter said, “this decision doesn’t lead to true neutrality with respect to religion, but to the establishment of a religion of secularism.” In fact, it was the Wall Street Journal who recognized that secular atheism was now “the one belief to which the State’s power will extend its protection.” The State has become America’s god. The past is being falsified and erased until the State manages to convince you that its lie is the truth. George Orwell wrote in his book, 1984, “Those who control the past control the future, and those who control the present control the past.” Selectively re-editing or ridiculing past individuals or events allows the State to mechanize and advance a differing political agenda for the future. In fact, it was Karl Marx who espoused, “The first battlefield is history rewriting.” He went on to say, “Take away the heritage of a people and they are easily persuaded.”

Is it any wonder then why the Scripture is replete with so many commands to teach our children.

Proverbs 22:6 “Train up a child in the way he should go; even when he is old he will not depart from it.”

Deuteronomy 6:5-9 “Love the Lord your God with all your heart, with all your soul, and with all your strength. Take to heart these words that I give you today. Repeat them to your children. Talk about them when you’re at home or away, when you lie down or get up. Write them down, and tie them around your wrist, and wear them as headbands as a reminder. Write them on the doorframes of your houses and on your gates.”

Deuteronomy 4:9-10 “But watch out! Be careful never to forget what you yourself have seen. Do not let these memories escape from your mind as long as you live! And be sure to pass them on to your children and grandchildren. Never forget the day when you stood before the Lord your God at Mount Sinai, where He told me, Summon the people before Me, and I will personally instruct them. Then they will learn to fear Me as long as they live, and they will teach their children to fear Me also.”

Matthew 19:13-15 “One day some parents brought their children to Jesus so he could lay His hands on them and pray for them. But the disciples scolded the parents for bothering Him. But Jesus said, “Let the children come to Me. Don’t stop them! For the Kingdom of Heaven belongs to those who are like these children.” And He placed His hands on their heads and blessed them before He left.”

1 Timothy 4:10-11 “This is why we work hard and continue to struggle, for our hope is in the living God, who is the Savior of all people and particularly of all believers. Teach these things and insist that everyone learn them.”

Deuteronomy 11:19 “Teach them to your children. Talk about them when you are at home and when you are on the road, when you are going to bed and when you are getting up.”

Discipline is a form of teaching your child.

Proverbs 23:13-14 “Do not hesitate to discipline a child. If you spank him, he will not die. Spank him yourself, and you will save his soul from hell.”

Proverbs 22:15 “A child’s heart has a tendency to do wrong, but the rod of discipline removes it far away from him.”

Proverbs 29:15 “The rod and rebuke bestow wisdom, but an undisciplined child brings shame to his mother.”

Proverbs 29:17 “Discipline your child, and he will give you rest; he will bring you happiness.”

Colossians 3:21 “Fathers, provoke not your children to anger, lest they be discouraged.”

Ephesians 6:4 “Parents, do not anger your children, but rear them in the discipline and in the teaching of Our Lord.”

1 Corinthians 8:9 “But you must see to it that this right of yours does not become a stumbling block for those who are weak.”

Matthew 5:15-16 “People don’t light a lamp and put it under a basket but on a lamp stand, and it gives light to everyone in the house. In the same way let your light shine in front of people. Then they will see the good that you do and praise your Father in heaven.”

Matthew 18:5-6 “And anyone who welcomes a little child like this on my behalf is welcoming Me. But if you cause one of these little ones who trusts in Me to fall into sin, it would be better for you to have a large millstone tied around your neck and be drowned in the depths of the sea.”

The Book of Joel is incontrovertibly significant to every New Testament believer. The prophet Joel recognized that the locust plague was a sign and a prelude to conquest by a human army and it portends future eschatological events. In fact, the entire book of Joel is framed in an apocalyptic framework. Joel manages to draw within its three short chapters a detailed picture of how the prophets presented and understood divine judgment, apocalyptic events, and the future of God’s people. For this reason, Joel is among the most important books of the prophetic corpus. More than any other book of the Bible, Joel is the book of The Day of the LORD.

Joel, though it is brief compared to other books of the Bible, uses a wide variety of devices and techniques in its language. For instance, it uses eight functions of repetition, and one of those is succession.

Succession. The text that specifically instructs the old men to tell the story of the locust plague to their children, their children’s children, and for generations to come (Joel 1:3). The spirit of the prophet Joel was stirred so that he uses the immediate crisis facing God’s people to to move them toward an apocalyptic future and the ultimate of all issues. He did this by using the main focus of a locust plague as the manifestation of the Day of the LORD. The Day of the LORD dominates the book of Joel.

Interestingly, most scholars connect the idea of the Day of the LORD with the ideology of the holy war. Passages such as Isaiah 13; 34 and Ezekiel 7 are believed to reflect ancient traditions in which God [Yahweh] comes down as a Warrior to fight for Israel. In popular eschatology this was taken to mean that the Day of the LORD was always good for Israel and bad for their enemies. Whether or not this premise is a predicate or not is of little importance, what is important is that it is very clear that the Day of the LORD refers to dramatic action by God to either judge or save. Every major event of Joel is treated as the Day of the LORD. The locust plague that initiated the book is God’s “army,” whose coming signals dreadful destruction from the Almighty (Joel 1:6, 15). The army of Joel 2:1–11 comes against Jerusalem on the “Day of the LORD,” a “Day of darkness and gloom, a day of clouds and blackness” (Joel 2:1–2). This army has all the trappings of an apocalyptic enemy. But the Day of the LORD is also salvation for Israel.

Remarkably, even the pouring out of the Spirit is accompanied by the dreadful signs of the Day of the LORD (2:30–31). The healing of the land after the locust plague also will come about because the LORD will do “great things” and “wonders” in Judah (Joel 2:21, 26). Finally, the destruction of the northern enemy and the judgment of all nations is, from beginning to end, the Day of the LORD. God comes down as a Warrior to slaughter His enemies (Joel 2:20; 3:9–11, 16). The sky grows black (Joel 3:15). Jerusalem experiences healing and vindication (Joel 3:18–21). Therefore, it is perfectly appropriate to say that one of the important subject matters of Joel is the Day of the LORD in all its forms.

The Day of the LORD refers to a decisive action of God to bring His plans for His people to completion. The Day of the LORD is the thematic link that binds together events as disparate as a locust plague, a foreign invasion, the outpouring of the gift of the Holy Spirit empowering people of all social classes to witness and prophesy, and the last judgment.

Simply put, Joel seeks to persuade his audience that the plans of God are moving forward. Jerusalem must accept the calamities that come upon them as the chastisement of God and must look to Him for forgiveness and protection. On the other hand, the plans of God include the final triumph of Israel. The very event that has terrified Jerusalem, the Day of the LORD, is also their salvation.

Today, it would be very wise for the Christian believer to avoid the assumption that it pleases God to offer him a personal belief or opinion. Far too often, those who believe that their opinion matters to God do so with the bias of modern progressivism and the leaven of secularism. To interpret Scripture through the lens of modern progressive Christianity is to miss the mark, miss the call, miss the salvation of the gospel. Today, Jesus is separating everything and everyone who deigns to entertain Jezebel and eat from her festive table of heresy. God is calling for Seekers who will be radical in their worship, who care not for their lives, their own opinions, nor the opinions of their peers. God is looking for individuals who hunger for a “Thus saith the Lord.” To this kind of Seeker, God’s Truth is all that matters and is all that is essential, because in knowing His Truth, the Seeker discovers His love unfeigned and God’s freedom unrestrained – the freedom to fully serve Him.

In Truth, we learn of Him whose yoke is easy and His burden is light. We discover Truth without the contaminants of humanism and it’s leaven of pride and prejudice. We realize the Truth that is far beyond the “opinions of men” and the “desires of self.” We find Truth that is absolutely essential to us being Born Again. And in that Truth, we learn how to dance in the rain, both the former and latter rain together, until our hour of gross darkness is eclipsed by the brilliance of our coming Day of the LORD!

Don’t despise the preacher who is anointed with the tongue of a prophet, who preaches as an oracle of God, who decrees and declares God’s will against the peril and predicaments of a secular culture governed by godless men and women. Don’t despise them, recognize them. Don’t hate them, intercede for them. Don’t betray them, but draw near them. If you will, you’ll hear ancient echoes racing out of cultural predicaments and you’ll see four horsemen riding hard to fulfill the coming Day of the LORD!

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