Shalom, to my Friend and Co-Minister in the Great Commission. We live in the most dramatic of days…
THE RISE OF THE GODLESS
Word for the Month & for Sun., Sept. 1
Scripture: Matt. 24:12-13
See Message: Secrets of the Night: The Stars
What will faith look like in the end times? End time prophecy appears to give us a picture of both light and darkness. The findings of a major study sheds light on where we are – and where it’s heading.
First, what’s happened to evangelicals or born again believers? In 1972, the beginning of the period looked at in the study, the percentage of Americans who called themselves “evangelical” was somewhere around 16% of the population. Just five years later in 1977, that number had increased to around 24% or 1 in 4 Americans. By 1993, it reached its peak at 30% or almost 1 in every 3 Americans – a staggering number. From 1993 until now, the number decreased back to around 24%, where it was in 1977.
What about mainline Protestant denominations? What is revealed here is a change of stunning proportions. In 1972, the percentage of Americans in mainline Protestant denominations was around 28%, peaking in 1974 at a little over 30%. But since then, the percentage has plummeted to just over 10%. In other words, it went from about 1 in 3 Americans – to now 1 in 10 Americans.
But the most dramatic phenomenon concerns the “godless,” or those of no religion (from atheist to agnostic to simply those of no specific faith). In 1972, they made up about 5% of the population. In the early 1990s, the same period that marked the beginning of the decrease in evangelicals, the numbers of those with no religion suddenly shot up. They now make up around 24% of the population – the same as Evangelicals. In other words, they multiplied five times over. And if the study broke down these trends by age, looking at the younger generation, the result would likely be even more startling.
What does this reveal? America, at least as a whole, is becoming noticeably more unchristian and ungodly. At the same time, the form of Christianity that is most dramatically decreasing is mainline Protestantism, which is known for having departed from Biblical truths. Evangelical or born again Christianity, though affected by the culture’s apostasy, is showing strength and vitality – but how long this may depend on the younger generation and whether we see revival or not. What the findings appear to show is a phenomenon about I’ve shared on in the past – that of polarization. The middle is disappearing. The gray is being removed. What remains will be either very dark or very light, or both.
This month, pray for revival. Shine your light. Spread the word. And get any grayness out of your life - and get to the light.