Jeremiah Report

Biblical Truth Behind the Headlines

9 Critical Issues That Threaten the Moral Fabric of Our Society!

Puzzling ... disturbing ... alarming ... The world is grappling with issues today that we couldn’t have imagined even one generation ago.

Here’s a thumbnail sketch of the top 9 issues facing Christians in today’s world – and how Christians can respond.

1. I Never Thought I’d See the Day ... When Atheists Would Be Angry

Today’s vocal rop of atheists has ramped up the volume, if not the substance, of the modern attack on religion that we see going on in several quarters. There's always been atheists, and there always will be until the Lord comes again. But the shrill scream of today's atheists is nothing like the more respectful opposition to belief we've seen in the past. I never thought I'd see the day when atheists would so openly and viciously attack Christians, abandoning rational argument and descending into toxic vitriol and groundless accusation. But that day has come.

86% of US Adults believe in God, an 8.5% decline in the last 40 years

The Christian's Response

Accept the same challenge as the one given by Jesus to some who doubted who He was: "If anyone wills to do His will, he shall know concerning the doctrine, whether it is from God or whether I speak on My own authority" (John 7:17). When speaking with an atheist, suggest the following: Regardless of your belief system, I challenge you to make a daring experiment: Instead of suppressing the truth, try opening yourself to it. If, in spite of all the evidence, you have trouble believing, act as if it is true. The stakes are high enough that it's worth the effort to set aside your tendency to disbelieve and try living like a Christian for a while.

We have overwhelming evidence for the existence of God, the veracity of the Bible, and the historical life of Jesus on earth. Yet all this evidence leaves in our hearts a place that requires faith in order to come to full belief. The evidence will lead us on a long journey toward belief, but we will come to the place where the evidence points to a mystery into which we must plunge. Often people stop at the edge and insist on yet another piece of evidence as a stairway into the unknown. That is the point at which we must exercise the step of faith that forces us to trust in God and throw ourselves in. As George MacDonald said, "There is no other way."

Use your spiritual energy to seek after God, and then watch as God's will becomes clear to you. "And you shall know the truth, and the truth shall make you free" (John 8:32).

2. I Never Thought I’d See the Day ... When Christians Wouldn't Know They Were in a War

Biblically and practically, we are in a spiritual war. The Christian's spiritual enemy is not in uniform, and he doesn't meet us on an identifiable battlefield. He uses ruthless and unconventional tactics, such as deceit, deflection, and disguise. Many pastors and teachers ignore or downplay spiritual warfare to the point that many professing Christians don't even know they're in a war. This puts Christians in serious danger. The Church of Jesus Christ needs to know its enemy and his strategies. And above all, Christians need to know how to gain victory over this enemy.

Two things are happening today that I never thought I would live to see. First, spiritual warfare is getting much more intense and Satan is becoming much more real. Second, as mentioned, many Christians are not taking spiritual warfare seriously or even believing such a war is going on. These two factors taken together mean we have a crisis on our hands. When the danger increases and awareness decreases, an alarm needs to be sounded to prevent disaster.

The Christian's Response

As we know the nature of our adversary, we need to get ac­quainted with the nature of our armor. In Ephesians 6 we are told that God has given us the girdle of truth, the breastplate of righ­teousness, the shoes of the preparation of the Gospel of peace, the shield of faith, the helmet of salvation, and the sword of the Spirit, which is the Word of God (verses 14-17).

If we add to this list the weapon of "all prayer," mentioned in Ephesians 6:18, we discover that we have been given five pieces of defensive armor and two powerful weapons with which to fight the spiritual battle. We can see that these implements of spiritual warfare are highly effective: taken together, they represent nothing less than Christ Himself. The armor is Christ.

The death and resurrection of Jesus Christ was the turning point in the war between Satan and God. It ensured our victory. We need only to enter the spiritual battle to which we have been called, aware of its reality and its subtlety, and armed with the truth that the ultimate victory against Satan has already been achieved. Result: at this present moment, we are "more than conquerors through Him who loved us" (Romans 8:37). "Thanks be to God, who gives us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ" (1 Corinthians 15:57).

3. I Never Thought I’d See the Day ... When Jesus Would Be So Profaned

Biblical Christians draw no distinction between secular and sacred. All of life is sacred. Most cultures around the world have been essentially secular but have acknowledged a sacred dimension to life. But in America that respectful recognition has slipped. When people in the public eye take sacred objects - like images of Jesus Christ - and use them in profane ways, the message is, "Nothing is sacred anymore - and if anything is, it shouldn't be. Get over it."

When Jesus is featured in profane ways on television shows, He is reduced from His biblical stature, divine and holy, to a cul­tural characterization, crude and common. When people watch such shows or view similar representations of Jesus at the nation­al level - and millions do - the national religious and spiritual psyche is changed.

Today, Jesus Christ is considered fair game for comedians, spoofers, and commercial entrepreneurs.

The Christian's Response

The challenge for Christians is to stop being surprised at what the non-Christian world says about Jesus and become more concerned about our own response to who He is and what He requires of those who follow Him.

We must also stop expecting America to protect Jesus.

The growing hostility toward Jesus only makes our day more similar to the day in which Jesus and His earliest followers set the world on fire with the power of the Gospel.

We may see that fire rekindled in our day if we allow the power of Christ in us to show itself by resisting the cultural dismissal of Christianity.

I can only hope and pray to see the day when His true Church fully and obediently embraces Him for who He is: Lord of all.

4. I Never Thought I’d See the Day ... When Marriage Would Be Obsolete

Marriage deemed obsolete? The day seems to have arrived in the minds of many. When a 2010 Pew Research Center/Time Magazine survey asked the American public if marriage was be­coming obsolete, nearly 40% said yes.

The present concept of marriage and family in America stands in stark contrast to God's design for marriage. America has drifted far from the safe harbor of God's intent for marriage and family. Stable marriages and families are the basic building blocks of society, and part of our moral and spiritual confusion can be tied to the breakdown of marriage. It's mere common sense: If the building blocks crumble, it is inevitable that the entire structure of society will also crumble.

Only 36% of 18-19 year olds believe it is very important to be married. Only 48% of adults are married (34% decrease since 1960).

The Christian's Response

The future of traditional marriage is in trouble in America. Our selfish natures, our increasingly godless culture, and our very government are hard at work against God's first ordained institution.

Fortunately, to paraphrase Christ, "What God has ordained, no man or government can destroy" (see Matthew 19:6). But this requires the people of God to preserve, protect, and defend marriage from every form of attack. We must work on three fronts: our own marriages, the marriages of people we love, and the institution of marriage in society.

We can't always control the choices of a secular society, but as children of God living biblically in a corrupt culture, we can guard our own marriages in both concept and practice. And in so doing, we can show the world what it's missing.

5. I Never Thought I’d See the Day ... When Morality Would Be in Free Fall

America's moral compass has lost its orientation. It seems no longer to have a "true north." The needle spins crazily, looking for a direction on which to settle, a direction that can lead a nation on a path of integrity and morality.

While many Americans may participate in gambling, prostitution, abortion, pornography, and other legal behaviors that soil the American conscience, most seem to realize there's a disconnect between what is legal and what is truly moral. And, like children who lose respect for parents who are living inappropriate lives, we lose respect for those in authority who compromise absolute morality when passing laws for financial or political advantage.

If morality is important in a democratic society, it is even more important in the spiritual society of Christ's Church. And there are signs that morality is breaking down there as well.

79% of men and 76% of women 18-30 years old view pornography at least once a month.

The Christian's Response

We should not be surprised or disheartened. Historically, Christians have more often than not lived in a world that ignored or was hostile to the moral law.

It is, therefore, incumbent on us as Christians to be salt and light - to live in such a way that we not only respect and observe absolute morality but also live above the minimum physical standards, as Jesus enjoined us to do. God has honored us with the crucial responsibility and glorious opportunity to live lives that demonstrate His nature to a wayward and searching world.

6. I Never Thought I’d See the Day ... When the Bible Would Be Marginalized

In America's journey from Plymouth to pluralism, the Bible has been downgraded in the public square, from taught to tolerated. And from taught to virtually banned from public schools. From being a rule of faith and practice, the Bible has become a relic of history - a negative cultural icon used to illustrate the narrow-mindedness of our nation's founders.

Unfortunately, the public square and public schools are not the only venues in which the Bible's status has been downgraded and its message diluted. It's also happening in the last place we should expect it: in the Christian church itself. The church, which should stand firm and exercise a positive effect on society, has instead allowed itself to be affected by our culture's growing marginalization of the Bible. The Bible is actually losing its pride of place in the Christian church in America. We see mounting evidence that the church is shifting in the same direction as public education - from propositional knowledge to experiential knowledge.

In short, not only has the Bible been marginalized in American culture; it is becoming marginalized in the church.

The Christian's Response

The answer to today's alarming marginalization of the Bible is for every Christian to pray that God will restore our wonder in the astounding fact that the Creator of heaven and earth loved us so dearly that He gave us His loving and guiding Word, which gives us knowledge of His amazing sacrifice and draws us toward Him and His redeeming love. Be assured that He will hear such a prayer. And if enough Christians restore the Bible and the One it tells us of to the center of our lives, our nation and its culture may yet be transformed.

7. I Never Thought I’d See the Day ... When the Church Would Be Irrelevant

The Church of Jesus is today perceived as irrelevant. And the Church itself has to assume some of the blame. If the Church is being ignored because we preach the message of "Jesus Christ and Him crucified" (1 Corinthians 2:2), or because the Gospel has become "a stumbling stone and rock of offense" (Romans 9:33) to the world, that's one thing. But if we are deemed irrelevant because we're an anemic version of the world's entertainment options or because we aren't playing the world's game nearly as well as the world does, then that's another thing. That's a tragedy.

If we're going to be attacked or ignored by the world, it might as well be for turning the world upside down as the early Church did (Acts 17:6).

Church attendance has declined 15% in the last 30 years.

The Christian's Response

When the Church manifests the life of the Lord Jesus Christ, then the Church will be just as relevant in our day as He was in His. Mission, mercy, meeting needs, manifesting the power and love of God - all these and more are facets of the Church's mandate to make disciples through faithfully teaching all that Jesus commanded His first disciples (Matthew 28:19-20).

May God grant His Church the discipline to stay focused and the desire to manifest the eternal relevance of Jesus Christ to a needy world.

8. I Never Thought I’d See the Day ... When an Islamic Republic Could Intimidate the World

STanding before the United Nations General Aseembly, then President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad of the Islamic Republic of Iran began his remarks by praying boldly to ''Allah, the Lord of the Universe," invoking blessings upon "our Master and Prophet, Mohammad." He then proceeded to pray that God would "hasten the arrival oflmam Al-Mahdi" - the Islamic Messiah, who Muslims believe will lead a global conquest of all non-Islamic nations.

No U.S. President could ever stand before the United Nations and pray with equal boldness to our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ - the international outcry would be deafening. Yet there was no objection to the Iranian's prayer - demonstrating the growing impact of this country where church and state are one and the same.

An ancient, repressive nation now intimidates the modern world using threats based in theology. There is nothing more volatile than a theocratic leader with nuclear capabilities in one hand and a divine mission from "God" in the other. We have seen countless examples of this deadly combination of weaponry and religious fundamentalism on the part of jihadists who were willing to kill and be killed in the name of "God."

The Christian's Response

No matter how high a nation rises in power and influence, God will maintain His sovereignty as promised, and save His own, by bringing all His enemies to ruin on the shoals of their own pride and arrogance.

God, the persistent "hound of heaven," loves each of us as His dear creation and pursues us as individuals even inside the borders of nations hostile to Him. Iran as a nation may have risen against Him, but within that nation are people who can hear His voice when He calls and respond to Him with love and dedication.

This is why in our personal judgments we must remember who the enemy is. A given nation may have defied God, but within that nation are Christians and potential Christians who are not enemies but brothers and sisters. In our judgments we must never become "judgmental" in the sense that we make unwarranted assumptions about the power of God's Word or the length of His reach.

9. I Never Thought I’d See the Day ... When America Would Turn Her Back on Israel

Can America survive? It is no overstatement to say, maybe not. America's future depends in large part on one simple factor: our relationship to the tiny nation oflsrael. Given the political trends in recent years, America is putting her future at risk. We supported Israel in the mid-twentieth century when she was re-formed politically in her homeland. Now America is abandoning or at least diminishing that support. If we do not return to our previous supportive policies toward Israel, our future as a nation is in peril.

The Christian's Response

Scripture makes it clear that to the degree America stands with, befriends, supports, and defends God's chosen people, America will enjoy the favor of God.

You and I can do two things to influence America's support of Israel: First, we can use whatever means are available to influence those who establish national policies in Washington.

Second, we can pray, both for our leaders (1 Timothy 2:1-4) and for "the peace ofJerusalem" (Psalm 122:6).

We as God's people have hope. We know the end of the story - and we are promised the victory. But in the meantime, we must be vigilant. We must be faithful. We must be Bible Strong. You're invited to generously support Turning Point's outreach campaign today, to share these truths with multitudes - and request Dr. David Jeremiah's extraordinary teaching series, I Never Thought I'd See the Day.

Statistics from Pew Research Center and 2015 Pornography Statistics | Covenant Eyes.