Bits and Pieces – 143rd Edition – December 4, 2022
DECLINE OF CHRISTIANITY IN BRITAIN
It used to be called Great Britain, and I remember parade banners with the motto, “the secret of England’s greatness” with a picture of the Christian Bible beside it. Sadly, the greatness has departed as is proved by the latest British census figures. The census is taken every ten years the latest being 2022.
These figures make for sorry reading to the faithful Christians. At the last census (2011) the percentage of Christians in the country was 59.3%. Now it has declined to 46.2%. The number who declared “No religion” has risen from 25% to 37%.
So many Muslims have taken up residence in England that some English towns are now almost completely Islamic. Their percentage of the population has increased from 4.9% to 6.5%.
Further darkening the picture is the fact that many of those who identified as Christian no longer practice their faith. How sad that the nation that produced such great men as Knox, Whitefield, Wesley, Latimer and Spurgeon (to name but a few) should now be at such a low state spiritually.
SEARCHING FOR A ONE WORLD RELIGION
One of the signs of the end-time is the movement towards a single-world religion. “Mystery Babylon” [Revelation 17:5] derives from the tower of Babel [Genesis 11:4]
The Genesis tower was a PEOPLE UNIFYING MOVEMENT but it was also a GOD DEFYING MOVEMENT. We can expect Babylon to have the same characteristics in the last days.
The ecumenists started by trying to unite the Christian churches, led by the World Council of Churches. (W.C.C.) They had minimal success so they branched into syncretism with the objective of uniting with non-Christians to form a one-world religion.
The latest iteration of this is the Abrahamic Family of Religions House, which is being built on the island of Saadyat, the cultural centre of Abu Dhabi in the United Arab Emirates. Pope Francis, and the Sunni Muslim leader, Ahmed Ay Tayeb, drew up an agreement in February 2019. It is to be “a beacon of mutual understanding, harmonious coexistence, and peace among people of faith and goodwill.”
However, just as the tower of Babel was opposed to God, so this Babylon is opposed by God [2 Corinthians 6:14-17].
God’s Word could not be clearer,
“Wherefore come out from among them, and be ye separate, saith the Lord,
and touch not the unclean thing: and I will receive you.”
OUR STEADFAST HOPE
“Be not soon shaken in mind” [II Thess. 2:2].
As surely as Jesus came the first time, He will come again. Paul’s message to the Thessalonians was this great and glorious fact. But even so wonderful a subject was not without difficulty, and there were those who disturbed and deceived the people in Thessalonica, causing considerable confusion.
Paul wrote to comfort the saints and pointed out that before the coming of the Lord, there would be “a falling away first” [2 Thess. 2:3]. The word he used, “apostasia” is the one from which we get apostasy. Hence Paul alerted them that before the coming of Christ, there would be a notable departure from the faith. Is that day now upon us? All around are evidence of declining Christian standards.
Many churches have turned from the spiritual, soul-saving Gospel to a social gospel that focuses on the temporal and leaves the spirit hungry and dissatisfied.
There is also a marked decline in the respect for the law of God. Paul speaks of “The mystery of iniquity,” literally “No law,” or lawlessness. Everywhere moral restraints, once seldom questioned, are being cast aside. Absolutes of right and wrong as defined by God’s Word are denied, and society is plunging into the depressing depths of nihilism.
This decline can have a marked, negative effect on the believer if he allows his eyes to stray from the Lord. Paul recognized this and sought to focus the Thessalonians’ attention on Christ and the “everlasting good hope” they had received through grace.
Rather than lie down in depression and lethargy, Paul encouraged them to comfort their hearts in the Lord and get on with the job of working for Christ. The great apostasy will come, but a believer ought to have no part of it. Rather, he is to live in separation unto Him whose coming he awaits.
COME OVER AND HELP US
Two pulpit vacancies exist in Canada, Fredericton (east), and Cloverdale (west). May God soon send men to fill these openings to provide leadership. Where are they? Let us increase prayer for a speedy answer.