Not a day goes by without reading an email or message sent by a deeply concerned believer with a link to a video proclaiming the dangers facing Christianity in our time. Some range from the scholarly – with Scripture quotes about end-times persecution of the Church made to fit current state of society, to the outright false prophecies peddled by dubious TV preachers and so-called prophets. You have probably received these messages from friends and relatives in your social network, and sometimes they are abundantly clear: the onslaught on our faith is coming and we must prepare to defend it. As if the global Church, the Bride of Christ is to be defended on the strengths of human beings, or perhaps because God Almighty needs people to defend it. Jesus said:” I will build my church, and the gates of hell shall not prevail against it.” (Mathew 16:18 ESV).
Frankly speaking, the greatest threat to Christianity in the 21st Century does not arise from outside forces, instead, is coming from inside the body. Almost half of the 200 denominations in the U.S are being divided by one or several highly controversial topics. American Christianity is in turmoil, and it mirrors the chaotic state of the church before the Reformation. Political factions have formed within; increased corruption, scandals, etc., have weakened the Church mostly from the inside. A weakened Christianity is not effective and is unable to fulfill its Great Commission: “Now the eleven disciples went to Galilee, to the mountain to which Jesus had directed them. And when they saw him, they worshiped him, but some doubted. And Jesus came and said to them, “All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to me. Go therefore and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in[a] the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, teaching them to observe all that I have commanded you. And behold, I am with you always, to the end of the age.” (Mathew 28:16-20 ESV).
This writing is not negating the value of Biblical prophecies, their importance in predicting the events that will occur at the end-times as foretold by men inspired by the Holy Spirit, what is being said is that we must not fall for these outlandish and often false ideas and so-called teachings, that only distract the elect and causes them to neglect their divine commission.
The greatest danger facing the Church is the decreasing interest of Christians in reading and studying the Bible by themselves like the Berean believers did: “Now these Jews were more noble than those in Thessalonica; they received the word with all eagerness, examining the Scriptures daily to see if these things were so.” Acts 17:11 ESV). American Christians, they are content with attending church, listening to a sermon, and going home or nearest mall after, or gathering for Sunday meals to talk about the great sermon they heard, or how well prepared the speaker was in presenting the sermon.
In view of the national and global unsettling events which have not caught God by surprise, instead, He has orchestrated all the events to fulfill His purpose and plans. We must be humble in our attitude, sober in our thinking, and disciplined in our study of the Bible, His Word, and learn about the History of Christianity through the ages. The Church of Jesus Christ, His Bride is not going to be destroyed any time soon, and most importantly, not by any human means or even spiritual powers of the air. I close with this passage from the Scriptures to encourage you:
“Finally, be strong in the Lord and in the strength of his might. Put on the whole armor of God, that you may be able to stand against the schemes of the devil. For we do not wrestle against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the cosmic powers over this present darkness, against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly places. Therefore, take up the whole armor of God, that you may be able to withstand in the evil day, and having done all, to stand firm. Stand therefore, having fastened on the belt of truth, and having put on the breastplate of righteousness, and, as shoes for your feet, having put on the readiness given by the gospel of peace. In all circumstances take up the shield of faith, with which you can extinguish all the flaming darts of the evil one; and take the helmet of salvation, and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God, always praying in the Spirit, with all prayer and supplication. To that end, keep alert with all perseverance, making supplication for all the saints.” (Ephesians 6:10-18 ESV).