Am I a Pretender?

“In the 2009 American Religious Identification Survey, 76 percent of Americans self-identified as ‘Christian.’  If we’re not careful, we might think the majority of the country understands Christ, the Bible, and Christianity the way we evangelicals do.  Unfortunately, that’s not the case.

Sociologists have long known that Americans who self-identify as ‘Christian’ rarely attend church, let alone an evangelical church.  Of the minority who do attend church, large segments are non-Bible believing, non-Christ believing, or Mormon.  In short, the vast majority are not Christians by the evangelical definition of trusting in Christ alone for eternal salvation and valuing God’s Word as the true standard for belief and practice……The term ‘born again’ means different things to different people in postmodern, pluralistic America.”

John S. Dickerson, a journalist turned pastor, authored “The Great Evangelical Recession”, wherein he stated that studies found that there was a massive discrepancy between the number of Americans who claim to be born again (33%-45%) and the experts’ count of truly defined evangelicals (7%-9%).  These findings are consistent with the very few automobiles in my neighborhood which I see leaving or not leaving from or returning or not returning to their 1000+ homes on Sunday morning.  Very, very, very few!

Call for The Platters of the 1950s.  Remember their great hit of the day?  “Oh yes, I’m the great pretender (ooh)….  Pretending I’m doing well (ooh)…. My need is such, I pretend to much, I’m lonely but no one can tell….Adrift in a world of my own (ooh).  I play the game but to my real shame, you’ve left me to dream all alone….Too real is this feeling of make believe…. Too real when I feel what my heart can’t conceal…..Just laughing and gay like clown (ooh)…. I seem to be what I’m not you see, I’m wearing my heart like a crown….Oh yes, I’m the great pretender.” 

 Please Dear Lord, may I not get so wrapped up in my selfish interests, doings, and stuff, which is so easy for me to do, as to be so found.

Used with permission by my friend.

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2 Responses to Am I a Pretender?

  1. fewox says:

    The Bible indicates that there will be a great apostasy during the end times. The “great apostasy” is mentioned in 2 Thessalonians 2:3. The KJV calls it the “falling away,” while the NIV and ESV call it “the rebellion.” And that’s what an apostasy is: a rebellion, an abandonment of the truth. The end times will include a wholesale rejection of God’s revelation, a further “falling away” of an already fallen world.

    The occasion of Paul’s writing to the Thessalonians was to correct some of the errors concerning the end times that the believers had heard from false teachers. Among the falsehoods was that “the day of the Lord has already come” (2 Thessalonians 2:2). The Christians in Thessalonica were afraid that Jesus had already come, they had missed the rapture, and they were now in the tribulation. Paul had already explained the rapture to them in his first letter (1 Thessalonians 4:16–17). Paul writes his second letter to assure them that, contrary to what they had heard, and despite the persecution they were enduring, the “day of Christ” had not yet come.

    In 2 Thessalonians 2:3, Paul makes it clear that the day of the Lord, a time of worldwide judgment (Isaiah 13:6; Obadiah 1:15), will not transpire until two things happen. First, the falling away, or great apostasy, must occur. Second, the “man of lawlessness” must be revealed, he who is called the “son of perdition,” also known as the Antichrist. Once this person makes himself known, the end times will indeed have come. Numerous speculations about the identity of the man of sin, beginning in the first century, have included Caligula, Caius Caesar, Mohammed, Napoleon, and any number of Roman popes. None of them were the Antichrist.

    The man of lawlessness, according to 2 Thessalonians 2:4, is the one “will oppose and will exalt himself over everything that is called God or is worshiped, so that he sets himself up in God’s temple, proclaiming himself to be God.” Clearly, this has not yet happened; no one since Paul’s time has set himself up as God in the Jewish temple. Two thousand years have passed since the epistle was written, and the “day of the Lord” has not yet come. Paul assures us that it will not come until the falling away comes first.

    The Greek word translated “rebellion” or “falling away” in verse 3 is apostasia, from which we get the English word apostasy. It refers to a general defection from the true God, the Bible, and the Christian faith. Every age has its defectors, but the falling away at the end times will be complete and worldwide. The whole planet will be in rebellion against God and His Christ. Every coup requires a leader, and into this global apostasy will step the Antichrist. We believe this takes place after the church has been raptured from the earth.

    Jesus warned the disciples concerning the final days in Matthew 24:10–12: “At that time many will turn away from the faith and will betray and hate each other, and many false prophets will appear and deceive many people. Because of the increase of wickedness, the love of most will grow cold.” These are the characteristics of the great apostasy of the end times.

    Recommended Resource: Understanding End Times Prophecy by Paul Benware

  2. fewox says:

    The Great falling away or rebellion.

    2 Thessalonians 2:1-17 KJV
    Now we beseech you, brethren, by the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ, and by our gathering together unto him, [2] That ye be not soon shaken in mind, or be troubled, neither by spirit, nor by word, nor by letter as from us, as that the day of Christ is at hand. [3] Let no man deceive you by any means: for that day shall not come , except there come a falling away first, and that man of sin be revealed, the son of perdition; [4] Who opposeth and exalteth himself above all that is called God, or that is worshipped; so that he as God sitteth in the temple of God, shewing himself that he is God. [5] Remember ye not, that, when I was yet with you, I told you these things? [6] And now ye know what withholdeth that he might be revealed in his time. [7] For the mystery of iniquity doth already work: only he who now letteth will let , until he be taken out of the way. [8] And then shall that Wicked be revealed, whom the Lord shall consume with the spirit of his mouth, and shall destroy with the brightness of his coming: [9] Even him , whose coming is after the working of Satan with all power and signs and lying wonders, [10] And with all deceivableness of unrighteousness in them that perish; because they received not the love of the truth, that they might be saved. [11] And for this cause God shall send them strong delusion, that they should believe a lie: [12] That they all might be damned who believed not the truth, but had pleasure in unrighteousness. [13] But we are bound to give thanks alway to God for you, brethren beloved of the Lord, because God hath from the beginning chosen you to salvation through sanctification of the Spirit and belief of the truth: [14] Whereunto he called you by our gospel, to the obtaining of the glory of our Lord Jesus Christ. [15] Therefore, brethren, stand fast, and hold the traditions which ye have been taught, whether by word, or our epistle. [16] Now our Lord Jesus Christ himself, and God, even our Father, which hath loved us, and hath given us everlasting consolation and good hope through grace, [17] Comfort your hearts, and stablish you in every good word and work.

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