A Note from Les
A Note from Les: Dear Friends, Once again it is time to thank you from the bottom of our hearts for your prayers, letters and support. How it thrills us to see so many coming to a better understanding of God’s Word. Typical was a letter from a lady who wrote, "I am 92 years old and have been in church all my life, but I've learned more in the last six months than in all the years before."
You have heard me say on the program and in our seminars that our churches are full of unsaved church members. That led me to make a statement at one of the Minnesota churches where we were teaching, that if the Lord were to come tonight, less than 5% of Americans would go. That statement caused a gentleman to come up at the end of the class and kindly ask, "Where do you come up with that number?" My answer was simply, "Common sense." I, in turn, asked him, "How many people in Minnesota attend church or Bible study (or show any spiritual interest, counting all denominations) in a given week?" He thought a moment and said, "Less than 40%." So I again asked him, "Of those, how many are TRUE Believers?" He again thought another moment and said. "You win."
But then the other day, I was reading WORLD magazine (an article by Gene Edward Veith), and it gave all the vivid, sad numbers. Iris suggested we reprint it in the newsletter. So we are in our "What in the World" space.
Wishing you all a God-blessed New Year and, hopefully, we’ll all meet in the air. Praying daily for all of you, Les.
Note from Iris, Dear friends, I only wish we could respond to each letter and gift received (including all of these lovely Holiday cards... but we can't. So we thought you might enjoy the following recipe. May the Lord bless each of you as you serve Him daily until He comes for us. Iris.
Recipe for a Happy Marriage: take 2 happy people and separate them from their parents. Add the following ingredients in generous proportions: love, acceptance, respect, communication, patience, kindness, gentleness, self-control, commitment, faith, hope and truth. Mix together, then thoroughly sift in daily life. Strain out jealousy, arrogance, selfishness, provocation, and accounting of wrongs. Bake in the trials and tribulations of life for 50 years, then celebrate when golden.
Bookkeeper’s / Secretary's note: Thanks to all of you who support our ministry through prayer and/or financially. As yet, we thank the Lord that we are still able to report that 100% of your unspecified donations go directly to radio and television bills; and that the proceeds from product sales pay the rest of the ministry expenses - which is awesome considering the books and audios are available on the internet for free. It just shows that God is providing for our needs. We never cease to give Him the praise.
Please help us out by writing "payment" or "invoice" on those checks intended for payments, and perhaps the word "gift" or "donation" for those intended for that purpose (just use your memo line).
The Question/Answer Book, put together by Paul Hartley, is going to be available in bookstores soon. They will also remain available through the ministry or can be ordered online.
Also, after the first of the year, our products will be available on CD's and DVD's. We are not sure yet what the prices will be, so if you are interested in those, just give us a call at 1800-369-7856.
Other need-to-know information includes: 1) For those of you asking, Les will start teaching Revelation on April 28th for local stations with daily programming. 2) If you need a year-end report for tax purposes, be sure to ask for one and we will get that to you. 3) If you ever get a faulty product, please just give us a call. 4) Seminar on Revelation Part 2 is now available (5 1/2 hours). Thanks again for making this ministry possible, Laura
What In The World
Unbelieving ‘born-agains’ by Gene Edward Veith(words in article in bold print indicate emphasis by Les)
Research continues to reveal a steady theological collapse among professing Christians in America
SECULARISTS, LIBERALS, AND MUSLIMS DO NOT need to fear conservative Christians, says Dave Shiflett in The Wall Street Journal. Christians, he says, are not all that interested in converting the heathen. They don’t really believe that there is such a thing as the heathen, tending to believe instead that every religion is equally valid.
"Even the most feared of Christians—the dread ‘born-agains’ who have cost the high priests at People for the American Way so much sleep—often embrace the modern orthodoxies of tolerance and inclusion over the traditional teachings of their faith."
He cites poll data from Christian researcher George Barna that 26 percent of born-agains believe all religions are essentially the same and that 50 percent believe that a life of good works will enable a person to get to heaven.
He goes on, though, to cite data that cast doubt on whether some of these born-again Christians will be there. More than one in three (35 percent) born-again Christians do not believe that Jesus rose physically from the dead. So are they?
Isn’t that a rather important thing to believe in? Especially in light of Romans 10:9: "If you confess with your mouth that Jesus is Lord" [that they do] "and believe in your heart that God raised Him from the dead," [this they do not do] "you will be saved" [so are they?].
Over half of born-again Christians (52 percent), according to Mr. Barna’s data, do not believe that the Holy Spirit is a living entity. In Acts 19, the Apostle Paul came across a group of people who said that they were Christians, but they had never heard of the Holy Spirit. They had to be re-evangelized and re-baptized.
Slightly more born-again Christians believe in the devil than believe in the Holy Spirit, though 45 percent do not believe that Satan exists. Ten percent believe in reincarnation. Twenty-nine percent believe it is possible to communicate with the dead.
As for moral issues, one out of three born-again Christians (33 percent), according to Mr. Barna’s numbers, accept same-sex unions. More than one out of three (39 percent) believe it is morally acceptable for couples to live together before marriage. And, significantly, born-again Christians are more likely than non-Christians to have experienced divorce (27 percent vs. 24 percent).
Mr. Barna defines "born-again Christians" as those who report having made a personal commitment to Christ and expect to get to heaven because they accepted Jesus. He has a subcategory of born-again Christians—"evangelicals"—who meet more stringent criteria of biblical faith. But these amount to only 8 percent of American Christians, with 33 percent being the less-orthodox "nonevangelical born-agains."
Is this rampant unbelief among people who have accepted Christ an example of biblical illiteracy? Or is it a positive conviction that faith is a purely subjective experience rather than an appropriation of objective truths?
Either way, this is strong evidence of how American Christianity is conforming to the dominant secular culture. It is all right to be religious, according to the dictates of postmodernism, as long as your faith exists just in your head. If you start claiming that your beliefs are more than just a private mental state that makes you feel good, asserting instead that what you believe is objectively real and valid for everybody, then you are an intolerant menace to society. Many Christians apparently agree, feeling solace in their own private mental decisions and mystical experiences, without reference to the God outside themselves who is revealed in His Word and in His slain and risen Son.
Preachers sometimes exhort people to "invite Jesus into your heart" without proclaiming Who Jesus is and what He has done for sinners. This is evangelism that forgets to preach the gospel. The result will be "nonevangelical born-agains."
New Christians, like babies, need to be fed, taught, and cared for; otherwise, they will die in their cribs. They need intensive nourishment from the Word of God.
At least Christians are not the only ones addled by their culture into holding contradictory beliefs. Atheists are just as confused about their theology. "Half of all atheists and agnostics say that every person has a soul, that heaven and hell exist, and that there is life after death," reports Mr. Barna. Moreover, "one out of every eight atheists and agnostics even believes that accepting Jesus Christ as savior probably makes life after death possible." They believe that accepting Christ can bring eternal life, even though they don’t believe in Jesus Christ. Just like "nonevangelical born-agains."
Reprinted with permission of World Magazine. For More information on World Magazine please go to www.Worldmag.com
Attention Cruisers! Our Alaska Cruise this year is planned for July 23-30. If you are interested, please call for a brochure (1-800-369-7856). A cruise is a wonderful opportunity to explore the scenic beauty of Alaska while enjoying a daily feast of both great food and Les’s teaching with fellow believers.
Television Viewers:We are promoting the Sky Angel Satellite Network. In return, we get free air time. Sky Angel delivers 32 Christian TV and Radio channels, as well as wholesome family entertainment programming, into homes, churches and businesses across the continental U.S. Please contact Sky Angel to hear about all that they have to offer in the way of inspirational programming. Call for Details toll free: 1 (888) 759-2643.
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