Archive for January, 2022

A Nation Without God

There is a move to reshape America. Whether by man or the devil, it is to reshape America without God. Everybody has a god, so who will replace the God who has been so prominent in the foundation and development of America. The new god is designed to be the state. To achieve this God has to be marginalized. 

A new god like the God will define the moral standards and provide people’s needs, creating greater dependence on government and hence greater control over them. The church is the primary advocate of God along with other spiritual institutions. Therefore, churches are targets in the “no God” movement. COVID has aided their effort. It is estimated by researchers that 30 percent of churches will be closed soon even after the pandemic is over.

92% of churchgoers say they don’t plan to attend church more often after the Coronavirus pandemic is over than they did before the pandemic began.

Part of the effort in the diminishing God in culture is to divert churches from their mission. For churches to survive and thrive they have to reproduce themselves. 

Most churches are doing little to help themselves. Growth necessitates enlistment, evangelism that is. Studies show less than 10% of sermons preached in evangelical churches even mentioned hell, sin, salvation, or heaven.

A person, attending every service in an evangelical church for two months straight, would have less than a 10% chance of hearing a phrase that included the words “hell” or “redemption,” two of the most distinctive words that characterize evangelical beliefs. 

Compounding this is the fact 57% of regular churchgoers say they have never had a religious experience that changed their life.  How can they be expected to tell others of such a need?

Researchers estimate the average church loses approximately six percent of their membership annually as a result of aging, death, anger, illness, or a move. That means that unless a church enlists six percent of new members per year they will be 60% smaller in ten years.

68% of all evangelical churches in the United States have a congregation with less than 100 people including children and half of those churches have less than 50! Observe the average age of today’s members. They constitute an aging membership.

Even prior to COVID youth were not attending worship. Thus, they are having little or no religious training. They are bereft of Bible knowledge.

Only 12% of young people, ages 18-24, identify as Evangelical Christians, which is less than half of the national average. 

Basically the media is without a positive representation of God. If they are not directly attempting to minimize Him, they are portraying life without Him as the norm. Youth are learning this by the examples they are seeing. They are seeing a God free life and no need for biblical standards. This will eventuate in a citizenship without God. A nation with no God consciousness is not likely to live by His standards. 

There is an opportunity, 78% of the unchurched say they would listen to someone who shared what they believed about Christianity. As an aside, a good sign is 35 million Americans who seldom prayed or darken the door of the church have started praying during the COVID epidemic. 

Can you help a church develop a growth mentality? 

* Most of these statistics come from a research group named “Outside the Walls.”

Enjoy a Peaceful Smoky Mountain Retreat

If you are contemplating a visit to the Great Smoky Mountains, please consider visiting our lovely three-bedroom rental cottage, Rocky Top, located in the Hidden Mountain Resort in Sevierville, Tennessee.

What You Need to Know About Heaven

Most of us want to know more than we do about heaven and hell. Candidly, God has revealed more than we are capable of understanding. Yet, as with money, more is better, but more is never good enough.

Following is a quote from one who is not my favorite theologian, yet, a diamond found in a rock pile is still a diamond. Reinhold Niebuhr said, “It is unwise for Christians to claim any knowledge of either the furniture of heaven or the temperature of hell.” Meaning don’t try to know what you don’t need to know, nor that can be known.

If you have been saved you are on your way to heaven, enjoy the certainty. God is a good God, trust Him. It does not matter where you may be in life right now, the truth is God has great things in store awaiting you. 

Not to be self-promoting, but the title of my book on heaven further confirms this, “Heaven: Earth’s Ultimate Mystery.” It just is, don’t try to completely solve the mystery. The sub title of the book amplifies this: “Heaven is a mystery encapsulated in an enigma encased in a conundrum.”

Conversely it is also true what Niebuhr said about hell, “… it is prudent to accept the testimony of the heart, which affirms the fear of judgment.” 

Some persons read of the unique experience of a Bible character and think it is to be the experience of all people in all of time.

Don’t let what you don’t know keep you from enjoying what you do know. Enjoy these known facts.

Heaven is a place. Jesus said, “I go to prepare a place for you.” The pastor in my little home church preached one Sunday morning that heaven wasn’t a place, just a state of being. That night he preached there is no such place as hell. The next morning he and my dad met on the street and the pastor greeted my dad, “Where you going, Mr. Price?” Dad replied, “After what you preached yesterday there is no place for me to go,” Jesus said there is.

Heaven is a prepared place for prepared people, prepared by the grace of God.

Heaven is a perfect place. What would we expect of our perfect God?

Heaven is a permanent place. It is eternal.

Heaven is a productive place. We can’t comprehend what we will be doing, but it will be gratifying. That is enough to know.

All that is true but the capstone is Jesus is there and in reality it is His fulfilling love and grace that make heaven heavenly.

The Apostle Paul closes the case on the subject saying, “Eye hath not seen, nor ear heard, neither have entered into the heart of man, the things which God has prepared for them that love him …” (I Corinthians 2:9).

Three Aids to Optimism

“Enter into His gates with thanksgiving, And into His courts with praise. Be thankful to Him, and bless His name. For the LORD is good; His mercy is everlasting, And His truth endures to all generations.” (Psalm 100: 4, 5)

Jesus Christ does not want your attitude held hostage by circumstances. He does not want circumstances to control your attitude. Rather, He wants your attitude to influence circumstances.

When He ransomed you, He ransomed all of you including your spirit, your attitude. The believer can rejoice because Christ met our worst enemy, Satan, and overcame him. Because of Christ’s victory, we work from victory not for victory. It is Christ’s victory that enables us to be victorious.

The King of Kings has defeated the “prince” of this world.

Don’t ever step into a never-before-lived-day without a spirit of optimism.  

Our Lord knowing this has provided numerous uplifting influences to enable us to regain our footing when knocked down. Psalm 100 notes three.

I.   EXALTATION – VS. 4A “Enter His gates…and into His courts” (Vs. 4a)

These were expressions by the ancient Hebrews that spoke of public worship. Public worship puts God in focus. Worship enables us to get God in focus and things to fade. Public worship is intended to lift the spirit, giving it wings while challenging the will..

II.  EXULTATION – VS. 4B “Be thankful to Him, and bless His name.”

It is not the happy people who are thankful.

It is the thankful people who are happy.

Happiness doesn’t produce thankfulness, rather thankfulness consequences in happiness. Do you always feel thankful? The honest answer from all of us is “NO!” 

Psalm 116:17 – 19 speaks to such an emotional moment: “I will offer You the sacrifice of thanksgiving…”  A sacrifice is something we give that costs us. Sometimes the sacrifice is “thanksgiving” and it costs us dearly. Often thanksgiving comes as an act of faith, not from elation over circumstances. 

For God to be God in lives a sacrifice of thanksgiving is necessary. What is the threat to God on the throne of your life?


“God is good…”  He always is. Things aren’t always good, but God is. Complexity consequences when we fail to distinguish between God and things. As a result, we often end up feeling it is God Who isn’t good.

Grace is God supplying what we don’t deserve. The good.

Mercy is God sparing us what we do deserve. The bad.

His mercy is everlasting.

“…His truth endures to all generations…”

To such perplexed people God offers truth that stabilizes. As there are rules that remain constant once a game is begun, so there are spiritual concepts that don’t change in the game of life. Get in the game as never before and play by His rules.

Integrity: No Price Too Great

“For the Lord gives wisdom; From His mouth comes knowledge and understanding; He stores up sound wisdom for the upright; He is a shield to those who walk uprightly; He guards the paths of justice, And preserves the way of His saints.” (Proverbs 2:6 – 8)

Jesus posed the ageless question, “What shall it profit a man if he should gain the whole world and lose his own soul?”  This speaks of the priceless qualities of integrity. It is best defined by some synonyms, such as, “honesty,” “faithfulness,” “sincerity,” and “innocence.” It means having a mind free of subterfuge and deception.  The writer of Proverbs used the Hebrew word for integrity, which when anglicized is “tom.” In the text is translated “walks upright.” It is an axiom that means “one who has a lifestyle free of a hidden agenda.” It means, you don’t have anything to hide. It means being willing to put yourself on trial to be judged by God’s standards and refusing to be deluded and deceived by self-exoneration.

We must have an integrity GPS set on a true spiritual north. That setting is Jesus Christ. We must be locked on to Him or we lose our direction.

Proverbs 25:19 gives a graphic description of a person lacking integrity: “Confidence in an unfaithful man in times of trouble is like a bad tooth or a foot out of joint.”

The text speaks of God saying, “He is a shield to those who walk upright,” that is, “in integrity.” It is not integrity that is a shield; it is God Himself Who is the shield for the person who manifests integrity. As a shield takes the blows on itself intended for another, so our Lord takes our potential injury on Himself. 

The fact a shield is needed clearly implies warfare. A person who dares to maintain a lifestyle of integrity can expect to be engaged in spiritual warfare.  The person who valiantly and virtuously maintains integrity will not lack for a Helper nor an ultimate reward.  

Observe “He who walks in integrity walks securely…”  (Proverbs 10:9) “Walks” is a word for “lifestyle.”  This is an appeal to maintain a lifestyle of integrity. When life is over God will not measure our integrity by our moments of brilliance, but by our consistency. To do so, a word within the word integrity speaks of a characteristic needed. It is “inteGRITy” It takes GRIT. 

The glory of Jesus Christ is involved in every temptation by which we are threatened, and for His sake, if not for our own, we must stand firm.

When we become more concerned about pleasing God than people, integrity prevails.

When we are more concerned about who we are than what we have or can get, integrity prevails and God is glorified. It is now time for your integrity check.