1. I believe it is going to cost more, and is now costing the real believer more to be a complete follower of Jesus, and to have the title “Christian”. We will see more cynicism toward our faith. We will experience less favor by the world because of our relationship with Christ and our convictions that will more regularly collide with society’s loss of moral standards and integrity. The snickering and eye rolling toward followers of Christ will grow (from Ed Stetzer).
2. People that rarely have attended church are disappearing completely. Ed Stetzer says “nominal Christians are becoming none.” I agree. Those that fiddle on the fringes of Christianity, seem to be just disappearing from the spiritual scene. People that used to attend Compelled like maybe once a month or so attend almost never now. I see that trend continuing, sadly.
3. We will be challenged more and more on believing the Bible. The morality of the Bible, the salvation plan of God will be attacked, challenged, and we will be looked down on by society, friends, and family for embracing God’s Word completely and God’s plan. We need greater faith than ever.
4. It is rare, refreshing, and more uncommon for someone to attend church weekly, be in a small group, or be part of a midweek. I talk with many pastors and we experience more of a challenge to disciple people, as they are just not around to disciple. Interest in growing in Jesus is waning. It is challenge to build a faith community, and people who know each other and are around their church family to get to know them, and grow in faith together. The efforts must not stop. Pastor, don’t stop challenging people to grow, being innovative, and challenge key leaders to be examples and faithful to their church. I will not relent, even though Compelled’s midweek and small groups are struggling, I have been mandated to build disciples, so I will not give up or settle for mediocre discipleship. “I will build My church and the gates of Hades will not overpower it.” Jesus words to Peter. I live by them! They encourage me when discouragement floods me on discipling people.
5. The pressure for our kids to be “professional athletes” at young ages and to be in that sport year-round will grow, and our children’s participation in their local church continues to diminish. Parents will continue to choose many things over getting their family to church. Time and resources will be invested outside of faith in greater amounts. I fear what the results will be as a generation gets older. I fear the reaping of these decisions on our children and youth.
6. The Spirit of God, and His presence will become more of a reality to those who’s hearts are fully devoted to Jesus. They will experience a close relationship with our Father that will ground them, and set their feet solid on the rock and nothing will cause them to step off, leave their faith, or compromise. Devoted followers of Christ will grow in devotion, no matter what happens in this world.
7. The Word is going to become more precious. As it is diminished in our society, and mocked by more and more of the world. The Spirit will bring greater appreciation, dedication, and desire in the followers of Jesus to know God’s Word and God’s Words.
8. Liberal churches that leave the Word, and follow the world’s philosophies will continue to decline, and many will close. Those bodies that remain true to the Word, and the Lordship of Jesus Christ will continue to be strengthened by our Father and will remain to do the work of Christ on this earth. The challenges for health will be greater. The pressure on pastors and spiritual leaders will increase, but God’s Spirit will uphold the faithful and the work of Christ on this earth will continue (Joel 2.28-32, Acts 2).
9. There are going to be more radical salvations! I believe there is coming a season of harvest and those whose hearts and lives seem to be the coldest and farthest from God are going to be saved and will be so radical we pastors are not going to know how to pastor them as they will challenge compromise, business as usual, and mundane faith. It is going to be a challenging and exciting time. I feel it’s coming. A great harvest, awakening, and/or revival in the midst of everything else. God’s Spirit is going to awaken people and they are going to turn to Jesus without compromise.
Let’s keep faithful to our faith in Christ. Don’t believe for a second that believing without growing is enough! Ask God to give your a heart that will be faithful in the midst of the pressures of this world. Grow in Jesus! Read and study the Bible. Pray and praise our Savior Jesus. Embrace the fact that if you follow Jesus with all your heart you will not be like everyone else. You will not blend in. God is with us. He is building His church. Let’s be part! Pray believe, keep praying! Be aware that the enemy of our soul is suttle, tricky, and patient. May we have great discernment as he tries to lead astray the follower of Jesus. Give us a greater desire for you Jesus!